The fire crackled and lit up that dark cold night. He was sitting, leaning against the trunk of a tree. Before him, huge flames of what appeared to be a fire. There was a girl in a black dress with her upper body on his lap. The weather was freezing, but that warmth warmed the surround. However, she did not move or react.
He noticed a little smoke in the air. But his eyes apparently watered with the pain of loss. He was holding her small, cold body with one arm as he stared at a cell phone on the floor next door: the device had a video paused on the display. His nose itched and he felt like sneezing because of his allergic rhinitis. Nonetheless, he ignored it.
As he stroked her hair, he admired her beautiful little face. In his heart he experienced a mixture of revolt and guilt. He remembered the smile he knew and loved on that face — in the moment without life. Even knowing what should be done, he was still reluctant. Nevertheless, he concluded that he had no choice. He made a decision: in a rush, he picked up the phone and played the paused recording, also pressing and holding one of the buttons on the phone then ...
((((((((((((((( • ))))))))))))))
The phone vibrated intensely in his hand ...
Ugh! Denison jerked awake, releasing the device he was holding. “Crap!” he exclaimed, quickly grabbing her smartphone, which just didn't fell to the floor because, before falling, in reflex he had closed his legs and made it stop in his lap. Taking the phone back, he found that there was no damage to it. He observed that the device had just off, no power. “Damn! ... I dozed off, was it?!” he wondered a little bewildered, not sure what happened to him. “Holy crap! ... What a weird dream! ...”
Following being startled by the unexpected vibration, Denny perceived an intriguing detail: everything was absurdly silent there — almost like a vacuum. But it wasn't a vacuum: “He breathing”. Not that this state of calm was exactly new in that place. He was basement: and there it was calm by nature. But he assumed there was something more ... That seemed to be more than just silence: “His workplace was 'paralyzed', as it were ...” Immediately, he felt some kind of 'hollow hum' in the air. That reminded him when he put a shell to his ear, or was underwater. Denny thought it was just those situations where yawning is needed to balance the pressure in the ears.
“I'm not getting a little deaf, right?! ...” He wondered worriedly, scratching his ear with the little finger, but soon realizing that he heard his own voice. After being a little more relieved not to get deaf, he soon perceived it would not only be the lack of sound in the place that catch his eye...
Rising, he perceived by a few more details that impressed him: the ceiling fan and wall air circulator had suddenly jammed. And he thought the lamp lights were kind of 'dim'. “Maybe it was some kind of power outage ...” he supposed in his mind. Denny didn't know if it was just in his head, but he also felt a certain smell of smoke in the air. Because of that, he wanted to sneeze. Smelling his clothes, he didn't notice any odor. He thought it was just on his mind. Finally, he believed it was all effects of sleep and tiredness that he strangely felt he was experiencing that night.
His eyes were a little blurry and watery. By rubbing them ... "Oh, shit!" he reacted when he felt one of the lenses come out of his eyes. He still was not yet fully used to their continued use. Sometimes he forgot that he wore it. As he tried to put the lens back on, he planned to climb to the ground floor for a moment to relieve that itchy nose and huge, almost compulsive urge to sneeze.
At that moment, even with one blurry eye, he seemed to be facing some kind of transparent film in front of him. Looking up, he saw that it stretched over and around him, like some kind of "bluish bubble" — or was it a translucent dome with him in. By putting the contact lens back on, he wanted to check if it was real. But he no longer saw it there. He noticed only a slight breeze or air movement hitting him. At that time, he also saw the clarity of the place coming to his eyes: “It was as if, just as the sun's gravity holds its energy the first moment it produces it, the lamps were also holding their light around them, releasing it at that moment ...” Immediately, he also noted noises of spinning propellers. It was the ceiling fan that started again. But it wasn't just that noise he heard ...
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm...
“Oh, damn it!!! You want to kill me from the heart, do you?! ..." he complained, putting his hand on his chest and holding on to one of the cabinets. “There is no ghost here, right?! ...” he joked with what happened to relieve the tension of fright. He had been startled when he suddenly heard from the computer on his desk the introduction of the music “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by Crash Test Dummies. His heart pounding in surprise, he listened to the rest of the opening instrumental of one of his favorite songs ...
