[WP] A Man with horrific nightmares takes pills to stop dreaming. Eventually the suppressed nightmares bleed into his reality in the form of hallucinations.

John turned off the t.v. Maria's head rested in his lap. Her hair stretched across his fingers, shining like gold in the dimly-lit apartment. Her eyelids jerked, but she was not troubled. She was dreaming. John could feel his own eyes growing heavy and the familiar objects of the room fading into fuzzy shapes. He wished he could join Maria wherever she was now. His own dreams had become unpleasant. Maria's warm easy breath worked it's way around John's legs and settled soft and sound. The room faded into blackness.

John wasn't in the room anymore, but he could still feel the warmth on his legs. He was sitting on a beach. Little grains of sun-heated sand pressed up against his thighs. His legs were smaller. His whole body was smaller. He leaped up and began to run towards the ocean. The dark blue-green Pacific, the color of Maria's eyes, beckoned him closer, and he started to run through the swell, kicking up foam and water as his legs worked harder to push through the incoming tide. Eventually his young legs couldn't reach the bottom any longer and he had to dog paddle to keep his head above the water. The chill water sent shock waves across his body as he paddled out farther. Pure energy surged through his shivering body as he watched a figure on the shore that he recognized as his mother, wearing her strawhat and blue dress, grow smaller and smaller. He decided it was time to return to the warm sand, but his arms had gone numb. Panic gripped him as his heart began to race and he started to shout for his mother. That blue-green water had begun to get in his mouth, filling his lungs with salty fluid.

John's eye's sprang open. Maria was shaking him. He was covered in a cool sweat. Her blue-green eyes were filled with concern.

"John, what happened? You were screaming," she said. "Is it the nightmares again?"

He sat up and wrapped a blanket around his shivering shoulders. "Yeah, it's just like when I was a kid living in California and I almost drowned. I don't understand why it keeps happening."

"Maybe you should see a therapist," Maria said as she rubbed John's back.

She made John promise to see a therapist. Eventually he reluctantly agreed like he always did.

He came home that night with a bottle of pills. He shook some of the little white capsules into his palm. The bottle promised peaceful sleep would arrive promptly after use. Maria said she would be home late. She had another important group project. John decided to go to bed early and swallowed the pills.

He awoke refreshed for the first time in weeks. He couldn't even remember falling asleep. All he remembered was waking up with brilliant beams of golden sunlight piercing through his bedroom window.

"Good morning, sunshine," he said while turning over, but Maria was already gone. He must have really overslept, he thought.

He stumbled into the kitchen and looked for the fridge. A note posted on the fridge caught his eye. Maria had scribbled something in blue-green ink across it. The ink had begun to run a little and dripped down to the tile on the floor. John grabbed a towel and started to clean up the puddle that was forming on the ground. He didn't want Maria to come home to a mess. The note had said she would be coming in late again and he didn't want her to be upset when she came home exhausted. He crumpled the note into the towel and threw them both in the trash.

John returned home from work very pleased with himself. He had done such a great job that day that his boss said he could go home early. As John approached the front door of his apartment, he could hear a squishing sound. He looked down at the carpet in the hall and realized that something had been leaking from their apartment into the hall causing the floor to become stained. John opened the door to find about an inch of dark standing water flooding the living room. The dark-green water appeared to still be flowing. He traced the water's path back to its source. The trash can in the kitchen was overflowing with the fluid. Green-blue water was slowly spilling over its sides.

John couldn't believe what he was seeing. He pulled his cell phone out and dialed Maria's number. After several endless rings she finally answered.

"Hello." She sounded nervous.

"Hey sunshine, it's John," he said as the water began to reach his ankles. "I think we've got a bit of a plumbing problem. Do you think you can cancel your group project and come help me out?"

"Sorry, hon," she said in that simulated voice he had her use at family reunions. "I really need to get this project done. Why don't you call a plumber?"

He could feel the water crawling up his calves. It was cold and he started to shiver. "Yeah, I guess I'll do that," he said as he sat in a kitchen chair. "When do you think you'll get home?"

"It won't be until late," she said. "Why don't you take some of those pills and get to sleep. I'm sure you're pretty tired. We'll worry about the plumbing tomorrow."

The water was now up to John's waste, and he could feel his toes going numb. "Yeah, we'll do that. I love you sunshine."

"Good night, hon," she said, but John hadn't heard. He had let the phone drop into the blue-green lagoon that had once been his kitchen.

John trudged through the water to the counter which was just starting to be submerged and picked up the little golden bottle with the white capsules. He emptied the bottle into one hand and swallowed all the pills. He felt his eyelids grow heavy and laid back to float on the gently stirring water. Darkness descended on him one last time and he had no more nightmares.

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