I was dreaming. Ever since I was a child, I was sometimes aware, when I was dreaming, that I was in a dream. This time was the same. I was standing on the platform of a dark, empty railway station. What a gloomy dream, I thought. Then an announcement was made, in a dull, spiritless voice of a man;
"The train is approaching. If you get on it something scarrrry will happen to youuuu." It sounded nonsensical.
Soon the train came in. It wasn't a proper train, but rather like a monkey train (*1) you might see in amusement parks, and there were some men and women seated on it in a row.
sensed something unusual about the dream, but decided to get on the
train, just to see how much fear I could take. If I really found it too
much I could always wake up. I was able to make myself wake up whenever I
wanted, but the only time I could do that was when I was aware I was
I settled in the third seat from the back. The air
around me felt so realistically warm it was hard to believe this was a
dream at all.
"The train is deparrrtiiiing," said the
announcement, and the train started moving. My heart was pounding hard
with both anxiety and expectation. The train entered into a tunnel soon
after leaving the platform. The tunnel was illuminated with a mysterious
This tunnel - I thought - is like the tunnel I
saw on that "ghost train" ride in an amusement park I once went when I
was a child. This thing I'm on too is just a monkey train. After all,
this dream, like any other dreams, is just made up of pieces of my own
memories. It doesn't feel scary at all.
Just then there was another announcement. "The next station is, Ike-Zukuri, Ike-Zukuriiii(*2)."
You mean like a fish? While I was still wondering, a loud scream broke
out from behind. When I turned around, I saw the man in the last seat
was surrounded by four ugly midgets ( 3*) dressed in rags.
my eyes, the man was cut into pieces with sharp knives and it was
really like an ike-zukuri. An overpowering stench filled the air, and
the man screamed and screamed until my ears began to hurt. Bloody
intestines and various organs were pulled out of the man's body and
scattered all around him. Immediately behind me sat an ashen-faced woman
with long hair, but she seemed totally uninterested of what was
happening behind her, in spite of the ghastly din it was making.
for one was certainly unprepared for this turn of events, and began to
feel scared. I thought I would wait a little longer and see what
happened next, and then try to wake up. Before I knew it, the man on the
last seat was gone, leaving behind only some dark, reddish blood and
chunks of meat. The woman behind me was still looking straight ahead
with a blank look on her face.
"The next station is Gouging Ouuut, Gouuuging Ouuuuut," the announcement said.
time two midgets appeared and with something that looked like serrated
spoons they began to gouge out the eyes of the woman behind me. The
woman's face, which had been a total blank only a moment before, turned
into a mask of great fear and pain; then came from her a piercing
scream, which nearly shattered my eardrums. I saw her eyeballs pop out.
The stench of sweat and blood was unbearable. I bent over, trembling
with fear. This was it. I couldn't bear it anymore. Guessing from how
things had been, the next would be my turn, since I sat in the third
seat from the back. I was going to wake up - but not, I decided, before I
check what the announcement would be next.
"The next station is Mince Meat, Mince Meeeaaaat."
was the worst I could possibly expect. I could easily imagine what was
going to happen. I focused all my energy on waking up from the dream.
"Wake up, wake up, wake up....." This intensive praying was usually
enough to escape from a dream.
Abruptly, I heard something buzzing
and wheezing close to me. A midget crawled up into my lap and held up
some sort of device and waved it towards me. It must be a tool to turn
me into a mince meat. Still, all I could do was close my eyes tight and
pray frantically "come on, please, wake up! Wake up wake up wake up wake
up...!" The buzzing sound was getting closer and closer. Finally it got
so close that I felt the wind pressure on my face. And just when I
thought it was the end of me, everything became quiet and still.
managed to escape from the nightmare. I was wet all over with sweat,
and tears were streaming down my cheeks. It wasn't until after I went to
the kitchen and drank tons of water, that I was finally able to calm
down. The dream was real - too real; but it was just a dream, nothing
more, I told myself.
The following day at school I told my
friends about the dream. They just found it funny. It was only a dream,
they said, and that was all.
Then four years passed and I became a
college student. I kept myself busy with studying and working. So much
had been going on in my life that by that time I had completely
forgotten about the dream.
But one night, it started again.
next station is Gouging Ouuut, Gouuuging Ouuuuut," the dream began from
that scene. Immediately, my memories came flooding back. Things carried
on in exactly the same way as before. The two midgets were gouging out
the woman's eyes. I started praying straight away ."Wake up, wake up,
But this time, for some reason, I couldn't wake up as easily as the last time. "Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up....."
"The next station is Mince Meat, Mince Meeeaaaat,"
said the announcement. The time was running out. I heard the familiar
buzzing, and it was getting closer and closer. "Wake up, come on, wake
up wake up wake up!!"
A dead silence descended. I somehow managed
to escape again. With a huge relief I was about to open my eyes when I
heard: "you are going to run away agaiiiin? But the next time is goiiing
to be yourrr laaast." It was the voice of that announcer in the dream.
When I opened my eyes I was back in my own room.
The last voice wasn't a
part of the dream. I heard it in the real world, there is no mistake
about it. Why me? What things have I done to deserve this? Since then I
have not had the same dream again; but I know that if I ever
dream it again, I will die, probably by a heart attack or something. It
might appear to be a heart attack in the real life, but it will be a
"mince meat" in the other world.....
1* - A
"monkey train" is how some people call a toy train in Japan. There used
to be a famous toy train in Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, run by a real monkey
(actually all the monkey did was just sit on the train and nothing
else). You can see a picture of the original monkey train here.
The monkey train of Ueno Zoo was banned after people started
vociferating about "animal rights." The monkey train is now gone, but
the name lives on by itself.
Ike-Zukuri (or iki-zukuri) could be literally translated as
"live-making or live-arranging." It is a fish served alive and whole,
slices of flesh having been cut and put back in place (kensyusha's new college Japanese-English Dictionary, 5th edition). Go here to see what it looks like.
3* - I've got nothing against little people. In fact, I measure only about 5ft that I might be called a midget myself.