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Swallowed by Gum

A recurring nightmare to manage

By Lana V LynxPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024
Image by ChatGPT 4o

This dream is long gone now and does not bother me any more. But when I was a teenager, I was tortured by it regularly and woke up from it often as if I was living in a horror movie.

The dream always started out with me spitting out a piece of gum, completely chewed out of its taste and flavor, into lush grass somewhere in a beautiful place like a park or green summer mountains. It was my favorite, too, Bubble Gum - one of the few luxuries from the West we had access to in my Soviet childhood. We called it "BOOBLE GOOM" and to this day whenever I hear the name Michael Bublé I have a chuckle.

But back to my dream: As I turn around to leave, the gum starts to grow, swallowing everything in its way and turning the space around it into a desert wasteland.

Scared, I start running away. When I run, the pile of gum grows at the speed I run. The faster I run, the bigger it becomes. When it grows to the size of a Himalayan mountain, I begin feeling how it slowly swallows me, dragging me in by my heels, and then enveloping my entire body. The more I kick, swerve and try to free myself, the more I get gummed in: Up to my knees first, then to the waist, then all the way up to the chest.

Toward the end, I feel constrained and immobile, like being gradually swallowed in by a giant python. Too many times I woke up when I could feel the gum monster's sticky fingers feeling around my neck. On those occasions, I had trouble breathing in my dream. I'd force myself to wake up by bolting in the bed, wide-eyed and sweating, and frantically feeling out my neck and my surroundings, making sure that the gum was nowhere near me.

As it was a lucid dream (most of the times, I knew in my dream I was dreaming a nightmare), over time I figured out a trick: If I stopped running away from the gum mountain, it would stop growing, halt. If I turned around and walked toward it, it would start retreating and getting smaller, and the space around it would be slowly turning back into a luscious green paradise. At the end, it would shrink to the size of my original chewed-up Booble Goom, and I could easily pick it up, pack it into its original wrapper that I still had in my pocket, and throw it into a trashcan.

Now, of the hundreds of times I had that dream, how many times do you recon I reversed the mountain? - Not more than a dozen, I'd estimate. Lucid dream management is hard, and horror dream management is even harder. It is virtually impossible to tell your body, "Stop, relax, and turn around" when it's in the survival flight mode. But that's why it is also so memorable: On those occasions where I ended up packing up the gum for the trashcan, I felt like I'd achieved something big and incredible. I also developed a good habit for life: I always save my gum wrapper so that I could later wrap and discard the gum properly into a trashcan.

My grandmother, who was great at interpreting people's dreams (she was naturally good at understanding human psychology without any formal education) always said when I shared that dream with her that it meant one of two things: (1) symbolizing my growing pains that I could not run away from or (2) symbolizing my fears and anxieties that I needed to face and manage. It does make sense, when you think about it.

But looking back on it now, when I don't have that nightmare dream anymore, I also think it had a strong environmental message: Don't spit your gum onto paradise, people! Pack it up and discard it properly.

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About the Creator

Lana V Lynx

Avid reader and occasional writer of satire and short fiction. For my own sanity and security, I write under a pen name. My books: Moscow Calling - 2017 and President & Psychiatrist

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Comments (16)

  • Dr. Jason Benskin26 days ago

    Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Novel Allen27 days ago

    Worst thing to step on someone's yucky gum. Dreams really are a part of our thinking, subconscious residual angst. Really, wrap the gums people. Congrats TS.

  • Very cool story with great lessons! 😎❤️Congratulations on top story 🎉🎉🎉

  • Ainy Abrahamabout a month ago


  • Mark Grahamabout a month ago

    What a great story and lesson. It also reminds me of an old 50's horror movie called 'The Blob' that did the same thing your gum did.

  • L.C. Schäferabout a month ago

    This just triggered a memory for me. I had nearly the same dream, only with maple syrup, not gum. And it was just a senseless mass of syrup, rather than a monster. I never succeeded in controlling the dream, or running fast enough to get away. It always got me, and then I'd start turning into syrup, too, from the feet up. My eyes were nearly the last thing to go. I'd be blind and gloopy and sticky, and then I'd die(?)/wake up. Weirdest dream I ever had.

  • ROCK about a month ago

    I knew of someone who choked on gum in her sleep. I stopped chewing gum completely. Dreams and reality are closely knit. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    Your grandma sounds like a wise woman. Yes, I would interpret it as turning and facing your fears, insecurities, whatever before they consume you. Lesson for life right there. And I always tell my youngest, "You do know that you are the originator of your dreams so you can control them, right?" He now tells me about all of these times where he has defeated scary things in his dreams. I hope that he can carry that sense that things can be conquered into his every day life.

  • Aishat Oyinkansolaabout a month ago

    Nice Story

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Raymond G. Taylorabout a month ago

    Great message and such a troublesome dream. Story so well told and congratulations on the TS

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    I loved how you weaved this story...building climax. I was thinking the dream meant that you felt guilt or pressure, loss of control. I love how you stood up to all of that and learned to put it in its place!

  • There is power in facing and confronting your fears! This was great Lana!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Okay so your interpretation of the dream was what I thought the message was. Like we interpreted what we saw. But your grandma uncovered a deeper meaning of it. I feel both are correct hehehehe

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    The Michael Bublé comment is hilarious! What a dream, ugh. When kids we watched scary movies and one was The Blob - I pulled it up because I don't remember it as it shows on Youtube and didn't realize Steve McQueen was in it. But your dream sounded like The Blob: https://youtu.be/2Ti-uUsaQOc?si=WjbGEHniTl8WAFlt

  • Sweileh 888about a month ago

    Thank you I am happy with your exciting stories Watch my stories now

Lana V LynxWritten by Lana V Lynx

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