No, I’m not Alice Cooper but–do I really need to say this?–I’m an Alice Cooper fan.

But this isn’t about Alice Cooper, it’s about the nightmare I had last night. I haven’t had a nightmare for a long time, and I’m not certain this was one, in spite of its form. But I’ll get to that after I tell you about it.

It was in the form of a bad horror movie, “bad” in the sense of “poorly written”. It started out as something else, but then turned into this bad movie. I knew the plot, knew how it was all going to go and how it was all going to end, and was commenting about the plot holes and lousy dialog along with somebody else as we watched it play out. A teenaged or young adult woman was friends with an “odd” young man played by Johnny Depp (should have been a GOOD dream, right? NOT) who was teased and bullied at school. The young woman was chaperone for a bunch of kids from preschool through high school at a two-room cabin in the woods, right? So she gets them all settled down and then the Johnny Depp guy shows up with his eyes practically rolling around in his head, carrying a wedding dress which he proceeds to put on. He tells her to leave. She tells him not to do anything bad. He says something like, “Christmas prayers won’t help me, huh?” or something like that, which struck me as tremendously creepy and poignant. She tells him that, if he DOES do something bad, don’t come telling her about it. And she goes home.

So what was supposed to happen was that he was going to slaughter all the children and show up outside her bedroom window in the middle of the night, dressed in the wedding gown covered in gore and laugh like Dwight Fry in the Bela Lugosi DRACULA. heh-HEH, heh, heh, heh, hehhhhhh….

Okay, I’m shivering.

Anyway, that hadn’t happened yet, that was just what we, as watchers, knew happened in the movie. We were like, “A person wouldn’t do that. What responsible person would knowingly go off and leave a roomful of children with a maniac? She wasn’t even scared of him, herself. She was his only friend, and he was never going to hurt her.”

But she was at home, helping host a Halloween party at her parents’ house. In fact, they were at some kind of lakeside resort, and the whole community was out and about, milling around and running in and out of parties at each other’s houses. There was a talent show going on down at the lakeside amphitheater. The woman started catching our disapproval and thinking maybe she hadn’t acted correctly in leaving the cabin. She kept looking for her friend, so the whole thing would be over, but there were so many people around she didn’t think he’d come after all. Then my Mom’s best friend called and asked the girl if she knew where her (Mom’s bff’s granddaughter) was, that she and Mom’s bff’s little niece were supposed to go to some sleepover in the woods and then the granddaughter was supposed to drive the niece to Bible school, but they hadn’t shown up.

So the woman decided she HAD been irresponsible, and she was going to go back and see if she could stop the tragedy. She wasn’t scared or horrified, just made the decision and started out to do it. On the way, she went through the celebration on the shore, passed the worst of her friend’s tormentors, who tried to give her a bad time. He was wearing a mask of a dark gray smiley face and said all the things you would expect a snotty bully to say. She just didn’t pay any attention to him, and went on her way, swimming along the shore to edge of the woods and then walking through them toward the cabin, looking for her friend in his bloody wedding gown all the way.

Then I woke up and thought, “Woah! Nightmare!” But my heart wasn’t pounding, I wasn’t sweating, I didn’t feel like I’d just had a nightmare.

I went back to sleep and the young woman made it to the cabin, and there was Johnny Depp in his regular clothes with the clean wedding gown draped over a chair. He said he decided not to do the deed. The woman went into the other room and woke the kids up and sent them home. One kid was missing. The JD character went into the room and called out her name, and a teeny girl came out from under the bed and ran to him and clung onto his leg like he was saving her from the boogie man. Sure enough, a cartoonish monster came out of the closet, but nobody was scared of him and the dream was over.

So I don’t think it was really a nightmare. What do you think?

MA

writing prompt: What’s the scariest thing you ever dreamed?

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