I had one of the worst dreams I’ve ever had last night. It was about 4 A.M., and it seemed I was having one of my recurring dreams that I hadn’t had in a very long time, one in which I have an urgent need to go to the bathroom, and I can’t seem to find a working toilet with any privacy whatsoever. Often, in these dreams, I find myself going up and down hallways in malls or sidewalks on the city streets, trying to find some place that has a restroom, but the toilets are stopped up, broken, in a common area where people can see you, or the men’s and women’s are somehow together in one room.
This dream seemed that way at first. I was working in some office, and the bathroom was a large room containing a number of evenly-spaced brick vats, each about the size of a desk, but a little taller. The vats were filled with water, and they had the type of plumbing you would expect to see on public toilets. The pipes were leaky, and one was spraying a fine stream of water on me as I walked by. I decided this toilet was no worse than the rest, so I climbed on top where the seat spanned the narrower width, front to back. The position of the seat required me to recline a bit. As I did, I looked into the water on my left and saw the partially-decomposed body of a small boy, perhaps six years old. I purposed myself to report this as soon as I had finished my business, but then I noticed that the boy was not alone, as there were two more bodies also in the tank, these appearing to be adult men.
Almost immediately these “bodies” came to life and swarmed me. Clearly, they were not dead bodies, but the un-dead–zombies, if you will. The boy swam from my left side over to my right and began eating my ear, while the two adult zombies attacked my left side. I began hitting at the boy zombie–physically, not just in my dream–and I shouted “Help me!” over and over again, as best my lips could form the words–again, in the real, not dream world.
I did not wake up on my own, which, in my understanding, is what separates a nightmare from from a bad dream. My wife shook me awake, and at that point the experience seemed so vivid, so real. Even now, three hours later, it’s difficult to call it merely a dream. I could almost sketch the face of the boy–pale, gray skin, dark hair and dark eyes, almost triangular-shaped head.
Just now I reached up to check my ear to make sure it was whole.