In my dream I was as I am, it was about 3 years ago, because I was living in this big drafty farm house by myself with Child.
I’d started frequenting a vintage-looking diner (that does not exist in real life) and had made some new friends. Pretty, young ones. They were interesting about books and movies. They wore hipster clothes. I met a creepy man when hanging out at the diner with my pretty, young friends; he invited me to a ball game.
I told myself not to go, that he was a serial killer. Then his Neurosurgeon brother–who had short-cropped, graying hair and bright blue eyes that bulged like an amphibian’s–told me he was fine, just a little low on the IQ spectrum, but sweet as could be. The Neurosurgeon put me at ease, he was in his early 50s I’d say, thick in a healthy, active, middle-aged man way, wore abused denim and solid-colored flannel. He had a soothing voice.
His brother was taller and skinnier and his voice was pitchier, but there was something about him–it waffled between a nice something and an odd something.
A ball game. It won’t hurt. There’ll be tons of other people there, I thought.
So I went, and had a blast. I didn’t dream the actual ball game, but afterward, the Low-IQ brother showed me this groundskeeper shed that was basically a concrete box. There was a table along one wall, and rakes and things hung up on peg board. There was a drain in the middle of the floor. I was excited about the space, but unsure why the guy knew about it and had access.
At this point, I don’t remember, but there are some fast forward style flashes of me at the diner, the Low-IQ brother hanging around, and I’m working as a journalist, chasing stories all over town. I spend a lot of time alone in my car & I am very bold and fearless.
I wake up in the dream in a shed like the one Low-IQ brother showed me. It’s not the same one because the rake on the wall has a different colored handle.
Also, the table is in the middle of the floor, and I am strapped to it.
The Neurosurgeon is there, and in the dream, I can’t place him. He comes and goes and is mean to me, but I am not in pain. He is wearing his same solid-colored flannel, in red or green, and his same worn denim in a light-with-wear-rather-than-intention hue.
He’s more nervous, he paces, rubs his hands over his head a lot. He talks to me. We have a conversation whose tone is utterly ordinary. It goes something like this.
“I am going to kill you. You will hurt a lot.”
“I’d rather you didn’t.”
“I’m going to cut your throat and you’re going to bleed out.”
“It’s going to be messy, but I’m going to do it anyway.”
“You don’t like messes?”
“I love them. I’m going to kill you.”
We talk like this for days in the dream. I start to get calm and stop worrying that he’s actually going to kill me. He seems to want to talk himself into it. I start scheming to get away. I’m tied to the table, so it’ll be hard. But I’m wearing my clothes, and I have not been sexually violated, just emotionally. There’s the sense that he hasn’t fed me, but I’m not hungry in the dream. Not thinking about food.
Finally, one day, he brings a steak knife. One without serrated edges.
He says, “Today I am going to cut you.”
I get very nervous, whimpery, then I think to myself, “If I go to sleep, I wont be able to feel it.” All this other stuff about adrenaline and hormones rushing to the site of the injury goes through my dream head, too. So I close my eyes, and Neurosurgeon is holding my head like a football, sawing at my neck with a dull steak knife.
I feel the first tinge of sting, but I can tell I’m not really bleeding. I get the sense that I pass out rather than will myself to sleep.
I notice that Neurosurgeon is wearing bread bags on his feet. I think right before I pass out, “He’s going to fall in the blood.”
When I wake up, I’m not tied anymore. There’s some blood on the floor, but not a lot. There’s a skid mark like Neurosurgeon slipped, and a rectangular bloody outline that is certainly his back print a few feet away.
I sit up and think, “What the hell.”
I try the door. It’s not locked.
I run and run and run until I get home. I am snuggled under tons of blankets on my couch.
A police officer who’s thin except for a giant gut–one of those pregnant-looking men–comes to my door and I am deeply relieved. I say, “How did you know?”
He says, “The suspect tried to return your cell phone. He chickened out, and ran away, but dropped this.” He hands me my phone.
“Who is he?”
“We don’t know. Do you remember anything?”
I show him my neck and say, “Yeah.” And I tell him about the whole thing, all the events. He asks me if I am afraid of blood when I tell him about passing out as the Neurosurgeon started to saw at my neck with the dull blade. I say, “No, I just don’t like pain.” I tell him how I’m pretty sure I was in an outbuilding by the ball field, and about how this other guy who’s been hanging around seems more like a serial killer than the one who kidnapped me. I then remember about them being brothers, and I remember the Low-IQ brother’s first and last name, and the portly police officer gets very excited and runs out the door, and I say, “Wait! I remember more!”
“No no. You’ve been very helpful.”
Then I think how I should call my mom and tell her to bring Child, and that I’m okay, she must be really worried, and that I don’t want to be alone, but I am suddenly very, very sleepy and I go to sleep. But when I wake up, sitting very near to me on my couch is Neurosurgeon. His bulgy eyes are open wide and his breathing is loud and pervy. He says, “I am going to kill you.”
I jump up and run. I go to my front door and am grateful to find it unlocked. It is cold and twilight and I run and run. I can hear Neurosurgeon behind me, but his walking is stiff. He threw out his back when he slipped in the blood.
“I have to kill you now or they’ll catch me!” he says.
I don’t answer. I run and run.
Then, I wake up.
When I wake up, I am still scared. I search the bed for Fella’s hand, which I hang onto until he rolls around. I was afraid to go back to sleep. I can’t remember the last time I had such a vivid, scary dream.