My reoccurring nightmare drew chial heartburn symptoms chest pain

The dream takes place in a vast palatial estate in the middle of the forest. I have no idea who owns the property or why they built so far from civilization. All I know is that the beds are always filled and that the guests have no clue how they got in them.

While this can be a jarring experience, the guests always seem to settle in. No one ever makes a break for the exit. Besides, where would they go? Every window looks out onto bark surfaces. The pantries are surrounded by towering evergreens. The dining hall is built upon a swamp and the bedchambers sit in a field of reeds.

The forest is well on its way to reclaiming the building. Maple seeds swirl through the skylights, vines droop from the rafters, and pollen is built up on everything like snow. Muskrats swim beneath the floorboards, frogs congregate on the windowsills, and raccoons and crows fight for perches on the shingles.


There are cobwebs in every corner, nests in every crossbeam, and cocoons in every gutter.

Despite the size of the estate I can’t help but think of it as a cabin. Perhaps it’s the pine strips stacked floor to ceiling, the hardwood screeching under foot, or the log furnishing. Perhaps it’s the quilts hanging from the banisters, the moose antlers, or the smell of maple in the air.

Here’s another odd thing about the estate: the rooms only have three walls. There are dividers between them, but whoever designed the building didn’t see fit to separate them from the hall. We’re like drones in a honeycomb hive. Our personal space is communal. Anyone that’s out for a midnight stroll can peep in on a sex session.

I look outside, but all I can make out is my own reflection. I’m about to lean in for a closer look when something blots out the moonlight. I catch the silhouette for a fraction of a second, but that’s enough to get me off the bed and on all fours. I back away slowly for fear that it sees me.

At first I think I’m watching a procession of hunchbacks haling sacks on their backs. It takes a moment to realize those sacks are coffins, shattered and bent, leaking dirt in all directions. Limbs dangle through the cracks. No. Dangleisn’t right word. Those limbs aren’t limp. They’re moving, writhing, reaching for the stars to strangle the light right out of them.

The longer I stare I realize the procession is linked by strands of blood vessels, intestines, and gore. The broken caskets make up the columns of some kind of warped exoskeleton. This isn’t a funeral march. It’s a millipede of rotten corpses all strung together. It’s a splatterpillar.

The splatterpillar slams the wall, knocking me end over end. I land right as the window caves in. Cracks ripple across the wall as the pine strips buckle and snap. My mattress and box spring slide off the bed frame like cards from a deck. I scramble to my feet. A set of antlers comes crashing down before me.

The closest splatterpillar column grinds against the building. Another head rolls into view and swings like a pendulum on a long thread of spine. Its jaw juts out in a fierce under bite. The skin from its chin has long since eroded. Its eyes shine like a pair of high beams. They cast a glare on all the couples huddling in the archways.

The splatterpillar crawls through on a mile of misshapen muscles. Its face is a patchwork of flesh, framed in severed torsos with chests positioned like cheeks and abs positioned like jowls. A severed head hangs between the bodies, its forehead positioned like the bulb of a nose. A pair of severed legs serves as its lips. They open wide, revealing a mouth of crooked fingers, de-gloved hands exposed to bone, each one beckoning me in.

The head at the center of splatterpillar’s face rattles awake. It sets its high beams on yours truly. I weave through the couples desperate to put some bodies between that thing and me. The monster mirrors my movements heaving its body in whatever direction I’m going. It’s targeting me specifically, like I’m the lonely one that’s lagging behind the herd, like it knows that there will be no one to pry me from its gaping maw.

The splatterpillar has me cornered. It bides its time as it decides how to proceed. When it opens wide I see those skeletal hands running all the way up the rough of its mouth. A tongue of knotted musculature the size of a surfboard unrolls onto the floor.