“Weird! ...” he just said analyzing what had happened there. After turning off the music, Denny was intrigued that, hearing this melody, he had the slight impression that he had lived that before. For him, except for those strange phenomena, everything there seemed to be memories of weeks before. “So why was he there, making the same tasks that day?” he asked.
Looking at the calendar, he saw that he was marking July 13, 2019. "’July 13’?!! No! ... Is it?! ...” he wondered, somewhat bewildered, still trying to situate himself, as if awakened in confusion. In view of that uncertainty about the exact notion of time, he told himself:
“You know this is ridiculous, right? Doubting the very reality you are seeing? ... If you have not realized, you was almost asleep standing in that place, so tired!...his Alter ego reminded him.
“You right! ...” he said, agreeing with himself, recognizing his physical condition at that time. “It's all just sleep effects.” he thought. “How long did I really napped, huh?! ...” Denny wondered, once again feeling as if there was a kind of time lapse in his memory. “It seemed like for weeks!” he thought. Afterward acknowledging that, strangely, his physical condition was not the best, he was going to wrap up his overtime that weekend.
Although he was very intrigued by all these events, as he could not explain them, he ‘let it go'. “He was just tired of working all the afternoon and night,” he concluded about everything he thought he saw in that place. “After all, he was drowsy with sleep and tiredness,” he justified those strange things he through.
Denison Assumption, or Denny, as they called him, was 29 years old and worked at the Reconcavo Police Department, based in Murity, a coastal town in state of Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil. With over 40,000 inhabitants, it was 100 km from the capital, Salvador. At half a kilometer above sea level, Murity was quite cold in winter.
The city was named from indigenous people who initially inhabited that micro region. It had something to do with a huge, almost homonymous palm tree called by the natives "Bority". Also very present in the flora of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, the tree was abundant in that area, when the city was just a small village, almost 100 years ago.
He was a boy of medium height, normal physiognomy, and brown. He had dark, narrow eyes and dark brown hair — traits that had earned him the nickname "Chinese" in high school. But that characteristic was more related to myopia and due to lightly indigenous traits, inherited from his mother.
He worked in the administrative part of the municipal police station, a building that functioned in a kind of public services complex in the center of the city. The site was a set of buildings built around the old police station, where had gathered the main public services, such as the Forum, and the public services of the city — besides the PD office itself.
[Still in the PD...]
Looking at the PC clock, Denison saw that it was past 9:20 pm. The normal shift of his work had already ended since 5:00 pm. However, he has extended his activities into the night.
Denison digitized old county documents and files as part of a national program to create a central digital database. As the project was late on schedule, the Federal Government paid additional to those who produced more. Because of that, he decided that he would work overtime to increase his monthly income — besides accelerating the volume of service. But sometimes he got overworked.
[Almost 9:30 pm]
He had determined to work until 22:00. Nevertheless, after that episode involving the fright with the device vibrating in his hands, the things he had the impression of having seen in that room and, mainly, due to tiredness, he decided to anticipate his departure.
“This was all been a clear sign of the his state of physical and mental wear,” he suspected. As he headed for the vehicle in the PD yard, Denison noticed that he was more than simply physically and mentally exhausted. “He didn't know where he had spent so much energy that day. He seemed to have come from a war — or to have been beaten! ...” he thought, massaging his aching shoulder muscles.
His arms hurt too, and his rhinitis had been triggered in a way that was only common only in the presence of smoke, making his nose itch and drain. Only there was no smoke in the place. “Or maybe, who knows, he was just with low immunity? ...” he thought, already thinking about buying vitamin supplements and self-medicating, as he always did.
He realized that the state of his body's muscles reminiscent when he performing some kind of heavy and prolonged work. “If he were to make a diagnosis of the clinical condition itself, he would say that was under great psychological pressure and physical effort all that day. Which is strange, because it only started work from noon that Saturday...” he remembered.
Denison was on his way home. Suddenly, changing the subject in his mind, he remembered what he supposedly dreamed during the nap in the PD — and the strange episode with the unexpected vibration of the cell phone. “What a weird dream! ...” he admitted, remembering whose face was the girl on his lap. “He should probably be looking too hard at her pictures in those files! ...” he acknowledged as he kept his tired eyes on the track.
