Delusional Fear (of Zombies!)
Everyone is Trying to Eat Me!

By Vexen Crabtree 2001

Occurred: 2004 Nov 29 (Mon night)

This dream was about total fear. Once or twice I woke up, and was hot in bed; sweating. But more than once I awoke only to fall to sleep straight back into the same type of nightmare. It was a very distinctive one... basically it was another zombie dream like most my others, but the zombies were more aggressive. The major difference though is that everyone was a zombie, not just some people.

I was in a city. Whenever anyone saw me, they would immediately come towards me reasonably quickly and try to eat me. They were reasonably fast, and not weak like some zombies. I could run away. But in a city, there is nowhere to run. Screaming with fear, I run through shops and streets with everyone turning to come for me wherever I looked. Sometimes they would get close and I would have to push them away, straining against their limbs. Eventually they got me. My arms were tired and aching, I couldn't hold one of them off. His body was smothering mine, and his head surged forwards as he sunk his teeth deep into my flesh. It felt like my entire arm was falling to pieces and all the flesh on it was moving and reacting to his teeth. I was screaming madly and loudly, in imaginary pain. Then I woke up.

And fell asleep again. I was again forced into the same world. It wasn't hordes of zombies, streets of them, but small numbers of them always coming for me wherever I ran to. And ran I did! I ran and climbed, agile and determined, finding strength and stamina in fear and desperation. Despite this, eventually they got me. I was again tired, and again I had no reserves left to stop the human zombie's head crash into my body. Its teeth were coming for my face. I was again screaming loudly, hoarsely, deeply. Its teeth hit me, and weirdly it happened to clamp on to my own teeth. My gums were caught a bit, but mostly my teeth were caught in its clamped teeth. I woke up again...

... and fell asleep again. I was in China Town in a large city. Small streets, small smelly shops. People started turning towards me and coming for me. I was sick of it. With willpower, I tried to make light of the nightmare. I was enjoying them, they were intense, but I had had enough of them. I tried to ridicule the dream and make it seem silly. I couldn't quite do it. I merely managed to change the rules a bit. All of a sudden, I made a big metal gate appear in a door way, a huge iron blockade with a big padlock on it, and chains holding it closed. The zombie couldn't get me from that direction. I manifested these locks into the doors of several shops, stopping many of them coming out into the street where I was. Then, liking this tactic, I created a larger gate all the way across the street. I was becoming safe, and things were looking up.

In the dream I then made my way to my girlfriends' house, using these gates to keep safe. Once in her tall building, I could no longer create them though. I ran up many flights of stairs. I ran too far, going above her floor and running through a secondary school that was located on the few floors above. I got to the admin offices at the top before I realized. Students were looking at me, but there were no zombies. I retreated back down to my girlfriends' flat, where she saw me enter the flat after coming down the stairs. She called me silly for getting lost.

I closed her flat door and explained to her that I was having a nightmare. I told her that I couldn't help imagining that everyone was trying to eat me. I was sat on the sofa with her, in the front room. I got up and locked the front door. As I walked back into the front room, she was there, talking to me but I couldn't hear her. A zombie somehow came through her window. It made no sense how it could have, they were all closed and it didn't smash them. It ran for me, and I backed off, with my girlfriend watching. I was fighting it, pushing it away as it moved its weight into me. My screams were getting louder as I got weaker. My girlfriend was actually shouting hysterically at me that there was nothing there and that I was imagining it. I believed her; it seemed more sensible that the monsters were a paranoid delusion and not real. But the fear was so strong I had to keep fighting the zombie, and in addition now feel unhappy that I had gone insane and was stressing out my girlfriend.

Then I woke up. I was hot and sweaty all over. I shuffled around my duvet. I imagined that after such insanity, I would be put in an insanitorium. I fell asleep and dreamt I was in a court of law, in the witness box. The judge was sat behind me on my left, someone else was sat behind me on my right. I got a little scared and looked around. The person behind me had a growing glint in his eye. The dream was inevitable: he became a zombie. I felt the same fear, it was just about to start coming for me and I was going to have a paranoid, terrible, violent episode right in front of the whole court. But then my girlfriend texted me and the sound of my mobile phone woke me up. I lay in bed for a while trying not to doze off. It was 23:30, I'd been asleep since 8pm.

The end.

It's been ages since I had a full nightmare. I love them, but this one was a sudden return and a bit shocking. I don't like dreaming of such judgement of others towards myself. It feels that the dreams displays my own fear of society, that everyone is judging me for that fear, and that in face of that judgement I react badly. Such things aren't inherently untrue of me. But I don't like dreaming that my girlfriend gets to see it all and is stressed by my insanity. It was a unique zombie dream like that. All the others have been about the relentless inferiority of other people, not about myself. I've been the intelligent strong one. In this dream, because I acknowledged and was told that my enemy were my delusions, it made myself the problem, not the zombies. But alas, I am but human and allowed the same insecurities as all other people. I bet not many other people have such wonderful, amazing nightmares, and I bet they dislike theirs! Whereas I am proud of my night mares, and embrace them; although I don't want this one as wholeheartedly as I've wanted the others.

See: "Zombies!!! The Biology and Philosophy of the Living Dead!" by Vexen Crabtree (2006)