Author: Alzo David-West

Cold rain was falling. A man in a worn jacket entered a private clinic. He put his broken umbrella in a stand by the door. The young receptionist at the front desk asked if he had an appointment. She handed him a form and asked him to wait. He sat on a bench and stared vacantly. The receptionist said the psychiatrist was available. The man got up and entered the office. The psychiatrist told him to take a seat.

​“I’m having a dream,” the man said.

​“Would you tell me about it?” the psychiatrist asked.

​“Everything around me is pitch black, and there is a sound, a deep, loud wind sound like accelerating rotator blades.”

​“What happens next?”

​“I look up before me, and there is a massive floating ball of solid blue light twice as high as me, and encircling the upper fourth of it is a rapid, glowing red line, the source of the sound.”

​“Is anything else there?”

​“Nothing else is there except the orb, the sound, and me,” the man said.

​“How do you feel in the dream?”

​“I don’t know how to get out. I’m fixed in place, mesmerized by the sight, and then I wake up. But every time I awaken, it’s harder to get out of the dream.”

​“Why do you think that is?” the psychiatrist asked.

​“It’s as if I’m being pulled into the dream.”

​“When did you first have the dream?”

​“It started in mid-April, and it has returned many times. I drew a picture of the orb. I can show it to you.”

​“I would like to see it,” the psychiatrist said.

​The man brought out a rumpled piece of paper from his pant pocket. He gave the paper to the psychiatrist.

​“The orb is like a giant machine,” the man said, “a machine from somewhere I don’t know, that has entered deep into my mind and wants to absorb me and erase me.”

​“Do you try to run away?” the psychiatrist asked.

​“I can’t move or scream or do anything, only stare at the orb and hear the sound.”

​“Can you imitate the sound?”

​“That sound—whuh-whuh-whuh-whuh-whuh-whUH-whUH-whUH-whUH-whUH-WHUH-WHUH-WHUH-WHUH-WHUH—that deep, loud wind sound like accelerating rotator blades.”

​“What do you see next?”

​“Everything around me is pitch black. I’m having the dream again, and I can’t get out. I can’t get out.”


​“The dream is a symptom of anxiety psychosis,” the psychiatrist started. “Something in your life is beyond your control, and the neurotransmitters in your brain are generating feelings of fear and powerlessness.”

​The man was quiet.

​“I recommend four weekly consultations and 20 mg of phenothiazine in four divided doses daily,” the psychiatrist said. “If you could wait outside, the receptionist will prepare your prescription and our next appointment.”

​The man got up, paid at the front desk, and never returned.

* * *

​Cold rain was falling. The young receptionist arrived early at the private clinic. She put her small umbrella in the stand by the door, went to the front desk, and sorted papers. There between, she brought out her smartphone and read a very short story, a strange tale about a synaptic portal that materialized in the brain of a man in a worn jacket, transporting him from within into the void of inter-solar space.