When I was young I used to watch the movie Gremlins. I found the dark humor pleasing, even as a young child. I also enjoyed that almost all of the trouble in the movie came as a direct result of breaking simple rules set out at the beginning of the movie. Follow simple, reasonable rules or else – utter chaos. What a great lesson to teach a kid! Hmm, I wonder if that’s why my parents looked past the violent scenes and down right disturbing plot devices.
What I did not like about the movie was the villain, Stripe. For months after binge-watching and re-watching Gremlins I started to have what would become a long-running recurring nightmare.
The bedroom was mostly dark and it was clear everyone in the house was asleep. I could hear my dad snoring in the next room over. The bedroom blinds filtered outside light in through the window. It allowed for just enough light to create some wicked shadows that danced eerily as the wind rustled through the branches of our backyard trees. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
After tossing about in my blankets for a bit I did what I always did when I didn’t know what else to do… crawl into my older sister’s bed to ask for help. I took two deep breaths and hopped to the end of my bed. I leaned over the edge of the bed to make sure nothing was waiting to grasp at my ankles.
Seeing the coast was clear I reached my arms up and twisted around the wooden ladder leading up to my sister’s bunk. I quietly climbed to the top rung of the ladder and curled myself around the top step. I reached out to my sister, whispering her name. She didn’t move. I shook her leg firmly. Still she didn’t move. I hugged the top of the ladder and took a deep breath. I reached out further to grasp my sister’s arm.
I grabbed her arm, which caused her body to effortlessly roll towards me, revealing the gruesome face of what was a clearly deceased Stripe. I recoiled my arm in horror, my breath drew in and my heart froze.
It is always at that point in the dream that I wake up. Without fail I am drenched in sweat and my heart is beating rapidly. It has been over 15 years since I last saw that movie but I have had that nightmare at least twice within the last 3 years. I must admit I am impressed with it’s ability to continue to terrorize my subconscious.
I’m hoping one day I can figure out why that particular scenario continues to poke at the back of my mind but it’s possible I will just never know. Curious.
With love, Mia
Nov 6: Today I am thankful for beautiful fall weather. I was able to get one more precious day on my bicycle which was a beautiful surprise.