Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Moon Calls up Strange Things

I don’t really have insomnia but I wake up frequently at night. In fact, I awaken completely after every dream period, and sometimes I’ll get up and wander the house, usually to have a look out the windows at the dark world. Last night was one of those nights.

Around 3:30 A.M. I had some fragment of a dream about a talking head in a box. I got up and wandered for a moment, and ended standing by the glass doors leading onto our deck. The moon was pouring its radiance gently into the yard. The black trees were backlit with an almost radioactive glow. I could see the ground where the moonlight pooled, and the ethereal shadows of the bird feeders reaching toward me.

Then I saw, clear and flawless, four footprints on the deck, crossing it toward the glass door where I stood. They weren’t quite human shaped. Nor quite animal. And they were almost fluorescent, as if whatever had made them had dipped its feet in a moonlight paint and was leaving drippings behind on the weathered boards as it walked.

For a moment, I even turned to look behind me in the room to see if the footsteps had come through the glass. They had not. But they hadn’t returned across the deck either. It felt as if whatever had made them was still there, standing across the thin glass partition from me. I couldn’t see it, but in the mirrored glass between us, with the moonlight beaming down, I saw its reflection. Or my reflection. Or maybe both.

What created the effect? Perhaps the moonlight was spilling through gaps in the deck’s tin roof. Perhaps it was refraction of moonlight from the wind chimes. Perhaps I had not yet completely escaped the dream state. Or perhaps! Perhaps in the moonlight there is yet magic. What do you think?
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47 comments:

Evan Lewis said...

I think I see the beginning of a new Charles Gramlich story.

jodi said...

Charles, I love your descriptions and agree with Evan. I believe that if you are open to magic, it will find you.

Barbara Martin said...

Charles, you may be more of an intuitive sensitive than you give credit to. Moonlight has a way of illuminating an area to reveal entities that normally are unseen.

For a writer this is a perfect hook to lead the reader to further investigation.

Christina said...

Mmm. I like this. I think I'd like to believe something visited you. Everyone needs a little excitement.

I'd love for you to tack on more and make this a story. Maybe someone saying hello or someone saying goodbye.

Mary Witzl said...

What do I think? I think that this is damn good writing. Your first and second paragraphs made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

Natasha Fondren said...

Oooh, cool and creepy. It used to be, people popped by to say goodbye after they died. It was like my soul could see them clear as day, but my eyes could see only heat ripples in the air. Very peaceful.

Greg Schwartz said...

whoa, that's pretty freaky. how come stuff like that never happens to me? when i get up in the middle of the night, i just trip over things.

Miladysa said...

Ditto Evan Lewis!

AS for magic - well for me, it's ALL in that third paragraph ;)

Harry Markov said...

I would hope it to be non hostile magic, if it was hostile I hope you were just dreaming. Either ways I would have be mortified. I barely, barely became friends with darkness again, despite being a horror writer, so anything that weird would send me in instant paralysis.

BUT awesome writing material.

Anne Vis said...

What a great and magical story! Fantastic for a Halloween night! :-)
You are a great writer!

G said...

I agree with the majority of the posters. Sounds like a great beginnng to a creepy story.

Sidney said...

I'm going to go with magic. That's the most fun answer. I agree also, great description of the scene.

Travis said...

I think you just scared me.

laughingwolf said...

moonlight magic for sure, charles, opening up realms of fantasy :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Another world exists at night. I wonder why my new neighbors come and go in the middle of the night. What could they be doing? Why does the pile of boxes near the closest window grow, disappear and grow again? Why do they hurry into the house when they hear our door open?

Lana Gramlich said...

I think when YOU are in the moonlight there's magic. :)

ivan said...

The hound dogs of the Baskervilles.
Mandervilles?

Randy Johnson said...

You have the most interesting dreams. And I get up at night for one reason only LOL!

Rick said...

I'm going to suggest Bigfoot came up on your porch to peek inside, then was taken away by an alien ship. Just another Sasquatch abduction. Happens all the time here in Detroit.

sage said...

you have our curiosity, now... I often dream and wake up when the moon is full--especially in the summer when it comes in low on the horizon and streams it's rays into the bedroom in the hours just before dawn

Cloudia said...

One thing I DO know is that THIS is magical writing, Charles!
funny, I'm blogging about ghosts tomorrow!

Praying that Ida spares you trouble,

Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Charles Gramlich said...

Evan Lewis, thanks. And thanks for visiting. I appreciate it.

jodi, I agree. Magic is magic, even if it can be explained.

Barbara Martin, I see a lot of interesting things in the moonlight. Some frightening things at times.

Christina, I like the thought of being visited. It’s easy to see how imagination could populate the world with magical beings.

Mary Witzl, thanks, Mary. I’m glad you enjoyed.

Natasha Fondren, I had the feeling this was an old and native creature. Native to these woods.

Greg Schwartz, perhaps you are tripping over magical things!

Miladysa, thankee. Glad you enjoyed.

Harry Markov, sometimes it’s an issue of feeling. I didn’t “feel” anything hostile in the image. It was more magical. Perhaps if I hadn’t been still half a sleep it might have been more … creepy

Anne Vis, thanks. I appreciate your kind words.

