Friday, January 31, 2014

Dream stories: A Dangerous Walk

I’ve talked about my dreams quite a bit here, and about how I’ve used scenes and imagery from them in a lot of stories.  I’ve said that many of my dreams have coherent story lines that actually work as stories. Probably the most frequent use of dream materials is found in my horror collection, In the Language of Scorpions.

However, not all my dreams are suitable for such use, certainly not without major overhauling. Some are just full of capriciousness and sheer weirdness that make me laugh when I finally wake up. Last night’s dream was an example.

It started with me and a friend heading out for a nature walk. The friend was my friend in the dream, but not someone I know in real life. In most such cases the “friend” appears to be a composite of at least several real folks. We were going into this big open field of grass, with a creek running through it and wooded hills in the background. There were a lot of cattle in the field.

After we cross the barbed wire fence to the field, I look at the cattle again and realize they are really deer.  I excitedly point this out to my friend and we continue on. I realize there is a commotion among the deer and stop to figure out what. My friend keeps walking. I suddenly call for him to stop as I realize the commotion is caused by a very large grizzly bear trying to catch one of the deer. A huge buck deer, with antlers like an Irish Elk, charges in and gores the grizzly, driving him away from the fawn he’d been trying to catch. The grizzly starts in our direction, looking distinctly angry.

My friend sees the grizzly coming and runs back toward me. His cap blows off. As he stops beside me, I look back at the grizzly and realize I’ve been mistaken. The “grizzly” has gotten quite a bit closer and it is clear to me now that it is actually a scowling young girl of eleven or twelve with blonde braids and wearing a green uniform.  Yes, in fact, the grizzly is a Girl Scout.

Only, I realize suddenly that my friend and I are actually young boys of nine or ten, with said friend being quite a bit smaller than me.  So, the Girl Scout still looks rather menacing to us with her face all angry. My friend darts toward her to reclaim his hat and I scream at him not to risk it. The “Scout” is almost upon us. He grabs up his hat but then realizes the girl is too close. She charges toward him and I rush to get in her way. She tries to go around me to get at my friend and I get my hands up to try and keep her away, yelling as loud as I can in hopes of frightening her off.  Maybe that would have worked on a grizzly. Not on the much more dangerous Girl Scout.

I woke up right about then and had to lay there and chuckle a bit. Of all the imagery in this dream, the only piece I understand the origins of is—strangely enough—the Girl Scout. Lana informed me not long before bedtime that I had purchased six boxes of Girl Scout cookies that day. I did not recall doing so but was assured that it happened and will dutifully fork over the appropriate amount of money. And I have seen some Girl Scouts who I’d be scared not to buy cookies from. 

Pleasant dreams!


Unknown said...

Crack's a hell of a drug. ;)

Brian Miller said...

hahaha you didnt eat 6 boxes before bed did you? that might explain the dreams...probably the scariest one that has stuck with me the longest was a chase dream in the woods...i am finally caught and as the figure is about to stab me i see it is my own face under the hood...

ivan said...

Go ask Alice, when she's nine feet tall? :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, so are girl scout cookies apparently.

Brian, interesting. I had a similar dream experience in which I fought myself and one of us stabbed the other. They were good and evil Charles and I'm still not sure which one lived.

Ivan, yes indeed.

Ty said...

Actually, I could imagine a pretty good story coming out of that scenario. Two friends, two worlds, two story lines, one monster -- a grizzly in one world, a Girl Scout in the other. Just as a bloody claw raises above our heroes head in the fantasy world, in the real world the girl snarls out, "Buy my cookies. Or else!"

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, it's amazing that you remembered your entire dream. I seldom do. I read somewhere (not Freud) that everyone dreams though not everyone remembers the next day.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ty,yes, but then you are one twisted fellow. :) I, on the other hand, am the soul of normality.

Prashant, yes, biological studies show that everyone dreams every night, although many don't remember them. The key seems to be waking up at the end of the dream and then spending time thinking about it.

BernardL said...

Neat Dream. I thought there at the end you had gotten some bad 'Thin Mints'. :)

jodi said...

Charles-there is no way in hell I could ever remember that detail from my dreams! Chocolate or pizza makes me have a light dream usually involving being late or public nudity. That's all.

Erik Donald France said...


I had a cool dreamscape recently involving the sound of something landing on the roof -- I could hear the click of hooks clawing into the shingles and "knew" it was small alien ships. How I "knew" I don't now know.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernard, my brain just works that way.

Jodi, I don't notice a relationship with foods, but taking vitamins sometimes seems to activate dreaming.

Erik, it's interesting how you "know" things in dreams. I have such experiences quite often.