Nightmare #356 – The Child Coffin Merchant

Photo by No changes made. Used under the Creative Commons License.

Photo by No changes made. Used under the Creative Commons License.

(Male, 50’s) This happened at the end of a much longer dream. My partner and I were walking through a dark area, shadowy streets. There was some element of danger, too. We weren’t alone on these streets and it was late enough that the people around were up to no good but largely they ignored us. It was thrilling more than scary, rather fun. We strayed to an industrial area, cement buildings, some abandoned, that stood close enough to each other to make a maze of little roads, each barely wide enough for a truck to fit down. M partner wanted to turn back but I insisted we press on to the end of this alley. It opened up to a dark woods. We skirted the side of building. We passed a silent man who carried fishing gear, bound for a stream hidden somewhere in those woods.

Then we turned a corner and the wall of the factory building disappeared. It was a very dark market, busy with the commerce of death. Maybe a half dozen men, with ragged work clothes milled around the items, some buying some selling. There were at least three coffins, tiny ones. child coffins. Beautiful, hand assembled wood boxes. Antiques. But then how could they be antiques? Old coffins would be in graveyards, wouldn’t they? There was something unwholesome here, like maybe these coffins had been dug up. But I looked at them as if I was interested. The salesman said “You don’t want to put a child in these. They’d get used to being dead.” As if I would use a coffin for a cradle. I told him, “No, I have a special doll that I need to keep safe.” He nodded grimly, as if that was what these were good for, for some kind of black magic. But I was most interested in the metal grave liners. I’d never seen them before, just slightly larger than the coffins, thick rusted metal, industrial but grim, very grim. There’s only one way they could have gotten so rusty, so corroded.

I had the sense that no one walked away from this market without buying something. That if you were ever desperate enough to find this midnight sale, you paid whatever was asked for the item you needed. It was a compulsion, a craving, a need. No one simply browsed here.

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