Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Nightmares

Nightmares. What a deliciously heart pounding subject. We've all had them. Mine usually involve spiders. In fact for years I had the same recurring dream. I would be asleep in my bed and wake up to find thousands of spiders spinning a cage of webbing around me. Even though I knew I was asleep, my heartbeat would speed up and it would be hard to breathe. Worse was the inability to move and swipe the webs away.

They say that dreams are our brain's way of working through all the psychological mess we avoid during the day. Or maybe I'm making that up, but it sounded good, right? Anyway, I can remember one nightmare from my childhood that seems silly now, but at the time I was terrified (I was around 8 or 9 years old). It went something like this...

I'm hiding behind the couch while my parents watch TV late at night. Suddenly the roof is ripped off the top of the house, my parents disappear and a giant alien space ship is hovering above me in the air. All I want is to remain hidden, but a bright light sucks the couch up and I'm exposed as the alien flies toward me on a large disk. When he's right in front of me I realize it's a humongous chocolate chip cookie. I don't remember what the alien looked like, or what my fate was, but I remember the chips sticking out that were as big as my head.


Did you see Rise of the Guardians? It came out last December maybe? Anyway, LOVED the nightmares in it. They're made of black sand, easy to slip into your dreams one grain at a time.

The Magic Wakes all started with a nightmare that I had when I was 19. It grew and developed as I had others that could be linked together. Eventually I gave them all to Talia and let her find a way to work through it.

For those of you who have read the book, each of Talia's dreams were a dream that I had. Yeah, I've got some deep subconscious issues I think. But you know that iconic song...

"And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad, the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I ever had." (I loved Adam Lambert's version)

But, hey. I'm a writer and weird dreams are a blessing I guess. Here's a clip from TMW and one of my disturbing dreams with a bit of extra that didn't make it into the book.
"Talia crouched behind the charred remains of an aeroflyer (was a helicopter in my dream). She squeezed her eyes shut, but since she dreamed, the chaos and carnage remained visible. The familiar scene permanently burned on her retinas.
As she watched, the aeroflyer transformed from a charred mess to a perfectly bright and smooth metal. Her reflection stared back. Half her face was badly burned and falling away from her skull. The other half was blood splattered but otherwise unmarred."
Here I deviate from Talia. My dream jumped to a crowed hospital where I sat on a gurney surrounded by those that barely survived the invasion. People moaned and cried, doctors and nurses ran from place to place, but I sat feeling nothing. I just stared at everything around me until a man came towards me. He was a doctor and he carried a syringe. He lay his hand on the good side of my face and whispered he was sorry and I could feel my heart breaking. The tears burned like acid as they slid down the ruined side of my face. He then kissed my good cheek and gave me the shot. End of dream.

Did I die? Did he kill me? Or was he helping me? I'll never know, but I know I loved him dearly in that dream. *sigh*

What is the one dream or nightmare that has stuck with you through the years?