Well, long time ago, when I was just a little kid, I had a pretty weird dream. It was actually more akin to a nightmare, nothing extraordinary, just the standard. It started with me, my brother, and a friend of his playing around. His name was Raul, I remember well.
In reality, it was more like I was getting in the way of them trying to hang out, since they were much older than me, similar to how a elementary school kid annoys teenagers by trying to be cool hanging out with them. I was that kid, both in reality and in my dream.
Suddenly however, a hideous figure appeared, and snatched Raul from behind before running away with him, laughing out loud the whole time. Of course, both my brother and I screamed in terror, and decided to flee, leaving poor Raul alone with the madman, yelling at us, begging us to save him. Pleading us.
Can you really blame us? We were kids back then, so it was only natural for us to try to get away from danger. At least, that’s how my dream self rationalized it.
After crying for a few hours, my brother stood and turned to me. He told me that we couldn’t leave his friend. We had to go and rescue Raul. I was really scared, but I wiped my tears and agreed to go with him.
This part I don’t remember well, but we somehow found out the whereabouts of the madman. He was hiding inside a dry well, located in a vacant lot somewhere in the outskirts of the city. We nodded at each other before we started climbing down the well.
It was kinda convenient that this well in particular had a built-in ladder on the inside wall, but still, climbing down that ladder was a terrible experience, knowing that a miss-step could easily make us fall a great height.
We aimed our flashlights downwards sporadically, but there just seemed to be no end to it. The lights just dissipated and all we could see was black after a certain distance. This well was much deeper than we expected. Still, we decided to go on. We needed to rescue our friend.
This is where things really went wrong though. We heard the madman’s laughter below us, getting louder as time passed. We realized he was coming up the ladder for us, so we started climbing back up, trying to get away. Still, the sound of his maniacal laughter kept getting stronger, and we both knew what that meant... he was climbing much faster than we were. We kept illuminating downwards every now and then to see if he was close, but we couldn’t see anything at all. Not being able to see him just made us more nervous. We kept climbing.
Two or three minutes later, which felt like they lasted forever, we noticed that we were getting close to the exit. We aimed our flashlight down once more, and this time, we saw him. He was close, and had almost caught up with us. Since we had a pair of lights, and we were close to the top, my brother decided we would not need one of them anymore, and threw it towards the maniac. It hit him directly in the face, and caused him to stagger for a few seconds. We took that chance and continued climbing the last few rungs.
At last, we had reached the top. I climbed out first, and looked down to wait for my brother. That’s when I saw that the madman had already recovered, and was climbing faster than before. The hit had really angered him. I desperately told my brother to hurry, as he was climbing the final few rungs. However, just as he placed his hand on the edge of the well, the madman had managed to get to him, and pulled at his feet.
I react fast and grab my brother’s arm, pulling as hard as I could. Of course, I was only a kid, so my strength wasn’t that great. Despite that though, it was enough to make the difference, as I allowed my brother to finally kick free from his clutches and climb back up.
Once again, we decide to flee, leaving Raul to fend for himself inside the well...
And that’s where the dream ended. Normally, this is where the story would end but it is not the case this time.
It turns out... I had another dream just a few days ago.
After many years had passed, we decided to go back to that well. This time, we were stronger, smarter, and overall much better prepared to deal with that lunatic that took our friend so many years ago. We wanted to get revenge for back then, but also, we were holding onto the hope that Raul was still alive somehow. Maybe the man was just keeping him hostage all this time? Maybe he took care of him and fed him, at least enough to keep him alive? Those kind of thoughts were what kept our hopes up.
We started climbing down once again, this time determined to get all the way to the bottom, and engage the madman if necessary. We were much more confident, as we had brought weapons with us this time. Of course, by weapons I mean things such as baseball bats and golf clubs, so maybe I should call it overconfidence instead.
This time, the climb down seemed much shorter, as we reached the bottom in no time. Perhaps it was because we were older, but maybe it was just weird dream physics acting up. Anyways, we managed to reach the bottom of the well.
It wasn’t quite what we expected, as we discovered that the bottom of the well was actually a labyrinth. At least it was spacious. The walls had some kind of blueish hue, and reflected quite a lot of the light we shined our flashlights on them. This was convenient, as it allowed us to see very clearly in the darkness of the well. We started exploring the place, looking for any sign that Raul might be okay. However, after a while, we realized something that sent out shivers down our spines. We had infiltrated deep into the maze, but had not yet found any sign of the madman himself. He could come at us from pretty much anywhere, at anytime.
After about half an hour of unfruitful searching, we finally heard the madman’s laughter. Apparently, he had only then noticed that we were walking around his lair. We took out our weapons, and stood back to back, anticipating the arrival of the man who had taken our friend. I was glad that the man was crazy enough not to try and sneak up to us, making himself conspicuous.
We waited, and waited, and waited, but he never came. The voice of his laughter just kept moving around, changing direction every few seconds, so we couldn’t even echolocate him. This made us more nervous as time passed, until finally we reached our limit. We just couldn’t stand it, that laughter, that maniacal laughter of his really made a mess in our heads. We started to run towards the exit, and it was then that the voice started getting louder.
He wasn’t chasing after us all this time, he was psychologically assaulting us before giving chase. His plan turned out to be successful, as it caused us to lose all our determination and flee. He may not have known how to hide, but he sure knew how to mess with a person’s brain.
We reached the ladder, and like last time, we started climbing as fast as we possibly could. The madman was once again giving chase. After all these years, it turned out that things hadn’t changed that much. What had changed though, was that this time he didn’t have his speed advantage, and we were able to actually outpace him.
Once we reached the top, we still had a few seconds to spare before he came out. We took out our weapons, faced towards the well, and swung them at the madman as soon as his head came out of the well. It was a direct hit on his face, causing him to lose his grip and fall down to his death, laughing all the way down.
We then knew that it was over. The madman was no more, and we had managed to take our revenge. However, we had failed to find Raul inside the well upon further searching.
I woke up, remembering the dream very clearly, as it had been a continuation of a dream I had many years ago. You don’t have that happen everyday.
Still, Raul’s name seemed oddly familiar to me, and it kept me thinking. I tried to write it off as an effect the dreams had on me, but I just couldn’t forget about it. I decided it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
A few days later, when my brother came back from work, he called me to tell me he wanted to play Modern Warfare 3 online. I took that chance to ask him about Raul. Was he really a friend of his back then?
This was his response:
“Yeah, back in high school, I had a friend with that name. One day I just stopped seeing him though. I heard he got transferred to another school, and didn’t bother to try contacting him again.”
Looks like they weren’t as good friends after all.