“…The party was getting loud and out of hand… Then I heard a gunshot…”
“…A death threat had been made on the Empress’ life and these three gentlemen had gone grave ends to protect her…”
“…This was somehow supposed to comfort the general populace…”
“…It wasn’t really alive, not really a creature on its own…”
(Male, 40′s) Twice this week, I’ve had dreams that involved being shot or nearly shot with a handgun. I have woken up with my heart just pounding. The second one wasn’t very remarkable apart from getting shot – I should probably mention that I don’t own a handgun and I’ve never been shot, nor is it one of my great fears.
“…I get him to put the knife down…”
In the first nightmare, I am visiting my grandmother’s house, a grandmother who’s been dead for decades now. Her house was never in a great part of town and it’s only gotten worse, like far worse over time. I am responsible for cleaning out her stuff, all her furniture and belongings. When I go to the door my daughter greets me and I’m a little shocked that she’s there and not at college. I ask her if she’s alone in the house and she says no. And then I ask if she’s safe. She shakes her head like she’s answering a different question, “Oh Daddy, it’s not like that at all.” I ask her to go and wait outside with her mom in the car. I enter the house and the first thing I notice is that there is a huge whole in one wall like someone has driven a car into it. And there’s a man with a knife. I ask him if he’s OK. I offer to get him some food. I get him to put the knife down. I explain that I’ve got to get rid of the stuff in the house. And he starts acting as if it all belongs to him simply because he’s in the house. I simply reach over and take the knife from where he’s set it down and I throw it behind me because in a fair fight I’m pretty sure I could take this guy. “No, you don’t own any of this stuff and you better get moving before I call the cops.” He says he’s got a gun in his pocket, which I think is pretty unlikely but I don’t want to take the chance so I jump him. We wrestle. He’s trying to get his hand in his pocket. I keep hitting him, trying to knock him out. All of a sudden a shot is fired. I don’t hear it as much as I feel it shooting straight through my heart. It felt more like I was getting an electric shock. I woke up with my heart simply racing, pounding hard like I actually had been in a fight.
“…every adult who came into the county had a loaded hand gun with them at all times…”
(Male, 30′s) I was taking my family on vacation, a good old-fashioned pack-up-the-station-wagon, let’s-go-camping kind of family vacation. We drove to this wooded, semi-rural area and when we stopped at the tourist station / ranger post, a man in a uniform warned us that there was a known serial killer operating in this county. He’d killed at least 26 people and stolen at least 13,000 dollars. In fact, the authorities knew exactly who it was but they didn’t want to proceed on the case until they were certain they could have a case that would stand up in court. It was too important a case to have the guy just walk free on a technicality. In the meantime, the authorities were making sure that every adult who came into the county had a loaded hand gun with them at all times. My wife had never shot a hand gun, at least she hadn’t in the dream, and I was a little uncomfortable carrying around an unfamiliar firearm, especially not off into the wilds of this rural county. Anyway, off we go. We stopped in a store for supplies and the woman behind the counter was a little concerned. At first I thought it was because I was carrying a gun in her store, but actually it was because she’d been warned that the serial killer was headed in the direction of the store. Just then the door opened and she yelled “That’s him!” So I guess I shot at him. So did the store woman and I think my wife even got a few rounds off. Then we realized that it was just Bill, an old friend of mine who I haven’t seen in years. Thankfully, none of our bullets had landed anywhere near their mark.
Now I’m awake though, I wonder if we were supposed to think that my friend Bill actually WAS the serial killer. Anyway, it was one of those dreams where it seemed pretty clear that I was going to get killed one way or another, either by the serial killer or by some jackass shooting at me. Both funny and scary at the same time.
“…The other men were dead, shot in the head…”
(Male, 40′s) Last night I dreamed: I was in some caper with two friends and an out of towner. We stole some money, or played a harmless but elaborate trick on someone I’m not sure; the kind of “crime” that gets you on Jay Leno instead of cell block 4. Anyway, the one new guy- our hired schemer was funny, and charming and after the whole game was played and we met back at the agreed place, we shook hands to make our congenial get away, he reached into his coat and shot the other two grinning guys, and he shot me twice in the back. I felt it. It was shocking, like being hit hard with a phone book with a nail in it. I fell face down. He stepped over to me and set the gun down in my palm, so I could finish myself off. With his finger he tapped the back of my head, “Just here, can you do it?” I just nodded. I heard his footsteps move down the hallway. I was in pain, but I rolled over, and sat up. The other men were dead, shot in the head. I took the gun and wondered if I would screw it up. The gun was a tiny silver .22 with red trim, like something you’d see in an arcade. I could feel my insides, damaged, no blood yet, but a terrible soreness, and it was getting hard to breathe.
I went out to my car and drove to a friend’s house. Her name is Dawn. She was outside busy on her cell phone, so I had to wait till she got off to tell her I was probably going to die. I felt happy, and sleepy. I began coughing up what looked like red oatmeal, so think I couldn’t talk afterwards. She hung up, and ran off to a nearby hospital to see if anyone could come get me. I sat on the dark street, and lay down on my side, then rolled over on my face- this is how I sleep at night and felt the cool wet blacktop. The pain was less, but the weakness overcame me. I could people yelling and footsteps, but it all seemed very far away
(Male, 40′s) Strange dream, really violent but most important it was really detailed and vivid. Strange flashbacks to the past.
