Short Story - First Draft - Sleep Paralysis

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Buck's Student
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Short Story - First Draft - Sleep Paralysis

Postby Buck's Student » Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:18 am

This is a short story I wrote within the past month that has many David Lynch references in it, so I figured I would share with everyone. 8)

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Sleep is something everyone needs, and if you do not get enough, there are side-effects. Dreams come to us all, last a few seconds, but seem to last an eternity. It is almost like people live in an alternate reality when they sleep, because their worst fears and ultimate fantasies become real experiences. The thing that keeps us from sleeping is often the thing we dread the most.
Sometimes people have real life experiences with their sleep. For example, out of body experiences, which is the "soul"leaving the body. There are those who crave and intentionally have this happen to them, but there are those who cannot control their inner-being. As most know, it is not possible to control another human being.
There was a time when I got a lot of sleep, but as I grew older I began to lose it. My hours of slumber were becoming irregular, and there is no way to control certain bodily functions when fatigue hits the body. Muscles would twitch during the day, often rapidly; organs' processes would be somewhat delayed. The mind would wonder more often, and be disoriented during crucial times of the day.
My life as an artist began when I was fourteen, and I discovered film. In high-school, there was a video editing class I took that opened a few doors for me. Once a camera got into my hands, certain levels of expression were unleashed upon a canvass of tape. The first time I shot and edited footage was only a few days before my birthday. It is obvious that I got my own "paint set".
At age seventeen I entered a short film contest, which I won. My work was entitled, "Seven Tongues", where I had filmed friend's tongues for a bizarre story of death. The level of expertise impressed an owner of a studio in Los Angeles, which I will not name. Suffice it to say, I had suddenly made a name for myself. By the time I was twenty-one, I had three movies released.
When my work on a film began, it was my life. It was not just the process, but the separate world that characters lived in. My mind would be in a fictional small town, while my feet were walking up the driveway of a home in Beverly Hills. To be honest, I would prefer both parts were in that non-existent town.
Living in California was a sad bi-product of film work. The air was dense, the sun was blocked by brown clouds, and the people were all the same. Los Angeles was once a breeding ground for talent and unique individuals, but I never experienced the fabled L.A. I was stick in this cell of a city, of which I was no different from. The home I had was ritzy, my car was an oil guzzler, and I threw money away just as much as any spoiled member of the Hill Society. Still, I was different and an outcast of sorts.
My film company wanted me to step outside my comfort zone of avant-garde work and do a normal picture. I did not argue with them, as I enjoy a challenge, but I politely told them it would be my last film with them. Of course, it did not appear to bother them, but I could see it would hurt them on the inside. So many directors were beginning their own distribution companies, much like musicians leaving record labels for their own.
The new project was entitled "Love For Venus", which was originally a novel by Gordon Cole. My producer gave me the scrip, which I immediately discarded for one that was closer to the original story.
The problem with big productions for "Love"stories is that press usually "drops"a story on it before it has even begun. When asked to comment on these things, the director always gives the same answer, "It's in development, and no filming or casting has been done yet".
Suddenly the weight of the world is on my shoulders, as my art is corrupted and fame grows. My sleep patterns are short, and hours undefined. It seems stress only increases with less rest, and the mind is split.
Casting was about to begin, and the night before I needed plenty of rest. This was no small feat, as I passed out as soon as I laid my head down. The morning seemed to come too soon.
My mind was suddenly awake, and yearned to sleep more. I figured it was time ready for the day, but for some odd reason I could not move. It felt like my body was still asleep, while my conscious was aroused. Fear set in as I struggled to open my eyes or move my arms, but they remained at rest. Suddenly, my body was my soul's captor.
My clock awoke me from my terrible nightmare, and as I rose from terrible nightmare, and as I rose from bed I wondered if it was only a dream. I kept thinking someone was in the room with me, though I lived alone. When I brushed my teeth, it felt like a man was looking at me in the mirror.
"It's funny how sleep affects you,"I said aloud. "I guess I'm crazy either way".
During the long day of casting, my mind wandered about my experience this morning. I could not pay attention to the actors, but I came back to Earth when a certain someone sat in front of me.
"Alright,"The mysterious actor said.
"Go ahead,"I spoke.
"My name is Cameron,"He read, "And I am an engineer on a railroad".
This mystery man had me captivated right from the introduction. His voice timber, look, facial expressions, and every possible aspect was perfect. As he finished, I smiled at the producer, who gave me a puzzled look.
"Can give me your name?"I said in my excited, nasally voice.
"Claude,"The producer laughed. "You know that, David".
"Not you, Claude!"
"Then who?"
"This guy!"
As I point in front of me, I saw that no one was there.
