I woke up. I was sweating all over, and my blankets were twisted around my legs. Sunlight was streaming in through the thin white curtains. I looked around and saw that everything was normal. All my things were still in their places, neat and tidy. I sighed and lied back down. I kept telling myself that it was all a dream - a nightmare. It was all a horrible nightmare that really scared me.

But I was kidding myself. It had all been so vivid, so real. In my dream, I was in a dark place. I couldn't see anything at all, so I walked around in circles, until I felt tired and sat down. But "the thing", or whatever it was that I sat on, started moving around, jumping frantically, trying to throw me off its back. Terrified, I leaped off and started running away from it. I looked back and tried to catch a glimpse of "the thing", but it was so dark, that I couldn't see it at all!

After I had been running for about an hour, I stopped to catch my breath. I was so scared that I was trembling uncontrollably, and cold sweat was running down my back. I tried to stop panting, but the more I tried, the worse it got. My panting got so bad, that I couldn't even breathe anymore! I was hyperventilating. Suddenly, without any warning, "the thing" came up behind me and pushed me. I was swept off my feet and thrown down a deep, dark pit - at least I thought it was a pit.

I seemed to be falling for an eternity. I could hear nothing but the deafening roar of the air whistling past me. That was the only evidence of my fall. After what seemed to be a year, I landed on something soft. Just when I was starting to think that all the horrible things happening to me had come to an end, I smelled something foul. It was faint at first, but now it engulfed me in a nauseating stench. I gagged, choked, and tried to stop breathing, but the smell was so strong, I could almost taste it. I tried to stand up, but I was being pulled back down by someone - or something.

I felt something cold on my shoulders, and realized that "the thing" was behind me, trying to pull me this time. With every ounce of strength that I had left, I struggled to thwart it off and ran. I ran faster than I ever did in my life. I ran so fast, that I couldn't even feel my legs! The air whistled past my ears. As I ran, I was completely aware of "the thing" behind me, trying to grab me with its chilly hands. I looked behind, but I couldn't see it at all. Everything was so dark, so deadly.

As I ran, I saw a little white hole in the air. It was very small at first, but it got bigger and bigger, until I realized that it was the door to my bedroom. Relief spread from my head to my cold, numb toes. With a rush of joy, I leapt the last remaining steps and landed on my bed. I jumped up and closed my bedroom door with a bang. I was safe at last.

So that was my dream. In the morning, as I got up from my bed, all the muscles in my body ached. But that was impossible! I had spent the whole of yesterday, lying on the couch, watching TV. That could not have given me muscle knots. Unless - no, it would be too bizarre. My dream could not have been real. But if it were real, then that would explain why I could barely move right now. Feeling strange, I shuffled towards the door and opened it. Suddenly, I was in complete darkness. I could feel "the thing" again, holding me with its icy cold fingers, suffocating me. My dream had been real. And there's no escaping "the thing" anymore.