Okay so first I’m going to describe this dream I had, so you can know where I’m coming from.
- I’m dreaming along about worms infecting a plant like substance. Or living off of it.
- The dream changes. The worms are now infecting people. Lots of people. And there are flames in the background.
- The dream shifts again. I now know with perfect dreaming clarity that we are at a camp for people sick with worms. And the solution for this sickness is daily doses of fire torture. They take people out into a yard, lots at a time and have each one stand in front of a 2-3 foot torch. Then the people are forced to lean over the torch so that their bellies are burnt to burn the worms. I’m in a cabin watching this. And I know I have eaten something with worms in it.
- The dream shifts again, seeking fear? It turns out the worms aren’t hurt by heat. They are incubated by it. The man who runs the camp is fully and entirely infected and has lured people here under the guise of curing them but in reality the food he feeds everyone is worm infested and the fire torture is to kill the human so the worms can take over. I know that there are worms in me.
- Okay, no that’s not quite it. He was only partially under the control of the worms but we attacked him and beat him with frying pans and instead of dying the worms took fully over. And even if we could escape all of us are infected so I’m screwed either way.
- I think at this point I was “too” afraid. Because it shifts again and now me and like 20 guys are the only people who -aren’t- infected. Our barracks was too cold or something. And now the burning corpses driven by worms are hunting us. I keep wanting to burn them all with fire, to purge them, but that will just cause there to be more. And cold doesn’t seem like it would be effective.
- Around this point I wake up and spend the next 20 min trying to come up with a really good and effective solution to mind controlling worms that grow exponentially with heat and can reanimate bodies.
Now there are some serious issues with using this dream as a story. First, the plot changes a bunch; but that might be explained away as the limited view of the participants. Actually I think that would be an excellent approach because horror usually thrives on the unknown.
The biggest problem I have though is delivering on the fear. I mean in dreams you KNOW you are afraid. You just absolutely know that you need to be terrified so you are. And if you aren’t your brain keeps adding things until you are. Because that’s the point right? And how do you convey that to others? I may give it a try when this dream is a little less fresh in my mind.
That too is a problem. See I’ve had these kinds of dreams before as a kid. I can remember most of them quite clearly even now in my mid thirties. The black dog at the end of the bed and I can’t move my body at all. The bee that would kill with a touch. The giant mongoose with red eyes(I had this one a bunch). The clowns in the moss covered abandoned mall.
I remember the point in each of these dreams where I started desperately trying to figure out a way to make them not scary…a way to fight them. But I still remember the fear. Even when awake. The black dog one I had when I was 19? I know the apartment I was in but not the date. I know because I woke up, turned all the lights on in the apartment and the light to the stairs outside. And I was still shaking. That dog hadn’t done anything. It had just looked at me but I KNEW it. And it was mythical. And I couldn’t move.
As a kid, the solution to these dreams was simple. You make up a mostly effective engineered way to defeat/beat/kill whatever terrified you. For the aliens from the movie franchise it was nano-machine armor that was made out of adamantium, yes the wolverine stuff. And this armor would FIRST close your throat off and then 2nd cover your body in the stuff, and you had a predator style laser, no two of them.
And thus I would Mary-Sue my way out of my fears. Which works great for the clowns, the mongoose, the bee, and for the most part for these worm things. The dog not so much. Seriously he was something primal. Like a mythic dark angel or banshee. But in the end I decided that since I wasn’t dead then he couldn’t have wanted to harm me. Because the sense was definitively there that if he had wanted to I was dead.
And just like my dreams fizzle out before they get to a point this post must follow the same scheme.