365 Writing Prompts, by thinkingwritten.com – Day 008 – Dream-catcher

The complete list of 365 writing prompts can be found at thinkwritten.com

Some people think that dreams mean nothing, that they are just a collective sequence of incoherent meanderings of the mind.  Others, myself included, believe that dreams have meaning.  That the imagery, colors, people, and actions are all the mind’s way of working out things that you are feeling and experiencing.  I personally believe that dreams are yet another aspect to delve into when it comes to the study of human behavior.

Sometimes my dreams are affected by something I read or watched on television just before going to bed.  Other times a person or place will show up in my dream that I haven’t seen or been to in years.  When I was a young child I would even dream in black and white when I was sick, and I would lose my depth perception in my dreams if my fever got high.

The mind is a crazy thing, and dreams are just another way to explore how the mind works and why we do what we do.

As you can tell, the topic of this particular writing prompt is dreams.  The assignment is to write something inspired by a recent dream I have had.  I don’t remember much of my recent dreams so I am going to veer a bit from the assigned task.  I am going to refer to the most vivid dream I have ever had.  It was the only time that I have had a dream recur.  It had this same dream for four nights in a row with each night getting progressively worse.

Night one

I am alone.  I am walking along a paved path through a park.  There are trees, shrubery, grass, and various other standards of landscaping. There are no birds.  There are no other people in the park.  There is no sound.  I am not deaf.  There are just no sounds to be heard.  It’s almost as if somebody has pressed a mute button on my auditory sense.

I can’t tell what time of day it is because there were no shadows in my dream.  There is no sunlight.  It is as if I am walking through a painting.  Objects are 3-dimensional, but the colors are flat, even, without depth or warmth.

I can hear footsteps behind me.  I turn and see my best friend.  He is walking briskly, as if he is trying t catch up with me.  He looks unhappy.  Not sad and not pissed off.  Just displeased.  He is carrying a small gun about the size of a .22.  I get nervous and quicken my steps.  I know that I am the object of his displeasure and that I am the target for this gun.

And that is how the dream ended on night one.

Night two

The scenario is exactly the same.  The park, the lack of sound, even what I am wearing.  It is an exact repeat of the night before.  The only difference is when I hear the footsteps from behind me my best friend is carrying a larger gun, and he is visibly angrier than the night before.  Again I quicken my steps and escape him.

Night three

For the third night in a row I am strolling through that same park.  Again everything is exactly the same.  In my dream I am unaware that I have been in this same dream during the previous two nights.  Again I hear the footsteps from behind me, and again it is my best friend.  The gun he is carrying is once again larger than it was the night before, and he is obviously very angry and determined to confront the source of his anger.

I am terrified.  I run, and come across a bench along the walkway.  I hide behind the bench, and my friend passes right by me without seeing me.  I know I am not in the clear.  It is just a matter of time before he finds me again.

Night four

Just as with the previous nights, every aspect of this dream is exactly the same.  When I hear the footsteps behind me I see that my best friend is carrying a machine gun.  He is holding it firmly with both hands in front of him.  It is pointed at me.  He is glaring at me.  I break into a run knowing that I have to escape him.  Again I hide behind the park bench.  I watch my friend approach, but this time he does not pass by.  This time he stops in front of the bench.  He turns to face me as I crouch behind the bench.  He looks down at me with the gun aimed directly at my face.  I am so terrified that I can’t breath.  I say nothing to him.  I can’t say anything.  What is there to say?

For the first time in all four nights there is finally sound.  It is the sound of his voice as he growls his intent at me . . . “Now I’m going to kill you.”

That is how night four, and the final night, ended.

Here is the backstory that caused this dream.

My parents are divorced.  I lived with my mom as I was growing up.  My dad always made sure that we communicated a lot and that he was very active in my life, sometimes to the point of being overbearing.

When report cards would come out I would have to call him and tell him my grades.  He would praise the high grades and he would lecture me for the low grades.  One particular semester I had gotten a couple of really bad grades that I knew I would get a verbal lashing for.  I put off making the call to my dad for several days.  This became a huge source of anxiety for me.  It was such a source of anxiety that it caused that 4-night-long dream.

The dream scared me until I figured out what it was representing.  It was with that dream that I became interested in dream interpretation.

Walking alone in the park = keeping silent about my grades

My best friend = my dad

The park bench = my report card

The gun = my growing fear of telling my dad about my grades

“Now I’m going to kill you” = the verbal lashing I anticipated getting from my dad

As soon as I figured out what the dream meant I knew I had to tell my dad.  If I didn’t tell him then how much worse could the dream have gotten had there been a night five?

I told my dad about my report card.  I got the verbal lashing.  Life went on.

Here is a sneak peak at the topic for day 008:  Animals: Choose an animal. Write about it!

Until next time . . .

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