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Stair Climbing At 3:00 A.M.

The Dream That Forced Me To Change My Life.

By Carol TownendPublished 27 days ago 9 min read
Stair Climbing At 3:00 A.M.
Photo by Arron L. on Unsplash

I have been sleeping peacefully all night, but it is now 3:00 A.M. and I can't tell whether I am still asleep and dreaming, or awake.

I have been having this dream for the last two years, and it always stays the same apart from one small change when the stairs always change direction as I climb them.

They are grey, concrete stairs in an abandoned hallway, but as I climb them, they do not seem to lead anywhere, though they wind and twist at every twelfth step I take.

I stop at the top of the first twelve stairs. I hear a voice calling me,

"You're going in the wrong direction."

I do not understand why I am climbing these stairs, they just seem to be there with no particular reason for existing.

I observe the direction of the stairs, they only seem to lead one way which is up and down, apart from the twist and windings, they seem to lead straight up.

I listen again for the voice which sounds so real, that I feel as though I am awake and this is happening.

"Is this real?" I hear myself asking. I can't decide whether I asked this question in my reality, or the reality of the dream. To me, my voice sounded so real, that it felt like I was on some kind of real-life adventure.

I don't hear the voice again for a few minutes, so I decide to take another step.

"Is there anything at the top of these stairs? Maybe a door I need to go through or something?" I ask the voice.

As I ask, the step I am trying to step on crumbles, and I fall to the bottom of the stairs.

"I told you Cara; you're going the wrong way," the voice tells me again.

"Tell me, which way I'm supposed to go!" I tell the voice.

The voice doesn't sound like anyone I know, and there doesn't seem to be anybody there. I observe the direction in which the voice appears to be coming from, and my observations tell me that it is coming from the top of the stairs.

To my amazement, the crumbled stair reforms itself. I continue to climb but I still seem to be heading nowhere.

I know that these stairs must lead somewhere because most stairs I have climbed have always directed me to another door, the top of a hill, or some other place. Curious to find out where this leads, I persevere and keep climbing, even though my legs feel tired.

As I climb, I feel a chilly breeze coming from somewhere. I can feel it cooling my hot skin. The chill feels like it is biting through my layers, but I don't mind because I need to cool down.

The breeze becomes stronger by the minute, and now it feels more like a gale. It takes all of my strength to stay balanced on these stairs because there is no rail for me to hold on to.

I climb around yet another curve and start to climb the next set of twelve steps. I shiver as the chill becomes colder and colder, the further I climb up the stairs. As I climb, I see a strong, bright light, which looks as vivid as looking at sunlight in the summer sky, only here there is no summer sky, just concrete stairs, and a concrete wall that I can't touch because the walls crumble away when I try to use them for support.

"The light must be coming from somewhere," I tell myself as I climb.

I assume that the flight of stairs around the next curve might lead to a door, or the top of a hill; maybe, even a park, if I'm lucky enough. I keep climbing in an attempt to find out, but as I put my foot on the next step, it crumbles again, but this time I tumble down them, ending up back to where I started.

The pain in my legs, back, arms, and head was excruciating. I struggled to get up from the floor, and every time I lifted my leg, It would send a sharp, cracking pain from the bottom to the top of them whilst my arms felt like they had just been beaten a million times with a bat. The back of my head felt like it had just been hit with a brick, as I smashed it on the concrete when I fell down the stairs.

I was going to give up, but I felt an uncontrollable pull in my legs that kept me climbing, though it didn't feel like it was me controlling my walking movement; it felt like an uncontrollable force outside of my body, telling me to move, controlling my movements.

Amazingly, I healed as soon as I put a foot on the next step. I don't know how that happened, and everything felt surreal.

I was convinced that I was climbing these stairs in real life rather than in a dream.

I touched my hair and felt it soft and wavy in my hand, I pinched my skin hard and felt it wince as my tight fingers clenched it, and I heard the thud of my heeled boots as I climbed the next step.

I knew this must be real because everything felt real.

"You must climb the next step, Cara. You must keep climbing." The voice instructed me.

I could feel the presence of somebody's eyes watching me, but I saw no one there.

"Who are you?" I asked, but as usual, I got no reply.

I climbed the next stair, but this time there was a change that had never occurred before,

The stair led me to another curve, but instead of going straight up as it always had done, this one was leading me into a dark tunnel in the right wall.

"That wasn't here before!" I exclaimed.

I felt fear. A voice inside my head was telling me not to enter that tunnel. My instincts told me that it was too dangerous. I tried to stay put, but my feet weren't in my control, and I found myself climbing the stairs in this dark tunnel.