“…Here I am talking like I’m a big tough guy..”
It took place on the street where I grew up but sort of in the present day. Literally on the street, not in the houses, though I was living in one of the houses. It wasn’t the house I grew up in and in fact there were no houses like the one in my dream on this street. I had met up with a friend I knew from 20 years ago. It was in the afternoon and he said we should go someplace and get lunch. He was going to drive but I just wanted to make sure my door was locked and that I should pick up a hoodie.
When I went back to my house, which was a ranch style house, very modern with its entire yard a cement slab, I found that the side door was not only unlocked but open. I kicked it open and said, “OK fuckers. Come on out.” (Here I am talking like I’m a big tough guy.) I could see someone sitting at my computer which in the dream was one of those cute little iMacs from years back, the ones that were candy-colored. This guy stands up and he is a physical double for Lurch, the butler from the Addams Family TV show. He’s wearing a flannel shirt with a brown plaid pattern. He advanced on me and I grab him by the front of his shirt and sort of catapult him over top of me. He lands in a pile on the cement but gets right back up and charges at me again. Again I grab him by the front of his shirt and this time I toss him down a short flight of stairs that must have led to the basement. This time though as he’ll getting up I slip off one of my shoes and hit him repeatedly in the face with my heel. He goes down and out.
Like an idiot, I rush inside the house to find the other guy that I just *know* is there. I open the door to my kitchen and there he is. And this guy looks like Bruce Lee. Well, to be honest he looked like Bruce Lee if he lived to middle age and put on a few pounds. I mean, he still looked dangerous but he just looked a bit more manageable. But for some reason I can’t understand, this Bruce Lee guy decides to shoot at me. He’s got some kind of hand gun that apparently has an inexhaustible supply of bullets but that isn’t very powerful. I’m able to hide behind a wood door and not get hit. Then I hear him kick out a window and I look just in time to see him diving out this window. I go after him and again he starts shooting at me. So with my legs dangling out of the window, I kick him. And at that point I wake up.
As I write this down what’s striking are all the pop culture references. I really want to go back and watch “Enter the Dragon” now.
(Male, 30′s) I was trying to spend the night in what everyone thought was a haunted house. I knew deep down in my soul that there was just someone trying to scare myself and the other person who was there with me. I don’t think there was any reward involved, just the sense that if the place wasn’t really haunted that some kind of curse would be lifted, not like a supernatural curse but more like a psychological curse.
The house was dark but not entirely pitch black. We decided to try not to sleep at all that night so we just sat up awake in the dining room. The dining room opened into the living room through a large doorway but it was so dark in there that we couldn’t see what was going on in there. We could make out various whispy gray shapes moving but nothing more distinct. They shapes looked like window drapes and I for one wasn’t certain that wasn’t all they were. The guy I was with was pretty sure they were ghosts, though. There were also strange sounds coming from the other room. I thought they sounded like people knocking into the furniture as they walked around in the dark but my friend, as could be expected, thought they were ghosts. The hauntings seemed to come in waves, like there would be twenty or thirty minutes of nothing but boredom punctuated all at once by something happening. It drove my friend crazy but it just started to make me angry. I wanted to rush into the other room and catch the people in the act but my friend became hysterical at the idea of us separating. But one time, when one of these haunting assaults started, I picked up an end table and threw it into the living room. It didn’t seem to hit anything or make any difference. If anything, it just un-nerved by buddy more.
I was getting desperate to get rid of any sense of ghostly intervention, and angry and perhaps a bit scared. And this is where I literally don’t know what I was thinking in the context of the dream. I knew that there was a crack house next door, actually in the same building. The haunted house was like an attached brownstone, a brick building built into a long line of buildings. This one happened to be “haunted;” the next one happened to be a crack house. I knew that crack dealers and crack addicts could be dangerous in ways that fake ghosts and the people behind them can’t be. So the plan, I guess, to the extent that I had a plan was to alert the attention of the crack addicts next door and get them to terrify the people behind the haunting. I crawled down the staircase that connected the two parts of the building and somehow got the attention of the dope fiends. They ran out of their house and into the haunted house. The crack addicts flipped on the lights (why hadn’t WE thought to do that?) and there was gun fire going every where. I was hiding under a table with a table cloth on it. There was a guy with a semiautomatic weapon standing less than a foot away from me. For some reason, thankfully, he didn’t see me. There was yelling and shooting and eventually they just left.
That’s about where the dream ended, with no resolution. I don’t know what happened to my friend. I don’t know if we lifted the curse on the building. I don’t even know if the gun-toting crack heads killed the “ghosts.”
