Late at night we dream of mice

Symbols in the wee small hours
Dreaming of mice
© 2009 Margaret Sloan

I watched a lot of b-grade horror flicks when I was a kid. My dad loved Creature Features, and he and I would stay up late together watching the old movies. We didn’t agree on much else in those days, but we both loved Dracula.

The thing the mouse is pulling is a symbol. It appeared in a dream that woke me very early one morning. I’m well acquainted with the small hours of the morning; I’ve never slept soundly, and I wake often. Not because I want to, but because anxiety drives me from the mattress  to the drawing table. It’s a perfect setting for a monster movie scene.

I imagine this frantic mouse is bringing light to a corner of an old stone kitchen. Christopher Lee has just commanded, “Light, quickly! She’s fainted.” The beautiful ingenue is slumped gracefully into a carved wooden chair. The mouse sits up,  chittering in worry while dreadful shadows leap across the kitchen walls. They assume shapes we can only just recognize. She wakes, screams, then faints again. A window bangs open. The candle is extinguished by a damp wind.

Cut to a commercial.