The Bat

5

The other night I had a dream. I’d say that it was a nightmare, but I’m not sure anymore. Aren’t nightmares supposed to frighten or scare you? Aren’t you supposed to awaken from them gasping and full of goosebumps? As of late, when I have any dream that is supposed to cause fear and anxiety, they just seem pretty close to any other normal dream. My dreams don’t scare me anymore; they don’t cause apprehension.
My latest foray into the dream world is just the latest in a long line of examples. The others, as with this recent one, caused the typical dream aspects of fear: anxiety, a need to flee, and a fear of what will happen if my nightmarish pursuer were to catch me. All these things were present in-dream, but, upon awaking, it all metamorphosed into a sort of wonder. I came away from this dream, just like others like it, feeling that there should have been, could have been, more to it.
I’m not exactly sure where it started, but I remember being outside a diner in the middle of a neighborhood I’ve never been to. My surroundings felt very familiar, though, like I’ve lived there before or have been there a few times. Most of my dream surroundings feel that way and I’ve often wondered if this kind of thing is the same for others. Am I the only one that dreams in mysterious, yet often familiar, surroundings? Often times I tend to think that I’m not the only one that dreams this way; that others find them in the same type of surroundings.
As I stand there facing away from the diner, and towards the town, I locate my pursuer almost immediately because of its immense size. Standing on the next block, I see that it stands as tall as the houses it’s standing next to: a two story white house that sits next to a single story tan number. It stood facing the other way, looking for me, its prey, with one arm seeming to hold onto the lip of the two storey’s roof.
As I have said before, the thing was huge, but that is only in its height. Everything else looked very proportionate when considered on the whole. It was vaguely dark out, but the lights of the city made seeing not much of a problem. I could tell that its black skin tightly covered highly toned muscles which were quick and at the top of their form. Between the armpits, there looked to be a small membranous flap of skin. These seemed to be the creatures’ wings, but have long since degraded into a mere decoration. This being hasn’t flown once in its seemingly long life.
The thing is obviously very old. It has lived in large caverns and hasn’t seen the outside world much in its secluded life. I think I may have stumbled onto its long forgotten home, which caused it to lash out in an attempt to protect itself, but I can’t quite remember. All I can remember is giving it the slip before stopping outside of the diner to get my bearings and how far away the thing was.
When it turned its head, I caught the hideous creatures’ profile. It looked like the face of a rotting corpse, but I’ve seen it before and know different by this point. What seemed to be a shriveled face, holding a small portion of nose, small chin, and nearly hairless features, were the proportions of a black bat. The rest of its body held the same features of a bat, even though it was freakishly large and not in normal standing with nature.
I believe that it also had more heightened senses that a normal bat would have, but extraordinarily more acute than its smaller, more natural, counterparts. It seemed to be able to hear that I was out of breath and heaving air in in an attempt to fill them back to normal operations. In an instant the thing whipped around and searched side to side in an attempt to find me. When it saw where I was, it let out a loud bat-like squeal that filled the area. I say that it saw me, but that may not be the right word. Since its eyes were completely white and obviously blind from its long years underground and in caves with little to no light, it would rely on its other senses more. I think it heard me before it could ever see me.
In its attempt to get to me, it destroyed half of the house it was standing next to and began scrambling forward to get at me. In my fear and need to escape that I couldn’t explain, I ran to the door of the diner, opened it with the typical bell jingle, and used the wall next to the door as a weak sort of hiding place. I knew the spot wouldn’t hide me from the creature, or keep it out, but stand there I continued.
I stood there for a few seconds until I felt the eyes of multiple people staring at me curiously. Looking around, I saw the place before the people. It looked small on the outside, and relatively smaller on the inside. On my right, the diner was full of round tables with booths against opposite walls, while a counter and kitchen filled the left side. I didn’t really notice details like much more of the décor or exact colors, but the whole place had the feeling of one of those down home country kitchen.
The people were less detailed as they came into view. I could make out about four different people. There was a woman in a flowery outfit standing behind the counter, a man, woman, and little boy sitting at one of the booths, and a lone woman at a table under the window between the booths. When I stepped in a little further, the man and the boy began to stand and mill around. I tried to get a closer look at everyone, but couldn’t make them out too clearly. I could tell that they were wearing plain clothes, and their gender, but that was it. Their faces were completely blurred.
I think they knew that the horrific bat was on its way because there was a sense of fear passing over the room. Even though nobody seemed to be able to talk or show any kind of emotion, they knew that the thing was on its way to do horrible things that were too bad to mention. The man seemed to instinctively rush me out the door opposite the one I entered. On the outside, I turned back to tell the man thanks, but he disappeared almost instantly.
I found myself in a type of garage. It wasn’t a normal garage that you’d find belonging to a house. It seemed to belong to a warehouse of sorts. I noticed vaguely that it held tools to fix various types of equipment and a semi that seemed to have been pulling one of those large gas tankards. I wasn’t sure what to do or where to go, until the man from the diner came in to view from the opposite end of the garage. He rushed up to me and moved me off to my left and out a large roll up door that stood open. Apparently the bat creature was tearing its way through the diner and killing everybody in order to get at me, but I couldn’t hear anything on the other side of the door I just entered through.
Trusting him not to lead me astray, I rushed through the open garage door and back out into the world. In a sort of dark flash, I was in a neighborhood down the street and far away from the diner and supposed garage. The block I now stood in seemed to be a cul-de-sac full of the same kinds of houses that I saw before I entered the diner. It seemed to be the same area as before, but felt further away.
Walking down the front yards of the houses on the left side of the block, I stopped at the sight of some kind of movement that I couldn’t make out at first. It was between two single floor houses, one grey and one brown, that I saw the movement of something large. Focusing my sight on the area, I saw that it was my pursuer. The overgrown bat was kneeling between the pair of houses making some odd jerking movements that I wouldn’t dare try and investigate. As it moved, I could hear the vaguest types of noises that only meant one thing: whatever held its current attention meant that it was sating its specific hunger for flesh.
In a stilling of its movement that meant the creature knew I was watching it feast, it threw its head back in another scream. Pulling itself up by holding onto the roofs of the houses next to it, the beast got up in a flash, turned toward me and began to meander towards me. It seemed different than before; like it was moving a little more laboriously. It seemed to have binged and filled itself on whatever it was just eating and the people from the diner, but that fact wasn’t what made me wake in disgust. Half its face was covered in gore. Blood and fur dripped from its face, while the remains of half of a large dog fell from its right claw. This caused me to awake and wonder about my surroundings.
I knew that I was in my bed, and felt half-comforted by the fact that I had escaped the creature. As I lay there, trying to fall back to sleep, I couldn’t help but wonder what brought the dream on. People tend to believe that dreams are a foretelling of the future or a way for our minds to work through things that happened in the past. Things that we may regret from our past can manifest in dreams in an attempt to work itself out. I take the dream to mean something about my future. Things are changing and I am going into the great unknown. Sometimes the great unknown can be a scary and uncertain thing and our dreams can be the first place to try and help us work out our fears and apprehensions.
The unknown can be full of fear, but staying in a rut that only leads to places that you’ve seen before leads to a stagnant and pointless way of living. Taking chances to get to a spot where you wish to be is the only way to evade the rut and keep life a little more free of suffering. My dreams seemed to be telling me of this, but it can be tough to really take of its face value. Who really knows what our dreams really mean? Can their meaning really be so simple? Do dreams really have any meaning at all? Dreams are an ever ponderous thing, and we may never understand them. All we can do is to continue to have them and to continue to ponder.

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