You know the basic premise that Lost and and Lord of the Flies and Hunger Games all have in common? You take a bunch of people in an extremely isolated setting and set them loose to kill each other.
So the nightmare started in a jungle setting. Couldn't tell you if it was an island or not, I don't know. What I do know is that I had the clothes I was wearing, a pillow and a blanket to my name. And I was trying to find a comfortable way to sleep on the roots of a a banyan, all the while deathly afraid that snakes were going to get me. I'd seen them on my way here and knew that red and black banded poisonous ones would be searching for warmth and didn't want to wake to find myself in the center of a nest of death.
Suddenly, my honey was there. He was on the island with me. And he'd set up a series of pallets up in the banyan. A flat surface too high for the snakes to reach. But we had to climb. And it was SO high. In fact, thinking about how high it is and having to climb those little trees has my stomach lurching for my knees and palms developing a light sheen even now. Up and up and up, climbing such a narrow rope of a tree. Never sure it would hold my weight. Always worried it would sway. Higher and higher. Knowing there's a knot of roots waiting for the crunch of my body at the bottom. Higher and higher. Getting faint with fear. But the choice is simple: Climb or wake with snakes. So I climbed.
Finally we made it to the pallets and I thanked him for sharing his snakefree safe place with me. And as I settled with my pillow and blanket, suddenly the flimsy little trees of the banyan gave way and the entire pallet system fell. Falling so fast, so hard, no time to do anything but feel the fear turn to bile rising up my throat as my body plummets for the ground just like I knew it would. Shouldn't have climbed! And the snakes will still be down there! Broken bones and crumpled bodies are moments away in what will be a wooden debris landmine of roots and shattered pallets, shattered pieces, broken me. And suddenly we hit the bottom and it's much like you anticipate hitting the ground with a long piece of bamboo must be like: The whip of the wind and whoosh. The banyan trees have broken our fall, cushioned our landing, taken the breaking. The pallets are fine. And so too are we. But still, the snakes are coming.
And so we run. And in nightmares running means that there is something to chase and something always has to give chase if there is running, but we're too fast for snakes. And so a new hunter enters the game.
Because there are other people in the jungle. Other people like us in the jungle. Other people in the jungle that are people that shouldn't be lost in a jungle. And suddenly my group is four, but I know that all four of them are mine and I also know that the people chasing have already killed two of ours. And now I can see our hunters. Two teenagers driving a white jeep. The driver has a beautiful face and an ugly sneer. He likes killing. Dark hair, dark eyes, sparkly earring in his left ear. It compliments the freckle on his left cheek. In comparison the mousy blonde beside him fades to nothing, is nothing, doesn't even warrant a description. Except that he hold death in his hands. He gets to hold the gun. And although he's not terribly skillful, he's terribly lucky, but not for us. And one more of ours falls dying. Shot in the back while the jeep speeds on and their callous laughter fills the air while the jeep jumps and bumps and we run, always running, the terrible sound of the crunch as jeep meets not yet dead flesh. Crunch and squish and laughter. But thank god no scream. We can pretend that maybe she was already dead from the gun shot if there was no scream, right? Even if a glance behind we're pretending we didn't take told us she was alive when they hit her, alive when she went down under the front of the jeep and the front end jumped so high, crunch, and the back end jumped so high, squish, and all of it syncopated by their terrible laughter. God I hope they're not keeping score. There's no place to hide. There's no place to escape. They will find us. And then it will be our turn for a shot, a stumble, bleeding, a crunch, a squish and always that terrible better than thou laughter.