As he drove, he recalled when the device vibrated in his hand without his having pressed a button — or received a call. Denny even thought he was taking a shock at the time. “But he didn't remember having slept with the device in his hands ...” thought. “Besides, the smartphone wasn't in the socket: so it couldn't have been an 'electric shock' either ...” he reconsidered. All he remembered, before he supposedly dozed off in his chair, was that he picked up his phone and made a video of himself when he turned the front camera on by mistake.
“Interesting! ...” he just said, after remembering the episode of the video recorded unintentionally. "But that didn't seem like such a recent memory ... It was as if he had been living for weeks — not that night! ..." he had that particular impression. Denison thought this was what they called ‘Déjà vu'. Nonetheless he would see that this one, “Déjà vu”, was not restricted to just the events in the basement of that police station...
[Around 9:40 ...]
While driving back home, he began to experience the faint feeling of having been to these places before. Not just passing through those places before: “But having already experienced and even thought about the fact that thought he had lived all that before,” he noted strangely. “What is it? ... Some kind of ‘Déjà vu de Déjà vu'? ...” he asked jokingly, however, a little impressed. He also remembered that in the basement of the Department, the sensation he had upon awakening was that he was somewhere, seconds before waking up there.
But aside from thinking that these episodes were repeating with him, Denny would realize that these strange "perceptions" of double events would not be the last — or the only one.
As he stopped the vehicle at a traffic light in front of a Baptist school, he watched people neatly pass the crosswalk. Suddenly, as if knowing what would happen next, he predicted — or "remembered" that: “One woman would stumble over her own shoes and another would hurry back to get one of her pinscher dogs that had been left behind...” And so it strangely occurred... "What??!! ... But what the fu ...?! ..." he was surprised, looking back and forth, finding it all extremely unusual. Leaning over the wheel, he was thrilled with those so-called “predictions”. So he began trying to predict other possible actions and reactions from those passersby. Nevertheless, without much success this time.
Denny had read, or rather watched, about the Déjà vu on YouTube. He knew that, according to scientific explanations on the subject: “Déjà vu was a kind of delay in the transmission of images, in real time, from one side of the brain to the other. And this ‘delay’ of communication between the cerebral hemispheres gave the impression that those images, or scenes, were memories of the past ..." So, he realized that everything he thought he had predicted minutes before was just a simple episode of Déjà vu, pure logical deduction, coincidence or mathematical probability. “It was that, or he's just must have been going crazy, imagining things!” he suggested.
[Around 9:50 pm on Saturday night]
Arriving home, he joked when entering. “Honey, I'm here! But it is: I live alone ...” he remembered. “No offense, huh Panther! ... You weren't exactly the ideal of female companionship I had in mind.” he said to a pet of the family that was meowing to him.
The pet it was a black female cat of almost 9 years that his mother and sister left with him after moving to the city of Salvador. It had been donated to the family along with a brother identical to her, whose name was also Panther — "Panther 1". However, he had died months later, poisoned. “Probably by someone in the neighborhood who hated black cats,” Denny suspected at the time. There were also many superstitious in the region who demonized those animals or used them in religious rituals.
The kitten rubbed his legs, apparently wanting something from him ... “I already know why all this cuddle with me: want ration, right? ... The resemblance between you and some women, is that you only approach us for interest ...” Denny talked to the pussycat, while putting food in her plate. "Not me: guys with money ..." he added. As he did so, a surprising sensation came to him, not just from a void in the room ... It was as if, indeed, something — or someone — was missing this time in that place.
Denny felt exhausted. After feeding his cat, he went to the bedroom. There, he again experienced the same mysterious sense of loss: "It seemed to be missing a piece of his life! ..." strangely he noted for the second time. Not simply, ‘something' ... But it felt like a specific void ... “He noticed the lack of 'one person', someone in particular ...” Denny found weird all that. He could not explain. Once again, he put it all on account of the stress and tiredness he evidently experienced. “Or, It was the so-called '30 crisis', condition that had come early for him,” He joked, figuring it was something every loner and bachelor would eventually go through.
Picking up a mini remot control over the coffee table, Denny turned on a sound from the living room.
That song always reminded him of how foolish he had been in the past.
