Dream a Little Dream – So Tantalizing

A little boy runs up to me. I am at my mom’s house, but she isn’t there. The house seems inhabited by 20 to 25 children plus my sister and brother in law. Most of the children ate indifferent but a couple are hostile; a little girl gives me the middle finger and a little boy kicks me in the leg. I wonder why I’m here at all.

This boy seems different. He raises his arms and begs me to go “uppie”. I ask his name and he relies, “Halo.” He has moptop blonde hair and is wearing nothing but a pullup and bruises on his face. I ask him about his owies and he responds that he fell. Reluctantly, I pick him up and sit him on my lap. I tell him that if he pees on me, we are through. He laughs as if this is the funniest thing he has heard.

My sister and brother in law enter. We rarely speak. My brother in law tells me he needs the money back. I don’t remember borrowing from him but I ask him how much? He responds that I owe him $200 plus 18% interest. Halo jumps off my lap and says , “potty.” I’m so glad he chose not to pee on me.

I tell my brother in law that I need to pay by the archiac means of a check. He agrees. I find a log that appears ro be mine. The hockey guy is in the left hand corner and it has my info. As I attempt to write a check, the info changes to a business I don’t recognize. We are all confused. I hunt for another set of checks. The same thing happens four more times. My brother in law becomes agitated. I am too, as I want to pay my debt, even though I have no memory of it.

I offer cash. I have $500 in my car, in various denominations. I run to get it. As I come back I hear my sister and brother in law laughing and saying they could get double. I don’t understand. I try to give them two hundred dollar bills and a fifty. This is my food budget. Each time the funds try to exchange hands, the money turns to plastic toy money. It seems like the myth Tantalus, where he can’t quite reach the water or grapes. By this time I am frantic and just want out. My brother in law is furious and i don’t know what to do.

Suddenly, I remember that my brother in law owes me money, not the other way around. Simultaneously, Halo returns and in the most adult voice says, “Pay her bad.”, then kicks my brother in law in the leg.

Thank you for reading the crazy that goes on in my brain while I sleep.

I carried on…

Image Credit: Anton Best (notnA)

Shrouds of soft yellow, draped from the lamp posts, illuminated the edges of the foggy morning.  They offered just enough light to make navigation possible, but not enough to show the hidden dangers lurking just beyond their glow.  The heavy marine layer swallowed most of the pre-dawn earth in a blanket of glittering darkness.  I carried on despite the unknowns.

The lamps gave off no warmth to ward the morning chill.  They did little ease the trembles in my flesh as the threat of unseen terrors raced through my nightmarish thoughts.  They did more to showcase the failings of our technology than to stand as heralds of our greatest triumphs.  Their creators and architects had long since gone to their graves, and yet society had done nothing to improve upon them.  I carried on despite our failings.

The path before my feet was splotched by the consistent castings, a checkerboard of dark and light.  My steps lingered under the glow of the lamps and hastened in the intervals.  My footfalls turned to whispers in the fog when they would have normally rung in echoed clarity down the street and that dullness infected my mind as well.  I knew there was nothing to fear, there was nothing waiting to nip and rend in the chill and blurred edges of my sight, but I was afraid.  I carried on despite that rampant irrational emotion.

The soft yellows faded before the end of the street, completely lost in the clouds that had come to nestle the ground.  My destination lay beyond where the world ceased to exist.  Each step exposed a little more had remained despite my inability to see it but the possibility remained that I would reach a point where that no longer remained true.  The next step I took could bring me to the brink of nothingness and my momentum could carry me over the edge.  I carried on despite the knowledge that each step might bring my fall.


I sat down to write about the fog that swirled in dark mists of mystery around me as I walked to my truck this morning.  The words swirled as well as they reached the page, mirroring the images from my memory, and the story from thought to ink took an unexpected turn.  I had meant to merely capture the beauty of those soft lamps lighting my journey and instead I spoke to darker and more meaningful truths of our world.  I carried on despite the turn because truths need to be spoken.

a windy night

I feel the cool caress of the sheets, twisted about my contorted body, and the sensation helps me stumble from my thin sleep.   My eyes blink away the vivid colors of my dream and absorb the darkness of the room.  All is quiet, all is still… except for the demons loosed from my imagination.  They stir in the shadows and their nightmarish whispers swirl around me.  The monsters are at the window trying to get in.  My breath sticks in my throat.

There are no monsters, there is just the wind, singing bawdy sea shanties, dancing across the window.

