Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Halloween Dream

Had a very strange dream last night. In some dreams I’m one person all the way through. In others, I’m observing from above as an omniscient presence. But in last night’s dream I “head-hopped,” moving from person to person depending on the scene.

The dream began on an oil exploration ship. Our team had brought aboard a slimy substance dredged from the ocean’s bottom and we had it in a glass case that looked a bit like a crystal coffin. I was one of several scientists gathered around the case as another scientist showed us how the slime moved when shocked.

At one point, the scientist sent a surge of electricity through the slime and it suddenly began to grow and started sloshing back and forth in the case much like those old wave machines used to. We all panicked and started backing away when suddenly the slime darkened dramatically and thickened into a throbbing chrysalis. In the next instant the chrysalis burst open to reveal, very anti-climactically, a chimpanzee.

The dream switched ahead in time then and I found myself in a rec room on the ship. I was reading a newspaper while two other men played cards. The chimp was wandering around in the room and I understood that tests had revealed him as nothing more than a normal chimp. For that reason he’d been freed of his case. I heard a sound and looked up to see the chimp suddenly attack the two other men and begin tearing at them. Blood sprayed; the men began screaming; I jumped up and ran for the door.

That’s when I began head-hopping. First I was back in the lab where the slime remaining in the glass case started to bubble and birth black blobs of some tarry substance. These broke open to reveal all kinds of apes. There were chimps, gorillas, and orangutans, but they were distorted, looking more human in the shapes of their skulls but with long arms ending in massive slashing claws. They smashed through the glass and I was swarmed under as I tried to flee.

I switched into another man’s head who was running from some howling apes. He dodged through a door ahead of his pursuers and reached the rail of the ship. There was nowhere else to go so he (I) hurled himself over the rail into a bright blue sea. As soon as I hit the water I switched into the head of a man hiding behind a white counter with two others. Apes burst through the door and began searching the room. One guy tried a peek over the counter and the apes saw him and attacked us.

I fled down a hallway and out a back door and slammed it against the apes. I tore off down a corridor toward what I knew was the bow of the ship. I passed another man running the other way and realized there was no safety in that direction. A large, glass-windowed room was to my left and I pulled open the door there and rushed in, thinking to hide among the machinery in the room. But an orangutan loping down the corridor after the other guy saw me through the windows and came after me.

I saw a metal mesh door that opened into some kind of small control room and ran over to it. The door was opened slightly and it took almost all my strength to get it open and get inside. I started pulling it shut just as the orang burst through the outer door into the room I’d just left.

There was a bolt that locked the metal mesh door and I started to slide it forward with the orang coming toward me. But it was very heavy and I struggled, knowing I had only seconds to work. I almost had it in the lock slot when the orang smashed into the metal mesh from the other side. Hot spittle exploded over my face and chest and I could hear an incredible howling from the creature’s wide open mouth. The bolt was touching the lock when the orang’s fingers came through the mesh and grabbed it. We strained against each other, me trying to close it, he trying to force it back to get in at me. At the instant I knew the beast was going to win I woke up.

--- dream end ---
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NEW Halloween Horror News and Links:

A bit of cool news. L. A. Mitchell did a flash piece called “Home” for Halloween Horror October and won second place in a contest with that same piece. Check out the post here.

Laughingwolf has another freaky flash up: Chance

Vesper has a story up called Fortune

Will Kinshella has entered the fray with his own Halloween Flash

And Avery Debow adds another flash with The Love of the Job

And another from Laughingwolf, who would get an award for most prolific halloween flash fictioneer if I had thought about making such an award. See rider


OLDER Halloween Horror Links:

Flash Fictions

Hell Plate by Lucas Pederson.

freaky flash IX, night, by Laughingwolf.

lobo, also by Laughingwolf.

Non-fiction

Barbara Martin has been running some posts on her blog about horror films. Today she has a piece on Dracula.

Travis has a great true story on his blog called Ghost. Well worth checking out.

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47 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

Dreams are mysterious things. Can never remember my own.

Steve Malley said...

Man, you dream cool stuff!!

CrazyCath said...

I'm sorry - I'm a wuss. I keep coming over but then skipping. I cannot handle Hallowe'en horror at the moment. Which is actually a back handed compliment to your writing abilities...

Travis said...

GAH! Over-run by apes!

Thanks for the shout on my Monday post. I really appreciate that.