[ It was about 11:00 pm]
After a shower and eating the only thing he could prepare, an instant noodle, he looked for his old cell phone and set it to recharge. Succeeding some time in the charger, he noted that the device was abnormally hot. Even so, he managed to turn it on. Looking at the time, he saw that it was almost 11:00 pm. The old device seemed to choke and crash a lot in the processing of screen commands. And touchscreen sometimes got too resistive. He assumed that fact was because it was a relatively old device model and had little RAM. Because of that, he tired of waiting for the WhatsApp App to open. Already stressed, threw the phone on the nightstand.
"Fucking phone!" he exclaimed, his eyes already tired. He knew that if he did not sleep soon, he would be dawning with eyes and a weary countenance. “He would have a horrible day if he woke up unwell,” he thought. “As if Monday itself already were no the 'international lazy day'! ...” he joked in his mind. Meantime, he immediately realized something. “Oh yeah, tomorrow is Sunday.” he remembered with relief.
After tossing the smartphone on the nightstand, he noted that the display was on and a command window had opened on the screen. The message asked: "If the user wanted to restart the system". Denny clicked "OK" and left the device where it was. He knew that when it restarted, it would probably improve its operation and performance.
[Almost 11:45 at night ...]
At the head of the bed was a folder containing copies of files from an old, unsolved police case. The inquiry involved a mysterious serial killer who acted in the Reconcavo region some 20 years earlier — and a young victim, a local student. It was a standard document folder, yellow and a little grubby to handle. Inside the cover, on the top edge and secured with a rusty metal clip, was a photograph of a beautiful, smiling young woman. The tag read: "Victim of kidnapping followed by murder — Emmanuelly Machado, 1999." Started flipping through it one more time.
Meanwhile, without his paying attention, the device's display still on indicated that it was still in a continuous process of rebooting. It seemed to be in a state known as 'Infinite System Looping'. Following some time, realizing that situation, he took the smartphone. He recalled that this phone had been malfunctioning since trying to root his new Operating System. He also perceived that the device was still quite hot. He assumed it was because he was plugged in, charging. “Monday he will take it to his friend, the technical Worm to have a look,” He planned it.
Denison even tried to go on analyzing the documents. But he was exhausted. He dozed off and woke up with the folder in his hands. After a few minutes, he saw that the device had finally restarted. At that moment, he saw his cat climb on the sheet and nestle at the foot of his bed, pinning the edge of the blanket.
A little sleepy, he saw an unknown Logo flashing on the smartphone's home screen before the system opened completely. His eyes were drowsy with sleep, but he could see it well before it vanished. He noticed it was an image made up of five uppercase and 3D letters, separated by dots.
"V.I.B.E.R?! ..." Spelled Denison. “Or its pronunciation was ‘Viber', ‘Veber’? ...” he suggested, before completely erasing from asleep.
Denny was no longer conscious. For that reason, he didn't witness when something, like shockwaves, expanded beyond that room — like a silent explosion with the device at the epicenter. When spreading, those impacts ended up scaring the cat that jumped out of bed, but mysteriously he did not fall to the floor, or anywhere.
Soon after that rapid phenomenon, the whole fabric of reality rippled like disturbances on a river surface until it stabilized and returned to normal. But Denison continued to sleep soundly, like a stone.
The Girl of the Dream
“Denny seemed to be in the bathroom of his house. He was standing in the doorway when he spotted her climbing onto the bed and crawling over it. Her dress was slightly raised. Her butt and panties were teasingly on display. Certainly it was purposeful. She looked at him insinuatingly: 'As if inviting him to join her ... Her face was even more beautiful when she played the sensual! ...' he heard himself think.
Denison headed for the bed. In front of her, he held her hip and began to kiss her thighs from behind, slowly rising ... He observed that her pale body hair was all bristling. She lay down a little, putting her head on a pillow and tilting her bottom ... He caressed and kissed it, nibbling delicately. She was prone on the bed, trying to dispel the spasms of pleasure through her body.
Denny, then, driven by a burning desire, knelt over her and turned her around. Then he grabbed her thighs, and pulled her to him. He completely took off her lingerie. Spreading her legs, he bent over, putting his head between them ... He noticed small tremors in her hips in reflex to her stimuli. The girl moaned and panted with a smile and pleasure on her face. She then held his head there so it wouldn't stop.
