What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.
I often have quite bizarre dreams that I can never quite make sense of. I know that dreams are meant to a visual representation of our sub-consciousness, but my dreams simply make nonsense whatsoever, and they’re quite jumpy and disconnected. Most of the time in those immediate moments after waking up from one of these dreams, I lay in bed thinking to myself ‘what the fuck was that?! and then I scramble for my iPad to try and not down as much as I can in point-form so then I can go back later and expand on those points for a more detailed recollection.
I can’t say that I’ve got a particular dream that would consider the best I’ve ever had, but there is one dream in particular that I did used to have quite often. Unfortunately, this dream was actually a frequent nightmare. And this was a nightmare that I had quite regularly as a child, and even experienced it a number of times during my teens, and even through my adult life. I’m not entirely sure what it is about this dream that has stuck around in my sub-conscious for so many years, but it’s clearly got to be quite significant.
But the strange thing is, that none of it actually makes sense. And yet it manages to completely terrify me.
It starts off with the image of an old lady sitting on a park bench. In front of her is a footpath, and then a road which never seems to have any traffic. Behind her is a big hill, with incredibly luscious green grass. The rolling green hills behind her meet the clear blue sky and the sun is shining. As the dream progresses, the image starts to pan around from one side of the old lady, past the front of her, and to the other side, and then back. Each transition is quite slow, and it gradually begins to zoom in on her. Eventually a couple of birds begin to enter the scene and start hopping around on the footpath.
Meanwhile, in the background, there is a feint sound. It’s hard to hear, but it’s enough to completely break the silence of the old lady on the bench. It’s quite a mechanical sound… like it’s a series of factory machines or something – clanging and banging, hissing and popping. Then, as the sound begins to become more prominent, there’s a momentary FLASH on the screen of something made of metal. There’s a lot of heat, which I can feel, but the sound just begins to get louder.
I can’t make out what the machine is, but I know that it’s not good.
The vision then goes back to the lady on the bench. She hasn’t moved at all, but there’s now a few birds jumping around at her feet.
It’s the monster. This time, the image stays for a fraction longer, and starts to get louder. The image is all different shades of black, grey and red. There’s a distinct heat, and something quite unsettling about this machine.
Back to the old lady on the bench. She’s now noticed the birds, and has tilted her head, and smiled. She doesn’t actually seem to be moving very much. She’s remained quite static, almost as though she were a mannequin.
It’s the monster. This time the image has started to zoom out slightly, I can see something that resembles a jaw, and what looks to be teeth. It’s definitely not friendly, and the mechanical noise that it’s making is getting louder and louder.
Meanwhile, the old lady on the bench still hasn’t seemed to notice the increasing sound of this monster. I wonder if she can even hear it, or is she completely oblivious?
The image of the monster has zoomed out some more. I can now see a distinct head. It’s almost dinosaur-like, but fully mechanical. Sort of like some kind of Transformer dinosaur robot… who plans on nothing but destruction.
Meanwhile, the old lady on the bench has now started to pull some bread out of her purse and is throwing tiny pieces at the birds.
How is she not hearing this noise?
The Monster appears to be getting bigger and bigger. The heat is increasing more and more with every appearance. I can feel myself sweating, and as the image goes back to the old lady, I can see her sweating as well, so clearly the temperature is rising everywhere.
The Monster begins to stand, and lets out a roar and a giant ball of fire. I feel as though it’s hot enough to burn my skin.
Back at the Old Lady, she’s oblivious to anything else. She obviously can’t hear the noise of the monster.
Something in the pit of my stomach tells me that the monster is planning on eating the old lady… but she can’t see me, so I can’t warn her. I don’t exist to her.
The monster has started to look around and has spotted me. Suddenly the camera zooms right out, and I realise that this Monster is at least the size of a 40-storey building. The noise that it creates is unbearable. It lets out another blood-curdling scream, and a couple of balls of fire, and then it focuses it’s gaze on me. I see it’s eyes narrow, and there’s a rumble that is so loud it completely vibrates the ground like a major earthquake. I lose my footing and fall over as I’m backing away and hit my head on the ground. Hard. Although I am aware that I’m dreaming, and I am aware that none of this is real, I am also aware that I can now feel an excruciating pain in the back of my head, but I know that I’m asleep and I can’t do anything about it.
