Sunday, October 11, 2015

The children in the woods

I had a strange dream last night.  In my dream, I was in some sort of urban setting--a library, perhaps, or some other building one might find on a college campus.  I remembered hearing about the tunnel nearby that others had explored before, and I decided to give it a try.  I descended the stairs into the building's lower level and entered the door to the tunnel.

The tunnel wasn't exactly a tunnel.  It was more of a half-pipe kind of thing--a tunnel with the top half removed.  There was a bank on each side, and trees and brush visible over the lip of each bank.  The floor of the tunnel was granite, but it had strange patterns in it, flowing, organic tool marks, almost like Art Nouveau.  They were too regular to be natural, and I could only conclude they must have been made by men.  There was sparse grass mixed in with the granite, like weeds sprouting up between paving stones.  The surface was hard and unforgiving, and I was thankful I wore tennis shoes instead of something less cushiony.

I walked down the tunnel, which wasn't a tunnel, and remembered (at that point) that it used to be a rail line.  The rails were gone; recycled for some other purpose, I supposed.  (Remember: this was a dream.  It doesn't have to make sense.) 

I eventually came to a fork and took the proverbial "path less traveled."  The banks on each side declined until they no longer existed, and I was on a mostly dirt path in the woods.  I say "mostly" because there were still bits of granite popping up here and there.  To my left was a creek, and the path ran alongside it.  I continued on into the woods, leaving the tunnel behind.

A log cabin soon appeared on my right.  It was very small, like one of those one-room dwellings the early American frontiersmen used to build.  It had a door, but no windows that I could see.  I was curious, so I left the path and approached it. 

I was a little hesitant to just go barging in.  After all, it might be someone's home, right?  You never know.  So I stood just outside the door and poked my head in.

And that's when something grabbed me.

It locked on to my right arm and pulled it inside.  I grabbed the door frame with my left hand to keep from being yanked all the way in.  I couldn't actually see anyone in the cabin--it was empty as far as my lying eyes could tell--but there was definitely a presence there.  Two presences, actually, in the form of children.  I could "see" them in my mind.  At least one was a boy--I never really focused on the other one.  But they were covered in dirt, absolutely filthy, and had the strength of chimpanzees.  They laughed and tried to pull me inside.  I resisted.  Even thought it was just a dream, I still knew something bad was brewing.

Another presence began to make itself known.  This one was adult.  It wasn't quite inside the cabin yet, as if it took a lot of time and effort for it to conjure itself.  I knew this new guy was bad news.  I had to get away before it was completely "there."  It was a terrifying feeling, and it gave me the motivation I needed.

I managed to get my right hand on the door frame too, and pulled as hard as I could.  The kids grips were strong, but my adrenaline was in charge now, and I jerked free of them.  I ran down the path as fast as I could towards the tunnel.  I glanced back once, but nothing followed.  I thought I heard the faint sound of children's laughter coming from the cabin.  Then I entered the tunnel again, and I knew I was safe.  I slowed my pace and walked back.  And that was it--the dream ended.

I usually don't remember my dreams.  This one was a rare exception.

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