"David,"Claude whispered, "Are you alright?"
I took the list of actors and quickly circled which ones I wanted for each role.
"But David,"He pleaded, "We have more to see!"
"No, we don't,"I hurried away.
As soon as I got in my house, I collapsed on the bed. My pulse kept speeding up and slowing down, while my breathing remained heavy. A migraine began to cover my brain, as I lay perfectly still.
A nap was all I needed, and when I awoke, I could call Claude to settle the casting matter. This did not come without interruption.
My eyelids would not open, and my body remained still. Horror crept over my conscious, because I thought I was suffocating. The experience was the same I had that morning. Was I coming closer to death, or insanity?
My eyes opened to the real world again, and I felt that it had all been a dream once more. Maybe I needed to see a shrink, or take a vacation. No, either would interfere with my art.
As I got up from my bed, the phone on the bedside table rang. For some reason, the bathroom and downstairs phones did not ring. As soon as I picked it up, I could hear a voice talking.
"Hello?"I interrupted.
"Hello, David,"A male voice said.
"Who am I speaking to?"
"David, you will never know".
Before I heard the click, I could hear a rapping at my window. I did not see anyone, though. It came again at another window, then the other. All of a sudden, they did it all at once, and rapidly rotated between each other. In panic, I ran from the room and out my front door. My car door quickly locked and my engine roared.
I could not understand why my mind was suddenly turning against me, and I think it all had to do with work. When an authority ruins your art, it becomes work. Maybe it was all because of that?
My hands and feet were driving, not me. I did not know where I was going. Once I saw the desert, I knew. There was only one place to go there, and that was into insanity.
As the sun began to fall from the clear sky, I decided I needed to find a place to stay. The only motel was also a gas station and diner. Perfect, I thought as I parked next to the building.
The first person I saw was a rugged man named Everett. Of course, I only knew because he had his name sewn into his shirt. When he saw me, he didn't smile or look surprised. He simply asked if I needed gas, food, or a room.
"All three would be nice,"I attempted to smile.
"Well, we'll be more than happy to accommodate ya,"He held out his hand. "I can fill her up while you go in for a bite".
"Thanks, Everett,"I gave him the keys.
The diner was old, but clean and well put together. The counter was in a U shape, with the opening leading to the kitchen. All kinds of appliances were in the middle, while the counter itself was clear and made of marble. The walls were of a dark brown color, with pictures of western scenes to give the place the feel of a lodge in Washington.
The waitress, a blond in her late thirties, welcomed me with a pencil ready to take my order.
"Coffee, black, with"I thought for a moment, "A grilled cheese and fries".
"Alright,"She smiled. "Hey Shelly! How about a grilled cheese with fries?!"
"What bread?"The chef retorted.
"What bread, honey?"She smiled again.
"Texas Toast?"I half inquired.
"Texas toast!"
I almost laughed at the exchange, while Everett came in and threw my keys on the counter.
"That's a mighty nice rig you got, mister".
"Thanks, my name's David".
"Glad to know ya, David,"He patted my back and went to the bathroom.
"Here's your coffee, David,"The waitress said. "Wanna piece of pie when you're done?"
"Why not".
The room I stayed in was actually very cool, which you would not expect from a "Podunk"place. It had wood paneling like the diner, but there was a picture of a clouded sky on the far wall. Above the door was a skylight, which let in the dying sun. The bathroom was nothing special, but usable. My bed was very nice, though.
The terracing paralyzation returned before I woke, thought I had little fear this time. I heard footsteps, and other little noises, which did begin to startle me. When my eyes finally opened, I was alone, with the morning sun shining in my eyes from the skylight.
I sat next to Everett during breakfast, and ordered two eggs with toast.
"How did you sleep last night?"Everett asked.
"Very well, except for when almost woke up,"I said.
"Almost woke up?"
"Yeah, I've had this problem lately where I wake up, but can't move my body".
"Ahh! The Devil was on your back".
"What? You know what I'm talking about?"
"Yeah, it happens when you level of stress and level of sleep don't match up. Also, sleepin' on your back will do it".
"How do you know that?"
"My daddy had it, but so does Shelly, the cook".
"So I need more sleep?"
"You need a better sleep cycle".
"Alright!"I said gleefully.
"You're from L.A., ain't ya?"
"Yeah, I am originally from up north; Well, more like mid west, I guess".
"I can tell from that voice you're from up north, but your hair screams L.A.".
"I hate it there, but I'm a director".
"You are? What movies ya done?"
"My first was Lead Feet"
"Hey!"He got up in excitement. "You're David what's his name!"
Everett suddenly looked embarrassed and sat down while returning to his normal, dull self.
