I’m not one to over-interpret dreams, but last night’s was pretty entertaining. It began just like any Gothic romance. Except with zero romantic elements.
I checked into an old, empty hotel. It looked like it had once been some grand estate, but it had fallen into disrepair and neglect over decades. Heavy drapes framed each window, but they were all pulled open. It was always pretty dark inside, even during the day. My rooms were on the second floor, overlooking the great hall where a long dining table was set and prepared for guests.
I knew I’d run into your typical creepy place issues, but I was indifferent. I’m not sure why I was there at all. Perhaps I just wanted to get away, or prove to myself I could take a trip alone. First night within the dream was fine. I thought I heard a party in the great hall below my suite, but every time I checked, it was dead quiet. I somehow locked my cats out of the bedroom, and they wreaked havoc on the sitting area just outside. Cat piss and hairballs everywhere. Retribution for being denied access to my room, most likely. Out of guilt, I furiously cleaned for most of the day. I felt like I was being watched, but I was always alone. Except for my cats. (Kind of like real life, I suppose.) I never encountered other guests or employees, although a little cart with food and random toiletries would appear outside my door every morning.
On the second night, I heard the party again. The clinks of champagne flutes and raucous laughter drifted through my door. And again, when I peeked out, the hall was silent and the air chilly. But this time, when I looked down the hall toward the double doors of the next suite, I saw a short, squat figure standing in the moonlight streaming from an open door. It probably wasn’t much taller than my knees, and it had a large misshapen dome. It basically looked like a giant head on two little legs. Imagine the illustrations from the “Scary Stories” collection by Alvin Schwartz. In the time it took for my brain to process what I was seeing, the Thing seemed to notice my presence. With a bloodcurdling scream and a sudden lurch, it barreled down the hall toward me. Although I had plenty of time to shut and bolt my door, I continued to stand there and watch its approach. I was preternaturally calm, even though a part of me was aware of the blood pounding in my ears.
When it was about five feet away, I started sprinting toward the creature. I booted the nasty little monster back down the hall. It lay there for a moment, stunned and eying me warily. I remained planted where I stood, waiting for its next move. It slowly picked itself up—extremely slowly, since it didn’t really have arms—then cautiously backed away, all the way through its open door. The Thing’s eyes didn’t leave mine until it shut the door.
I returned to my room, triumphant and feeling rather smug. I had looked Little Death in the face and punted the bastard.
I don’t want to glean any special meaning from this dream. It was probably inspired by the season, as well as my rereading of old favorite horror stories. However, I was rather disappointed to wake up in my own bed, my cat Tiger pawing at me to feed her. I wanted to maintain those feelings of victory and control that so frequently elude me in my waking life.