Last night I read my previous entry "Dreams" to Amy and she, of course, told me that she didn't like it, because it was about dreams and that dreams were boring. Okay, goddamnit. How about nightmares? I have had a few doozies in my time and I wrote a short story about one of the recurring ones that I had for years that I might post someday, but I am mostly concerned about my reaction to one of my brother's all-time best evenings of terror.
Jeff--my brother--and I were around the ages of 9 and 13 respectively and it was a particularly cold winter...well, cold by Santa Barbara standards. We shared a room that was joined to our mother's room and we had a rickety bunk bed with me on the top bunk and Jeff on the bottom. Since the weather was colder than usual and our room was always the coldest of any other in the house, Jeff and I slept with sleeping bags on top of the blankets for added warmth.
On a particularly bone-chillingly night, it was early in the morning and I was in a state of half-waking and half-sleeping on account of a disturbance coming from the bunk below. A frantic muttering was steadily pushing me towards being more and more awake, and as I began to fully awaken, all I could hear was my brother's steadily rising panic beneath me. "Duuuurrr, no....no....please....no...duuuurrr," is what I heard, along with slight whimpers of fear, and it occurred to me that he was absolutely terrified and it was infectious. I became increasingly frightened as I pulled myself from sleep to alertness to scared for my life. I wanted to look down and make sure that everything was okay, but I was incapacitated with fear.
At this point, Jeff began to breath quickly and heavily, like a dog panting in the oppressive heat of the sun. He whimpered more and more, "No...no...please...*pant, pant, pant*...don't, don't, dont, no," he whispered in a high pitched voice, as my heart beat quickened and my body turned to cement, sinking ever deeper into the top bunk and my eyes bulging in fright. "No, no, no," he continued, and I could hear him begin to thrash below me and images of Dracula, the Wolf-Man and Michael Myers attacking my little brother swirled in my wildly spinning mind, and Jeff began to hyperventilate. "No...*pant, pant, pant, pant*," and then he took a sharp intake of air, followed by a moment of silence, and then he screamed for everything that he was worth.
My eyes widened, my frantically pounding heart stopped and I began to sweat despite the cold of the room. I clutched my heart. Thankfully, I heard our mother jump out of bed and run to our room, so with a new found bravado, I swung my head down to look at what I expected to be a massacre site, but there was Jeff, sitting upright in bed, with his sleeping bag pulled down over the top half of his body and he was panting wildly. My mom ran in and saw my brother looking like a giant caterpillar and bobbing his head up and down, while he panted in fear. "Oh for heaven's sake," she said as she pulled the sleeping bag off of him and pushed him back down, before stomping back to her room and trying to recover from her own near heart failure. Jeff was instantly asleep and calm. Not me, though. I did not sleep for the remainder of the night.
The next morning Jeff told me that he dreamt that he was being abducted by Cobra. You know Cobra...the bad guys from GI Joe, who get shot at all the time, but now one seems to die. Yup, that Cobra. Jeff also said that when they finally caught him, they shoved him and our cousin into separate oil barrels on the back of a cargo truck and were in the process of sealing them in for transport. I of course wanted to know where they intended to transport two young children and why Cobra wanted them in the first place, but he had no idea, only that they wanted them for some sort of evil plan. Huh.
So, this tale...at least for me...is not what I would call boring. Even if I was not in the bunk above him, fearing for my pitiful little life, I would still love to hear this nightmare, but the fact that I was forced to suffer through Jeff's psychological maelstrom makes the whole experience that much cooler. C'mon, who doesn't want to dream about being kidnapped by Destro or Serpentor or Snake-Donger or whoever? That is fucking cool. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.