Ah! ... Humm! ... Husss!! ... He listened to her restrained moans of pleasure as he relished that taste, sometimes slightly bitter, sometimes bittersweet in his mouth ... At that time he woke up panting and With a beating heart, having an ejaculation during sleep ...
Uhmm! ... HUS! HUS! HUS! UF! UF! Denny was panting as he felt his heartbeat fast: the impression he had upon awakening was that he was there with her. Or that she was with him ...
“Wow!! ... But what a ...?! What was that?! ...” exclaimed to himself, after realizing that he had had an erection and ejaculated during that erotic dream: a nocturnal emission. “Damn it! ...”
Denison was impressed by the extremely real scenes and sensations he experienced: "It looked so ...! So real! ..." he was amazed. At turning on the light he saw that the cat was still sleeping at his feet. "So, Panther? ... How about give me space?" he said pulling the sheet under her, wanting to get up to go to the bathroom.
The cat was huddled and sleeping soundly. It was perfectly nestled like a coiled snake with its paws over its ears. Denny was careful not to wake her up. However, she awoke. By looking at him ...
Fff! The animal reacted instinctively to see him, seemingly scared.
“Hey hey hey! Are you freaking out, Panther?! Are you scared, kitty?!” Denny exclaimed, also scared by the sudden behavior of the pet to his person.
Rrrrrrrr! Ffff! The animal continued facing Denny, visibly unaware of him.
Then he jumped out of bed and fled the room quickly.
"She has gone mad!" Denny said, not understanding at all what happened to his animal. “Damn! ... There's no ghost here, right?! ...” he joked with that popular belief, where animals would supposedly can see supernatural things that human eyes can't see.
Looking at the clock on his smartphone, he saw it was around 4:40 in the morning. After the surprise with what happened to the cat, he resumed processing the content of that dream. For a moment Denny still had the feeling that he was actually there with this young woman. He even seemed to taste her intimacy in his mouth. Her scent and warmth were alive in his memory. It had been a unique experience. He just didn't know how to explain. “Never before had he had such a dream so ... so realistic! ... It was as if it had been torn from there when he woke up!” he thought. “Now I fantasize about dead girls, is it?! ...” he muttered amazed, immediately remembering where he knew that young woman. “Man, it seems that I really need a woman! ...” Denny admitted, already getting up. “I'm so needy, I'm even dreaming about dead women! ..." He murmured as he headed for the bathroom.
Denison remembered that sometimes it was common for him to ejaculate when he had an erotic dream. Especially in the months following the end of his old relationship. “But that was due to involuntary sexual abstinence. And it hasn't happened in years!” he remembered, surprised.
Denny admitted that although he had already had a certain obsession with that girl before, he didn't remember having 'feelings' or desires for her. Concerned, he wanted to know what was happening to him at last. But, he recognized that lately he had been with that face in mind. Since he studying this case more thoroughly a few months ago, it has become more than an obsession with her. For this reason, he concluded that his unconscious only used that girl's face to illustrate his fantasies and relieve his latent sexual tension.
Even after all this self-explanation, he could not deny that there was anything slightly wrong, or different with him. Nonetheless despite the unusual and quite disturbing dream, he chose to treat that episode only as an "isolated fact." But once, he did not realize the pattern. Or pretended not to notice. He decided to ignore it all, arguing that it was just "this time."
"It was that explanation or your lonely life should be making you a little crazy!” Joked his Alter ego.
Almost 5:00 in the morning ...
Back in bed, he found that the smartphone had started after he slept. Still on the home screen, saw that it was 4:49 in the morning. While sleep did not return, it inevitably came back to thinking about the vivid details and sensations so real that he experienced during that last dream. “It was not as if he was just dreaming: but 'remembering' or 'reliving those scenes,” he compared again. “They were real memories lived — not fantasies!” Denny noted, undeniably still shaken by the very real images of that young woman's body in his arms.
Denny was very intrigued by this episode. Although he know of its psychological function, he didn't care about dreams or give them special meaning — or spiritual meaning, as his mother did. Nonetheless, he could not help admitting that it had been a dream quite different from all he has ever had so far.
