All artwork dedicated to
Suggested Audio Cheddar:
Earth Leakage Trip No Idea
Dreams fascinate the living shit out of me, always have, since I was a wee young lad. I have had many, some totally outlandish and others frighteningly authentic, and have woken abruptly many times, gasping for breath and poised to kiss the floor in appreciation for the last-minute escape pod from my swirling world of contorted agony. There have also been instances where my exploits have been cut short before time and I frantically attempt to clear my mind and strap in for re-insertion. Ordinarily these particular dreamscapes are the ones containing playful dental nurses wearing not so much as a stethoscope to conceal their wares and are over far too soon for my liking. Why is it that mundane nightmares seem eternal whereas quaint little wet dreams are so callously snatched before we can get to the gravy?
Regardless of whichever perilous situation I have been placed in (and with my sprawling imagination believe that the sky is no limit), they’ve never seized to dumbfound me. Nowadays they are seldom remembered more than a minute after safely touching down in reality and that saddens me somewhat. I’ve always considered them in a different way to most, if they’re positive then I wake up with a veritable spring in my stride and, if I’m being pursued by a malignant Portuguese Man ‘o’ War named Terrence then I consider myself damned lucky to have escaped his stingers and bound downstairs with no other than that same verve and bounce. It’s win-win if horror is your bag right? Call me unhinged and I’ll sip phlegm from an espadrille, but isn’t it a positive to have something to show for eight hours out of commission? Sleep is so ho-hum without a few night terrors to shake things up a little.
There is a wealth of literature exploring the meaning of dreams and attempting to rationalize them and, who knows, maybe there is vague truth behind their allegory. Personally however, I cling rigidly to the far less banal belief that there is no rhyme, no reason and every ounce of mystery to their existence. In the interactive world in which we live, it comforts my soul to know there are still somethings which cannot be googled. If I am persecuted by vampiric elves in knee-high stockings then that’s just dandy with me, whereas the moment I learn of their lair coordinates and signature moves they lose a little of their impish sheen.
If I was asked which has been my most lucid dream then I would answer without so much as a stammer. The year was around 1981-82, the place: my poky boudoir. No large cast, just little old me and the most fiendish monstrosity my galloping cortex could devise at short notice. I recall it with only too much clarity as I was running a severe temperature and begun to feel a little feverish. My mom tucked me in tight, constrictively so, kissed my forehead and faded off into the shadows, leaving me well pinned and utterly delirious.
Keeper can take any ghastly hell prison his mind concocts ordinarily but not this time. The reason for this was very clear: as delirium had set in the lines between my palpable reality and the festering dream dungeon which awaited became blurred. Each time I secured my leaden eyelids I would reappear in the same locale. Imagine the film Cube if you will and you won’t be a million miles from its clinical, cloying decor. Against the backdrop of antiseptic dread was a solitary figure. Not entirely distinguishable from the offset, he did however place a rather large chill at the summit of my spine and stroke it down to the very dimple of my ass.
There was one perpetual source of audio, that being an earthly growl which started off faint but steadily became more and more ominous. He walked in horizontal formation, eyes front and never making contact with my darting peepers. Marching at a constant unhurried pace, he moved from left to right, each time drawing a little closer, his now fully audible snarls becoming all the more snarlier with each width of the cube traversed. Should I prise myself from my slumber, then my burdened eyes would be shut again faster than you could say “I’m your boyfriend now, Nancy”.
Speaking of which, I would have been far more contented with the philandering phone stunt or maybe some delicious marshmallow fluff in my stairwell. Heck, I would’ve taken being dragged down into my own bedstead screaming like hapless Glen to the drawn out torment this silhouetted mirage subjected me to. He never actually completed his trek although he did end up far closer than I was comfortable with and left his sizable hoofprints on my psyche forevermore.
Nightmares were ten a penny as a boy but that suited me down to terra firma. You see, I actually encourage these hellish incantations by consuming vast amounts of extra matured cheddar from the valleys. It has been suggested that guzzling this ambrosial bilge just before lights out provides unimaginable night terrors and I actually make their theory right. Cheddar is, hands down, the food I could eat the most of, over the longest period. I love me some cheese and I also love me some horror so the marriage is one of tantalizing allure.
More recently I have attempted the same with nicotine patches. Instead of peeling these suckers off at bedtime, I apply last thing before my head goes down and recently went as far as slapping two on in the hope that it would help the interns discern my brain activity during slumber that much more effectively. It worked a charm but not without its drawbacks, the most frustrating being frittering a sizable chunk of my down-time writhing around like a python at a foam party, unable to sleep as I was far too busy frothing from the mouth to catch a solitary wink. Eventually, I wore myself out, and had some delightfully macabre phantasms but I’m not entirely sure it was worth it, all things considered.
I also used to keep a pen and notepad by my bedside in case I had any recollection as, far too often, said dream is forgotten before the first Cheerio hits my bowl. Nowadays I don’t so much as spare a passing thought for my old favorite pastime and this is largely because of the fact I dodge sleep like Wesley Snipes does taxes for the most part. If it catches up then I’m thrown into those garish palaces once more but, alas, the old hippocampus just isn’t as plump any more and I barely remember a solitary thing beyond my first ball scratch of the day. Anyhoots I must be going now as it’s time to cut myself a nice hefty wedge of cheddar and attempt to push the envelope once more. Tonight I plan to watch a bunch of old Bee Gees music videos to try and convince that dick teasing dental hygienist out of retirement. Time to finish what you started; I’m ready for my endoscopy nurse. Second thoughts…my colon looks nice at this time of year.
There’s sin in my dreams,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013 (Revised Edition 2015)