A Letter to My Dog, Half Pint

This last year may have been the worst one of my life, but at least I've got the world's two greatest dogs by my side to help me stagger into 2018. Today's post features a letter to Half Pint. Benjamin will be getting a letter later this week--he'd never let me hear the end of it, otherwise. Also, this posts features a lot of short video clips of Half Pint being silly. Since I apparently can't do anything right these days, they are exclusively shot in vertical mode. Please accept my apologies (and cut me some friggin' slack).

Nick's Nutty Nightmares: Pregnancy Scare

Since the letter to my dog Half Pint apparently caused people to feel depressed (instead of it's intended goal of being inspirational), I figured I owed everyone something different for my next post.

So today for your reading pleasure, I present a slightly detached retelling of one of the weirdest dreams ever to spring forth from my slumbering, unbalanced mind. Some folks I've told about it have encouraged me to write the dream down as a story--although part of me wonders if they're saying that because I die near the end.

Either way, here goes...


I can't remember the exact age I was when this dream occurred, but I do know it was during my high school years, primarily because it involved me being on an FBI task force investigating an unexplainable crime. In case that didn't make it clear enough, I was quite the X-Files fan back in the day.

Oh, and Prince was one of the agents on our team, too.

His presence not only establishes this story as a figment from the depths of my subconscious imagination (the man would've never worn a plain black FBI suit), but it also confirms that even as a teenager, my taste in music was impeccable.

I could never pull off his style, though

We arrived at a large hospital to interview the victims of a crime as tragic as it was bizarre: Expectant pregnant women had woken up that morning to discover that their unborn children had vanished without a trace. No signs of afterbirth or surgical removal scars. They were just gone.

We interviewed one woman after another, each understandably vacillating between distraught hysterics and focused rage. It was bad enough that their babies had disappeared, but this crime had also been committed against them inside a hospital, the one place where they should have felt the most protected and well-cared for.

We eventually got around to the one pregnant woman left in the maternity ward, who was sitting in rocking chair inside a darkened delivery room. The area around her was illuminated by a strange yellow/orange glow. We soon learned that light radiating off of her was the result of an extreme (and fascinating) measure the woman had taken in an effort to ensure her unborn child did not meet the same fate as the others. She'd somehow obtained a gel which, after being rubbed on her stomach, made it completely transparent. It also lighted the area it has been applied to like a large endoscope, providing us with a full, bioluminescent view of the late term baby's embryonic state.

Yeah, I'm not sure what was going on at this point either.

The woman explained to us that if she could watch the baby inside her, then whoever or whatever was taking them wouldn't be able to abscond with hers. I don't remember who spoke to her after that--or if anyone asked where she got the gel from--but it sure as hell wasn't me. I was too freaked out to say anything.


After finishing up our interviews, everyone headed back outside to the parking lot. We stood around several black SUVs (of course) and parsed through various explanations for potential clues about what was happenig.

"Hey guys," I said. "I know you're not going to want to hear this, but maybe we should start considering paranormal possibilities."

"Oh great," sighed a woman who bared striking resemblance to Gillian Anderson. "Here we go..."

...said with this exact same expression

The rest of the team muttered their agreement. Some of them also began needling me for my obsession with finding bizarre explanations for everything.

I had clearly put myself in the Fox Mulder role (minus David Duchovny's sexiness), but it was also a role I often found myself in with my peers. While I never reached Alex Jones' levels of brazen stupidity, I will cop to being one of those people in my younger days who used to look for conspiracies or paranormal possibilities in every odd occurrence.

Of course, I was also 14-18 years old. Alex Jones is a grown ass man who still thinks the government is behind it whenever a dog farts.

Anyway, I think we can all agree that in this case, I actually did have some solid ground to stand on. Unborn babies were vanishing without a trace from their mother's wombs--and we'd just seen a woman who'd rubbed some type of transparent, bioluminescent oil on her stomach to watch and protect her own. At the very least it was all types of strange.

I stepped out in front of the group to plead my case. This put all the agents with their backs to the main hospital structure as they face me to hear what I had to say. Little did I know that this movement would be what (temporarily) saved my life. Almost as soon as I began to speak, gunshots reigned down from behind us. The cacophony of gunfire was both deafening and ruthlessly efficient. Whether by the sheer quantity of bullets or a few precisely aimed shots, every single member of my team was gunned down in a matter of seconds. I watched in horror as one of the bullets struck Prince in the head, dropping him instantly.