G, I think there are a million creepy stories in the woods, creepy but beautiful.

Sidney, I prefer the magical choice myself.

Travis, ha ha ha hah ahahahahahahahah! (insert maniacal laughter here.)

laughingwolf, many things live in the woods that we don’t understand.

pattinase (abbott), ohhh, there sounds like an interesting mystery too.


Lana Gramlich, my goodness you’ve got it bad girl, and that’s goooooooddddd! ;)

ivan, lol. I have heard howling late at night here.

Randy Johnson, that’s the primary reason I get up too. The rest is gravy.

Rick, oh geeze, then The Walking Man better be careful. He’s going to get abducted. Again!

sage, I don’t become a lunatic in the moonlight but it’s always engaged my imagination, ever since I was a wee lad.

Cloudia, thank you. I appreciate that. Looking forward to the ghost post.

Jack said...

That's very intriguing, Charles. I was carried away by your description of the event.

Erik Donald France said...

Whoah, wait a minute -- let's go back to the talking head in the box . . . and then the footprints . . . Eeerie stuff, man . . .

cs harris said...

I think that's creepy, Charles. I'm glad I don't have your flavor of imagination.

writtenwyrdd said...

Lovely stuff,Charles. Nicely creepy, too.

Makes me want to write about the Moon's short-lived children and what they come to earth for, during those brief hours of full moonlight. could be fodder for a good horror!

Gaston Studio said...

I think you have much more exciting insomnia than I do!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jack, glad you enjoyed.

Erik, yeah, the talking head was weird. I think it was from the movie Alien, or tied to the scene where the android is just a talking head.

Candy, it's only really creepy if your not friends with the darkness.

writtenwyrdd, that's a good idea. I can see a horror or fantasy versions of that concept. You should run with it.

Gaston Studio, I guess you finds your excitment where you can. :)

BernardL said...

I'd vote on the dreamscape spilling over. I enjoyed your description on it.

Steve Malley said...

I'm gonna go with 'hypnagogic state' on that one-- easy to see how ghost sightings and their like can seem so real.

Of course, being me, I'd also put forward the idea that hypnogogic states are actually the brain's way of allowing us to see that other world, one octave up...

Erik Donald France said...

I just remembered another talking head -- maybe with a Talking Heads soundtrack -- Reanimator; and the gambling brains on Star Trek. Wild!

Cinnamon said...

I think this would make a great 'tenth daughter of memory' post!

'dipped its feet in a moonlight paint'- what a great image!

Ocean Girl said...

In the moonlight, there is magic.

You took us with you into your dreams. Beautiful.

Demon Hunter said...

I think you gave me an idea. Thanks! ;-)

Wonderful description. I've yet to write like that. Great stuff, Charles. :-D

Charles Gramlich said...

BernardL, I definitely believe the intensity of the visual experience was enhanced by the visual stimulation of the dream state.

Steve Malley, as I mentioned to Bernardl, I believe the brain is highly active just coming out of dream sleep, especially the visual centers, and that probably contributed to the intensity of the footprint experience.

Erik, reanimator certainly is a possibility. I had seen Alien again only a few days before. I haven't thought of the gambling brains in a long time. The Gamesters of Triskelion, I believe!

Cinnamon, tenth daughter of memory? I must be missing something. Vas ist?

Ocean Girl, glad you enjoyed.

Demon Hunter, cool. Glad to be of some service. And thanks.

jennifer said...

My parents went to their church (way out in the country) at night last week. My mother saw a little girl run through the cemetary in a white dress. She knows she wasn't really there.

Moonlight?

Merisi said...

"dipped its feet in a moonlight paint and was leaving drippings behind on the weathered boards"

I can see it clearly. ;-)

"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?" Oftemtimes, yes!

the walking man said...

I think I would like to have a drink with that creature or both of them. The watched and the watcher.

L.A. Mitchell said...

What a great story. I have a theory about quasi-dream states. Not that they're a trick of the mind, but that it leaves us open and more vulnerable than ever to things our rational, waking mind dismisses subconciously.

Charles Gramlich said...

jennifer, that's pretty cool!

Merisi, reality is certainly a very subjective thing.

Mark, perhaps a little moonlight brew. Distilled from ghosts and memories.

L.A. Mitchell, I think that's true. Who know what ghosts are, for example. Maybe they are within us.

writtenwyrdd said...

I keep rereading this one; it's so pretty!

And you might want to check the contest results...you've won something. :) Congratulations!

Charles Gramlich said...

Writtenwyrd, I just saw that. Cool. Thanks for running the contest!

X. Dell said...

My first guess: you've been visited by a Whoun named McClang.

Vesper said...

Wow! How eerie... and beautifully written.

I missed reading about your dreams, Charles. Wonderful!

Danette Haworth said...

Ooh, I love this post--so eerie!

Lyn said...

Thanks. Most enjoyable.

Charles Gramlich said...

X. Dell, I know what you've been reading! :)

Vesper, I haven't had a lot of good dreams lately. Maybe I'm not getting enough sleep.

Danette Haworth, thankee. It was kinda fun, but eerie.

Lyn, thanks, and thanks for visiting.