Miladysa said...

That was a really weird dream Charles! Had you been eating cheese before bedtime by any chance?

Crushed said...

That was very vivid...

Never had a dream with apes in. This one had elements of a sixties sci-fi/horror film.

I wonder what it symbolises. A battle with your own iner ape maybe?

Will Kinshella said...

I dreamt I was being eaten by a penguin once. Horribly traumatic.

To this day I can't go to Sea World.

Scott said...

Charles,

That was one weird dream...almost like a mini-movie playing in your head. I'm glad I'm not the only one that has strange dreams!

"Keep your hands off of me, you damn dirty apes!!"

Charles Gramlich said...

Archavist, I typically remember at least something about my dreams every night, but I always wake up after they're over.

Steve Malley, I'm very aware that I've been blessed with nightmares.

crazycath, there's no real gore in this dream.

Travis, Yes, the fact that they were apes was pretty strange since usually my dream creatures are more bizarre.

Miladysa, I eat a fair amount of cheeze because Lana loves it. But I've never been able to associate particular types of dreams with foods I've eaten.

Crushed, probably symbolizes too many horror movies over the last week or so.

Will, lol. uhm sorry, but you gotta admit that's pretty funny.

Scott, my first thought was Planet of the Apes but I haven't seen that in quite some time, or read anything about it that I remember. But who knows.

Christina said...

That's a really detailed dreaming. Maybe a lot of us are being haunted by our subconscious.

I'll be gone for a few days so I'm wishing you a great Halloween!

Wil said...

That dream like kicked ass and stuff. I know how much you like when I use "like", LOL. And "LOL" too, and shit.

The Trailer Of Love

ivan said...

Wow. No wonder you write.

You and Edgar Allen Poe.

the walking man said...

So are you going to eat more Creole cooked gator before bed ever again?

X. Dell said...

No wonder you're a writer. Your dreams give you a head start.

Of course, it would have really been great to have popped into the head of someone famous, like John Malkovich. That would have been original....or maybe not.

writtenwyrdd said...

You have a wild dream life. I felt like I was in Resident Evil, lol.

laughingwolf said...

'new planet of the apes', charles? ;)

love it!

L.A. Mitchell said...

At least you didn't jump ship. That would've been a metaphor for something. As it stands, you put up a heroic fight-all three of you.

Thanks for the mention :)

Heff said...

That's very strange. I've NEVER "head hopped" in a dream, EVER. I'm always Heff. SOMEBODY HELP ME !!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Christina, enjoy whereever you're going. See you when you return.

Wil, yea, I love the advanced vocabulary man. Like you know. ;)

Ivan, my dreams are often a lot of fun.

Mark, I don't think it matters what I eat. My brain generates these things on its own.

X-dell, after seeing the movie "being John Malkovich" I'm not sure at all.

Writtenwyrd, hum, you know it did feel a bit like that.

Laughinwolf, sounds like it, though I'm sure the apes were actually formed from some kind of protomatter.

L.A., well, you've gotta hold the line against killer apes.

Heff, sometimes in dreams I'm just along for the ride in someone else's consciousness, although there's always an "element" of me there.

Aine said...

Wow-- lots of details! Were you reading Darwin by any chance?

Vesper said...

What a vivid and entertaining (maybe not at the time… :-) ) dream! Plenty of writing material in it…

The monkey somehow as a distorted alter-ego?... :-)

Travis Erwin said...

Darwin would be proud.

laughingwolf said...

no matter, it rox! :D

Donnetta Lee said...

Charles: I think it was the animal in you coming out! My mom used to dream about a gorilla chasing her. This was after her dad died. End of the dream was always the same with her dad coming back and saving her. The dream stopped when she married. Interesting. People and their psyches. D

pattinase (abbott) said...

Charles-have I asked you to contribute a forgotten book to my blog project before? if not, would you be willing to do one. If you don't know what I mean go to http://pattinase.blogspot.com and check it out. My email is aa2579@wayne.edu
If it's not your thing, I understand.

laughingwolf said...

with any luck, i'll post XIII by halloween/samhain... but this is so much fun, think i'll continue for a while thereafter....

Avery DeBow said...

Jeez! I can't come up with such a detailed, lucid scene whilst awake. You're making the rest of us look bad, Gramlich.

Charles Gramlich said...

