David Chap Bottoms
The Torturing Nightmare
The desolate desert, the untameable forest, the merciless sea.
A solitary man hovers over this vast landscape.
Three terrors clashed together, hiding secrets and nightmares.
His eyes dart frantically back and forth, unable to move or speak.
He sees a version of himself walking through the desert.
Parched and tired from the brutal sun beating down on him.
The man stops as the wind shifts, and the sands begin to move.
He takes off running, and the sands take chase.
He grows weary as his energy begins to fade.
A hand that is scared and burned bursts forth from the sand.
The man trips and falls flat on his stomach, the hand gripping his ankle.
He panics and reaches to release himself, another hand bursts forth.
It latches onto his wrist with bone crushing force, his mouth opens to scream.
Nothing comes from his throat, only the silent terror on his face.
The man hovers over this scene with fear in his eyes as he is helpless to watch.
The man is grabbed by more hands, held against the sand.
It begins to shift and slowly he is pulled under the sand, he tries to fight against it.
He disappears for a second, then a red liquid begins to rise up out of the sand, staining the spot where he used to be.
The hovering man stares at the spot in horror and disbelief at what he has just seen.
He is then moved over the dense forest, already he catches the glimpse of something running.
It is the copy of him, but how when he was just in the desert.
He tries to yell at himself, but nothing comes from his throat.
The man weaves between plants and low hanging branches.
When he thinks all is safe he stops to catch his breath, and leans his back against a tree.
Slowly vines begin to work down the trunk like thin long snakes.
The man on the ground does not hear or see them, but the man in the sky can.
He tries to yell with all his might, but still nothing but silence comes from his throat.
The vines move fast within a second as they wrap around his throat, wrists, and ankles.
The mans eyes bulge as he tries to gasp for air, so the vines tighten.
They begin to leave bruises and start to pull.
The man hovering in the air does not see what happens next as the vines pull him out of sight.
But he hears the sound of breaking bones, then tearing flesh and blood splattering against the ground and trees.
The hovering mans eyes begin to fill with tears, his sobs and cries for this nightmare to end fall silent.
He is then moved over the sea, as it pounds against a cliff side.
He looks around frantically for his counter self, spotting him on top of the cliff.
Clam and peaceful, but not for long.
The hovering man watches as the sea begins to churn below the man on the cliff.
It rises and swirls into what looks like a fist, more massive than any boulder.
It then punches the side of the cliff, dislodging the man from the top as he plummets into the frigid churning waters.
He breaks the surface and gasps for air as the waves smash into his face.
The man hovering over this scene can not bare to watch this horrific nightmare.
He closes his eyes and turns his head away, but instantly he feels a hand shot out and grab the back of his head by his hair.
More of these hands grab a hold of him, by his wrists, ankles, calves, biceps, neck, and his clothes.
His eyes shot open in terror as he is forced to watch now.
The man in the water tries to swim for shore but the waves beat him farther and farther out to open sea.
The waters seem to come to life, depriving him the chance to breath as every time he goes to take a breath, it fills his lungs with water.
The man grows weary and tired, hands of horrific sea monsters reach for him, grabbing hold.
They jerk him under in one swift motion, and within a few seconds the water begins to turn red from his blood.
The man is terrified as tears streak his face and quite pleads and prays are mouthed, all going unheard.
The hands lift him high above the three scenes, and flashes of pain, terror, fear, and vivid pictures of his mangled corpses fill his mind.
Each flash makes him tense up and jerk with pain, a single cry of pain is heard from him each time.
He cries for help, for mercy, for this terrible nightmare to end.
Why does he endure this, why is he being forced to watch and feel this, who is doing this to him.
The flashes become faster and his screams louder as the hands yank him out of this realm and into some black abyss.
He feels the fingers tighten, his bones breaking and his vision begins to darken.
Quickly he jerks up right out of his sleep, covered in sweat, his hands trembling, his whole body shaking.
Quickly he looks around the room, everything is normal, it is his room as he remembers it.
He looks down at his hands, feels his neck and the rest of his body.
Everything is fine, he begins to calm the shakes, and rests his back against the wall.
Such a nightmare he lived through begins to bring tears to his eyes and fills his heart with rage and sadness.
He asks himself these questions.
Why does my mind not rest?
Why does my heart ache so?
Why do I feel this anger, this sadness, this fear?
Why do I put myself through this pain, trouble, torment?
What do these dreams mean?
He thinks to himself for hours, unable to rest, but he has calmed down.
He curses himself under his breath.
For he is plagued by the choices he has made in his past.
Things he regrets, and now feels he can no longer fix what he has done.
His mind fights against him, and his heart pains him each and every day.
He finds each day a challenge to control his fears and emotions, and each day it gets a little easier.
But it does not stop the war that rages against him from his mind and heart.
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Comments about this poem (The Torturing Nightmare by David Chap Bottoms )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
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