you pick: end of the world or end of your life

This one was about discovering that I had been living in a house that was owned by a family of drug-dealers. I called my mom to come and help me pack everything up and leave. When she arrived, everyone came to the door to see who she was, and immediately suspected that I had told her everything and the cops were coming next.

I remember being terrified that they would do something to her, so I sent her out to the car to get an empty box or suitcase. I hugged her really tightly when she left. When I returned, alone, to the living room of the house, everyone who lived there was waiting for me. The elderly grandfather had a gun in his hand, pointed at my head. He fired once, although there was no sound, and no pain. He gestured in my direction with his other hand. I thought perhaps he missed, so I looked behind me, and the grandmother was standing there with a peaceful look on her face, but with no gunshot wound. When I turned back to face the grandfather, he pointed at me, and that’s when I looked down at the floor to see drops of blood falling before me, and I collapsed in a heap.

What followed was at least thirty seconds of panic. I knew I was dead, but nothing was happening to me in the way of afterlife – not that I believe in one in waking life, mind you – yet I could still hear something and sense that I had a physical body. I started slapping the sides of my head with my palms and crying out, but I couldn’t feel anything, and I couldn’t hear anything except for white noise. At that point, I was panicking enough to hear that godlike voiceover I created: “Halsted, you are dreaming; Halsted, your countdown starts now …” I woke up almost instantly, with the words “please let my mom be okay” on my lips.

May I just say: this really fucking sucks. Really. I have felt completely ill for the past two days now, and all I want to do is rest it off. Today I do not need to be dealing with how I feel about the end of the world or the end of my life. Today I need SLEEP.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.