Aine, actually I'm working on a long piece about Darwin so that may have been a big part of the stimulus.

Vesper, I tend to just enjoy and use such dreams and don't try to analyze them too close. I'm very far from a Freudian or Jungian when it comes to dream analysis.

Travis Erwin, why, that's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

Laughingwolf, thankee. I hope you do continue.

Donnetta, could be. As Lana knows, I've got a lot of animal in me to release.

Pattinase, I enjoy Forgotten Book Friday and will do some posts for it after Halloween is over. Thanks for the invite. I'll check out the link.

Avery, your latest was quite detailed with visceral description as well. But thanks for the compliment.

Lana Gramlich said...

Now some of this is DEFINITELY from the non-fiction book you've been working on. For example (my notes in parenthesis);

"...back in the lab (place of scientific research & discovery) where the slime remaining in the glass case started to bubble and birth black blobs of some tarry substance (slime & blobs both reminiscent of primordial ooze. So is "birth" in a sense. Water also relates to birth/life.) These broke open to reveal all kinds of apes. There were chimps, gorillas, and orangutans (the "family tree,") but they were distorted, looking more human in the shapes of their skulls (evolution at work)..."

But you're still a sick bastard & I still love you. :)

laughingwolf said...

thx charles...

ack... todd just reminded me nanowrimo is open for business as of 01 november... could get iffy....

Rick said...

Just back off a road trip, Charles, and I was so tired that when I started your dream post I thought at first that it was a true story.

Very cool. Coleridge would have enjoyed swapping dream stories with you.

Barrie said...

You know what? I don't think I've felt temperature in a dream. And you felt hot spittle. Very neat.

Anndi said...

Maybe the head hopping was a survival mechanism.. that was a very cool dream.

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, no problem from my end. After October is over I'm going to take a bit of a break anyway.

Rick, I rather hope that dream doesn't become real.

Barrie, I often feel heat and cold in dreams. But I never have smells in dreams.

Anndi, I did seem to hop just about the time someone died.

BernardL said...

Wow, Charles, the 'X-Files' meets 'The Planet of the Apes', all in a Carlos Castaneda dream-scape. :)

benjibopper said...

wow, head hopping, so cool. i once read that every character in your dreams is a different manifestation of yourself, so i guess your subconsious took that one step further. regardless, your dream makes a great story.

Leigh Russell said...

Who was it said that every character in your dream is a facet of yourself... ?

I rarely remember my dreams. Occasionally snippets. Sounds like you have excellent recall.

writtenwyrdd said...

btw Charles, the League of Reluctant Adults blog is hosting a number of seasonal tales this week. Authors Phaedra Weldon, Jeanne Stein and others.
http://www.leagueofreluctantadults.com/blog.html

Monique said...

I'm amazed you remember this so clearly. There is a horror story waiting to be written here.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernardl, hey, I should use that description about all my writing. Thanks for the compliment.

Benjibopper, and Leigh Russell, I'd buy that ever character you "are" in a dream is a manifestation of part of your personality. But that "every" character is is probably not true. There's no way to prove it one way or the other of course.

Writtenwyrd, I'll get over and check it out this evening. Thanks for the heads up.

Monique, I tend to wake up after every dream period and if I sit and think about the dream for a while I typically remember it pretty well. This one was pretty salient too.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Very cool and complicated dreams. I just manage to get bits and pieces of mine, usually a feeling more than plot. Hey, that's what's wrong with my writing -- umm, I think I'm onto something here. :)

laughingwolf said...

been too long since i poked my nose into league affairs, needs must do so, dee suggested it in her blog....

SQT said...

I also always wake up when the chimp starts winning the fight. I guess that means I hate to lose. ;)

JR's Thumbprints said...

Interesting dream of blob/primates. I had a very different dream the other day; one where my dad killed a policeman by accident, and I faced the dilemma of hiding him from the law.

Charles Gramlich said...

Michelle, I'm very lucky that a lot of my dreams have plot elements in them. Not sure why it should work that way for me but it has since I was very little.

Laughingwolf, "league?"

SQT, I don't always wake up when I'm about to get seriously hurt but probably about half the time I do.

Charles Gramlich said...

JR, I've had some brushes with the law in dreams. Well, outside of dreams as well really. Definitely an interesting one, though.

Erik Donald France said...

Whoah, very elaborate and scary, and on a ship no less.

Remember this one? "Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"