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Cellar of Skulls

BY Will Garth
Author of "Fulfillment," "King of Killers," etc.

A Nightmarish Dream Turns to Cold Reality When
Nina Benson Suddenly Faces a Horrible Ordeal

TO awaken from a bad dream—a thing of nightmare and horror—and to find oneself in one's own bed, safe and sound, with a soft spring breeze blowing through the open windows, is an experience known personally by most humans. But to awaken from a bad dream to a reality more horrible than any phantasmagoria of sleep, is strange, and terrible—and rare.

Moreover, in deep nightmare, all the dreamer's senses do not operate. For instance, although he sees and hears, he does not smell.

Nina Benson smelled blood.

She was awake and she smelled blood.

In her dream she had been in rooted flight from a demon—rooted because only the attempt at flight had been there, not flight itself. In nightmare one cannot flee, one can only desire, with terrible urgency, to run while the feet seemed sucked in mire. But now, awake, it was the same—she could not move.

How does one tell one is no longer dreaming? What is the difference between waking and sleeping. The answer is memory—memory of the actual happenings in the time before the dream.

The dream comes in between but when the dream is done, the mind puts it aside and joins up the waking past with the waking present so that no seam shows and all the threads are whole.

So, even though Nina awakened to horror—a horror like the dream, only worse—she knew that this was not her dream continued, but gross and terrifying reality! Yet the immediate past...

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