The Thing


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Minta woke gradually, not realizing what was causing her distress. As she came up out of the fog of her deep sleep, she became aware of someone–something? at the end of her bed.  She couldn’t speak.  Couldn’t scream. Couldn’t move. She couldn’t see anything, but she knew something was there. Someone.

She tried and tried to scream for help, but her mouth wouldn’t open all the way.  Her voice was nothing more than a whisper. article-2553591-05f9dfae00000514-458_634x422

She felt the blankets being lifted off her feet, then the thing, whatever it was, slid between the sheets, and began to slowly, oh so slowly slide upward. She felt it on her foot, then her leg. She couldn’t kick, couldn’t move.  Her horror grew as the whatever-it-was continued to slide up her body. She was certain she was going to die. Her efforts to scream, to move, were useless.

Suddenly, the bedroom light flashed on.  Her husband, who was returning from a business trip, walked to the bed and shook her gently. “I could hear you screaming all the way  out in the garage. Are you having another nightmare?”

“Oh, please, please just hold me for a minute.  I’m SO glad you’re home!”




Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


I tried to run, but it just wasn’t happening.  I couldn’t lift my feet from the ground. Or, if I did manage to move my legs, it was like walking fast through deep water. You just can’t do it.

I didn’t know what was chasing me.  I just knew I didn’t want it to catch me.  I would run and run, moving in slow motion, trying to get away from whatever was behind me.

And then, suddenly, I realized I could fly!  I would just lift my face and look at the sky, and if I waved my arms fast enough, I would rise off the sidewalk and soar above the tall buildings of the city, free at last from the  danger behind me.

And that’s about all I remember of that recurring nightmare.  I was very small. We had no television, no scary programs to put such ideas into my head.  I don’t remember if we had a radio.

Maybe there were other kids in the trailer park who talked about their dreams.  I really don’t think many people we knew had a TV yet.  It was 1950, and a TV in every living room was a couple of years down the road.


Also, we didn’t live in the city yet.  That would come a couple of years later, so I don’t know where my ideas of tall buildings came from, either.

The only thing I know for sure is that those dreams were awful.  I was terrified, and I remember sometimes waking up in a sweat because of the fear.

I rarely dream these days.  I sleep deeply, for which I am thankful.  But sometimes, at the edge of waking up, I have a dream that someone or something is crawling into my bed and I am helpless to stop it.  I dream that I am screaming, that my calls for help come out sounding as if I’ve had a stroke that affected my speech.  And then I wake up, or Terry shakes my shoulder.

He’s confused that I would have such frightening dreams. He never does.  I’m a bit confused about it myself. No idea where that one comes from, either.  Sometimes I can stop it without actually waking up. Other times, I wake myself up up with my yelling. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I have a hard time going back to sleep.

Dreams. Half awake, half asleep, when I’m in the land of dreams all reality fades.

The human mind is a fascinating place.