I just woke up from a strange nightmare. I'm not even sure if I can call it a nightmare, but it spooked the hell out of me. Here's what I can remember of it.
I was living in an apartment. Not totally unlike the townhouse I live in right now, but it was one story and all the walls, floor, and ceiling were white but dimly lit- like everything was lit with fluorescent bulbs that weren’t getting enough power. Another difference was that there were a lot of doors to the outside. Out the front door was a courtyard area enclosed by surrounding apartments. It was the dead of night, must have been around 1 or 2 am.
But I didn’t want to go outside. No matter what I wanted to stay in the apartment. Taking even a single step outside filled me with dread and anxiety. I’d need to run back inside to stop hyperventilating.
I spent a lot of time making sure every door was locked. A lot of the locks were crummy doorknob locks- no deadbolts or chains. Some of the locks were so loose that a slight jiggle would cause them to limply turn back toward the unlocked position.
Just looking out the windows filled me with dread. It was clear why the lights in the house were so dim- I didn’t want anybody to know I was home. I was afraid that, by looking out the window, somebody would see me.
And then they would shoot me.
I’m not sure why that’s what I was afraid of. But I was positive that people were trying to break into these apartments and that if they happened to try to break into mine, they would shoot me for being present during their raid. I’m not sure what they would have wanted to take- in the dream all that the apartment had was modest, modern furniture in black. In fact, I’m not sure that there was a kitchen, a bathroom, or any bedrooms- it seemed to be nothing but hallways and living rooms with boxy black couches and dim floor lamps.
I got a call on my cell phone from Stephanie- she was at work and needed to know if a package had arrived (dream logic: packages are delivered at 2 in the morning). I was too afraid to go outside, but she insisted that it was important.
I opened the front door and moved quickly to the patio where there was a beaten looking box about the size of a loaf of bread. I picked it up and it rattled like a pill bottle. There was a person in a black jacket taking a stroll, but I wanted to make sure he didn’t see or hear me as I retreated.
I started moving back toward the front door when I thought that I heard something from inside of the apartment. Must just be my imagination, it sounded like somebody turning door knobs.
Back in the apartment I locked the door behind me. Stephanie told me to read a number off a red sticker on the box back to her. Then it started happening again- the door knob jiggling sound. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Then another door knob started jiggling. Then another. Somebody was turning the door knobs FURIOUSLY.
Then one of the doors opened.
I took cover around a corner. So long as they don’t see me they won’t shoot me, I told myself. I just need to keep myself hidden.
But where could I hide in this scarcely decorated environment? Everything was hallways and living rooms, but the living rooms only composed of blocky couches and lamps. The lamps were too thin to stand behind, and the couches didn’t have spaces behind or underneath them for me to crawl under.
I was still near the front door, but I was certain that taking off running would just mean that whoever has broken in would chase me into the courtyard and shoot me. I was suffering full-blown paranoia before people started breaking in, and now I was having a straight-up meltdown.
And then, while standing in the hallway connecting the entry to the apartment to the first living room, the door knob for the door in the middle of this hallway started jiggling.
Not knowing what else to do, I held up the package like a weapon. I was anticipating needing to defend my life.
Thankfully, the lock wasn’t budging. Perhaps the door would hold- oh dear God it’s opening regardless.
At first I couldn’t tell what was on the other side, but I was horrified to my very core. All I could see was a pale flesh colored blur coming up to about 4’6”. When my eyes focused, I saw that it was a male child, probably around 11 years old, wearing flesh colored boxers. Very emaciated. He had short, messy black hair. His eyes were closed and his emotionless face looked just slightly horizontally stretched; his mouth looked like it ran completely from one side of his face to the other, but it was just a slit with no lips. He also looked somewhat slimy, like some kind of flesh colored mucus was dripping off him.
He simply collapsed onto his face where he stood. The sight of him horrified me so much that, in a sharp intake of air, I shook myself awake.
I’m still trying to figure out what about the dream had me so scared- but maybe the fear was just part of the dream-controlled scenario. Having a home intruder would certainly frighten me, but I don’t think that (aside from the jiggling doorknobs) many of the situations in the dream would have me as paralyzed by paranoia as I was.
Stephanie said that she’s been having nightmares about people breaking in as well and suspects that something bad is going to happen. I don’t believe in omens, but I do believe that this dream was really, really unlike dreams or nightmares that I usually have.