Sleeping Through Class

explanatory Essay
910 words
910 words

I always woke up from the dream in a cold sweat, gasping and clinging to my sheets. It repeated itself at least once a week, more during an especially stressful one. I was fifteen, and my waking hours at high school had me at my wits' end. My dream world seemed determined to mirror that feeling. Through this recurring nightmare, I came face to face with not only my real academic and social fears, but whatever twisted situations my brain could invent in my sleep. The scene began with a thunderstorm ravaging a sprawling field, bullet-like raindrops slicking the dirt path into mud. The road led me to a stone building far too large to be a normal school, with cracks adorning its walls and a medieval looking moat and drawbridge surrounding it. There was a distinct scent of burning wood in the air, and it always gave me the feeling that there were enemy soldiers of some sort hiding out around campfires, waiting to rush me. The school's door was an imposing crimson that seemed to shout at me to turn back. Like the victims in most bad horror films, I ignored the warning and trudged inside, gathering globs of mud on my shoes. Inside was a completely different setting, pulling me out of the gloomy war scene and into total decadence. The walls had a golden hue, and the floors sparkled and shined enough to show me my nervous reflection. Straight ahead of the entryway was a giant, two-floored lobby, with cathedral ceilings and a spiral staircase leading to the upstairs hallway. Finally, I saw some fellow students; they were lounging lazily on the plush couches scattered around a fireplace. This room gave a false sense of security, betrayed by the dungeons I knew had to exist beyond the halls. Despite the room's attempt to relax me, I was... ... middle of paper ... ...ays painted entirely brown, through fading candlelight, through boarded up gymnasiums and cafeterias, and down what must have been hundreds of those rubber-matted stairs. I pushed past sudden throngs of students clogging the narrow paths. By the time I reached the front lobby, its walls and furniture were the same moldy grey stone that made up the outside of the building. I heard whisper-soft scratches from below, and looked down to see the floor covered in a carpet of spiders. The only thing to do was flee outside, into what was now a snowstorm. The gleaming sheets of ice blinded me and sent me skidding downhill. I was supposed to be boarding my school bus, but I fell so many times that I knew I would never make it to the line of buses, barely visible in the heavy fog. I would be trapped in this strange hell forever…or until I woke up, still smelling those campfires.

In this essay, the author

  • Narrates how they woke up from the dream in a cold sweat, gasping, and clinging to their sheets. their waking hours at high school had them at their wits' end.
  • Describes how the scene began with a thunderstorm ravaging the sprawling field, bullet-like raindrops slicking the dirt path into mud.
  • Narrates how the gloomy war scene pulled them out of the war and into total decadence. the two-floored lobby gave a false sense of security.
  • Describes how they were overcome with a panicked feeling of lateness. they dashed through run-down corridors, lined by cute little potted plants, and glared scornfully at them.
  • Describes how they figured out a route to get to the next class early, since they had plenty of time to waste.
  • Describes how they reached an unnumbered floor, grateful to be away from the deadly stairwell. the hallway consisted of red lockers, rigid and solemn.
  • Narrates how they realized they hadn't done any homework for the entire year. they tried to give an explanation, but their jaws fused together and their limbs anchored them to the desk.
  • Narrates how the dream ended with an attempt to escape from the building. the gleaming sheets of ice blinded them and sent them skidding downhill.
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