Starting yesterday afternoon, I wasn't particularly sick, but I wasn't exactly well either. I was beyond tired and fevered. Didn't manage to get below 101 all evening. So I went to bed feeling no better nor worse than when it started.
But it -did- give me some seriously strange dreams.
Do you ever have dreams where you know that the you in your dream is not the you in reality? Think along the lines of quantum leap, except that outside of that moments of realization, you accept that this new person is 'you'.
So the 'me' in the dream started out in a rural high school, in a world where supernatural creatures are real. My/her best friend was a vampire. These two girls were inseparable. At one point, they decided to kiss, but in the process the vampire bit 'my' lip. I was dismayed and surprised and so was she. And that was pretty much the end of their friendship.
So the dream fast forwards to 18 years later. 'I'm' married to an abusive man who embodies the very idea of backwoods redneck. It's not flattering-- and the reality of it is a nightmare in itself. We live out in the country in an old, decrepit trailer. We have two children-- a girl and a boy. I've been fussing about the electricity needing re-wired but it's gotten me a beating or two for the mentioning. And I have chores to do. So I load up the dryer and start it then head off to do other chores while my children play in the laundry room.
But even in dreams, gut reactions should be listened to-- my husband is in an angry, drunken stupor and doesn't care for the sound of our children laughing. While I'm outside tending to the animals, he's locked them in the laundry room. They haven't noticed. They're still playing and having fun....but there's an electrical fire started in the dryer...
Both of the children die from smoke inhalation. The fire is small and quickly contained. And though I rush to my babies, my husband throws me away from them and decides this needs to be covered up. He quickly disposes of them and threatens my life. This cowed woman doesn't have the strength to even consider challenging him.
The dream flashes forward again, but a series of days. Now there's a police investigation. They're checking into it because my children haven't been showing up at school. My husband is saying they ran off. My she says nothing. She's typically a very quiet woman, so this is really no surprise to anyone. But part of what she isn't saying is that she's been hearing her children speak to her. Asking her where their bodies are. Asking her why she didn't save them. Begging her to hug them. She/I believe that we're slowly going insane. As we should.
As the investigation continues, the lead investigator begins to fall for her. It also turns out that he's a dentist-- which comes in handy when, in the middle of this fever dream, it becomes a tooth nightmare. Suddenly, my left incisor feels unbearably loose--and I reach up to touch it and pull it fully out of my mouth. The dentist/investigator does emergency dental surgery to put it back in place.
And the dream flashes forward in time again. It appears that everything has been settled with no faults assigned. She/I have gone completely insane believing we can see our dead children as well as hear them. My husband has decided to throw a celebration party and invite all his vilest friends who will delight in how he duped the police. Everyone has arrived, but I'm in the dread fated laundry room with the investigator where he asks me about the dryer. I kneel down to look at it-- and I see the skeletons of my children within it. They're talking to me. I gasp, point and confess on the spot.
And the investigator tells me that he knew all along--as my children had told him what had happened. They're ghouls. And he's a vampire. With the consent of the local police department, he walks out, sealing us all within the building for the ghouls to met out their own justice.
I/She expects to be rend limb from limb for not being able to save them or speaking up sooner-- but instead, my ghoul children hug me, thank me for finally speaking and setting them free...and head out of the laundry room into the house full of evil.
She/I sink slowly to the floor in shock, while screams of well earned horror and terror reverberate from the rest of the house. I/She doesn't even consider going to see what is happening-- she knows: Justice is being served and the wicked are being punished. But she/I are also in a dazed fog-- it doesn't cross either of our minds to question that our children are at this very moment the chosen weapons of right. It doesn't cross either of our minds to try to stop them. A brief fleeting thought passes through hers about her husband-- but his scream is suddenly discernible in the chaos and the thought passes. No, all we can think about is this: 1. We're not crazy-- we DID hear our children. 2. Why didn't they kill us? 3. Why are they ghouls?
And again, time shifts around our fog and a full day has passed. The sun is setting again. And the investigator opens the door-- he's pleasantly surprised to see that she/I've survived the ordeal. He thought we might be innocent-- but only the ghouls would be certain. And suddenly, my children come bounding back into the laundry room, fully restored, healthy and, for all appearances, alive. They embrace me and I return their hugs and the investigator leads out out the door while the rest of the police force sets the house of evil on fire behind us.
In this moment, she realizes the investigator loves her and that she returns the feelings and will have a home with him and her children. And suddenly, she/I understand why the children didn't outright die-- why they turned into ghouls. We flash back to that kiss from our best friend 18 years ago, when she bit our lip. She had also bitten her own. We were not vampire. But we were also not fully human. And death would not be the end. Not for us nor any of our progeny. It had been a gift from our best friend.
And then I woke up.
Thankfully, fever free...and even more than thankful that 'she' isn't ME.