The Daily Post and Nightmares
The Daily Prompt from the Daily Post reads: “Describe the last nightmare you remember having. What do you think it meant?”
First, I have rarely had real nightmares—maybe some disturbing dreams, but very few rise to the level of “nightmare.” The following is not the most recent, but clearly the most vivid in my memory.
If you have followed my early blogs, you know that I grew up on a farm in Virginia. I was the only child and I had my own room in a simple five-room house on the farm. My room was “my space” and as long as I kept it reasonably tidy, I could have whatever I wanted in there. It was furnished with railroad salvage furniture. I recall going to the railroad salvage place—just on the edge of my conscious childhood memory—where myfolks picked out unfinished furniture: a dresser and a desk, and maybe a bed frame. (They remained unfinished thereafter!)
The dresser is the focal point of this series of events.
The dresser was small, appropriate for a five-to-ten-year-old. It had most of my folded clothes; pants in the bottom drawer.
On top of the dresser sat a clock. I am not sure who gave it to me, probably my grandmother Susie, but I am not positive. It was a Roy Rogers wind-up clock. It ticked and tocked and Roy and Trigger rocked back and forth, riding along the trail in the western scene on the face of the clock. I did not think much about it when I wound the clock and set on the dresser. It had a normal tick-tock sound. As a kid, I thought it was a “cool” clock. After all, it was Roy Rogers.
That night, I had gone to sleep to the tick-tock rhythm, which seemed louder in the dark, and I slipped into sleep. Soon, the tick-tock became pounding, frightening footsteps in the dark that grew louder and closer.
I had no idea what it was. The sound frightened me to wakefulness, and I recall being wet with perspiration. Lying there, I recognized that the rhythm of the frightening footsteps was that of the clock.
Satisfied I had solved the mystery and that it was just the clock, I rolled over and went back to sleep. Soon the unidentified monster of the footsteps returned, and again, I awoke, trembling. Again, I realized that the source of the rhythm was the clock.
This time, I got up and tried to turn the clock off, but you do not “turn off” a wind-up clock. Finally, I stuffed the clock under a pile of pants in the bottom drawer of the dresser to block out the sound. That worked.
Some weeks later, while getting dressed one morning, I found the clock. It had finally run down and was not ticking. I wound it—I have no idea why–and set it back on the dresser. That night, I experienced the same frightening dream. The clock went back in the drawer. After it ran down again, I placed on a shelf in the corner of the room and never wound it again. And that nightmare—whatever it was—never returned.
And I have no idea what it might have meant!
I wish I had that clock now. It is a collectable fetching more than $100. Of course, I would not dare wind it!
This nightmare brought to you by The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt.
Photos: from CollectorsWeekly.com