Creative Nonfiction Dream Story: "Looking for the EXIT from Dreamland"

(Stock photo: Free images)

Have you ever had a dream so exhausting you felt physically sore when you woke up?

Wednesday morning before I awoke, I was trapped in a nightmare that had no bottom, no sides and no big, red “EXIT” sign.

Three monsters

I dreamt I was trying to get home. I came upon three monsters dressed in human form. They looked somewhat like stretched Barbie dolls with blue hair and Daisy Dukes. By the end of the dream, they had changed into young, professional Ken dolls.

Their game was simple on the surface. I met them guarding a pile of leaves in a rural driveway, and before they would let me pass, I had to follow their rules in a game they had created.

At first, it was a scavenger hunt. Collect a toy rabbit, a charm from a charm bracelet, a box of Krispy Kremes, a roll of toilet paper and some other odds and ends, then give them to us, and we’ll let you go, they said.

But once I had done that, they introduced stealing to the game. They were allowed to filch pieces here and there from my collection, so never at any point was I able to finish gathering the items on the list.

A quick side trip

[The dream suddenly veered off into a short detour. I found myself chauffeuring a group of 10 kids around the back roads in a five-seater car, necessitating tying a couple of them on the back of the vehicle and praying no cops would tail us until I could get them safely back to their house.] 

Up a hill, down a hill

The scavenger hunt was fruitless. Eventually, it became clear I wasn’t on a scavenger hunt at all. I was on a road with a golden retriever, wearing running clothes and trying to run up a hill. Every time I reached the crest of the hill, the three monsters were at the top and would chase me back down the way I just came.

In a parking garage 

In the next scene, I was trapped in a parking garage stairwell with several levels. The monsters’ instructions were to take a cord of three strands, made up of a long garden hose, a broom and a dustpan, and wind them up the stairway until I got to the top, racing alongside their cords of three strands, and whoever had the cord that made it to the top first would be set free.

The problem was, the three monsters waited at the bottom with pruning shears, and every time I was nearly at the top level, they would cut my cord and I’d go falling back down to the bottom. They were waiting there with new supplies for me, and I’d have to start the contest over again.

Unfortunately, I never learned from their tricks. I was still trapped in the stairwell when I woke up, my whole body drained and sore from fighting the monsters in my sleep.

I’ve felt a lot like this in real life at times. Fighting the same demons over and over, using the same tactics and emerging with the same frustrating results.

I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm fighting with new strategies.

Willing to share?

Isn’t it stunning and fascinating how the subconscious works through our fears and frustrations by weaving fictions while we’re asleep? I’d love to hear about some of your crazy dreams, if you’re willing to share. Leave me a comment below or over at my Facebook Community page.

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