The stairs in the tunnel seemed to go off in all directions, and I had no idea where I was stepping because there was no light, not even daylight.

The stairs here had gaps between them, and I only found out after I nearly fell when I missed the first step.

I sensed another change with my ears. I could hear running water below. I guessed that there must be a river below me, and if I fell into that river, my life would end there.

I was shaking so hard, that it was difficult to stay aware of where I was stepping, but I had no choice; my legs automatically moved, even though I tried to stop them.

Just like all of the other dreams that I had, I realized that this staircase also had curves; the only difference was that I had to stride further to reach the next step.

These steps also crumbled as the last lot had done.

I shuddered, trying to control my movements. I could feel adrenaline gushing through my entire body, though it wasn't the same kind of adrenaline that I get when entering a race at my local running club.

No! This was the adrenaline of fear, and it cursed through me like an angry sea thrashing against dark rocks in a storm.

I carefully moved my foot, or whatever was controlling my feet, did. I tried to feel the hard concrete beneath my feet, but I couldn't.

I was gasping for breath, my heart pounding desperately in a bid to get out of this death trap.

I felt nothing beneath my feet for a whole two minutes, and then I thought that I had felt a rock, and I tried stepping on it. Shaking with more terror than I had when I was chased by a Coyote in Summerlaydon Park, I wiggled my foot around to reassure myself that I had landed on that step before making my next move.

I still couldn't feel it.

"You're still going in the wrong direction." The voice called to me, making me jump as I wasn't expecting to hear it.

Both steps that I was straddling crumbled beneath my feet, and I fell again; though this time I didn't land on anything.

Down, down, down, I fell. I heard the water as I headed closer to it, but it seemed too far away, and I just kept falling.

"YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!" The voice shouted even louder this time.

Then I heard another voice,

"WAKE UP!" it shouted.

I awoke, still shaking and terrified of what had just happened.

I looked around my bedroom, everything seemed too surreal.

My pink and blue curtains were blowing in the breeze that was coming through the open window. My blue carpet was still intact, and I could see my small wardrobe where my clothes were kept. I heard the birds singing outside, and my mum was downstairs setting breakfast.

I felt disoriented. I didn't know where I was.

I headed downstairs for breakfast, and I asked my mum,

"Where were we last night?"

Mum told me that we had stayed in last night. She had heard me shouting in my bedroom, and she came into my room to check on me. She said I was sleeping, but she couldn't wake me up.

I realized that I had been dreaming the same dream that I had dreamed for the last two years.

I could recollect the dream as vividly as real life. The curving staircase that led nowhere, the light on the first flight, and the dark tunnel with gushing water in which I fell.

I rushed upstairs and took out my notebook.

  • "You're going in the wrong direction."
  • The grey, concrete staircase with nothing to hold on to.
  • The crumbling wall.
  • The stairs going in one direction for two years, then changing in this year's dream
  • The light that looked like sunlight plummeted me into darkness as I climbed the stairs that went in the other direction.
  • The missing gaps
  • Falling as if falling into a river but never actually falling into it.

I reviewed my memories from the dream, amazed that I could remember it in detail. As I read back my notes, I managed to realize why this dream kept recurring.

The words "Wrong direction," were repeated to me from an unknown voice throughout the entire dream. Every time I climbed a step around a new curve, it crumbled. When I entered the dark tunnel, there were gaps between the steps, and that was where I just kept falling without hitting the water, and that was the point at which I woke up.

I learned that this dream wasn't meant to scare me, even though it terrified me.

It was a dream about direction. Something I was seriously lacking in my life.

I barely buckled down to work at school, and I was always in trouble. I had been throughout my whole school life. This dream was warning me that my life would be a long big journey of mess next year when I leave, if I don't buckle down now.

I was shocked by what I had learned from my dream, but I knew that it was right.

I had no direction in my life.

The same dream recurred at the same time early the next morning, and many mornings after that.

I decided to take action, and I formed a plan to get my life together with all of the teachers at school.

The year after, I managed to get a job supporting troubled children at school, and I knew what I wanted from life. Instead of heading in the wrong direction, I achieved many successes, helping children to find their direction in life.

I learned that school life was the key to well-being, and the hard work paid off. I was able to build a career that I was happy to do, and I saw many children having the same success.

There comes a time when we grow up, and we start to regret how we messed up in our younger lives.

We need direction when we are young, and if we do not take the support offered, it can lead to drastic consequences later in our lives.

As we grow, we start to think about our future, but our future starts with school, but if we do not listen,

Our lives can turn into troublesome lives for a lifetime, and without education, our lives as adults can turn into a futureless life forever.

Young AdultStream of ConsciousnessPsychologicalMystery

About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

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