Patient Name: Walling, James
Diagnosis: Hypnophobia, an abnormal fear of sleep.
First hand notes retrieved by Agent 28 from the office of the treating physician, Dr. Emil Sarcozan. Further commentary unavailable. The doctor and four members of his staff are considered missing at the time of this filing.
A word of caution is advised to referring MDs.
This record shall only exist as an exhortation for treatment of hypnophobia. It is not a solution. The following is an expanded version of my shorthand notes. They are compiled upon reviewing my own video interview with Mr. Walling. Followup provided by the resulting scene that ensued the evening of October 5th. This will be my first and last communication on the subject.
James Walling wears lack of sleep on his sleeves. The symptoms present themselves in a classical form of fatigue, irritability, and a profound inability to concentrate. He stands at over six feet tall, but poor posture shrinks him to 5’10. The dark, curly hair that once grew like weeds (his words) is now thin and receding. Acne scars cover his face and a once lean diet has given way to snacking and fast foods. He has gained over fifteen pounds in just the last few weeks.
A nurse escorts him into my office five minutes before our appointment. James pulls out an adjoining chair and lets the metal legs grind angrily against the tile. The sound does not seem to bother him. He shakes my hand but says nothing. Not until our nurse leaves the room.
“I dreamed with her again, Doc.“
From this point on, James will continue to reference past ‘off the record’ discussions. I will do my best to frame them in the context of this final meeting.
“Start from the beginning. For my notes, this time.” I gesture to the pad casually on camera. “Remember… you didn’t want me taking any notes in our first meeting.“
“Fine. I dreamed with Mary again. For the first time in a long time. .“
“Okay. Do you know Mary? Let me rephrase that. Have you met Mary? In our plane? You know what I mean, here…”
“Okay. Can you describe her for me?“
“Medium height, red hair… blues eyes… a whole mess of freckles. She had this butterfly clip that she always kept pinned to her shirt. Kind of corny, to be honest. I teased her about it a lot. She wore the same thing every night. We both did, I guess. Blue denim jeans and a sleeveless white tee.“
“Okay… very good. You described to me her physical appearance. Can you describe how she makes you feel?“
James turns away from me and the camera. He is embarrassed.
“I loved her.“
“Can you describe that… process to me?“
“Process? What’s that supposed to mean? The same as any other fucking process.“
“I understand. Again, just want to establish a timeline, for treatment purposes…“
“I dreamed with Mary every night since we were seven. Is that better? Neither of us knew what that meant. We were kids. It seemed natural. When I aged, she aged. When I entered high school, she went to academy. Mary always had a life of her own, in real time, and she even talked about it sometimes. We just… we were just two real people who shared the same dreams. Literally. After so many years, it was easy to fall in love with her.“
James hesitates and breaks to offer his most lucid thought of the early afternoon.
“I don’t mean to rant. I know this sounds crazy.“
“It doesn’t, actually. Please continue.“
“My point is that she never seemed imaginary. The dreams were never even extraordinary. We always met in the same setting. Some shitty stretch of woods outside East Bumblefuck, New Jersey.“
My excitement bleeds through the video footage.
“How do you know that you met in New Jersey? That seems like a specific location…“
“I can see the parkway signs in the background.“
“Okay. What did you do with Mary in the woods?“
“It wasn’t like that.“
I give a look that suggests otherwise and James flushes bright red. He told me this part already. The nature of their relationship in the woods is the primary source of our client’s embarrassment.
“Alright. Not at first. We just talked, ya know. Talked and explored the woods. It didn’t progress into something… else until we got older.“
“I know this will sound hard to believe, for you. But we didn’t talk about the ‘real’ plane that much. I asked once… about her family, where she lived, her life. She didn’t say much. Just that she lived somewhere ‘else’.”
“Forgive me, James, but these dreams sound like a pleasant experience for you. Why would you avoid them? Why seek out our institute?“
“Mary stopped appearing in my dreams two months ago.“
“Ah. So you dreamed alone?”
“No. Someone took her place.“
The very mentioning of ‘someone’ produces visible beads of sweat on his forehead. It is a remarkable phenomenon. An audible tension can be seen in the room as James shakes his leg against the back of the table like a rattlesnake.
