The Eternal Punishment

Excellence Award in the 'Horizon of Dreams 2018' competition

It was decided that if you were a soul who died a self-inflicted death you are to be punished. I was one of these souls. We are assigned an unpleasant job that we must carry out before we can ascend to heaven. None of us remembers our time on earth. The job I was assigned was to empty the nightmares that occupy the dream catchers of the living. Many people think dream catchers are just a pretty thing to look at. Well, they are oh so very wrong. It’s really not a pleasant job as the nightmares are very depressing sometimes. I’ve been at this job for a while. I’ve seen everything that there is too see from getting murdered to supernatural beings taking over the planet.

I’ve been assigned to a new person; his name is Gabriel; aged in his early 20’s. According to the files, he is one of the red codes. Red codes are known to have an unnatural amount of nightmares. It was time for my first cleaning of Gabe’s dream catcher. I prepare myself and step through my mirror and come out of the one mounted on Gabriel’s wall. I look over to Gabriel, there’s something about him I just can’t pick up. I step over to the headboard where he has hung his dream catcher. I close my eyes and touch it, the dream starts to come through me and I can see his most recent dream.


He’s about 16 or 17 in this dream. He’s walking down path sending a text to his boyfriend, Sam. Asking if he’s feeling better after staying home all day and that he’s sad he had to spend valentine’s day alone at school. He didn’t get an immediate reply so he texted Sam that he’s going to drop around to spend so they can spend the afternoon together. So he stops in at home and gets his presents for his boyfriend. He then runs to his house and knocks on the door. There was no answer so he tried the door and it was unlocked. He opened it and went upstairs to Sam’s room.

He opened his door and dropped the gifts on the floor. Tears started welling up in his eyes. His boyfriend was on the floor, there was blood everywhere. A knife discarded on the ground covered in blood. He runs over to Sam, turns him over to check for a pulse. There is none.


I feel pain in my chest, I’ve never felt anything when watching the nightmares. I take my hand off the dream catcher. I start to scream, screwing my eyes shut, images flooding into my mind.
I open my eyes and look into the mirror. I can see a reflection of a person in the mirror. I’m not supposed to have a reflection and it’s not Gabriel. I step closer to inspect it and the reflection moves with me.

Gaberiel stirs behind me. He opens his eyes and looks in my direction.

“Sam?”


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