An Evil Town
Nightmare | January 16, 2011
After a crazy motorcycle adventure I arrive at a small town in the Australian Outback and park the bike next to the sidewalk.
The main street of this town is completely empty. There is nobody in sight nor any cars, animals or signs of life. Dead trees, leaf-covered sidewalks and old decrepit buildings. A layer of dust seems to cover everything.
Strolling down the street I become aware of being watched, not by a someone but a something sinister and malevolent. The ruined buildings feel as if they are empty holes in space with a monster waiting in the dark. The presence is not any one thing but the whole town a single evil entity.
I turn around and my bike is gone.
Then I'm stumbling back along the street towards the way I came, wondering if the Town will let me go now that it has me. Passing in front of a one-story clinic with dirty glass windows for walls, I know people are inside. Through the doors I come into a single room with a dozen miserable people dressed in grimy rags, scattered among a set of wide benches facing the front, arranged like pews in a church. Along the back wall is a counter where a relatively healthy young man in a uniform is sitting. I know he is a doctor and these people are in his care.
In a trance I walk into the room. An old man sitting on the floor on torn-up newspapers, bits of clothing and trash, whispers to me. “You'll never get out now." His teeth are all broken. With a rusty blade he jabs at his skin.
Tired and drained, I sit on one of the benches next to a listless woman in a faded blue dress. On the bench between us is a strange pear-shaped water bottle. Without thinking I pick it up and tear off the plastic wrapper and twist off the cap. The water is sweet, with an essence of peaches. After a swig I clunk the bottle down, which gets her attention.
“That was mine," she says mechanically.
“I'm sorry. I was very thirsty."
She grabs the bottle's neck but hesitates. “It's okay," I say, “I don't have cooties."
She drinks from the bottle and puts it down. Almost immediately her eyes become unfocused. “Oh god, I can feel it now." The way she says this is ominous, scary. I get up and go to the doctor in back.
“What does she mean?" I ask.
He says flatly, "She now has Hepatitis C. You gave it to her."
“But I don't have any disease!"
“You are a carrier."
I feel devastated, for her and myself. Sinking back against the wall the dream feels empty yet charged up, with the evil Town waiting outside. I wonder briefly if the Town had something to do with this.
The old man who spoke to me earlier is now sitting on the floor behind the counter next to the doctor. Still poking his skin he chuckles without mirth. “Doctor I found a cure."
I go back and sit down at another bench. The old man is now in front of me again. Slowly he pinches small bits of his skin off. Then he is able to rip off small chunks of his bloody flesh. I sit in horror as the man tears himself apart. Around me the room is slient. Some watch but most are lost in their own misery.
After awhile it's only the bloody skeletal arms scratching away at an almost lifeless carcass. I get up and lurch through the front door.
Outside it is completely black. No lights of any kind. I tell myself I'm going to run out of town and into the desert, and I'm sprinting through the Town but the buildings repeat themselves. After awhile I turn and see dim outline of the clinic still close by.
Two red lights appear in the distance, coming closer. The taillights of a car, but approaching. The car drives alongside me and a middle-aged couple get out. They're giggling and chattering. The man walks to the side of the road and urinates, still chuckling out loud. I open the driver's door and get into the seat. The woman sits down in the passenger seat first, unconcerned that a stranger has just taken the wheel. She tells the man to get into the seat with her and he's hanging onto the door while I roll the car forward, determined to get away from the Town. Finally he jumps in a we're accelerating down the street.
The couple are crowded together on the seat but seem to be in a good mood. The man looks over at me and I realize it is the old man who killed himself earlier. He is younger, healthy and happy.
Abruptly the road is dirt and we're winding through industrial areas and construction zones. Then we arrive at a dead end. My mind is screaming Will I ever get out of this town?. I turn around and the headlights shine on a rusty metal semicircular arch over the road. In the empty blackness it looks like the sinister eye socket of the Town watching us, or its cavernous mouth ready to swallow us forever.
The man suddenly screams hysterically, “The gate! That's the gate!" He's thrashing around like a maniac. “No! No! No! Back! We gotta go back! Not through!" The woman is very shaken up. We turn around and head down another dirt road past gutted buildings and broken machinery. In the darkness everything looks the same.
We're lost and trapped...