“I could tell… I could tell something was different right away. When Mary and I met in our dreams, it always looked like daytime in the woods. But without her, the sky got darker. Rain started to drift in from the parkway above the creek. Hell, even the air got colder.“
“And that’s when you saw Mary’s father. At least – the man you perceive to be Mary’s father.“
James nods. The topic of the man in the woods triggered a breakdown in all previous sessions. It always represented a metaphorical roadblock. This time, however, he powers through with choked words and a hand grasping his tear stained face.
“He didn’t catch me at first. I hid in the woods real good. I know them better than anyone, after all. I only spent every Goddamn night in that forest.”
James’ voice turns ragged.
“But he found me on the fifth night. I woke up, in my dream, to black eyes blocking the tree line. His breath stank like whiskey. I couldn’t even escape. He dragged me to a clearing, where he had made these knives and shivs… fashioned from spare bits of metal that fell down from the road.”
“I won’t make you go into great detail, but if you can describe…“
“He took the shiv to my belly like a pig and cut out my intestines. Is that what you want to hear? ‘On record’? He disemboweled me and cooked my guts over a fire pit. I woke up eight hours later.”
“Why? Why did he do this to you?”
“He said that the crime of laying between worlds could only be repaid in the form of answers.“
James slams the table in between us in frustration. It’s my turn to exhibit shock. He has been docile up until this point.
“Look, I need drugs, okay? I need monitoring. I’m not well. Last week this guy held my mouth under a waterfall for six hours. I have had my guts ripped open. I have watched him skin my feet. Knives, guns, drowning, you name it. I have died a thousand fucking times every night.”
“You cannot proposition me for narcotics…”
“Then do SOMETHING! My skin has started to scar. Do you want to see? I can remember the torture better and better every day. That man is there every time I close my fucking eyes. The veil is thinning.”
James nods and avoids my eyes. I ask him to continue.
“He talks about it a lot. The bridge between our worlds is like a thin piece of film. And it’s cracking. He knows about you, and your Institute, and the other patients. He knows the names of your staff. He knows the name of our town, the name of our country, the name of our dimension…”
The tears flow openly at this point.
“He knows everything and he got it all out of me. I’m sorry, Emil, but he’s coming. He’s coming here and none of you will be able to stop him. I think he’s got the taste for killing our kind, now. I think he likes it.”
The video reflects my best attempts at appearing unconcerned.
“We will be fine, son. I promise. These are just delusions. The building is secure and we have taken the proper precautions. One final question, and then our nurse will escort you to your room. At the beginning of our interview, you mentioned seeing Mary again. What did she say?”
James’ sobs turn into a soft, psychotic chuckle.
“Mary said she’ll save me, Doc. But she can’t save you too.”
Based on collected findings, WJ1218 represents an ideal candidate for shared dream monitoring. Skinner Institute recommends forced coma via narcotics and extensive monitoring of brain wave activity. We will attempt communication with the beings and eradicate if necessary.
Dr. Emil Sarcozan
Attached for record-keeping is a transcription of video logs from Room 12. All evidence reviewed extensively on the morning of October 6th.
11:52 – Patient WJ1218 is asleep.
11:55 – Patient WJ1218 groans loudly and struggles against his restraints.
11:56 – Agent 1 enters room to check restraints.
11:58 – Locking mechanisms are tightened. Agent exits.
12:00 – Audible bang heard outside the door. Subject continues to struggle. Groans louder.
12:01 – No activity recorded.
12:02 – Door lock is turned from the outside.
12:02 – Movement recorded. Subject WJ1218 shakes repeatedly.
12:03 – Camera malfunctions.
12:04 – The room is empty except for the existing medical equipment. No trace of WJ1218 can be seen.
Associated evidence recovered at the scene of Room 12:
1.) Agent 1 found with throat slit. Corpse moved away from door. Blood spatter indicates height of attacker between 60 and 63 inches.
2.) Pine needles recovered inside and outside the room.
3.) One red hair, approximately five inches in length. Submitted for DNA analysis. No match in any available systems.
4.) One butterfly clip.