08
Jan
18

Dreams and Nightmares

Since the last go-round of “spin the medication,” I’ve found myself dreaming a lot more. Or perhaps not necessarily dreaming more, but able to remember more of them. This is pleasant in some ways – there’s always an image worth mining hiding somewhere in the subconscious, after all – but fairly unpleasant in others – my penchant for recurring nightmares appears to have made a comeback.

They’re nothing new. I wouldn’t even classify them as anything special. They’ve just always been there – or at least as long as I remember, anyway – and serve only as reminders that there are some nights I am just not going to get any sleep.

But this one… it’s weird. One, it involves a place I’ve actually been; my other recurring nightmares are obviously somewhere far away from my usual stomping grounds. For two, I get an advance warning it’s coming before it decides to descend on me like an unwilling lover in the depths of night.

It doesn’t seem like much. Just a brief flash of an image in my mind as I’m getting ready for bed. In that image, it’s pitch black, but somehow I can still see clearly. There are clouds roiling overhead, the feeling of lightning in the air. It’s a school play yard, with a tetherball pole anchored to a tire, the ball hanging limp.

Doesn’t seem so bad, does it? I agree. But when I see that brief flash, I hunker down and put up the mental walls, because I know it’s coming.

In the dream itself, I’m back on that playground, standing in the middle of the asphalt, facing St. Teresa’s Catholic School. Here’s a – very rough – map; forgive my lack of drawing skills:

schoolyard map

I’m pretty much in the middle, there, in front of the K-3 building. The three “x”s are the spots I end up going to, though what order I visit them in seems random and changes each time the dream comes. But still, each time the result is the same.

I approach the object – the tetherball pole, a set of log posts arrayed like chairs, or the makeshift pitcher’s mound on the baseball field – the urge to scream rising in my throat. I know something terrible is coming, some Mythos diety-like horror that is more than I can stand, and going to those places will bring it… but I can’t stop myself.

At each place, I stand and stare at the clouds above, which are forming a whirlpool. Then something like lightning jumps from the object in question and through that hole in the clouds. I try to scream, but can’t; I can’t draw in a breath and the only thing that comes out when I try to expel what air I do manage to take in comes out sounding like a broken teakettle.

It doesn’t stop me. I go to the next spot, and the next, the same thing happening. Then I go back to the middle of the playground, turning to face the building itself. Sometimes I can see in the windows, sometimes not; when the rooms are lit and I can see inside, there are rows of dolls in the seats, all staring at me. I can’t tell if they’re actual dolls or dead children, or just so still they look like they might be inanimate or dead. Then I look up.

The clouds have all gathered in that spot, creating a whirlpool above; the other three are gone, absorbed into this one. The lightning jumps out of my eyes and mouth towards that hole. There’s pain and terror, but why I can’t say.

Then I wake up. Usually flailing for the aspirator or bolting for the bathroom.

I’ve had this dream off and on since I was a child. Different interpretations abound. Anyone out there a dream interpreter, want to give their impressions?

What about the rest of you? Have a dream that terrifies you, with or without reason, that you want to get off your chest? Drop it down below, or a link to your own post if you like. Maybe if we spread it around, it’ll lose some of the hold it has over us.

Pleasant dreams.

KA Spiral no signature

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