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Man of My Dreams

ode to the man who inspired a nightmare

By Christy MunsonPublished 22 days ago Updated 22 days ago 3 min read
Man of My Dreams
Photo by 𝕶𝖚𝖒𝖆𝖘 𝕿𝖆𝖛𝖊𝖗𝖓𝖊 on Unsplash

I seal shut my coffin eyes. I pinch out the cold black cough of night, drifting off, and there you are. REM begins and I feel your lick upon me. You watch me sleep. Uninvited.

A vampire, killing it for a time, you return to my dreams whenever suits you. You let yourself in, anesthetist taking up residency at the foot of my bed. You stroke my flesh with your eyes. Silently you breathe. Shallow and steady. You arrive masked for the plague you deliver to my bed chamber. Voyeur, you count on fitful slumber, knowing in time I'll be rendered unable to move. You luxuriate in sleep paralysis, when I am powerless to resist.

Even in dreams, you smell of acrid burnt almonds and disco ball sweat and I can't pinch off the sting. I wear 1970's roller rink skates, short shorts, and a rainbow tee, wild blonde hair flowing all the way down my back. I'm a live wire, happy on the dance floor, roller skating queen, dazzling in the theatric whirling lights. Until I see you. One look at you, terrorizing electric eyes, the baby hairs wince to salute fear at the nape of my neck. I crash into quick sand, swallowed by muck. My long and luscious locks turn pale gray moths fluttering into death by fire light. The patrons applaud, a little crowd gathering, booming laughter, clowns pouring out of an impossibly small car, trampolining over one another to listen for the punch line. They all tune in, anxious for my swan song. And there you are, offering me your hands, two hissing snakes. And I'm repelled, sinking into a lake of tears, fighting off your venom.

You smile your delight. My refusal gives you what you want.

With a lewd wink you vaporize, returning to your post at the foot of my bed. Invisible. Like I made it all up.

"There's a monster in my room." I tell anyone who'll listen. Even in my dreams, everyone laughs, their impossibly large heads cartooning like smash worthy jack-o-lanterns. They say I'm a child. I'll learn to outgrow these childish nightmares.

You find me toppled, legs of wood desperate to take root. You lay hands upon me, turning me over, your skin clammy to the touch. I'm suddenly roller blades slamming into doors. I escape your clutches and try to outpace you. But my wheels lock up, seized by your glare. I can't get away fast enough. You're always there. Everywhere. The hateful night sky. The greedy stars. The lusty moon. Ever watchful. Always intent. At every turn, there you are, laughing your cruelty. At this instant, you eat at my soul with your forked tongue.

Anticipation baits your breath. Every fitful jerk and pull of my muscles brings you pleasure. Again and again I vanquish you. But you return night after night, ever more determined.

Exhaustion is fiendish, your partner in crime. Tranquil as asphyxiation and soft as my pillow, you're always there, championing fatigue. You lay a blanket atop my insomniac madness that I might rest a moment, comforted by your empty gesture.

I tell you no. "Leave me be." You smile your barracuda best.

I tell you no. "Step off." You laugh and pet your hell hounds, signaling the chase is on.

I tell you no. "Stay back!" But you reveal you glowering fangs. As if Sleeping Beauty could awaken to Death's cruel kiss.

I wake, terrified. I fight off sleep to fight you off. But it's no use. Time is my enemy. The sandman slips your benjamins into his back pocket and I find myself running. I trip across a long white gown, twisting in a maze, turned about in your hunting grounds, my old haunted playground. My death scape. The ghosts of the past push me into slumber.

Sleep keeps seeping in, a bloody potion I cannot resist, a eucharistic disciple to your cause. Once again I am rendered defenseless, dizzied by your eternal merry-go-round.

With every recurring dream, you ogle my slumbering body. And I cannot defeat you. You trust that I cannot escape your grasp. And I am powerless to move, to defend myself. Even in this frightful dream theater, I know this much: You were are the death of innocence, the end of trust.

Every time I smash together these beautiful butterfly lashes, you evolve. I become trapped inside a ripening cocoon, knowing only too well you would have me bedded by a monster.

How you love to hide in plain sight. And you call yourself the man of my dreams.


Copyright © 05/22/2024 by Christy Munson. All rights reserved.


About the Creator

Christy Munson

My words expose what I find real and worth exploring.

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Unofficial Challenge Winners:

Ask Me in December | Story of Humanity | Strangely Art

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (13)

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  • Caroline Jane10 days ago

    Love the twist woven through this and the symbolic imagery is visceral. Scary stuff!

  • A Creepy take on the phrase "Man of my Dreams" and love the image you use

  • Sweileh 88817 days ago

    Interesting and delicious content. Keep posting more

  • D.K. Shepard21 days ago

    This was absolutely feverish with fear inducing imagery! Well done, Christy!

  • Gosh that was so freaking creeeeeepyyyy!! You nailed this challenge!

  • John Cox22 days ago

    Oh my, Christy. I see I am not the only one who's nightmares followed me into adulthood. I love Shrey's analysis. Ordinarily I'm good at distilling meaning from symbols and metaphors. But this hits way to close to home for that. My response is visceral rather than meaningful. I would love to enter this challenge. But finding meaning in madness is not my strong suit.

  • shrey 22 days ago

    insomniac madness!   The story is highly symbolic in terms of rapid eye moments during sleep; REM sleep is so painful if it comes back again and again. but the doctor, who came here as the messenger of death and masked for the plague. It instills a sense of dread. I don't know how much I find out, but the depth of your descriptions are specious

  • Caroline Craven22 days ago

    Those last two lines! Epic!!

  • Andrea Corwin 22 days ago

    Damn I don’t run across the guy who inspired this! Lots a depth to your descriptions, so good!!

  • Carol Townend22 days ago

    I thought that was a brilliant, entertaining, and terrifying poem. I loved how it was written in a conversationalist manner with the intruder in your dream.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)22 days ago

    This was tantalizing, heart palpitating and so well written!! Great work Christy!!

  • Adonide Bones22 days ago

    This genuinely made my skin crawl. So chilling, yet beautiful!

  • Rachel Deeming22 days ago

    Well, this was wonderfully descriptive and super chilling. I've just read this before going to bed which may have been a mistake.

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