I don’t consume horror in any form. I don’t read it, watch it, game it. The scariest thing I’ve probably watched in this past year is a few episodes of My Little Pony or maybe Frozen 2. There will come a day, probably soon, that my kids will be able to endure scarier things than I will.
Even when it comes to the news, I try to stay abreast of events, but I stick to getting most of my news from the Economist. It informs without sensationalizing. Even if I don’t always agree with everything they print, I find their articles well-researched and thoughtful.
And the other night was why I live in this vacuum.
Even in this void, I had a dream that scared me so badly it stole a night of sleep and haunted me for days. What could I possibly be dreaming about when the scariest thing I have consumed is a dying snowman and a girl getting chased by a rock monster?
The dream started with a serial killer’s first kill. He hunted down three people, tortured them to get their faces in the right expression, murdered them, then dismembered them. He then reassembled them at a Ferris wheel at a small-town carnival. One was riding the Ferris wheel, one was standing by to collect tickets, and one was watching. The way they were reassembled was horrific, and purposely so. The one watching was particularly gruesome, having been completely cut in half to create the pose.
The Ferris wheel was on a grassy hill, and the entire reassembly process happened under this strange orange glow from bare incandescent bulbs like Christmas lights.
The dream then progressed to the serial killer graduating from some sort of police academy and his first assignment being to investigate these bizarre homicides. He is delighted, seeing it as a test of his skill and ingenuity to create the most memorable scenes.
I was not entirely certain what he was recreating. Some macabre scenes from his childhood. Something he’d witnessed. I hope I never know. But what was almost as terrifying as the killings themselves was the response. The fear gripping the people. The way places like home improvement stores handled the sudden influx of traffic as everyone was trying to lock down their homes. The police checkpoints. The fear that came with being stuck in traffic should the killer appear.
Yes, I know whole swaths of this are unrealistic and not grounded in truth. I don’t know much about any of it for my subconscious to draw from because I don’t like horror, and I have never researched any of it much less read enough to know common tropes.
Not sure what the whole dream says about me. I suppose we all have nightmares. I wish I didn’t. I especially wish I didn’t when they are so disturbing, and I did nothing to court them.
I can’t imagine what my dreams would be like if I did consume horror, but now you know why I like to write, read and research romance.