Ever had sleep paralysis?

I have. It’s freaky shit, which is why I remember each case even though it’s only happened to me three times in my life.

If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon, here’s the skinny. You fall asleep as you normally do. Maybe you’re flat on your back. Maybe you’re spooning your expensive new waifu pillow. Either way, everything seems hunky-dory. The day’s gone, your awareness has faded to black, and you’re well on your way to a restful night’s repose and a morning where you wake up refreshed and ready to face the day.

But then something in your brain goes “LOL time to fuck with this guy!” and all hell breaks loose. Your eyes snap open in the middle of the night. Though you can clearly see the room around you, you can’t move. You get the overwhelming feeling that something else is there, looming over you, holding you in place, and that its intentions are not good. You panic, knowing even your beloved waifu pillow lacks the power to save you. Shit is going down, son.

And then suddenly it’s gone a few minutes later. It’s so weird.

The first time it happened to me, I was a teenager. I remember banishing it from my memory because I had no clue what it was and didn’t want to think about it. It happened again in college, in a dorm room bunk bed, with something evil roaring in my head with all the force of a jet engine. And then it returned last night, with a scratchy hiss in my ears and an ethereal something watching me from just outside the edge of my peripheral vision.

Now that I am a worldly adult who’s listened to a wide variety of paranormal podcasts, I recognized the phenomenon for what it was and tried to pay close attention, in spite of the overpowering dread. What did I learn? Jack fucking shit.

But I’ve been thinking about it all morning. What in the heck brought it back last night, fifteen years after the last incident? I checked a list of suspected causes and none of them really fit.

Was there something gnarly in the grilled chicken sandwich and fries I ordered from a local dive for dinner?

Have I opened a mental gateway to some hellish alternate dimension by meditating too much?

Did a clump of my gray matter decide to seek revenge because it’s been deprived of excessive booze for too long?

Was that the awakening of my Persona, and if so, should I prepare myself for a side career stealing the hearts of the wicked?

Was my apartment complex built atop a pet cemetery for homicidal gerbils?

Did Google decide to test some weird new technology on me because I canceled my YouTubeTV and switched to Fubo?

No clue! Brains are wild, man.

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