It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

There's something foreboding about twilight before daybreak.

It alone isn't unsettling. It's a nice time, actually, with the quiet of nighttime without the same pitch darkness. The sky starts to turn blue, from the barest amount of light from the sun that has yet to rise. There's hardly any human activity around.

But it's always twilight in the dreams I have of the places that I've long lost. They're never places I've been to but always are familiar, sometimes places I recognize as the kind of location I might have glimpsed at from the window of a car. These places are always buildings, something distinctly human-made, and uninhabited at the moment I find them. Or at least they're supposed to be, and sometimes when I step inside I discover I'm not alone. But I'm never discovered in these moments, as an intruder, because it's still nighttime and whoever it is inside is asleep.

The set-up is always the same. The building is a single, solitary structure, and small. The surrounding area is all tall grass, swaying in the breeze, with forest further off in the distance. It's twilight, before the sun rises, just light enough out that I can see everything clearly enough. I never turn around to look at what's behind me, and I never feel like I want to or should. Eyes forward the whole time, gazing toward the entrance. I approach the door, and even though I know I don't belong there, I try the door. The front door is always open, even though I think that it shouldn't be. I step inside, and it feels cramped. Never cluttered, always tidied up. Everything that needs to be there, and nothing more. I realize that I'm not alone, that someone who belongs here is inside the building. Asleep in bed, unaware that I've entered. I decide I need to leave, I go outside, I walk away from the building. I look at the building again, and watch it.

I never remember what I see when I leave. When I face away from the building. It's as if none of it exists, that there isn't anything to see that isn't the building. I know that I leave, but I never see the process of leaving. It feels like zooming out of a shot, or walking backwards out of the building. Whatever is behind me, whatever it is which the front door of the building faces, it doesn't exist. It simply isn't.

Wherever I came from is nowhere.Sometimes I arrive at the building, a destination I was looking for, and sometimes I'm just right outside. Whenever I'm looking for the building, the rest of the landscape looks the same, all tall grass with forest in the near distance. I don't remember ever leaving a place, and I'm always already on the path toward my destination. Sometimes there's a few other buildings, ones that look like they fit in with the one I end up at. They look like they might all show up in the same place. They're never homes of any sort, thought. Come to think of it, I don't think I ever see any other buildings whenever I'm making my way to a building meant for living in.

I guess it's not really twilight that's foreboding. Wide-open land with tall grass and forest in the near distance isn't foreboding. The buildings I go to aren't foreboding. The roads I take up to my destination isn't foreboding. The people I find in the buildings aren't foreboding. But something is wrong here, and these are not pleasant dreams. I wouldn't call them nightmares, but I don't like what's happening.

Why is there always a person in these buildings? I never see their faces, or any other part of them. I get enough of a glimpse to realize that I'm not alone, and that alone makes me leave. I'm a trespasser, after all, walking in through a door I always expect to be locked but isn't. But when I leave, I never turn. I just leave. I'm outside, not quite really having seen myself leave, but knowing I did. It's not like teleportation. Everything is always realistic in these dreams.

I don't know why I never see what's behind me, even when I should be able to see it. I never feel like I turn to look behind me, even when I leave the building. Nothing's stopping me, and nothing makes me feel like I shouldn't. But I never see where it is that I came from, and what it is that's behind me.

Maybe I'm not supposed to look. Maybe it's not worth looking at. Maybe nothing exists beyond what I've seen as "in front" of me. I don't know.

Dr. Glass reads the sheet slowly, diligently,

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