Sheesh. Had a terrible nightmare last night.
Thing is, it wasn’t about things that I am generally scared of. A standard nightmare for ME involves zombies attacking the house (which is not particularly scary in and of itself) but which forces us to move again (very scary) and meanwhile my teeth are falling out but the only dentists have been eaten by zombies (terrifying.) This wasn’t. Most of the things in the dream made the waking Ursula go “Oh, fer cryin’ out loud, I’ve coughed up scarier crap than that!” but nevertheless, at the time it was pretty freaky.
I was trying to sell stuff–not art, but a random array of crap, at some swapmeet or other. A middle-aged black man came up and bought several items–a very small hinge, and some wooden potter’s tools–and offered to pay by giving me “a reading.” Sure, why not. He waved his hands in approved psychic fashion, dropped them, and told me regretfully to be careful, because the devil was in my house. “Riiight,” I said, as skeptical as any victim at the beginning of the horror movie. Shaking his head, he handed me a Tarot card and told me that was my card right now, and I could use it against the devil. It was The Moon, with the word “Prey” scrawled in ballpoint pen on it. All in all, very much the sort of thing one expects a serial killer to leave on his latest victim.
“Riiiight,” I said, shoving the card in my pocket, and went home. There was one of those brief and confusing dream segues where I seemed to be in a futuristic military boot camp, and my buddy was a whiny angst-ridden youth who was the son of the general, and there was a good bit of being shot at on alien planets, but it passed, and I was back heading home in my car (I was somehow driving a dilapidated VW Bug with a grimy back window) to a house with the devil in it.
And sure enough, there he was. Tall red guy, horns, curly-pointed goatee, cheekbones you could slice cheese on. His disembodied head kept zipping around the joint, hovering in the windows, occasionally attacking me in screaming-skull mode like that one end boss in Altered Beast. (Pardon, my geek is showing.)
This is annoying to relate, because it scared the bejeezus out of me, despite the fact that I’m not particularly scared of Satan–and if I WAS going to suddenly concieve such a fear, it would not be attached to the red dude with little horns. But leaving aside the fact that I’m not a Christian, Satan is ultimately the sort of thing I’m not scared of. Aliens, now, sure. Given the choice between goin’ three rounds with the little gray guys with big black eyes, and having coffee with the Prince of Darkness, I’ll take the latter every time. Why? Because you can keep him talking. You know what he wants. You know all the rules. And I am convinced, in the arrogant marrow of my bones, that if I can get it talking, I can get on top of the situation, and by all accounts Satan’s really in love with the sound of his own voice and always happy to cut a deal. Not like those nasty little gray buggers who never talk to you and just make with the probes and the alien fetuses. *shudder* Anyway, where was I?
Right, so Satan is attacking the house, wandering through the house, throwing his screaming head at me, etc. James is there, and my old friend Anabel, whom my brain generally dredges up for the quintessetial “Innocent Bystander” role. They get possessed, I de-possess them through a combination of shoving that Tarot card in their foreheads and shaking ‘em until their teeth rattle.
This all sounds pretty banal, but I was REALLY scared in the dream–and at the same time, quite irritated, in a detached sort of way, at how totally unscary these things I was scared of were. It got even worse when the clown head showed up–rainbow wig, skull face, severed spinal cord flapping in the breeze, one metal eye, would probably have been really freaky except that it’s a villain on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, for cryin’ out loud! Which in the dream, I knew, and was pissed off by, and was still terrified of the flying attacking clown head of death.
Anyway, mash in some bits of the Exorcist with frantic chanting and so forth, and a nagging terror that I was behind on “Digger” and there was no way I’d get a page done on time when Satan kept throwing his head at me, and you have the end of the dream. I woke up, panting, twitchy, and went “…God, that was LAME!”