When you are an over-the-road trucker you will find yourself with no shortage of time on your hands. A guy can’t drive a truck for more than a couple of months without getting bored with music and looking for a radio show that is more interesting to him. Some guys turn to sports talk, others to news. More than a few drivers can be spotted with a stack of audio books on their dash board.
Paul found his attention to be captivated by the paranormal. He had been driving for only a couple of weeks when he stumbled onto an all night show that addressed topics like ghosts, aliens, and demons. 17 years later he still tuned in every night that he was up late enough to get the opportunity. This evening he wasn’t driving late, but he had been waiting for this episode ever since the host had announced it and he wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
The topic was dreams. The guest was an expert on the subject, and was going to explain what some common aspects of dreams meant. Paul waited patiently through the first three hours for the listener call in segment. He had experienced a recurring dream as a child, and he wanted to tell the guest about it and get some kind of an explanation to what it might have meant.
He was lucky enough to get through to the busy switchboard. That was step 1. The second part was making it past the screener. Another success. This was followed by the biggest challenge of all. Detailing the dream in an accurate yet concise manner so the expert would have all of the information she needed to explain the dream to him. Again, Paul shined. He wasn’t even nervous as he spoke. He had done such a good job of it that he didn’t mind hearing the click of the host cutting him off after he had laid it out there. He turned on the radio and waited with baited breath for the insight from the expert. What a letdown.
“This is a dream of premonition. A dream that was there to warn you of changes that were coming. Changes that would distance you from your family. Changes that were good and positive for you, but ones that would none the less pull you away from them and out of your comfort zone.”
That was it. What a letdown.
The show re-aired immediately after it had completed, and Paul laid in bed listening to the first hour again trying to quell the disappointment so that he could fall asleep, but it was tough. On more than one occasion he wondered if he would be awake to hear the call again. He didn’t need to. He could remember everything he had said. In fact, as he lay there now drifting in and out of sleep it was almost as if he could hear his own voice. But something didn’t feel right. He woke up with a start. He was hearing his own voice. He tried to sit up but a staggering pain shot through his chest. He had never felt a pain like this before, but the thought of a heart attack came into his head before the pain split like a stab wound down his arm. He tried to yell out in agony, but his voice made no sound. All he could hear was the now eerie calmness of his voice coming over the radio speakers.
“Thank you for taking my call. I was looking for some answers about a recurring dream I had as a child. I had the dream at least ten times but no more than twenty, all of them between the ages of about 12 and 16. The dream was set in my kitchen as the family was eating dinner, and in the dream the setting was exactly the same as it would be in real life down to the seating arrangements with me at one end of the table, my mother and brother sitting to the left side of me, my sisters to the right, and my father at the opposite end. Behind him the door was open and I could see out into the back yard through the screen door.”
Paul could barely move. He couldn’t yell for help, and nobody would likely hear him anyway. He reached for his cell phone on the shelf beside the bed, but his fingers had gone numb and he clumsily knocked it to the floor. “You’re going to die here” he thought to himself. “You’re going to die here listening to your own voice on the radio.“
“In the distance I could see what looked to be a fog or a mist spreading out and approaching the house through the yard. It was moving at a steady clip. My father would be talking, but I can’t recall what about. I was the only one who could see this cloud approach. As it grew closer I could see it more clearly and I realized that it appeared to be a cocoon spinning and growing as it spread towards the house. I sat calmly without any fear and watched as it pushed up against the back of the house and came in through the screen door.”
Paul looked around desperately, unable to move much more than his eyes… his eyes which now settled on the red button on the dash board. The panic button. If he could reach that it would send an emergency signal to dispatch. He summoned all of his strength, and leaned upwards and rolled to the left at the same time. His head hit the cabinet by his bed as his body crashed to the floor of his Kenworth. Without even trying to turn his head to look, he focused all of his efforts on reaching with his right arm for the dash. It took him only a second to find the red button and push it.
“The cocoon came through the door, but not in a destructive kind of way. It seemed to just push against the door, which resisted at first buckling inward, but then seemed to be swallowed up by it. The spinning continued at the same speed, but the thing seemed to progress forward at a slower rate upon entering the house, as if consuming the door had spent some of it’s energy. Meanwhile, nobody in my family seemed to notice it’s presence except for myself. I would continue to eat while I watched it approach from behind my father.”
The sound of an incoming message interrupted his voice on the radio. He couldn’t have gotten up to read it if he had tried, but he knew what it was. He had accidentally pushed it before, and an automatic message had come through informing him that if he did not respond within 60 seconds emergency services would be dispatched to his location. All he could do now was lay there and wait, listening to the sound of his own voice.
“The cocoon continued to move towards him. In each dream it would seem that my dad would finish a sentence just as the cocoon began to envelope him. He would be taking a bite of food, seeming not to even notice it wrapping around him. My family members wouldn’t notice either. One of them would be speaking in response to something he had said, the rest eating peacefully, oblivious to this monster in the room. Yet through it all, I myself would remain completely calm, never attempting to yell out or warn the others. Just eating and watching.”
The same sense of calm had begun to creep over him now. The situation was out of his hands. He would either make it or he would not. He had done all he could do. In the distance he heard what he thought was a siren. As it grew closer, he became sure of it. Was this his ambulance? Would it arrive in time?
“The cocoon would continue to spin and grow. I would continue to eat and watch. The remaining family members would continue to ignore it as they were one by one consumed by it. First my mother, and my sister sitting across from her. There was no blood, no screams, no recognition of it’s presence as they would just seemingly be wrapped up in a thin layer that would spin and grow until it had pulled them inside of the cocoon which was slowly advancing towards my seat at the end of the table.”
The siren was growing louder. Paul managed to turn his head towards the front of the truck as he noticed the red lights of the ambulance reflecting off of the truck parked beside him. “Hurry up. Hurry.” He hard the sound of the sirens abrupt cut off, and heard the doors of the ambulance opening and slamming shut. He heard the paramedics fumbling with the door to his truck. It was locked. He felt the rig shake as one of them climbed up on the steps, shining a flashlight through the glass so they could assess the situation. He heard a mans voice yell “He’s on the floor. Break out the window! If you can hear me sir, cover your head. There’s going to be some…” the last word was cut off by the sound of the window breaking.
“The cocoon would then devour my brother and my other sister. It would continue to spin just inches away from my face. Still, I was unafraid. I would just sit there eating my food and looking at it. At this point I would wake up. Do you have any idea what the dream means, or why I would have it so many times?”
Paul’s voice over the radio grew distant and faded out as the technicians pulled him from the truck and on to the stretcher. Now he could hear the voice of a woman who was apparently at the end of the stretcher behind his head. “Let’s go, we’re losing him. Stay with us sir!” They pulled him into the ambulance.
He was vaguely aware of a needle penetrating the skin of his arm but he felt no pain, barely a pinch. He was distracted by a fog that was pushing in across the row of trucks parked behind the ambulance. It was spinning forward towards him. He felt no fear, only calm. He was keenly aware of the longer droughts between the beeps of the heart rate monitor. The nurse behind him yelled something out to the other medic.
The man at his feet was fumbling in a bag looking for something, oblivious to the cocoon that now enveloped him.
The female behind him had now moved beside him, and she stood over him with a set of something he suspected was a defibrillator. It didn’t matter what it was. “Stay with me!” Paul took the words in knowing they would be the last words he would ever hear. The cocoon had moved inside of the vehicle now, but she didn’t notice it. The beats of the monitor turned into one steady beep as the line went flat. He looked into her eyes as the cocoon swallowed her, and felt nothing but peace and calm as his entire world went white.