Today’s Prompt: What is the earliest memory you have?
I have several memories of being about three years old. Most of them are little snapshots, not complete memories. This one is a bit bigger than a snapshot, probably because of the fear element.
Keep in mind that this would have been 1950-51, long before we had our first television. I have no idea where these vivid dreams came from, other than my rather fertile imagination.
I would be all tucked in, waiting for sleep to come, but with an underlying feeling of dread. I had learned to expect exactly what happened: Footsteps! Someone or something chasing me! I wanted to run, but my feet were heavy and I couldn’t get moving. Louder and louder, faster and faster, the bogey that followed was catching up! Then, I discovered I could fly. Soaring up to the top of a high building, I looked behind me only to find that the bogey could fly, too, and nowhere was safe. . . .
And then the dream would vanish. I would wake up in tears. It was so real, and it happened every single night.
My poor mother was losing sleep, of course, because I would wake up in such a mess. One night, she decided to sit by my bedside and see if she could figure out what was triggering my nightmare. And she did! I tended to sleep on my side, tucking my hands under my ear. She realized that those footsteps I heard were actually my own heartbeat, which would speed up as my fear increased.
Once she explained it to me, I wasn’t afraid any more.
The dream never came back.