When Nightmares Change

The world is full of interesting and miraculous mysteries…from astronomy and earth sciences to quantum physics and more.  That which was viewed as magic from centuries past now have a scientific name but perhaps the most mysterious of all is what happens within the human psyche, cultural awareness and the dance of social norms to the single seed of human consciousness. And with that last journey…I can fathom a guess of what others experience based on my own experiences and empathy but one is truly only a would-be expert within their own personal landscape.  And of course, many ignore that landscape. It’s finding yourself…losing yourself…and being too busy to contemplate belly lint. 

However, I’ll hazard the telling of my own journey…a little corner within my realm of existence…and it lays within the remembered dreams of my consciousness.  Many have asked what are dreams…  Perhaps little windows to view the  underworkings of who a person is? 

My story starts with the nightmares I had as a child … of being terrified of the Bogeyman/demons chasing me… into something else, I believe may be worse. 

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have nightmares of the Bogeyman(men)/demon(s) chasing them. I have had those dreams almost  continually since I was a child and I’ve tried many ways to protect myself from 1) waking from a deep sleep before they reached me to 2) waking during my elementary school days singing ‘Yes, Jesus loves me’ to 3) finding my hands in the middle of a dream and pressing them together to take control of my dreams to … 4) well, too many to count. 

I can say the last demon to attack me in the dream world grabbed me behind my cracked bathroom door. It was in the hallway of my house. Well, in the dreamworld…in my house. It was a horrid slime-covered tentacled hand and the grip was tight. I knew if I pulled back… Retreat, at times, can be the worst thing someone can do. I barely took a moment to look at the alien rippled muscles or acknowledge the pressure bruising my wrist. Instead, I growled at it. I growled so viciously that it carried over into the waking world and I rushed it with a wild cry of  ‘how dare you’ erupting from my very being. 

But I don’t know how the match would have concluded. I was shaken awake because I was growling in my sleep. 

Since then I find teases of an upcoming attack, glimpses of the bogeyman/demon from the corners of dreams but no attack comes. Which is fine…. but

But now I find myself in spaces that the Bogeyman/demons had/have visited. I find horrific scenes of severed body parts and decapitated heads arranged in artistic collages. 

I suppose I have overcome one nightmare trope by facing my fear and holding ground but the thing has morphed into, I think something worse, and I’m not sure what to do about this one. 

As I digress I can say that as a child of six years I came across my grandmother’s head (in a dream) laying in the backyard grass so many nights in a row. It was terrible but what scared me most was when her eyes opened and she started to talk. Never heard her words of presumable wisdom because I’d wake in a cold sweat each time. Sometimes I wonder what message she would have given…had it even been her. She was yet alive then…in the real world. 

These other decapitated heads…and other parts. They come from those I do not know. There is no last moment of life within them. I’m not scared of the carnage before me. But what am I? I stand ready to do battle but there is no one to fight. I stand at this horrific aftermath. I am emotionally numb. And I am seeking to do what? What action can be taken? I have no answer. 

And then, of course, when I do awake I think what can I harvest from these images for my manuscripts and wonder if this isn’t to much for YA…  

I suppose this story is in its middle and I am waiting for the next volume to open. But for this one, I’m still mulling its contents.