Then somehow the dream shifted to me in my own bed. You know how dreams usually mess up places you know? Your furniture is arranged wrong, or else it isn't really your house at all. Or anyways, that's how it is for me. But not this time. This time, the dream got everything correct.
Some of Cthulhu's monsters were outside, and I could hear a stranger inside. I tried to move, to call out, to scare the intruder away. Then I realized that everything below my neck felt strange -- somewhere between numb and the pins and needles you feel when your foot is asleep.
I couldn't move. I couldn't make a sound. And that terrified me.
... ... ...
Thankfully, I woke up fairly quickly after that. And surprisingly, I was calm after the horror of being unable to move.
If I'm having a nightmare I can usually wake myself up by calling out. It might come out as a moan, but I'll sit up and make some noise. And, most importantly, wake myself up. I don't even have to realize I'm asleep to do this, and this is what should have happened last night.
Once I woke up I didn't bother to move at first. I didn't feel the need anymore. After another minute I started speculating that I'd just experienced my first night terror (no I hadn't, I was remembering the wrong name for something I'd read about before), and a minute after that I finally moved to check the time.
It was just after 1am, and I'd gone to bed at about 11:30pm. So I hadn't been asleep for very long.
This morning I did a little research (ok, I read a bit on Wikipedia), and realized that night terror was the wrong term. What I experienced was my first bout with sleep paralysis. It also turns out that dreaming about intruders during sleep paralysis is common.
I really hope this doesn't happen again. I prefer vanilla nightmares, even if they do leave me terrified.
I'm still surprised at how calm I felt once I woke up.
Maybe this was brought on by stress with what's going on with grandma. She just went into hospice yesterday.