I am on a deadline. Two agents want to see the completed novel. My novel is not complete. The nightmares have started.
Three nights ago I had my first ever dream about zombies. D, who has dreamed of zombies since he was 5, was as suitably proud as a parent. What kind of Zombie, he wanted to know. Romero, or Shaun of the Dead? Fast or slow? Collected unconscious or mindless meat machine? Did they say anything about brains? Did they go argh, argh, argh?
I don’t know, I snapped, grumpy from lack of sleep. They were silent, as befits the dead. Silent and stealthy. I hid in a corner behind a door that led to another door. I couldn’t escape. They were omnipresent. Dressed in rags and smelling of rotten flesh. I heard them from my side of the wall, making strange shuffling noises. A sound like bees buzzing.
I put my ear to the door. All was quiet again. I noticed a pin-sized hole. Like Alice, curiosity overcame me. I bent to examine it. An eye appeared through the peephole. I held my breath and prayed for a flame-thrower. No weapon materialized. Not that kind of dream.
I opened my eyes. The shuffling restarted. The bees buzzing. Then the pounding. The hole grew bigger. An arm emerged. Then another. They were pushing their way in from the other side.
Sounds like Romero, said the zombie-expert, turning his attention back to his newspaper.
Last night I dreamed of spiders.
Poisonous. Hairy. Lethal. It was a game. A deadly one planted among impostors. I had to guess which one was venomous. Hundreds of other tiny spiders scuttled underfoot. They sounded like beetles.
It is the colour of something, said the Clue Master. The colour of what? The grass, the sand, the water? Do spiders even swim?
From the sky, I could see big patches of quilt-work stretching out across the land. I couldn’t tell how many spiders were camouflaged below, hiding in the cracks of the sidewalk, in the blades of grass, waiting for me in the shadows, even tucked in the pillowcase under my head. I dream-imagined their hairy legs, the weight and warmth of a spider’s little body on mine. I could even feel the pause right before the sting, the venom seeping slowly into my bloodstream.
Oh bite me already, so I can die and go back to sleep.
I shouldn’t be writing blog posts when I’m running out of time to finish the novel. But I can’t when spiders and zombies are living in my head.