"I got all your movies at the house. I saw you're workin' on a new one! I'm might excited!"
"It's a Gordon Cole story called, "˜Love For Venus'".
"Oh, I met that Cole guy before, back when I was an engineer".
"Engineer?"
"Yeah, I drove a train until I got my foot ran over a dozen time. That's when my brother sold me this place. He owns a John Deere dealer".
I could not believe it; this was the main character of my film! It took me going crazy to find the man who would be perfect for the role? I immediately excused myself and went outside to call Claude.
"I found the perfect lead for the film!"I said excitedly.
"Well, who is he?"
"He's the guy the main character is based on!"
"That's impossible".
"How?"
"Cole wrote it about his dead father".
I hung up the phone quickly, and briskly walked back into the diner. Everett was gone.
"Miss,"I said to the waitress, "Where did Everett go?"
"Everett?"She grew confused. "Who's that?"
I stared at her for a moment, realizing I had imagined Everett completely. My only response was to pay for the meal, and leave.
Back in L.A., I was reminded of how I hated its existence. I could see the dark cloud over the city right from my bedroom window. Some days it was lighter, but most of the time it was not. The formation of gas and toxins proved why the citizens were dumber than stumps. Why would anyone stay in a city and die of cancer, when you can breathe fresh air in a small town?
I yearned for Everett to be real, and to be back in the desert, away from Los Angeles. My entire existence felt threatened in a world where one cannot be sure who or what is real. He seemed so true.
In the night, my eyes closed only to not open once again. For some reason, I thought the next time would have been less stressful, but I was entirely wrong. This was very surreal, with footsteps once again. The unique thing about this experience was the voice I heard. It began softly, whispering inaudibly, but quickly grew louder.
"You'll never get who you want for the movie,"It said. "You need someone "˜who is not' like the movie. Someone abnormal, yet pure. You want Everett, but he is only your mind's fantasy. See the old film actor, and maybe you will have a second chance".
I opened my left eyelid enough to see a dark shape in the room. It laughed demonically, and I awoke to the sound of my alarm.
I called my producer to get an update, and to update him.
"Did everyone I marked get a call?"
"Yes,"Claude responded.
"Did they all agree?"
"Yes".
"Who is Clarence?"
"A guy named Dale Cooper".
"Fire him, and get Gordon Cole to call me today".
Cole was an aging man, who lost an arm during a psychotic episode. He spoke cautiously and was very paranoid due to his circumstances. He called me, and immediately informed me of this.
"My wife died six months ago, and my mother moved in. She's in her nineties. I tried writing it all down for a book, but it's hard to do that with one arm. Plus, no publisher would touch it after "˜Love for Venus'. You know how I got that title? My father was an engineer who met my mother through a coal delivery. He said she was like that armless statue, Venus Demilo. He called it "˜Demilo'. What did you want, by the way?"
"Only to ask if you have a son. I need a lead role, and since it's based on your grandfather, I wanted someone real".
"I thought you had Everett".
My body froze when that name was mentioned. The phone was hung up before I realized I had moved. The shock was killing me.
The phone rang.
"Hello?"I managed.
"Hey, this is Gordon Cole,"A chipper voice said. "Most people just call me Pete, though. Gordon is my pen name".
As I listened to him stammer and chuckle, I got out my introduction.
"I'm directing your novel's film adaptation, ad you know, and I need a lead. Any suggestions?"
"Oh, well I'm a big fan of Topal!"
"Topal?"
"Yeah, the guy from Fiddler On The Floor!"
"Okay, I'll keep him in mind Thanks".
When the conversation was over, I suddenly laughed. Topal? He's older than my father! The sudden relief was rewarding.
A thought occurred to me; I had not been obsessed with finding my lead role until Everett. Before, I had just hallucinated the perfect actor, and could have cared less about it afterward. When I met the lone gas attendant of my mind, I needed him.
The bed underneath me seemed to be sucking me in, and I suddenly felt someone behind me in the room. My body dared not turn around. This defense lasted until my shoulder was touched, and I reached by falling on the floor.
There stood an elderly man across the room, in spotlight, who looked as if he was sunbathing. He did not speak a word. When I tried leaving, the same hand grabbed my shoulder. This time, I was swung around to see and unusual figure.
The creature was neither male nor female, and that did not seem to matter. Its burning flesh on its smoking face stared at me with a fiery intensity that I could not escape. It spoke no words, but pointed at my heart. The old man had gone, and was replaced by a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. When I glanced back towards the thing, it had gone. Marilyn simply smiled and began singing, "Love Me Tender". Her cheeks began to swell, but she sang her heart out all the same.
