's 2019 Horror Write-off:

My Dream Diary

Submitted by Cliff Jerrison (email)

My Dream Diary

October 10th

Another stress dream about school. There was a class I was supposed to be in, but I hadn’t registered, and I couldn’t find the room, and by the time I found the room they were taking the final exam already and I couldn’t read the writing on the paper and also I was naked. I hate those dreams. How bad is the PTSD from public school, that I’ve been out of school for a clear fifteen years now and I’m still dreaming about it?

October 11th

I was on a tropical cruise, lying out on a deckchair in the sun, when I realized that I hadn’t requested time off work and they’d be expecting me to show up. I ran around the ship looking for a phone but there weren’t any and my tropical vacation was spoiled by knowing I’d be in so much trouble when I got back. I went back up to the sun deck and it was empty except for a man standing there with his back to me. He looked out of place; he was thin and wearing dirty clothes and he was wobbling a little like he was drunk. He started to turn around and I woke up.

October 12th

I get a lot of dreams where I’m looking for an apartment, but there’s something wrong with each one I look at. Last night was one of those. The first place I visited was a lovely studio that had no roof; the realtor explained that you have to put tarps over all your stuff so it doesn’t get wet in the rain. The second place was a house on tall stilts with no stairs. I think I was supposed to be able to jump high enough to get inside, but I couldn’t.

The third place was a giant bathroom with no other rooms. The realtor opened the door and the drunk man was standing inside the bathroom. He had eye sockets so sunken and wrinkled that I couldn’t see his eyes, and his toothless mouth was stretched sideways into an oval grimace, like the mouth of a sucker fish. He took one step towards me and I backed out and slammed the door shut. The fourth apartment I visited was at the top of an eighty-story skyscraper with no elevator.

October 13th 

I was swimming in the ocean and a shark brushed against my leg. I panicked and tried to swim away but the shark nuzzled up to me and I realized it was a friendly shark. I grabbed onto its dorsal fin and it took me for a thrilling ride over the waves, jumping and diving like a dolphin. It was such a relief after the creepy dreams I’ve been having. Every time the shark took me under water, I was surrounded by adorably colorful little tropical fish, looking curiously at the woman who befriended a shark.

October 14th 

I was back in school again, at one of those little desks with a rest for your right arm. Everyone else in the classroom was a teenager, but I was still my adult self. I’d missed some kind of graduation requirement back in high school and I had to go back and take the class or I’d lose my diploma. The teacher was trying to explain something about geometry, something with triangles.

Then I felt something strange and looked behind myself. Standing at the back of the classroom, wobbling, was the drunk man. He started walking down the aisle toward me with slow and lurching steps. He said something but his words were so slurred, his mouth so wet and loose, I couldn’t understand any of it. “Huhhh huuhhh hoooo.”  I tried to get up to run away but I was trapped in my desk. I screamed and woke up.

October 15th

I closed my eyes, and all I could see was that face. Dirty, wispy gray hair. Wrinkled liver-spotted skin. Two dark wrinkled holes for eyes and that broad sucker-fish mouth. I didn’t go to sleep. I got up and showered and had a snack and lay down again and as soon as I closed my eyes, it was like that face was inches away from me. I opened my eyes again and did some meditation exercises in bed to try and clear the image out of my mind. Eventually it worked and I fell asleep and I don’t remember what I dreamed about.

God that was creepy. I hate nightmares. I haven’t really had them since I was a little kid. I think I’m under too much stress at work right now. This weird drunk guy image is still stuck in my head and I wish it would unstick.

October 16th

I dreamed I was in my house and there was a noise in the living room. I went to investigate, and the drunk man was standing in the middle of my living room. He mumbled something too drunkenly for me to understand it. “Huhhhh hoooo huuuhhhh.”

“Get out of my house!” I screamed at him. He didn’t react. He started walking towards me.

I ran away easily. He was slow and kept stumbling, and I could run normally. But he was between me and the only exit from my house, and I was too afraid to try to get past him. I ran up into my bedroom and locked the door. A minute later I could hear the drunk man trying to open it. He couldn’t undo the lock but he kept rattling the knob. I could hear his body banging against the door as he wobbled into it. He was saying his thing louder now but still slurred beyond recognition. “HUUHHHH HOOOO! HUUHHH HOOOOO! HUUHHHHH!”

I don’t know how long I was in my bedroom, terrified and staring at the rattling door, before I woke up.

October 17th

I was scared to go to sleep last night. That goddamn nightmare was going to come back and I couldn’t deal with it. I stayed up as late as I could and eventually I collapsed. I didn’t really dream. I just faded in and out of visions of the drunk man’s face. One time I thought I woke up and the drunk man was lying in bed next to me. But I screamed and then I woke up for real and obviously I was alone. I don’t think I got more than two or three hours of sleep. I’m going to feel awful today.

