(Female, 40’s) My oldest, most disturbing nightmare
There are three characters in this dream. There is a little girl of 3 or 4, who is sitting in her highchair at a dining room table. There is the mother, who is in the bathroom out of sight, getting ready to go somewhere; the mother never appears in the dream but she talks to her little girl while she is putting on her makeup and doing her hair. There is also the invisible Monster. He is sitting at the table. The mother doesn’t know he’s there. My perspective shifted back and forth in the dream. Sometimes I was the little girl; sometimes I was the audience watching the scene.
The Monster sits at the table, next to the little girl, and he has a toolbox. She knows he’s there, of course. She can see him. He whispers to the girl and only she can hear his voice. He asks, “Do you want me to make you pretty so you can surprise Mommy?” The little girl nods enthusiastically.
The Monster opens the toolbox, which is full of sharp things: scissors, knives, razor blades, pieces of metal, broken glass. He takes the scissors and chops her hair off all raggedy, all over her head. Then the Monster picks up a big piece of broken glass and jabs it slowly and purposefully deep into the girl’s arm. He leaves it sticking out, and blood begins to drizzle down her skin. He admires his work. Next he takes 10 small squares of metal and slowly pushes one under each of her fingernails. He uses each of his tools to poke and cut her face and arms, and she bleeds from her fingers and arms and cheeks. The box is full of things to hurt and torture her with, but he keeps telling her how pretty she looks.
In the last scene of the dream, the Monster tells the little girl that they are finished and asks if she is ready to surprise Mommy. He lifts the bloodied little girl out of her highchair and sets her on the ground. She toddles off to show her mother, saying “Mommy, mommy, look at me!”
And then the mother screams a long, loud, horrified scream.
I had this nightmare a long time ago, when I was a kid, maybe 9 or 10. It scared me terribly when I had it, and it scares me to think of it still. The thought that nightmares are stories that come from somewhere inside one’s head really doesn’t comfort me. I can’t figure how I came up with this.