Tag Archives: nightmares

31 Days of Spoooktacular: Sweet Dreams Are Made of These

When I was younger, I used to have nightmares on occasion; terrible things that woke me up in the middle of the night, sweating and shaken. I once woke up to pitch black and I could have sworn that I heard someone whisper, “I’m going to kill you”.

There were a couple of uneasy moments while I tried to convince myself that the voice wasn’t real.

I’ve woken up once or twice feeling like I’ve been crying.

But here’s the paradox, the tricky little bit that I throw in to make my life more interesting: I like these dreams. I wish I had more of them. I revel in them.

I hate them while I’m having them. Even while sleeping, I can feel my heart racing and the fear and the anxiety spiking. But after the fact, when I’m awake and cognizant of the fact that it was all just a dream, I’m happy.

I’m happy in the way I am after I read a scary book or movie. I enjoy being scared. I enjoy the heart pounding, the sickening feeling pulling at your gut. But I so rarely feel scared when I watch a movie or read a book anymore. The only place that I can be afraid now, is in my dreams.

Barring being in a car accident or attacked by bears or mugged, I mean.

Because…the fear in my dreams is always of something…incomprehensible. Some twist in reality, some bend in how the world works, something terrible that has worked itself into our world. The physics are all wrong, the geometry at awkward angles. The world in my dreams is a world where voices threaten from the walls and demons take the forms of dogs and men in wheelchairs and the sky is lit by a black cinder and the oceans hide ships from other worlds and the landscape is covered in shifting, orange growths.

It’s a world where anything is possible and it is so terrifying and so real and I always want to go back.

But now…now the dreams are fewer and further between and the nightmares are even more rare. They are dreams of mundane banality, where anything could happen, but nothing ever does.

As the real world creeps more and more into my dreams, I strive to push it back and out and block its egress and I think that I need to return to my fiction for that to happen again, that my dreams and my imagination are inexorably linked and that each inform the other.

It’s long past due to go back.

-D-

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Sweet Dreams

My subconscious and I have never really gotten along. There’s a vicious little bastard running things down there in the darkness and apparently he doesn’t like me much. Night after night, he puts together the most twisted shit he can and runs a nightmare double-feature. Which is, in itself, annoying. I would like to get through the night without my family and friends getting wiped out in a post-apocalyptic landscape or without having to fight off zombies while Hayden Panettiere explains why we should just be friends.

But the thing that really annoys me is that I can’t USE any of these dreams for story ideas. They’re derivative, unoriginal and sometimes just outright steal ideas from books, movies or stories. Christ, I would think I can be more original than just lifting the entire plot from Aliens night after night, but apparently I can’t.

It depresses me because I have to wonder what it says about me if my dream apparatus can’t be bothered to be more creative than this. I’ll just hope that the thieving, unimaginative bastard part of me is sated with these lackluster entries in the horror field.

What’s worse is sometimes I’ll wake up and immediately after the dream think, “Hey, this could be an interesting story.” I’ll start to scribble it down and as I write, notice how it bodily lifts from that book I just read and added a bit of the Exorcist for good measure.  And that’s the stuff that makes sense. Everything else is junk drawer crazy that doesn’t really knit well into a plot.

If I’m going to sleep badly, I’d like to get something out of it, but, so far, the most I’ve gotten from it is two or three blog entries where I complain about how much my sleep sucks. So thanks for nothing Subconscious.

Dylan Charles

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