Silent Dalek

(inspired by real nightmare)

I have always had it. At least I think I have. A small hideout that I alone know the Access to.
My own pocket of space and time. Someone gave it to me... some time.
The thing looks nothing more than a flashlight to a normal eye. A big broken flashlight. I know that I have to keep it safe.
Keep it safe, this was what matters.

I am at my parents place. In a huge apartment building.
Home alone in the place where I had grown up. The whole building feels empty as if died out. It's night. A small town with huge buildings – it really felt dead in the night time. The shadows are long and sleep.

I couldn’t sleep.
I’m not sure if it is just a dream, a memory. Am I asleep and dreaming this? Or have I somehow jumped back to my past? Am I in a night in my childhood I could not sleep in. I’m not sure if my parents are home… sleeping… or if I am a grownup moving through it years after moving out.

‘Temporal Shift’ this is what it is called. The secret space I have always had. The pocket of time. Extra. On top of what everyone else had.
And they are coming. Somehow, I have always known that they will be coming after it at some point.

My secret hideout. It was not just mine.
I hid it away somewhere. Somewhere safe.
Scenes from my childhood flash in front of my eyes… treehouse, school, running on the street. I know I hid it somewhere but where? I cannot remember. Might it be that I could somehow … hide it in my past. In my memories?

‘Temporal shift’ I don’t know what it is or does exactly, but it sounds something that could do something like this. I have no idea where it is. I know it is safe. I have no idea where and when this safe is, but not knowing is part of the plan. I must not tell. I must behave like I don’t know.

They are coming… I know they are.
I peek through the window. It seems oddly high. In the corner of my eye, on the reflection, I get a glimpse of my arm in pyjamas … I must be really young then. Ten, max. When did I stop wearing them? I was old enough to handle my own nightmares and sleepless nights, that’s for sure.

They are coming.
I know what they are. They are called Daleks and they are noisy. Or at least should be. They should blow up the whole building or fly in from the windows.
But instead, I see them moving silently. No yelling about “Exterminate”. They just move. silently. They seem a bit vague. As if not fitting in with the rest.
Something tells me that they have created a tool to move a few seconds before and after … I know it… and this is what makes them vague. But it also means they can pass through objects and possibly dreams.

I see one of them moving in the direction of the main door, to the hallway. Our flat is on the second floor. I have some time, but I don’t know what to do. Hide? Play as if I had been sleeping all along? Run off, but where?

They could move through doors and walls, silently. Surely, they could also shoot, and I was not sure if this would have been before and after now.
If I ran, they knew it was me they were looking for.

They could not shoot me. This was my dream, my memory. They need me to find it. They were scanning the world inch by inch. To find the person and the item.
They could not hurt me, but they could scare me, see where I hide. Or even worse, they could change my memory. Imagine your memory of a sleepless night reprinted, by a memory of your parents being killed by an alien race.  They are still alive, obviously, but you have the memory of them burning. How bad could this be? All your memories reprinted by nightmares. The next time you saw them, you would remember this image in your head. This re-printed memory. What is a person than not the collection of his memories?
It is in from the main door of the building.

They are coming. There is no time left, time to choose what to do – pretend sleeping or hide under bed. Somehow, I know hiding is not a good idea, this way they will know one of my hide outs…

I wake up… from a nightmare. I feel hot and thirsty. I’m an adult now. Doing adult things. And thinking of adult thoughts (you must say you are more adult, not that you are adulter as this would mean adultery and while it does have an adult in it, it has a totally different meaning.) Next to me, my wife, whom I love so much, is sleeping – we just got married end of last year and this is the place we bought to ourselves. Carefully I slid myself out. I need to drink something and collect myself.

I have a glass of water in the kitchen. The clock on the oven says it is a bit past midnight.
This is odd. I have not had nightmares for a while. As a teenager I struggled with them all the time.

After a glass of water I go out for a smoke. I'm still smoking? It's the last on in the pack.
The whole thing feels a bit unreal. The world is empty and still. It seems bit too quiet for that time. Is this just another memory from my lifeline where I could not sleep at night?
Are they coming? Is it safe? Puffing, I peek at the corner of the house, half expecting the silent Dalek to appear behind it...

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