Yesterday, my dad told me about a dream he had where Joan Rivers came to him in a sparkling white dress and told him to remember things. This is weird on several levels, mostly because my dad was not a fan of Joan Rivers (he’s not really a fan of anyone). But he often has really weird and oddly descriptive dreams. I guess I inherited that from him.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had really exciting and sometimes really terrifying dreams. I still remember a dream I had when I was three years old. My parents left me in a haunted house with an evil witch, a caged lion, and lots of other kids all locked in this big room. I ran throughout the house, asking everyone where my parents were. The witch laughed and told me they’d left me there and I’d never see them again. I ran out into the night just in time to see their taillights driving away. Apparently, I was crying in my sleep, because my mom and dad came into my room that night and tried to wake me up and ask what was wrong.
Other childhood dreams were just kooky. Once, when I was about five I guess, I was getting over the stomach virus and I dreamed that a giant Macaroni noodle with purple spots and an evil face was chasing me around town. I woke up screaming.
As I’ve gotten older, my dreams seem to have gotten less whimsical, but are still just as weird and stressful. I’ve been told I’ll eventually grow out of remembering them, but if I’m like my dad, and in a lot of ways, I really am, that’s not going to happen.
I guess this is on my mind now, because after another night of restless and exciting dreams, I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. Unlike most creative minds, I have absolutely no problem sleeping. In fact, I sleep way more than I probably should, 9-10 hours a day. I used to think that was just my body’s normal sleep pattern. Now, however, after that talk with my dad and a little bit of internet research (always reliable), I’m beginning to wonder if maybe my active subconscious has something to do with my tendency to oversleep.
In all honesty, I could probably write short stories based on some of the creepy dreams I’ve had. In fact, I included two of the scariest dreams I’ve ever had into Between Worlds, the sequel to Cemetery Tours. I featured another of my dark dreams, though that one was actually pretty cool, in Cemetery Tours. Of course, I changed them up a bit to fit the stories, but I kept in the parts that made them really creepy.
I wrote down one dream that I had over the summer. I was going to share it here, but my sister told me it was too weird and that everyone would think I was sick or something. But since we’re on the topic, I’ve decided to share it anyway.
It was like I was watching a movie. The first scene opened with a young sickly looking man and his wife. She was very pretty and had short brown hair, cut to her ears. I knew immediately that the young man was very, very ill, probably dying. His wife worked as a nurse, and she was clearly exhausted from long shifts and caring for her husband.
In the next scene, the husband was taking a walk around the park, when suddenly, he collapsed and began bleeding out of every orifice. It was some sort of blood cancer. His wife was appeared out of nowhere, holding him and crying for someone to help her. A crowd gathered. One of the onlookers was a tall, shadowy man. He had no distinct ethnicity, but his hair was long and dark and tied back in a ponytail.
He spoke to the dying man and said, “I can help you. Do you want to be saved?”
“Yes,” the young man gasped.
In the next scene, he was healed and happy and getting ready to go back to work. His wife was happy and looking much healthier and more refreshed than before. But both knew that it was only temporary.
Before long, his symptoms returned. His time was running out.
The man with the long dark ponytail appeared again. He said, “I can cure you. I can take this disease away from you forever. Is that what you want?”
The young man said, “Yes.”
The shadowed man raised his hand and immediately, the illness left the young man’s body. Then, the shadowed man turned and, for the first time, acknowledged me. Before I could do or say anything, he clasped his hand over my mouth.
“It’s hers now,” he said. In exchange for curing the young man, he’d given the disease to me. I was going to die. Maybe not immediately, but soon.
The young man looked at me, horrified. I knew that he was feeling guilty that I had to be sick, but I also knew he wasn’t going to go back on his deal with the devil. He let me take the fall.
Albus Dumbledore has a great quote: “For in dreams, we enter a world that is entirely our own. Let him swim in the deepest ocean or glide over the highest cloud.” I guess my world is a little more disturbed than I would prefer it to be. Maybe one day, I’ll get to the point where I can swim the deepest seas or learn to fly. Until then, I guess I’ll continue on my own twisted adventures.