Last Night’s Nightmare

If not for the content this would probably make for a powerful story to write – it’s that time of year when my brain shakes the spiders in my head around and my nightmares come out to play. So: content warning for mention of sexual assault and abuse in this blog entry.

I was hoping this dream would fade, but it hasn’t, so hopefully this will pull the sting a bit.

I was studying English at some form of boarding school with a small group of fellow students and we were each set a different short story to analyse and discuss among ourselves. Some were more poetry than prose, and each student was having difficulty with elements of each of their assigned texts, so I started helping people.

What became clear was that each story told a fragment or element of a moment in time and the identity of the ostensibly anonymous author could be pieced together. The growing horror of the nightmare came from realising not only that the event described was a violent rape, but that it was my rape, and that the narrative protagonist / abuser was the English teacher who had set the assignments – and that he now knew that I had been helping everyone and now had pieced it all together, and was coming to get me…

At which point lady s woke me and forced cuddles until I settled again.

Sorry to throw this out, but getting it on paper has helped me settle. Thank you for bearing with me

Short Story: A Pixel In The Mind’s Eye

In my dreams, a black cat pounces and prowls around my flat. At rest it seems little more than a shape of pure darkness, with only it’s bright green eyes giving any hint that it is looking at me. In motion, it is a blurred streak, like a black ribbon looping and speeding from place to place.

I’ve seen it for years, though it took me a while to process in my waking state that it was there. It was always there, whether I was in the half-aware state of falling asleep or waking up, and it soon came to be a comforting part of the process of transitioning to and from the waking world.

It never makes a sound, but then with its piercing eyes it never ceases to draw my eye when it wants attention. It’s silent progress through the dreamscapes that I’ve grown to appreciate so much has been at times both a joy and a terror, depending on its mood.

Whenever I dream, the black cat is there. It may be slinking in the background, glimpsed behind the bit players in my reverie, or it may be running or gliding beside me like a manic ball of black lightning as I swim through surreal landscapes in dolphin dreams.

Or at least, it used to always be in my dreams, but of late I’ve found myself looking around and not seeing it. My constant dream companion, like it’s earthbound cousins, seems to have developed a wanderlust.

I began to search for it, actively wandering further in dreams, willing myself to stay in the lucid dreams longer and longer, straying into further and more foreign realms where I was sure I wasn’t home any more. I’d be spurred on by faint glimpses, just as I was about to give up: the flick of a tail, or a familiar blur of frantic motion would spur me on, sure that I’d found it again.

Sometimes I’d be disappointed, a shadow resolving into something else, or a motion in the grass revealing some strange new wonder – but sometimes I’d look round and see those fierce green eyes, or feel the wind of its passing around my ankles, and know I was on the right track.

I spent weeks, maybe months, trying to work out where my spirit cat has gone too. Every now and then it would come back as if nothing had happened and I would relax before noticing it had gone again.

In the end I found it, but I’m not sure I’m particularly happy about the situation. I found the cat in someone else’s dream, playing and gambolling like a kitten, before it charged into battle with some half-formed phantom of its other owner’s mind.

So, if you find a black cat in your dreams, look after it and cherish it, and it will be the best imaginary friend you’ll never remember. But don’t make the same mistake I did: of thinking that you own it. Just like it’s earth-bound cousins, the spirit cat can have many homes, and rule them all one night at a time.

Bad Dreams

I had a remarkably grim set of nightmares through the evening last night, waking several times and picking them back up in such a way that each seemed to be an episode of some grimly sadistic and gory film series. In the end, at five in the morning I decided that I’d had enough of trying to sleep or even of considering trying to use lucid dreaming to quash and subvert the imagery.

The gist of the nightmares was that I was both tenant and prisoner of a rambling mansion whose genius loci manifested as a suave and classy man in his mid thirties. Impeccably dressed, he would manifest in each dream every time the house was filled with new tenants and then slaughter them in brutal and innovatively surreal and sadistic ways in front of me. Gripped by terror I was unable to intervene, and their deaths was the price of my continued existence.

The violence was graphic, bloody and sudden – with bones shattered, faces pulped, objects used to fillet, impale and otherwise distress the flesh – all generally sickening and accompanied by this calm monologue from this spirit about how all this was necessary and transient – like some strange mishmash of Saw, Nightmare on Elm St, and Hellraiser.

Normally when I get unpleasant dream imagery upsetting me I use lucid dreaming techniques to re-enter and explore them, deconstructing and understanding them before banishing them like some all-conquering superhero or magus. This time I was just too nauseated and disturbed by them to even want to – so I just woke up and contented myself with the mixture of content on my social media streams for an hour or so until Lady M awoke (or at least admitted being awake after all my tossing and turning in the night)

Apparently I was tossing and turning the night before as well – so I’m hoping that if I was having similar dream content the night before that dragging it out into the conscious part of my brain will reduce the odds of it coming out to play from the subconscious again tonight.