And suddenly we've been rescued. And I realize that nightmare in the jungle was when I was a child, a kid in the trees running from snakes, a teenager in the woods running from people my own age. And now, my group is 6. Of which two were with me in the jungle. You survive something like that, of course you're close. Life or death situations are always prone to bonding, right? And so we three have made new friends and all six of us are at college. And we three are me, my honey (though we're just friends in my dream), and a blonde woman with full wavy hair, wide hips and grey eyes. And two of our new friends don't really matter. They're hardly there. Fades and shadows of people. No personality, nothing to remember. Just a place setting that says, "I count as 1 person in a group of 6." Just so you know the group number is six. But the third of our new friends matters. He stands out. He has a personality. And he's a red headed dwarf with brown eyes and a quick wit. And we're laughing at his latest joke while we all sit in the cafeteria, we three pretending the jungle doesn't haunt us, that the jungle didn't happen, that regular real people can sit in a cafeteria and joke because that wasn't real and we survived. When HE walks in. The dark hair, the dark eyes, the sparkling earring and freckle. He too is now in college and he's wealthy and just as blood thirsty as he was before, but damn he'd be fine on the eyes if he wasn't so cruel around the mouth.
And we three see, and we three remember, and we three know, it was real. He was real. It was real. There is a jungle of death and the game isn't over and the hunter hasn't finished the game. And we run and all six of us run and we enter a large library with a small access in the high ceiling and I push everyone into it ahead of me and I'm coming up and we're going to get away again, except the dwarf is clumsy and he's just ahead of me in the rafters and he hits the keystone and the crown moulding falls from the corners of the ceiling and the roof collapses beneath us. Beneath me. Just in time for HIS dark eyes to find me in the rafters. Everyone else has made it to safety. Everyone else had made it through the knot. I used my body to block it. So he wouldn't see where they'd gone. So he'd only see me. And he saw me. He definitely saw me. And he smiled that terrible beautiful smile and although the height seperating us was 15 to 20 feet in that high high ceiling and although I braced myself between those rafters, hands beading in perspiration at the height and the fear and he stood on the marbled floor thirty feet below me looking up, it was as though his face was inches from mine and his breath brushed my cheek when he spoke and he smiled that terribly beautiful smile, his face lighting up like he was happy to see an old friend, because he remembered and I remembered and he knew I remembered and we talked.
Both of us stalling, me with a sneer and contempt trying to buy my friends more time and maybe, just maybe think of a way to escape and him smiling and flirting and sadistic, sure that this fish was caught and just trying to savour the decision of how I was going to die. Would I fall and shatter splat on the pretty marble at his feet leaving trailing cracks that oozed and filled with my spilled liquids? Or maybe the rafters would give out beneath me and in falling I would be impaled, the arms sized splinters passing through my flesh and bones like a knife through butter, sliding gliding smoothly? Or maybe he'd move faster than I and he could catch me, hold his quarry while he decided how best to dispose of me, how long to dispose of me, how agonizingly to dispose of me? Or maybe he could take a shot from here, the sound echoing in that large chamber, a richochet of violence ending with a small hole and a less satisfying fall? And would I scream? Would he get to savor the sound of my delicious screaming? He wondered at the timber of my scream. He assured me I looked like a good screamer. All the while he mused, all for mine and his benefit, mostly his benefit, as my fear benefited him, and always smiling. Who would ever flirt with ways to murder? But he did. And I sneered and taunted and looked, my hands slick with fear and sweat and no way out, and vertigo made here and there switch places and the floor would be disturbingly closer, me almost within his reach and then higher, forty feet, maybe fifty. And when I was certain that death was inevitable, it only remained to see which of his scenarios would be the real one and the vertigo was making my dizzy and light headed and ill --and how could he still be in such perfect focus? When that bastard started to laugh. And that laugh was the scariest thing I'd encountered yet and it amped up my fear so much that I jumped, in reality twitching in bed so hard that I actually woke myself up in a panic.
Because I couldn't just have a nightmare about snakes. Or murder. Or being chased. Or falling. Or heights. Or beautiful sadists. Or being murdered.
I had to have a nightmare that had all of them.
And -this- is why I shouldn't watch even excerpts of scary things just before going to bed.
Because -this- is the scary excerpt I watched just before going to bed last night:
And no. I did NOT click on that link a second time, as it's almost bedtime again. And I'd like to get some rest with my sleep tonight.
On an aside, I'll be watching this movie. In the daylight. With the blinds open... And maybe a baseball bat for good measure.