The normal, though jubilant, ocean breeze running its course from the sea to the inland foothills shouldn’t be enough to coax forth the worst of my demons.  It is harmless.  It is playful.  Alone, it poses no threat.  But, it is never alone.

Anytime the winds come wandering up from the coast to browse voyeurishly through my neighborhood, they bring the past with them.  They bring the memories of the harsh and biting desert winds from my youth.  They bring the monsters that haunted my nights then.

I try to breathe normally but the air rattles in my lungs and I’ll can manage is a sharp gasping.  My pulse races after drinking heavily of the intoxicating adrenalin that has flooded my body.  My gaze frantically searches the shadows for the threat I know is there.   I don’t dare move.  I don’t dare close my eyes.

The room suddenly explodes into contrasting angles, wrought by my distorted depth perception and rampant fear.  The shadows are larger and closer than they should be.  The pools of light sneaking through the cracks in the blinds shrink away until they seem more like the forgotten tangent of a false memory than something concretely real I could cling to in my terror.

The darkness presses down on me, suffocating me, and I’m six again.  Blown sand, picked up from the miles of empty desert and carried to my house by an unseen force, taps at the window, urgently seeking ingress.  Does it want to escape the horrors of the night?  Or is it the horror trying to get to me?  The pressure of the storm sucks at the same window and the moans and groans echo in my mind.  The demons are calling for me.  Their giant maw wants to strip the flesh from my bones and devour my soul.  The long shadow arms break free of the corners and reach for me.  I can feel the twisted talons inches from my body, preparing to rake across my skin.

I turn my eyes away from the window, towards my only possible exit to safety, towards my last hope of surviving the nightmare and my gaze is met by the ghost from the hallway stepping through the open door into the room.

I want to scream.

I turn, the sheets no longer cool against me, and assess the clock to determine how much of the night is left.  I ignore the ocean breeze and the haunted memories that traveled in its wake.  I close my eyes and focus on calming my heart, on deep breaths, and on trying to salvage some peace and rest.  When all but a small tremor of fear have been banished, I drift back into a thin sleep, awaiting the hint of rising sun that will set me free.


I visited The SisterWives again today to share … well, I’m not really sure how to describe it. It was inspired by memories of when I struggled with Insomnia a few years ago. Step on over, give it a read, and share your thoughts.

The SisterWives

I am what you would call empathetic. I will read, discuss, or overhear something that will invariably cycle itself over and over inside my brain as I am trying to find sleep.  Most nights my mind is a steady stream of notions that pace themselves with my husbands quiet snoring.  So, it is no surprise, that I was able to empathize with the submission we received below from Matticus.  For some people the night is a time for rest, rejuvenation, and a time for emotions to re-calibrate; but for others it is a time of anxiety and dread.  Do you have trouble with insomnia?

After more than half a year of sleepless nights I found, for me, it was a major contributor to my depression.  Learning to turn my empathy into compassion went a long way towards finding sleep again.  In other words, I am learning to soothe people in…

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Dream a little dream – the children

I sank into my mom’s couch. I was consumed by work, an interstate drive and various appointments within 40 hours, with very little sleep. I was exhausted.

My mom settled on the love seat. The sun crept into her space. She enjoyed a siesta and encouraged me to do the same. I declined and grabbed a magazine. Sleeping in her house gave me the creeps, day or night.

Despite my efforts to stay awake, my eyes rebelled and succumbed. Within moments, I heard the patter of feet and a giggle. I opened my eyes and saw my mom continuing her peaceful slumber. Then the children entered the room. I hoped this was a dream.

The girl was 4 years old and dressed in a green gingham dress. The boy was a year or so younger and wore shorts and a polo shirt. Both had curly blond hair, wide blue eyes and perfect white baby teeth. I continued to hope I was dreaming and played along.

The boy hopped on the couch to my right. His eyes had mischief and I suddenly grew uncomfortable. I extended my left arm and offered the girl a place on my lap. Then, I felt a nibble on my right arm. Shocked, I turned to the little intruder to admonish him for biting me. As I opened my mouth, the girl laughed sweetly and said, ” this is how we do it, silly.”

She locked my forearm in a grip and pulled it toward her mouth. Her teeth morphed into fangs and her eyes turned vacant. I tried to wake my mom but my vocal cords froze. My consciousness reminded ke that this was most likely a dream. I managed to choke out, “Go away”. I opened my eyes to my mom, who was still sleeping peacefully, oblivious to it all. As I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself, I heard the patter of feet along with a tiny voice that giggled, “bye, bye,”: