Standing in the afternoon sunlight, I stared up at my family home – a massive structure that had seen a good part of the last century. I could hear my nephew giggling through the downstairs window, and my mother was baking something that smelled delicious. Autumn was coming. I could feel its cool breeze against my face.
I looked down at the path before me and kicked around a few rocks, bereft of entertainment. I could go inside and be with my family, but I’d been inside all day. I wanted to explore something new.
I looked East toward the house that sat about two acres away; a house I’d never stepped foot in despite having lived near it my entire life. The distance from where I stood made it appear small, but it was actually monstrous and contained several rooms of which I was desperate to explore. A small river divided the two homes, running right through the center of the property with a wooden bridge arching over it.
I looked up once more at my family’s house before walking toward the bridge. It had wide steps that first arched upward to reach a level platform before cascading down to meet the other half of the property.
As I walked up the first few steps, the wind began to blow colder. Clouds stretched long and thin to cover the setting sun, and I shivered. I felt someone watching me. I looked over my shoulder, but no one was there.
Unnerved, I picked up my pace, but the bridge seemed much longer than I’d thought. Dead leaves blew across my quickened steps, and I watched them meet their end in the river below. The feeling of being watched grew in my belly. As if to deny its presence, I began skipping in feigned jolliness.
Finally arriving on the other side, I was met with a woman and her pit-bull. They had just emerged from around the corner of some structure with an overhanging roof that I’d never noticed. The dog walked calmly beside the old women, but I knew he meant to harm me. I wasn’t going to be frightened, however. I refused to veer a safe distance from the pair.
As I came upon them and shouted a cheerful hello, the dog nipped at my trousers and caught the fabric in his teeth. I panicked as I struggled to free myself, but the woman offered no assistance and merely looked on as a Weeble Wobble. Without her assistance, he was able to clamp down on my hand with this jaws.
I groped at the dog’s head with my free hand, feeling the bones breaking in my other. An anger surged up from within me, and whether out of pain or instinct, I gathered my strength to pry the dog’s jaws apart. It was a struggle that seemed to last minutes, but by finally pressing down on his left eye socket, I was able to free myself. The dog submitted to me by obediently sitting.
I could have backed away, but I didn’t. The rage had already poisoned my blood. With a might foreign to my young body, I heaved the dog into a stronghold and carried him over to a row of lockers under the overhanging roof, stuffing him inside one with its door hanging open. He whimpered in protest, but I had no mercy left within me. I slammed the door shut and spun the padlock’s dial.
The old woman stood there emotionless. I looked at her once more, my hand magically healing its wounds, and I carried on. I had to get inside that house and away from the presence that continued to watch me.
I walked over the lawn as the skies darkened, and the house grew larger and appeared to stare at me through its multiple, four-pained windows. I stepped onto the porch and pushed open the door to find a dank entryway. A staircase ran up the left wall, and I heard a blaring television in one of the rooms above. I ascended the staircase to follow the noise.
Reaching the end of a hallway, I pushed open a room’s door and found myself in a space vaguely familiar to my old bedroom. The windows were the same, and there was an enormous closet that took up an entire wall, containing garments that appeared to be my size. The room was spotless except for one element: a small piece of pink rubber laying in the middle of the floor. It looked like a flattened pencil eraser, but it reminded me of a patch of skin.
I bent down to retrieve it, but as I straightened up again, a gust of air blew it from my clutch and returned it to the floor. Annoyed, I bent down to pick it up, but again, a gust of air blew it from my hand. This occurred a third time, and then a fourth. I grew furious. When I picked it up a fifth time, the rubber gave me an electrical shock. Startled by the pain, I let go of it and watched it return to its place on the floor.
I knew that whatever was watching me was now toying with me.
Seething with a new level of rage, and I was no longer afraid of my invisible spar mate and it’s insistence on keeping the room maculate. Wanting a higher view of the situation, I climbed onto the bed and stood above everything, save the closet. I screamed with outrage at the situation, feeling my body levitate into the air.
The screaming was meant to relieve my frustration, but it only bewildered me. It was not my normal voice, but a twisted, guttural sound that sounded not only unfeminine, but also not human. I tried screaming again, but it came out the same.
I sensed the entity was in the closet, and with my mind, I opened the sliding doors to reveal yet another row of feminine clothing.
I was beside myself for being watched, bitten and now fooled with this rubber eyesore on an otherwise pristine floor. I let out a final, most disturbing howl, and I noticed the row of clothing billow from within, as if a demonic wind had suddenly animated them.
My howl formed into a chant as I set my sight on the garments: “get out get out get out get out”.
And with the formation of these words, I suddenly knew: whatever was watching me was actually inside of me.
I woke up from my dream whispering the words into my pillow.
This was a nightmare I had the night I posted a recollection of a traumatic childhood incident. Dreams can be symbolic and even therapeutic. While I was initially freaked, turning on all the lights and texting my mom, I realized the next morning that a good deal of anger had left me through this dream.