I was a fairly brave child during daylight hours, but the sleeping little-girl me often ran through dream woods chased by half-seen threats and shadowy monsters. (No, I was not an abused child, but I did have a propensity for watching The Twilight Zone and reading scary books.)
One night, while running from dream monsters, I chanced upon a boat floating in a dream river. I jumped into the boat and cast off from shore. The boat floated across the river, leaving behind the snarling night creatures (who evidently didn’t swim).
The little boat landed on the shore of an island. I followed a muddy path and found a house with its windows glowing and door ajar. In that weird way of dreams, I knew I was welcome. I crept in and found a house full of books.
In the heart of the house was a comfy armchair in front of a fireplace made up with a perfect fire. A floor lamp cast a pool of light over the chair. And I knew I was home, and a happy home at that. I was in a place where no monsters could get me as I curled up in the chair and opened the nearest book.
After that dream, I learned to control my own night journeys, often making them into movies by directing them. It’s amusing to see the frustration of a slobbering slagrothlockeling (made up dream monster name) when you make him do the 12th take because he wasn’t believable enough. I got some good performances out of my dream beasts; however, I almost always was victorious in our dream battles.
I still love books, and my dream house has become my real-life house (okay, not so nice as in my drawing). I still feel safest surrounded by stacks of books, comforted by the smell of paper and ink, the whisperings of the printed word. And this is why it’s been so hard to weed my “library” for our upcoming move. But I’m doing it.
If you’ve got time (about 25 minutes) you can watch an episode (about a book worm!) of The Twilight Zone here, but I’m warning you, most frightening of all, there are commercials (and they’re not well placed either).
Want more (really) scary stuff?
- Holes For Faces by Ramsey Campbell (thehorrificallyhorrifyinghorrorblog.com)