I remember my dreams. All of them. Whether they are the short scripted ones I’ll have four times a night or the long drama ones like a soap opera to be continued at a later date, I remember them all . . . because they are all so freaking weird, even the nightmares.
When I was a kid, I had nightmares on a regular basis for a good four years. All those dreams had basic themes: scary haunted houses, alone on a strange dark road out in the middle of nowhere with a killer on the loose, stuck in a very high place while afraid of heights, road collapsing under car tires, and giant zombie bats.
Yes, I said giant zombie bats. You got a problem with that?
Anyway, during my childhood, I had so many nightmares that I began teaching myself to “wake up” in mid-dream. When the scary figure holding the chainsaw drove his car toward my running body, I would stop in my tracks and snort, “This is such a stupid dream. I want to do something else.” Then I would literally wake up. Sounds like a good thing, right?
Well . . .
I did this so often that I started automatically waking up in three-hour intervals, whether I was having a bad dream or not. Then there came a point where I would only sleep for four hours a night. This phase lasted, um, let me do the math right quick: take the 9, times it by 21, divide it by 3, add 6, blah-blah . . .
27 years of horrible sleeping habits.
So, how are my sleeping habits now? Hm, I can usually get a good 5 to 6 hours before waking up. That is unless I have a bad dream, which I had recently. And it’s the reason why I’m rambling in this post right now, because I only had a good 4 hours of sleep and I’m dead tired and I thought you might be interested in knowing what the dream was about or really, I don’t care if you care but I just want to type something so I can keep awake without slamming my forehead against the keyboard - YAAAAWWWNNN!
Here, for your reading pleasure, is the breakdown of my dream: It was a dark and stormy night.
Actually it wasn’t, but I figured I had to start somewhere and using this boring old cliche was a good place to begin. Oh, yeah. I’ll be adding my own commentary in italics for no other reason than to be annoying and to drag this out until bedtime.
It was a bright and sunny day. The scene started in a quiet city neighborhood I’ve never visited. I was standing among complete strangers - laughing, talking and eating - while staying in a two-story house with about ten other people: two men, six women, two children.
What the fuh! A two-story house with ten people, not including myself? Were they illegal aliens? Call Border Patrol. Get those squatters back over on their own side. Unless this thing was polygamy? Then I might want to stick around to see how this plays out. At least then I can post video on Youtube. Just think of how many hits I’ll get! And the blackmail options are endless . . . especially with their fear of deportation.
Within this quiet neighborhood sat an abandoned house two properties down from where I was staying. Nobody would look in the direction of this house or tell the reasons why the lights were kept on throughout the night. All they said was that the house had a curse. Behind the properties was a small river where people could sit on the bank and splash feet in the refreshing water.
First off - I’m not even about to go into the safety hazards of children near open water. That’s way too easy to bemoan. Let’s get to this house. If it were abandoned, then why was the electricity still working? Who was paying the bill? Someone had to own the property if the bill was paid. And what is it with curses on houses? That is so old-school scary. Couldn’t my mind come up with something more original - like the zombie bats? Or were they just pretending the house was cursed to keep the crackheads away?
All of us were headed back home from somewhere. We were near the yard in-between the cursed house and the other property as I followed behind one of the guys . . .
Hey now! He looks kinda cute! Or at least his butt looks cute. Oh, wait! He turned around! Squee! His front is as cute as his back, and his handsome face completes the package.
The guy had his ear cocked to one side, listening. I stopped beside him. I heard something too. A voice. Young. Female. She cried out, “Help me!” But it was weird. We heard her, but no one else did. And the voice was faint, very ethereal, almost as if we were actually hearing her in our minds. Both our eyes looked over at the river. Had someone fallen in?
See, what did I tell everyone? Unattended children near water = accident waiting to happen.
We walked across the yard. Yet while the guy moved forward normally, I was walking downhill into a gully. And my feet were sinking into the ground. Soon I was waist-deep in sticky mud while staring at an opening. A huge cavern was below the cursed house. Sunlight brightened the rock walls but I saw a shadow on the floor - a shadow of someone standing there. But nobody was making the shadow. The dark line faded into nothingness. Then arms grabbed me from behind.
AHHH! ZOMBIE BATS!
The cute guy was pulling me from the mud, a smile on his face. I chuckled at my predicament as he freed me while getting muddy himself. We sure could use a shower right now.
No zombie bats? Well, that’s embarrassing. Hey, did you say shower? Is there room for two?
It was nighttime when we headed home. Our clothes were clean, but the guy was acting strange. He had a fever. Even stranger, I heard a voice beside me. A woman. She said, “Here now.” By the time we got home, I was dragging the guy’s unconscious body inside. Then I found out seven other people had suddenly come down with 104+ fevers. Only the other man and his wife were still feeling fine - and myself. They asked me where I had been. Being evasive, I told them I had turned out the lights in the cursed house.
Snicker . . . so THAT’s how we got clean. And the cute guy was unconscious? Well, I don’t like to brag about how good a kisser I am, but SHA-BAM! I can knock out the dream guys. Swoon, macho man. Swoon to my hypnotic lips.
The other man was upset, shouting about how I had brought the curse down upon everyone. Supposedly, the lowdown was that a dead woman haunted the other house. Everyone in the neighborhood knew that keeping the lights on kept the spirits at bay from roaming the streets. But now that I had turned the electricity off, this ghost had tagged along and made everyone sick. Confronted by this revelation, I turned my head to look at the cursed house. Within the moonlit window, I watched the shadow of a woman walking into the attic room.
Whoa - whoa - whoa. Back up. The neighborhood knew about this ghost but they didn’t feel the need to tell me about it? Let the a**hole yell at himself for keeping it a secret. I wouldn’t have had some tub fun with the cute guy in that house if I knew all this information beforehand. I thought the curse was a joke just to keep the crackheads out? And why even deal with this ghost? I have four words for you in dealing with cursed houses: “Molotov cocktails and beer.” Let’s have a roaring bonfire and get drunk, baby! You bring the marshmallows.
btw - not to go nitpicking, but how could we see into the cursed house through the window if there was another house in-between?
I was now inside the dark house with the two other people. The woman was in front, the guy in the middle, and I trailed behind. For some reason, the electricity wouldn’t come back on and none of the flashlights worked. We headed to the attic to find the woman I had seen earlier. I kept on my toes and my hands wrapped around the guy’s arm as he tried to pull from my grip. But I wouldn’t let him get away. I knew two rules about going into scary houses: never get separated from the group, and always have a spare victim to push into the axe-wielder so I could make a break for the exit door.
I forgot the number one rule: DON’T GO INTO THE HOUSE TO GET YOUR DUMB A** KILLED! Duh! Besides, did we actually leave all those sick people alone? See, this is where scary movies and dreams fall apart. Too many shaky scenes and stupid plot holes near the end just to build suspense. Gawd! Someone shoot me if I every write a book like that.
We reached the attic hallway. The woman entered the room first. The man moved forward. I finally realized just how stupid all this was about entering the house unprotected. The first thing we should have done was call the police and let them go into the house looking for this woman. The paramedics could have taken the sick people to the hospital. My cute guy was probably brain dead from the fever now. So stupid. What a stupid dream. Because I said this in my thoughts, I woke up.
Don’t wake up NOW! What was in the room? Did I get to push the ignorant a**hole into the axe-wielder just for kicks? Would my cute guy survive? What was the deal with the cavern below the house? Would the cute guy survive? I need to KNOW.
Go back to sleep . . .