Another sleepful night.

*Lovely dream last night.

I was part of a family that wasn’t my own, in that my mother and father were entirely different, and I had more siblings than I normally do. The country had been struck with some type of bizarre virus that caused people to transform into semi-vampires, in that they craved blood uncontrollably, and apparently couldn’t be killed.

Several of my own family had been infected, although there was a certain injection that could suppress the violence. My mother had not been infected, and I saw her injecting my father with the salve. His face was completely fucked up, more like a terrible latex mask out of the deeper curves of the Uncanny Valley, because he’d been hurt by somebody and had not healed up properly. But he did heal.

I had not been infected either, and I wanted to go somewhere with a friend. I don’t recall where I wanted to go, but I can understand why I’d want to go - being around my siblings made me very nervous. But my mother was adamant that my brothers and sisters be respected, so she asked I drive them somewhere with me. I grudgingly allowed it.

Two of my sisters, about 15 or 16 years old, were playing by the front door. One gripped the neck of the other with her teeth, and tore the skin open with a thick tug. This happened as I passed them. Nothing happened with the wound initially, but a moment’s hesitation brought out a spout of clear liquid, like thin gel, some of which spattered on my arm. It was slick, and burned a little. I hurried out the door, my arm tingling. By the time the two exited after me, the wound had healed entirely. None of the infected could feed on each other, you see.

Our vehicle was a huge SUV, very advanced. I hadn’t driven it much. When I slid the driver’s side door open, I could see that the entire compartment was filled with switches and buttons and lights, like it was a spaceship. I didn’t know what any of them did, but at least I knew how to drive. About seven of us piled into the giant thing.

The town we were in was my actual hometown. I knew all the roads. It was a very lovely day, but too chilly. As soon as we were on the highway, one of my brothers begin to complain. My stomach tied in knots, and my heart jumped whenever any of my siblings brushed my shoulder to catch my attention. But they did it for a good reason - the kid was having an ‘attack,’ and they thought I should pull over to the side of the highway. As if he had to take a piss, as opposed to lapsing into a monster state. Anything could happen if he did.

I pulled off at the top of a grassy hill, by a local strip mall. There were people everywhere. All infected - I could tell. My troubled brother tumbled out of the vehicle, the others following him, one with the injection to calm him down. I didn’t want to watch, so I walked down among the infected.

Some appeared to be homeless. Some appeared to be working men and women. All seemed agitated and nervous. After I had walked down a bit, I was confronted with a large woman, who appeared to hold some authority over them.

“It’s been cut,” she confided to shabby old man.

I immediately knew. The injections, the suppressing agent, had been diluted. At that point I became really frightened, and I turned in the other direction. In my mind, I had the entire plot figured out. The people supplying the medicine had grown tired of everyone, and they were going to provoke a murder frenzy, and then they were going to ride in and kill everyone, because they must have finally figured out a way.

I began to run. The woman behind me shouted. Not at me, but at the assembled infected. They all snapped to attention as she yelled out the news. They were like an honor guard as I ran. I had to reach the vehicle. But as I ran farther and farther, I could feel more and more fingertips brushing against me, like I was racing the wave of the disease’s murder compulsion. I ran and closed my eyes, their palms brushing against me as I struggled closer to the vehicle. Closer and closer.

And that’s when I woke up.

Obviously I’d read too much about Grindhouse on Friday, and all sorts of old tropes had congealed in my head while I snoozed. I’d like to know the end of the dream. Oh, sure - it was just something I thought up anyway, so I can easily think up an ‘ending,’ but not within the unmediated confines of my sleeping state. Even trying to contemplate a continuation, I find myself struggling with the more disquieting bits, the stuff I’d try to neutralize or offset in a considered narrative. But I got a start, I got a show...