Ever dreamed of something unsettling—sometimes horrifying, other times so vivid you feel like you’ve woken up from a memory, and still others that cause you to panic like a cornered rabbit?
I’m not that anxious of a person—pretty laid back if you know me—but last night was filled with one of those disturbing dreams that made me check to see if rabbit droppings were strewn from the window to my bedside. This isn’t the Matrix, but last night’s dream could easily have fit into the trilogy of movies. For me, sometimes dreams like that can lead to story ideas, but thus far I’ve got nothing. So, I thought I’d share what woke me up panicked repeatedly this Thanksgiving eve.
It started off on a good note, with a new high school English teaching job. I don’t know why, but my current job was at a BB-Q and burger joint that doubled as an indoor water park. (Don’t ask how or why. I don’t know. Just go with it.)
The school year started the very next day. Before the school day started, I was struggling to get my teaching supplies out of the back office of the BBQ joint—yes, beyond the water slides and spinning oversized waterpark castles. I half expected Kirby to come spurting out of one. While freaking out about being late to my first-period class, I arrived to discover I had forgotten an essential box. I’m not sure what it contained that I couldn’t do without, but I skipped out during class and went back to that soggy burger establishment.
When I arrived, somehow the waterpark had grown, the wading pool overtaking the entire center area with the cedar-sided restaurant lining the sides like a Wild West town in some uncanny carnival. Trekking through the knee-high waves, dozens of kids spun around on Rubbermaid castles, spraying me down like I was on fire. I somehow made it to the storage room for the box then ventured back out. It was insane! In seconds more castles sprouted up, drenching me and crowding in as I tried to make my way back to the entrance.
I never did find out how the first day of the job went or whether I got laid off, because the waves and water weighed me down more and more. I was slogging forward at just an inch a step. A deluge assaulted me from every angle, and I could barely catch a breath.
I finally awoke for the third and final time in two hours, my heart pounding in my chest like a metronome on fast forward. I honestly think there must have been something in the turkey this Thanksgiving, because that was one rollercoaster ride I never saw coming.
Some people say dreams are how your subconscious speaks to you, telling you what you’re going through or what’s stressing you. Although the study of dreams has intrigued me, I really don’t know what in the world this one might be saying. Any ideas?