Dreams and Nightmares

Damn but I wish I had dreams, and nightmares, more often. Last night I was chasing sheep off a vegetable patch I had in my parent’s garden whereupon I came upon a really tough cobweb made by a large green spider. When I cut the web it collapsed into a powerful spring. When I showed this spring to Steven Spielberg he didn’t believe me, so I threw part of it at him and told him to get it analysed. Next I was in a toilet in which the urinals and toilet bowl folded out from concealment, which was good, because they were filthy. There I found another web and another spider, though this spider was larger and covered in flowers. The spiders then made a perfectly natural transformation into worms I kept in a pencil packet and thereafter things got a bit chaotic…

Why do I wish for more dreams and even nightmares? Consider a nightmare I had many years ago. I was on an island covered in jungle, stepped onto a bridge over a stream and saw what looked like trout in the clear flow of water. Then one of the trout lifted its tubular thread-cutting mouth out of the water and I realized it was a leech. Retreating to the beach lying before a wall of jungle I saw long spidery blue hands reaching out and grapping someone (it might have been me – you know how jumbled nightmares are). Later this person was found, still alive, without his skin… I think you can work out where this one went.

Another nightmare involved being trapped in a cellar. The floor of the cellar was mud I was fighting not to sink into, and while struggling I realized the mud was actually alive. Next, out of the darkness came something moving like and ape. It turned out to be the still living body of a man, headless and chopped off at the waist. But he was okay because I knew he was there to help me. This nightmare I turned into a story called The Halfman’s Cellar which got me ‘honourable mention’ in the ‘Writers of the Future’ contest in 1991 and was published in a magazine called Scheherazade in 1994.

So what do I need to do, eat more cheese or something?

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