(Male) I dreamed last night that I was waiting in line at the bank. As I neared the tellers I realized that I was carrying a handgun with me. I was flooded with a sense of embarrassment and fear but I figured the best way out of the situation was to rob the bank. So I stepped out of line and yelled at everyone to get down on the ground. I waved the gun around a little bit to show everyone just how serious I was. And I dropped the gun. I didn’t just drop it but rather I let go of it and watched it go sliding along the floor ending up probably twenty feet away from me.
…As I neared the tellers I realized that I was carrying a handgun with me…
There was a painfully awkward moment when the crowd at the bank wasn’t sure what I was going to do and when I myself didn’t know what I was going to do. At just about that point I saw someone I knew in line. He was extremely angry at me. I guess we had gone to the bank together that day with the idea of robbing the bank but that now I was messing things up, he didn’t know if he could save the situation. I felt so clumsy and alone. There were guards and security cameras. I was going to jail forever.
(Female, 20′s) – Maybe this isn’t exactly a nightmare but it was pretty exciting and I remember it vividly to this day even though I had this dream about ten years ago.
…There were many men, a whole carload full of them, all with guns…
I was riding in the car with my mother and we pulled into a convenience store to get some gas. We were getting ready to pump some gas when we looked over at the store and saw it was being robbed. There were many men, a whole carload full of them, all with guns. At that moment they saw us and started to pour out of the store. They ran right toward us. My mom said “Get back in the car.” But even when I got in the car, I wasn’t safe. The robbers started firing their guns at us. The bullets shot right through the windows and the doors of the car. My mother said “Get down” while she started the car and pulled out of the gas station. It was just like she was an action adventure heroine!
(Male, late 30′s) I was visiting the church that I attended while growing up. I was there with my wife but it wasn’t a Sunday morning. It was a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday afternoon. We were in the basement which was traditionally used as a large recreational area. It was entirely dark. On the floor every foot or so were piles of fabric which we figured were child-sized sleeping bags — probably hundreds of them. We figured the church youth group had a sleep over. But where was everyone? Most of the sleeping bags seemed empty but the room was also filled with that hushed sound of slow breathing, like all around us, people were sleeping. We tiptoed through the area and gradually came to an area where there were adults. They were mostly very old and very awake and for that matter, pretty mean. They said “Who are you?” “We don’t recognize you” and “You don’t look Methodist to me.” I explained how I had attended this church as a child, how my father had been the choir director but they must have called the police. As we were leaving, a police car arrived. I raised my hands and turned to face the policeman and I saw he had a rifle aimed at me. He must have been startled when I turned because he shot a bullet clean through the palm of my left hand. I looked over at it and thought to myself, “That son of bitch just shot me” and while and I looked at the blood coming out of my hand, the police man shot me again in my right hand. I don’t remember the pain so much as the force of the impact and then the sense of the tissues giving way and being torn aside by the bullet. Finally, the policeman shot me in my belly and I woke up.
(Male, early thirties) This recurrent dream has changed somewhat over the years. The first time I must have been just starting high school. A ghostly old woman appeared floating outside my second story bedroom window pushing a ghostly baby carriage. She looked in the window at me and said, “I’ve come for you.”
I ran away from her and she followed, screaming at me. In this dream, it’s this chase that is repeated. She chases me through houses that I’ve never lived in, decrepit old gothic mansions, filled will scattered debris and coated in dust.
Then at some point, I turned the dream around and I fired a silver gun at the ghostly woman. Now, I’m the one who’s chasing her. All the while I’m trying to scream at her but even though I open my mouth wide and push with all my might, no sound comes out.
(44 year old, Female) I had been called up to do my part for the War. Conscription had been dispersed over the whole population which meant I only had to serve for two days. I was deployed along with my sister. We shared a room in the hotel that was our barracks. The first day, I had to ride a bicycle a long ways down a deserted, pock-marked highway to reach the barricades where the War was. I crouched down behind the bags of sand and overturned cars with the other recruits. None of us really knew what we were supposed to be doing. Occasionally we would stand up and fire a gun off toward the “War.” The War itself was darkness, an opaque, inky blackness. That’s how we could tell we were at the War and not just stopped anywhere along the road. No one could really see what was happening inside the War, whether our bullets were hitting their targets, or whether there were targets in there to hit. It was a long day.
Back at the hotel my sister complained about a neighbor of hers, that the neighbor had been a better shot.
The next day I didn’t want to go back to the War, though I knew I had only one more day to serve before I could go back home to my husband and to my family and everything familiar and nice. When I got outside, I discovered my bike was gone though I couldn’t remember if I had just left it somewhere or whether someone had stolen it. There was no one to report it to anyway. I started to walk, half-heartedly toward the darkness on the horizon, toward the War. I grew hungry and I stopped in a restaurant. The restaurant was very similar to–identical, in fact– to a restaurant back in my home town. I luxuriated over breakfast, sipping a second cup of coffee until I realized in a panic that I was technically AWOL, that if I was caught I could be court-martialed and shot. I got up and rushed out the door. I started running down the pock-marked highway toward the darkness. As I awoke, I had just tripped on a pothole left from an artillery shell and had begun to fall slowly toward the ground.