Night Terrors

April 30th, 2018

My throat hurts. It might be hurting because I am fighting a cold. It might be hurting because last night I was screaming in my sleep.

Do people often scream in their sleep? I don’t know. I only know that I do. Not all the time. Actually, I don’t scream very often, but when I do, I do it right.

I tend to go to bed early. Karin, on the other hand, is a night owl, so she doesn’t join me until I have already been asleep for a few hours. She came suddenly into the bedroom last night, shouting, “Wake up! You’re dreaming!”

I had been crying out and thrashing in my sleep. Loudly. The covers were scattered all over. The pillows in disarray. The memory of my bad dream faded rapidly.

Karin looked down on me and asked, “Who was attacking you?!”

I don’t know. The ephemeral scaffolding of the dream collapsed as soon as she woke me up. All I had left was a feeling of panic and phlegm in my throat. My heart raced. My breathing was ragged. My conscious mind knew where I was and what had happened, but my body was still fighting something from somewhere else.

Karin decided that I was okay. She said, “You never screamed that loud before.” Then she left the room.

It took a long time to get back to sleep. I never have the bad dreams twice in one night. The forces of darkness have their fun, and then they wait to visit me some other time.

I never remember contents of the dreams. I only remember darkness and fear and rage. Who or what is attacking me? The loose ends of unfinished business? Unhealed trauma? A guilty conscience? The avenging Furies?

I don’t know.



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