Just as I begin to scramble backwards on my hands, the image flips back to the old lady. She’s still feeding the birds, and is quite content. She has a smile on her face, as though she’s the happiest lady in the world.
The monster begins to take it’s first giant steps. It unleashes itself from where it has been anchored into the ground as part of the factory, and starts making some very slow and precise giant steps towards me.
By this stage, all I can see around me is intense shades of red, grey and black and I can feel that my clothes are either going to combust or melt from the heat, so I need to remove them. I need water, but there’s nothing around. Even the ground is getting hotter and hotter. I can see my sweat pouring off my forehead and arms, and evaporating instantly as it hits the ground. My skin is burning upon contact and the pain is constantly growing and becoming more and more unbearable.
Back to the Old Lady, who still can’t hear anything. I can see her still sitting there as the ground violently shakes. I can see her sweating through all her clothes. Trees and poles are falling down around her, but she remains with a smile on her face as though nothing is happening.
The fear of imminent death is all I can think of. I can’t die. If you die in your dream, you die in real life, right? The Monster appears to be getting slightly faster, I feel as though I’m running as fast as I possibly can, but I don’t really seem to be getting anywhere. I almost feel as though I’m barely moving, despite moving my legs so fast. I can see it getting closer. I can feel the intensity of the heat all around me.
Back to the Old Lady. The green hills are beginning to change colour. The grass is beginning to die from the heat and starting to turn a light dusty yellow colour. The sky is no longer blue. It’s begun to change from shades of blue to shades of dark orange. The air has become hot and thick.
The Monster is moving faster than I could have anticipated. I can feel it getting closer and closer. I’m not going to escape. This is it. This is how it ends for me… The air around me is so thick and so hot, just something as simple as breathing is becoming too painful for me. The hot air is so thick and so hot, it just burns all the way down my esophagus and into my lungs. I think I’ve only got a few slow deep breaths left before I cant bear it any longer.
The Old Lady has finished her bread and the birds have flown away, except for one, who has died from the heat. The Old Lady has started to turn very pale and is dripping with sweat. The grass has completely died and the sky that was one a cool, refreshing blue, is now a hot and dirty red colour. The ground is shaking violently, and the Old Lady still doesn’t seem to be noticing.
I run and I run and I run. I know that I’m on some cliff-side track that is purely rocks, which keeps shaking from the footsteps of The Monster. Suddenly, in the distance, I see something that looks slightly different. I can see the previously-spotted hill, and realise that that will be my salvation. The Monster only exists in a nasty alternate universe. It won’t be able to cross over, will it?
I see myself run over the hill and start to shake the Old Lady to try and get some reaction out of her motionless body. Nothing. The ground is still shaking, and the air is excruciating. I can’t handle this any longer.
Following behind closely, The Monster begins to make its way over the top of the hill. It gets to the top and looks around. There’s a sudden silence before it lets out this blood-curdling ear-piercing scream. It’s definitely angry about something.
I’m still trying to get the Old Lady off the bench and to safety, but it’s not working very well. The Monster begins it’s descent down the hill; charging directly towards me. As it gets closer, I feel my skin getting quite hot, and slowly beginning to melt. All I can feel is excruciating pain, and all I want is to be safe, but I can’t see that happening.
As I’m (attempting) to drag this old lady out of harms way, I drop her arms as her skin begins to melt in my hands. It’s too late. I need to just accept my fate.
The Monster gets so close, and lets out another roar and a couple of fireballs. One of them hits the old lady in the legs, setting her on fire, and melting directly through the muscle and the bone. She doesn’t even flinch. I think that she’s dead.
The Monster bows its head down and grabs the Old Lady by her melting, fiery legs and gobbles her up like it’s nothing. He stops, roars and bends down to eat me…
…and at that point I wake up.
Granted, sometimes I wake up completely drenched in sweat, or I wake screaming in sheer terror.
It’s one of those dreams that is a bit ridiculous, and I don’t understand, but still terrifies me whenever I have it.