EXCERPT FROM FOUND DREAM DIARY OF UNNAMED CITIUS MAG NIGHTMARE MILE PARTICIPANT
After the catered dinner of ghost chilies and Butterfingers, my roommate [REDACTED] and I retired to our room to view autopsy reports from some of our favorite celebrities who died of drug overdoses on [REDACTED]’s laptop.
Not to be one-upped, I then brought up my favorite YouTube channel, called “Mauled Animals Mauling Animals.” It’s just Planet Earth outtakes of wildebeests getting torn limb from limb by various Serengeti predators. I really like [REDACTED]; we get along great.
We closed our laptops and turned out the lights, checking our pulses (both had gotten jacked up to over 140 bpm) and discussing our fears and anxieties.
We must have dozed off rather quickly thanks to all the melatonin we’d taken, because the next thing I remember I was in the middle of a dream.
I was getting dressed in a port-a-potty full of spiders. I was pulling on a racing singlet and shorts, but didn’t really know why. All dressed, I opened the door and found myself on the infield of a track, the stands full of cheering, faceless spectators.
Over the loudspeaker an announcer yelled something that sounded like a Beatles song played in reverse, and my heart raced. I couldn’t understand it, but I knew it meant I had to get to the starting line.
I looked down and my shorts were around my ankles, and instead of spikes I was wearing military-issued combat boots that were several sizes too big. I hurriedly yanked my shorts back up and tried to listen to the next set of announcements being made but couldn’t hear them over the raucous laughter of every person I’ve ever had a crush on circled around me, pointing and roaring hysterically at my just-revealed private parts.
The infield suddenly turned very sodden and my boots sunk in more with every step I took toward the starting line. All of my male relatives were there, ready to race me, and a spotlight was shining on my older brother [REDACTED] who just graduated from Harvard Business School and who I suspect my parents favor.
It felt like I was swimming through land and every muscle in my body ached as I pulled myself up to the track. My shorts had fallen off again so I pulled them back on. Then I shook all my relatives hands, but when I shook, each of their hands became detached from their arms and fell off as I pulled back my hand. I screamed but no sound came out.
Instead, I felt my front teeth loosen in my mouth, and when I reached up to check on the situation, tooth-by-tooth my mouth disintegrated, some teeth falling out in clumps, still affixed to gums, others crumbling into sand.
The gun sounded but its blast sounded like it was fired underwater. The rest of the field took off, prancing like gazelles around the first bend. In my combat boots and consistently falling shorts, I tried to follow their pace, but felt as though an invisible hand was yanking me backwards from behind. I was forced to use my arms to pull myself forward, like I was climbing the rope in gym class, only horizontally.
I had gone about halfway around the track once, when I remembered I’d forgotten to finish my homework for a class I took two years ago, and that my SAT scores had been invalidated because I had filled in the Scantron using invisible ink.
Then I woke up in a pool of sweat, to the sound of my own yelling.