October 18th

I smoked a bunch of weed last night. It’s supposed to keep you from dreaming. It kind of worked. I still saw little flashes of that awful sucker-mouth face. Only flashes though. Eventually I drifted off into a nice warm, peaceful, dreamless sleep. It was fantastic. I’m totally boned if my work ever pee-tests me, but at least I woke up feeling halfway human this morning.

October 19th

I smoked again last night but it didn’t work as well. I still dreamed. The drunk man was in my bedroom this time. I tried to dash past him to the door but it wouldn’t open. I ran around to the windows and they wouldn’t open. I don’t usually perceive smell in dreams but I could smell his filthy alcohol breath. He was trying to say something to me, and as always I couldn’t understand him. I think I realized then that I was asleep and dreaming. I willed myself to wake up, and I did. It was 3 AM but I didn’t go back to sleep.

October 20th

Why is this happening? What does this mean? The symbolism seems obvious, except I’ve never had a problem with alcohol. Neither did my parents or anyone I’ve dated. I’ve been pretty lucky that way. And it’s not the alcohol that frightens me. It’s that face. The face feels wrong, even wronger than it looks. Seeing it is painful. It feels like it’s bringing up a bad memory, a glimpse of something so terrible I could never forget it. Something that was burned into me. But I don’t have any memories like that. I think.

Anyway, yeah, I had the dream again last night. It was in blackness this time. Infinite black space and me and the drunk man. I ran away from him but every time it turned out I was actually running towards him. I woke up sweaty and exhausted. This sucks.

October 21st

I saw my doctor yesterday and she asked me a bunch of questions about PTSD and then said I didn’t have it but maybe it would help to take an anti-anxiety medication before bed. So I tried that. It felt great before I went to sleep, for sure. My body got all warm and floaty and for the first time in weeks I wasn’t worrying about everything.

Then I fell asleep and the drunk man was there. I don’t even remember the surroundings. I’m not sure I had a body in this dream. All I could see was the drunk man, wobbling around and slurring out his non-words. The drug was still working on my unconscious brain and for once I didn’t feel afraid. This man had never threatened to hurt me. He was just strange-looking and sad. What was there to be afraid of?

The light shifted on the man and for the first time I saw into his eyes. Or where his eyes should have been. Wrinkled skin puckered up at the base of his eye sockets, like a navel. I screamed and woke myself up.

October 22nd

I give up. I’m never sleeping again. I can’t take it. I stayed up all night last night and I feel fine. There’s no creepy drunk people in my real life. I didn’t feel too good driving to work this morning but I didn’t crash and I caught a second wind by noon. It was fine. I don’t need to sleep.

October 23rd

Every time I close my eyes he’s there. Literally. I blink and he’s with me for the blink. I closed my eyes to wash my face and he was there the whole time. I can hear his voice when I’m awake now. I think I’m awake. I took a bunch of the medicine but I also drank a bunch of coffee. It’s like I’m super hyper but super calm. It’s great. How often do I need to close my eyes?  I should go get eyedrops.

October 24th

He was on me last night. I think it was real. I think he was in my bedroom and standing next to my bed and he said his huuuuhhhh hoooooo stuff and I couldn’t move and then he bent over and put his mouth on my belly. It was soft because he didn’t have any teeth and he sucked on my belly with his wet sucker fish mouth. It didn’t hurt. I kept trying to scream but my voice wouldn’t work. My mouth was wide open and my lungs were pushing out near-silent whuffs of air.

In the morning there was a hickey on my stomach.

October 24th, 2nd entry

I got up and went to the mirror and instead of my face it was the drunk man.

I need to get help. There’s something wrong with me, or someone really chasing me, or I don’t know. I took a lot of the medicine again. I don’t feel calm though. I’m going to take some more. It’s okay. I looked it up and it takes a whole lot to kill you. I don’t want to die because what if you dream when you’re dead?  I’m supposed to be at work right now. I didn’t go. I'm scared that if I leave the house everyone I see will have the drunk man’s face. I don’t want to call anyone because I know all I’ll hear on the phone is huuuhhhh hoooooooo.

I’m in my bedroom now. I’m scared that the drunk man might be out in the living room. I think I heard something there. I’m going to keep the door locked. I’m not hungry anyway. I can’t go to the bathroom because I’ll see him in the mirror. It’s okay. I have a trash can in here.

October 25th

I didn’t sleep. I’m thirsty. I don’t think my brain is working right. The drunk man keeps rattling my doorknob. I wish I knew what he was saying. I yelled back at him a little bit but then he yelled even louder and pounded on the door really hard and oh no I can’t no don’t.

I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. Help. Help. Help.

October 26th

October 27th

it’s okay we’re friends now

my friend kisses my tummy and it tickles