Maybe I should call it Spooky September or something?
Recently, I wrote about my childhood fear of my parent’s bathroom and the unspeakable cosmic horrors that lie within. However, I’m reminded this evening of another horror that haunted my dreams, rather than my waking imagination.
Recurring dreams are known to pop up over the course of a few days, a week, maybe even a couple weeks. We’ve all had them, and the subject matter can range from seemingly mundane to the fantastic and the wild.
My recurring nightmare never has reappeared with any regularity: I don’t remember the first time, but it was definitely before the age of ten that I saw the man in my dreams. Since then, it pops up occasionally every few years, seemingly without warning.
Everything is business as usual: generally, I’m minding my own business at home, when something leads me outside. Outside is normal too, usually night time, usually during a new moon, when everything is noticeably darker.
Then he shows up.
The darkness suddenly becomes noticeably darker, the air stills; I always imagine a weird dissonant chord pangs out, like something out of a malfunctioning synthesizer. He struts out from around the corner and brings a physical wave of dread with him.
I’ve had the dream a multitude of times, but I still can’t really describe the man. Dressed in all black, he wears a wide-brimmed hat and long duster or trench coat, something that conceals his form.
The other detail I can accurately describe is the eyes. Always red or deep magenta, they seem to glow from beneath his hat, zeroed in on me as he approaches. He either wears glasses with circular lenses or a pair of goggles, but either way the glow seems wholly infernal.
I never see his feet, and he moves in a way that suggests he’s floating or hovering just off the ground. He comes after me, and all I can do is run.
That’s the extent of the dream, really. I more or less spend the time between when he shows up and when I wake up running from him through my neighborhood. I never get away, and he’s always just behind me, arms down, effortlessly keeping my pace.
I think the most interesting part of the nightmare is the introduction of nondiegetic sound in the form of the chord that accompanies him. Normally in dreams I hear sound from diegetic sources, like a radio or someone physically producing the sound.
It’s been probably a year since he showed up in my dreams, and that’s not something I’m going to complain about. Still, it’s interesting that this one particular fantasy manages to return out of nowhere and manage to spook me every single time. Maybe one of these days I’ll get away, but maybe…
…Maybe he’ll get a hold of me.