Not Alone in the Dark

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 14 July, 2011 at

Last night I think that I dreamt that someone was in my house with malicious intent. I woke from that dream into another dream. “Home” in my dreams is almost always the house in which I grew up. (It is so uncommon that I dream of the current house, in which I have lived (off and on) for eight or nine years now, that when it does happen I always wake up surprised. This was not one of those times.) The house was built sometime in the 1890s… and I have always been a little confused when people mention “old houses” when referring to houses built only thirty years ago. Californians.

Anyway, I awoke in my old house, in my childhood room, though I was now the only one who lived there. And from the dream I was filled with dread and convinced that I was not alone in the house. From my gabled bedroom, I could step out of my window onto another part of the roof, and I proceeded to do so. Growing up, the lot next door was an orange grove until sometime in high school when they cut down the trees and relocated another old (Victorian old, I mean) house there from another part of town. However, in my dream, I saw that for some reason that house was now gone again, leaving only a dirt lot next door. I made my way to the back of the house, where the previous owner had inexpertly enclosed a porch into a flat-roofed room that did not match the style of the rest of the house. On this flat portion of roof, I discovered five teenagers just sitting around and drinking. Not sure how to handle the situation, I looked straight at one Macaulay Culkin-ish looking guy whom I took to be their leader and yelled, “Get out of here!” in my best threatening voice. It worked, and the kids scattered. I began to check the rest of the house for further intrusions.

The architecture and history that I have mentioned up until this point was surprisingly accurate, and not the product of dream logic, with two exceptions: the relocated orange-grove house is still very much present (as far as I know), and the major remodel that my parents did to the back end of the house shortly before leaving the country was apparently non-canon in my dream.

At this point I think that I awoke briefly and returned to sleep. I was still in my house, and still looking for intruders, only now my house was a five-story mansion, yet I still lived in it alone. From somewhere in the house, I heard a female voice ask her companion, “Did you hear someone?” Apparently a couple of teenagers has sneaked into my mansion for an illicit rendezvous.

In the center of the house was a grand sweeping stairway that spiraled up all five stories with a wide opening in the middle. Not having the patience for five flights of stairs, and being a former circus performer, I opted instead to climb up an ornately carved wooden pole that formed one of the supports for the staircase. At this point, there were two girls with me. I do not know why, or even who, as they had not been present prior to now, and not wishing to climb in the manner that I had chosen, they were not around subsequently. I only mention them for completeness in case someone is doing in depth dream analysis on me.

At the very top of the house was a doorway that opened into a very small room – walk in closet sized actually –  with another door slightly ajar on the opposite wall. I knew that this was wrong… it felt like the set up to a horror movie. Rather than entering the room, I gripped the door frame on either side of me and kicked the opposite door open. I do not pretend to understand the physics here, but it was not a door at all, it was a mirror reflecting a door that I could not see. It was a trap. When I kicked it, it began to turn until it revealed a wooden cabinet with seven doors. I knew that the door behind me was supposed to have closed and locked me in, yet my hands on the door frame had prevented it. I also knew that whatever was behind those seven doors was NOT going to be pleasant. But I was having none of that, and I promptly woke myself up.

That was strange in itself, because I do not normally have the ability to consciously pull myself out of a dream like that. Now I was in my real house, in real life, in the dark. But was I alone? I recalled that there is a series of video games and/or movies called Alone in the Dark. Yet I could not help thinking that there is nothing scary about being alone in the dark… it is NOT being alone when you thought that you were, or that you ought to be, that is truly terrifying.

So was there someone in the house? Was my subconscious trying to tell me something? For is that not what dreams are, just your subconscious bringing up things that your conscious mind overlooked? That is what I get for sleeping with the windows open. Anyone could wander in, and it seems unlikely that it would be harmless teens merely looking for some fun.

There was no one else in the house. Unless maybe… I am still dreaming even now.

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