Suddenly, Denny noticed something strange happening to him. He couldn't say how, or where all those strange images came from, as if they were parts of lost memories. But the fact is that he perceived something triggering in his mind, like if they were fragments of a recent past. They were bits of supposed memories that suddenly began to invade his head as if they had always been there. As if he had suffered from some sort of selective amnesia all that time, and just then, he was beginning to remember those so-called ‘images’.
Wanting to drown out those disturbing images, he searched the nightstand drawer for an old MP3 and put on his headphones, choosing a song at random ...
The world was on fire and no one could save me but you
It's strange what desire will make foolish people do
I never dreamed that I'd meet somebody like you
The melody he had chosen was not helping him to forget the vivid face of that dream girl. In fact, she was empowering... While sleep did not return, he almost inevitably returned to thinking about the details and sensations so "real" that he experienced during that last dream.
“How could he have so many ‘memories’ with that girl in his head?” he wondered a little disturbed, before falling asleep again, thinking that these were just mere fantasies, or traces of the dream he had just had.
REMINDERS, WEIRD REMINDERS ...
Denny opened his eyes slowly ...
The June festivities had been over for almost a month, but the July weather was still very cold and rainy. “That day was perfect to stay in bed — under the blanket,” he thought. Lying in bed, he stared up at the ceiling, noting that those strange and disturbing images that had sprung to his mind after the dream had not left him, but they were increasing. Again, he reiterated that they really were as "memories," as he had noticed at dawn. Not only that: “They seemed relatively recent ...” he once again realized, but trying to ignore them, not wanting to give them attention.
Denison also realized that some of those pseudo memories seemed to be theirs there, in that house. “It couldn't be real memories, because he has never been with that person before. Neither could: she was dead!” Denny reacted, scratching his sleep eyes again. Suddenly, rubbing his eyes, he realized that he had slept wearing his contact lenses ..." Do you want to go blind, damn it!!" he scolded, getting up quickly to check to see if they were both in place. After removing them and pouring them into a glass of liquid at the head of the bed, he tried to go back to sleep.
Back in bed, he analyzed every detail of that mysterious erotic dream about that victim from the police archives. As hard as he tried, he couldn't get the images of her face out of his head. Not just those, but many others that came to his trail: "Again, strangely, he had them as bits of 'memories', of situations lived with her." He was also surprised when he realized that those supposed imagined images — or not — were loaded with something he didn't know how to explain: feelings of affection for that late young woman from Murity.
Nevertheless, he also remembered that he always had a very fertile imagination. For this reason, he believed that possibly this was all the result of his imaginative capacity, added to the emotional need he lived in. Neediness he had been going through for years. “This would soon disappear,” Denny predicted. He believed that this was all just because of loneliness and did not admit — or did not want to accept — that any other factor was involved in this issue. He was alone for a long time, with no lasting relationship. Those so-called fantasies could just be a reflection of that. He just didn't understand how the figure of this murder victim fit into that dream. “Would he be so needy at this point?!” He worried.
Still in bed, he remembered the first and strange dream he had with that girl in the PD, ‘where she seemed to be on his lap in the face of a fire'. “With that, would be the second with the figure of that girl, in only one day and a half,” he wondered. Thinking of that recurrence of dreams with the image of that beautiful young woman, he remembered what Freud said: “'That dreams are the fulfillment of a desire through an involuntary thought process.” Nonetheless: “He did not remember having sexual desires for corpses or by murdered female figures! ...” He observed.
In view of this, a providential article about dream psychology that he read on the Internet, which dealt with that psychological phenomenon, also came to mind. According to the article: "If you repeatedly dreamed of the same theme or characters, it could mean that your subconscious was trying to tell you something important. Or it pointed to some sort of unfinished business from the past. But it could also have something to do with the last thing you thought about intensely before bed.” Despite that logical explanation that he arranged, however, he continued to notice that the images involving that murder victim strangely still seemed to him more like a kind of memory in his mind than with a dream itself.
In the end, he concluded that, since he had been fiddling with his cell phone and thinking about that girl's case before falling asleep, those activities ended up influencing the content of his dreams. So, like the Déjà vu from the road, Denison ruled out any possibility that this event meant anything more special than it should — or could be.
Thank you for reading!