A Strange Dream

Hunor Gangel

So, please tell me about your dream and your evening that day — said the therapist to Serena.

— It was like any other night. After having dinner I sat down in the living room to watch some TV. Then when my favorite show ended I went to bed because I had to go to work early the next day. I usually don’t remember my dreams but this one was different. I remember it perfectly. So after I fell asleep, I found myself in a sort of dungeon. It was very strange, since it was a straight corridor with a glowing exit sign at the end, with three gates separating me from it.

— A corridor with gates and an exit sign? — asked the therapist while scribbling something on a pad. — Yeah, I know it’s very strange — said Serena.

— Please continue with the dream.

— Alright, where was I? Oh right, the gates.

— So there were also two passages to the side next to each gate with signs showing that the keys of the gate were to be found there. After observing my situation, I was determined to get out of there. After some deliberation I decided to go into one of the passages and was surprised to find out it was a labyrinth. After wandering through it for some time I found a key lying on the floor. I assumed it was for the gate, so I went back to it. I tried to open the gate but to my surprise it had two keyholes. I thought “Great, now I have to go into the other passage as well.” So I did. It was also a labyrinth, very similar to the previous one but with a different layout. After finding the end, I quickly took the key and rushed back to the gate to open it. I was delighted for a second when it opened, but this quickly changed to dread when I saw that at the end of the next two passages there were puzzles. One of them was one of those puzzles where you have to slide tiles to make out a picture, but with numbers, and I had to arrange them in ascending order. I solved that one pretty easily, but it was the other puzzle that had me worried. It was sudoku, which I always sucked at. Luckily after a lot of struggling I felt something in my pocket that wasn’t there before. It was a piece of paper with the solution to the puzzle.

— A piece of paper with the solution just appeared in your pocket? — said the therapist, raising an eyebrow.

— Yes — said Serena.

— Alright, let’s just continue with your dream.

— OK. So after I solved the sudoku puzzle, a slot opened with the key inside it, and the same happened with the other puzzle as well. After opening the gate with my two new keys, I was prepared to find the worst obstacles in the next passages next to the last gate, but it was even worse than that. One of the sides had a free key, but the other one was an obstacle course just like in ninja warrior, but with spikes under it. After some reasoning I decided to go for it and try to do the course, since it was all a dream. That was the worst decision I ever made. After nearly failing the first obstacle, the dream started feeling very real. I lost my balance and tripped over. Then I started falling towards the spiky floor. Before hitting the floor I woke up in a cold sweat. Since then I have barely been able to sleep.

— Hmm. What was that show you watched before going to sleep?

— It was Ninja Warrior, — said Serena, a bit surprised by the connection the therapist made.

— Maybe you should try watching less TV and going to sleep at the same time every night, and let’s see how your sleeping habits change.