I don’t like the spider-dream. Just thinking about it makes me want to lift my legs off the floor. Imagining them running over me. I get confused about whether the spider-dream is a dream at all. I seem to dream it all the time. And to remember this, whilst in the state of sleep — as I am now — makes it hard for me to recall what happens when I am not dreaming. I’m bitten. That happens. In the dream, I’m sure. I loathe these beasts — in sleep and awake. If the Angel of Death offered me eternal life in exchange for one single day spent in a box with spiders — I would choose blissful mort. Seconds after I’m bitten — long seconds of seeing its huge body and legs scrabble about after its victory, and watching its mates leaping in celebration out of their lairs — I get numb. Then they’re on me. Wrapping me in their silk. In a web. Running over my face. It brings about the moment of madness. Paralysed with monsters all over you. Binding you. Their bites flaming on your stiffened body. The venom so bad you must arch your back, but your central nervous system shut-down to a glow-light and incapable of raising even a finger. Then dragged behind them into one of their caves. Its then I drift off under their anaesthetic. Like someone dying in the snow. Falling asleep whilst getting eaten. I can feel them tearing various bits off my body — a finger or my nose — but I don’t really suffer any pain. It’s more an annoying prodding of the subconscious. Like being poked awake when all you want to do is sleep. And in the dying-dream, the poking is you. Nudging me, telling me that you’re here, that I must wake up and see you all.

Neil Mackay

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