The walls of his room were padded white and the only method of viewing the outside world was through the small window slot that slid open whenever he was greeted either by the redhead in scrubs or by the stout, balding man in a lab coat. They checked on him everyday, either to give him his daily meals and medication, or to ask him about his health. They did not give him X-rays or take his blood pressure. They were interested in his health, but not his physical one.
Day after day, his life was routine. He would get up, take his prescribed medication, eat, talk to the stout man, eat again, take his medication, and fall into a dreamless sleep. It had been like that for years until, one morning, something changed. The man had dreamed while he was sleeping. The after effects of the medication made him unable to dream and to dream after a long period of time made him both excited and wary.
Going through his daily routine he took his medicine that was given to him by the redhead and ate. The sound of the slot sliding open signaled his time to talk to the stout man. The door opened and the balding, stout man came in and closed the door behind him.
“I’ve started to dream again,” said the man.
At his words, the balding man’s eyes gleamed with an unreadable expression. “Is that so? Tell me what you dreamed about.”
“At the beginning it’s a blur. But then it clears up and I see myself. I am in this very room but I couldn’t move my hands. It is as if they were bound by something. I am afraid of something. I’m so afraid of this thing that it makes me back up into the corner. I scream and that is when I wake up.”
The stout man ponders for a moment before replying. “Do not dwell on it. Dreams are merely images that occur when you are unconscious. They are not to be taken for reality.” The stout man gets up and leaves the room leaving the man to ponder his thoughts.
Over the next few days, the man continues to have the same dream and is left shaken when he wakes up. He stops telling the stout man about his dreams because he knows he doesn’t believe him. The room and his routine become too much to bear anymore, so he lashes out one day at the redhead when she comes to give him his medication. Bulky men in white come and restrain him, putting him in a jacket that has many buckles, binding his arms together. The bulky men leave and the man is left alone in his room.
They ignore his pleading cries as punishment for his actions. Hours pass and the sound of the slot opening wakes the man up from his slumber. Standing in the middle of the room is the stout man and the man sees that he is carrying something, a jar, under his arm.
“You’ve ruined everything! You were not supposed to dream!” The stout man shouts with malice in his voice.
The stout man carefully opens the jar and sets it on the floor. A brown, eight-legged creature crawls out of it and heads towards the bound man.
“The brown recluse spider. Isn’t she a beauty?” The stout man says with adoration in his voice. “Normally my beauty here does not purposely attack humans and you can’t normally feel her bite but I’ve made a few….enhancements.”
The man backs up against the wall behind him, trying to avoid the spider. As the brown spider gets closer to the man, the stout man pulls out a syringe from his lab coat and flicks it twice for good measure. He grabs the man’s neck and tilts it, plunging the needle into his jugular vein.
“This will help you sleep.”
With the spider a few inches away, the man tries to struggle against his bonds but to no avail. A scream escapes his lips as he feels the bite from the spider on his foot. As his world fills with the inky blackness of unconsciousness, the last thing he can hear is the maniacal laughter coming from the stout man.