I managed to duck behind a large SUV in time to avoid getting shot myself. The ambush was over as quickly as it had started, leaving me crouched and panting in what was otherwise complete silence. I don't remember how long I sat there, but at some point, I eventually drew my gun out of its holster and began to edge around the SUV.

Please keep in mind that despite how badass this might sound, it was not necessarily an act of bravery. I was completely losing my shit at this point. My heart was beating so hard that I could feel it in my ears. Every breath I took felt like it was fighting through a wool cloth to get inside my lungs.

But I knew I couldn't just sit there. Whoever just massacared my team might be heading down to the parking lot to make sure they completed the job.

Also, those bastards killed Prince. No way I was going to let that go unavenged.

The doves would have time to cry tomorrow.

I crouch-ran across the parking lot to the hospital's main building and slammed my back up against the outside wall. After checking to see if there was anyone pointing a gun at me, I began to make my way up a bizarrely placed set of fire escape steps--which eventually led to a door to the same maternity ward floor where we'd previously been interviewing patients.

If I was a real FBI agent, than this would've been a great time to notice/do a couple things:

1.) Call for backup.
2.) Wonder why the hell there weren't a bunch of people screaming and running out of the hospital.

Also, I'm going to go ahead and assume that my visual checks for a shooter were grossly insufficient. I'm one of those people in first person shooter video games who gets sniped a bunch and angrily blames it on magic instead of my own lack of awareness.

Regardless, I still managed to make it to the door unharmed and without incident. After carefully slipping inside, I was surprised to find that the previously bustling hospital was now completely empty. No staff. No patients. Nobody. All the lights and equipment were still on, but there were no signs of anyone having recently fled the area. No overturned crash carts, scattered papers, or empty wheelchairs in sight. It was as if every person in the hospital had vanished just like the unborn children had the night before.

I kept my gun drawn and began working my way from the main lobby to the first corridor of maternity rooms. After rounding the corner, I found myself staring down a long hallway filled with doors on either side.

Before I could take my first step to begin checking the rooms, all the doors opened at once. As you might imagine, this caused both my blood pressure and firearm to spring up immediately. To my surprise (and complete confusion), a group of women who I did not recognize from the previous interviews emerged from each of the rooms and turned to face me.

They all had identical long black hair and were dress in identical over-sized hospital gowns. They were also barefoot, holding their arms down rigidly at their sides...and blindfolded.

I lowered my weapon (big mistake) and began to ask something along the lines of "Are you okay?" or "What happened?" or "Who did this to you?"

Whatever I'd meant to say, the words never had a chance to leave my lips. In perfect synchronization, the women all lifted one arm, revealing that they each been concealing a gun behind the flow of their hospital gowns. Then they calmly fired and pumped me full of lead. 

It didn't hurt (thankfully), but the impact of all those bullets did cause me to go airborne and fly backwards. I'm not sure if that's how getting hit by multiple close-range firearms works, but I wasn't in any position to question the physics at play.  I was, however, able to somehow process that I'd just been killed.

But what really threw me for a loop was what happened to my point of view. As I flew up off the ground, my vision flew up toward the ceiling. It remained fixed there for a few seconds after I landed on my back on the hospital floor. Then, like a camera in a bad student film, everything panned back toward the blindfolded women, who all still had one arm extended with a smoking firearm in their hand.

Without moving her head, a woman near the front said:

"We're free now. We can go."

I can't remember if she said both of these statements or only one of them. I'd just been shot, so you're going to have to cut me some slack.

After this declaration, the blindfolded women all put their arms down, turned around, and walked away.

Then I woke up.


W. T. F.

If there's any psychological analysis that can be derived from that, I'm not sure I want to hear it. Also, at the time this dream occurred, I was still under the laughably false impression that you couldn't die in your dreams--at least without dying in real life.

Suffice it to say, I was overjoyed to wake up and find myself still breathing (and that I hadn't pissed myself). Despite how grateful I was to be alive, though, the dream's many unanswered questions and chilling resolution began haunting me in the first hour after I woke--and still bugs me to this day.

Weirdest dream I've ever had? Definitely.

Scariest nightmare? Not even close.

I'll save that for another post.

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