I stood amazed, thinking my mind had gone on a permanent vacation. When Monroe finished, "As God as my witness"
She was gone, and the spotlight was on me now. Another woman appeared, but she was much younger. This blond must have been eighteen, and a few years behind in fashion. I had not seen someone in a tight pink dress since 1990, but it looked so good on her.
"I will never go hungry again,"Her Southern accent was like velvet.
Her arms wrapped around me, and we suddenly commenced into some sexual embrace. She whispered in my ear, "The lead with be with me".
She laughed and walked into the darkness. I was left alone, in the now, normal room. How I longed for the abnormal again.
My thirst for alcohol needed to be quenched, as I had not had a drink in many days. There was a bar at the bottom of the mountain that was quiet and dark. I went in once a week, normally. I always went alone, and left alone.
Tonight, there were only a few people in the place. My regular seat at the end of the bar was always open. The regular bartender was there, and he smiled while he poured me vodka.
"Hey David,"He spoke.
"Hey Kyle".
"Want some pie?"
"Pie?"
"Yeah, this lady fired my kitchen back up, so to speak. Her name's Shelly, and she's always wanting to cook".
"Shelly?"
"Yeah, she left her old job at some Podunk in the desert".
I simply drank my shot whole, while the music began. It was "Love Me Tender", but this time a dark haired woman with a blue dress sang it. Oh, the irony.
At the end of the bar was a man who bore a strong resemblance to Clark Gable. He was laughing as he ate a Dutch apple pie.
"How's the pie?"I asked.
"Not as good as hers,"He pointed toward a girl coming towards us. It was the blond in the pink dress.
She sat next to him and looked at me.
"Hey there,"Her accented unchanged, "I'm Laura. You're David".
"How did you know?"
"I'm a fan".
I quickly gave the Clark Gable my producer's phone number, instructing him to ask about "Clarence". I needed this woman, and I did not want to waste any time.
"Why do you like my films?"I asked while I ate a bite of pie.
"They're original, and different,"She said with a smile. "My momma took me to see Lead Foot years ago, and I was so amazed. When the credits rolled, your name came up first, and I was suddenly obsessed. I saw your other two movies when they came out, both multiple times".
"Have you seen Seven Tongues?"
"The first time I ever left Georgia, it was to come to L.A. I saw Seven Tongues at your public screening".
"Yeah, I was in the back"
"With you wife".
"I'm not married,"I chuckled, "That was my editor".
"So that's why you're here alone?"
"I'm not anymore,"I smiled.
Laura rubbed through her hair with a quick giggle, and took a sip of her drink. Her legs crossed tighter, and he foot toyed with her high heel.
"I like your voice,"She said. "I never heard that accent at home".
"It's all nasal,"I rubbed my nose.
"Your hair is something else too".
"Originality is the first sign of personality".
"Everyone in high-school was the same, and I tried to stand out, like you".
"You're doing it right now".
She giggled again, and her legs grew even tighter.
"I'm awfully skinny, so I try to make my curves some out more. Pink helps that".
"Do you wear a lot of pink?"
"Well, that or something kinda skanky".
"So, why are you here anyway?"
"I originally came to try out for "˜Love For Venus'".
This froze me.
"You okay?"
"Yeah, I just"
"Hate the story?"
"Yeah, I've had some trouble Who's the guy, by the way?"
"Oh, that's Nick, my brother".
"He's Clarence, you know".
"Really?"She flipped out.
"You can be in a real film My next one".
"You mean I get a part in an unnamed movie?"She touched her suddenly enlarged chest.
"I'd rather have someone that understands me".
"Oh lord, I am just over the moon!"
"I'm starting my own company, and I get to call all the shots".
"What's the next one about?"
"I don't know. I have to work on Venus, then on the company".
"So it'll be a while?"She was disheartened.
"Yeah, but you won't have to worry".
"Why?"
"Because I I can keep you occupied".
"Are you just trying to sleep with me?"
"No, I am very sincere".
"I have no guarantee of any of this"
"Laura"I said grabbing a napkin and pen.
"What are you writing?"
"Kyle, can you come witness this?"
"Why do you need him?"
"Just sign, and you have my guarantee".
The night ended with Laura coming home with me. She simply slept in my bed, and kept me company. I did not have sleep paralysis the following morning.
"David?"She whispered to me.
"Yes?"
"We haven't even kissed yet, and we just slept together".
"Well, we didn't have sex either".
She took me in her arms, and very passionately pressed her lips to mine. She violently took her dress off, and revealed her small body. We made love instantly, and fulfilled some unknown prophecy.
It was in my new life that I discovered my art again. "In Search of Everett"would be my next film, all about my old life. I knew it had to be done, as I gazed at my new life in my arms. All I ever needed was her.

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