SF (actual) dreams and nightmares

tegeus-Cromis

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I remember having this nightmare the summer I was nine. I should explain that my dad was really into UFO stuff, had Hynek's book, several of Von Däniken's, etc. I read them all and became terrified of ETs that, I don't know, would come and abduct us all?

Anyway, the dream. I can remember two scenes. One is at night, near the bottom of a mountain slope, something like a volcano. Aliens in flying saucers are landing, military forces are trying to fight them back. Thing is, when they emerge from their flying saucers, the aliens look like these Weebles ("... wobble but they don't fall down") toys I had, modeled to look like clowns. And that was the most terrifying thing of all.

Second scene: my parents and I are hiding out at some friends', who lived in a fourth-floor apartment. The aliens have already attacked, or maybe taken over the city, and we're all huddling together in fear. I look out the window down to the street. On the sidewalk, a mother and child are walking hand in hand. The aliens zap them and they turn into big apes, like chimps or gorillas. Still hand-in-hand, they start bouncing higher and higher (because they're apes, after all), until I actually see them bouncing past, at the level of our fourth-floor windows.

That's all I remember. But I woke up screaming, and was too terrified to go to sleep for the next three nights. My dad, who's a doctor, had to give me sleeping pills to help me get over it.

Any SF dreams you want to share?
 

-K2-

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So, yeah... dreams. Now you get to learn just how messed up my noggin is. :cautious: While looking for another thread I ran across this one, and considering I just had this dream... again, I might as well share it (in fact I'll just copy and paste from another site where I mentioned it). So, though not really a sci-fi dream, I suppose you could put a Twilight Zone twist to it. I have this dream every couple years or so. I know why I do and where it comes from. But, unfortunately it has never become a lucid dream where I can eject myself out of it.

I've come to learn that I don't dream like most people, usually. For a number of years my dreams were just verbatim memories, every sensation and emotion relived in exacting detail. That was bad, but then I went through a stretch where I didn't dream at all which is much worse. I know what you're thinking, "I just didn't remember them." Well, that's not true. For about ten years my nights sleep was like if you blink your eye. Now imagine from that blink, you're physically fully rested, you continue the thought you had before you blinked, and it's seven hours later.

To this day, some 25-years later, I remember the first dream I had after that long drought. A massive dragon (and I didn't even know what dragons were) was chasing me. It's scales were like every jewel imaginable. When I couldn't run any further, it chomped me, and I woke up... Its was awesome, I lived it!

Now I have a few specific 'types' of dreams; vivid memories (which are the worst), dreams of places/people I have never seen ** (rarely fantastical), dreams where I'm hit with deja-vu and remember those previously dreamed about places** and events** like visiting a town you once passed through many years later... and finally lucid dreams-- you know, dreams where you realize you're dreaming and can wake up, fly, whatever you want.

To that end, once I began to dream it was awesome. Dragons chasing and eating you alive...KEWL! Falling off a cliff...WONDERFUL! Good dreams, bad dreams, nightmares it didn't matter. Loved em all, they were all great adventures, and even over time I would have rare moments when within the dream I would realize I was dreaming. That's when things became really spectacular as you can make almost anything happen.

So, I really dig on dreaming... However, then I have this one, of a select few I could do without.

(Excuse the poor writing. I wrote this many years ago and it's not worth revisiting to grammar/spell check it):
I find myself in a large dark room with a couple old couches and a desk. The ceiling is barely visible though it's not that high. The room is lit by dim lamps and flickering greenish hued fluorescent fixtures on the walls. The walls have clearly been painted over many times in a very "institutional" green, though are now darker and aged. A large old console TV is placed against the wall; the static image on it is of flowers, yet the color is bleached out, faded, almost unreal. The room is clean, though heavy with the smell of industrial cleaners. The smell is overwhelming, much like the cleaners were repetitively painted over the filth and never washed away. On top of that it smells 'old' and unused. There is old green institutional carpeting under my bare feet; it feels damp and sticky like the cleaners were never washed away.

No one is there. Yet, I know I've been told to wait there as my family (which I never had) will come get me... as though I was leaving, though I know, I just arrived.

Beside the TV is an archway, the thought of the waiting-room alone makes me so ill, I must leave it. Yet, as I look through the arch it simply faces the far wall of a long hallway going left or right. The lights in the hall are all flickering greenish hued fluorescent lamps. The paint on the wall is chipped, peeling, and stained from leaks, and not being cleaned. The floor is no longer the old carpeting of the waiting area, yet now, wore linoleum under my bare feet, and with each step it becomes more worn till the color is gone. I'm unable to go back into the reception/waiting room, as I know something horrible is coming for me there. So, I press on down the hall.

The decay grows ever worse. I can see it's the same the opposite way, yet it's slightly darker and more foreboding. So, I continue on. Finally one of the doors along the hallway is open and I look in.

A single green hued fluorescent on the back wall dimly illuminates a small room. In the center sits a stainless steel surgical chair, fastened to the floor. Dried fluids of blood, sweat, urine, chemicals, and such upon it have stained it in almost a clear-ish lacquer of sorts. Leather straps are fixed to it for wrists, ankles, waist, and neck... topped off by a rusted steel "halo" of sorts. Shelves and cabinets hold dirty surgical insturments and syringes tossed back upon them. The room reeks of chemicals and smells like an uncleaned bathroom in a slaughterhouse. On the stainless steel table beside the chair is a glass syringe, half filled with a yellowish brown fluid, the needle dirty. Beside it, a tarnished and slightly rusty scalpel with a bit of dried blood and hair on it.

I can't look away, it fascinates and revulses me all at the same time. I feel my belly roil, yet it is familiar. So, it's comfortable and comforting in that regard. And then it strikes me, I remember.

This is the first room of many down the hall, of many halls, of many floors. This room the easiest, the nicest, the most gentle. The last words I heard in this room when the victim was pleading with their tormentor, was the tormentor's answer of, "Because this is what I do here, just because," said with a blank expression of neither hate, nor pity, or even sadistic pleasure... just simply a total lack of empathy for the victim, they don't even grasp the harm they cause.

I then realize... I've not just arrived, I've always been here in this place as there is no way out once in. Having cycled through the rooms, halls, and floors, for whatever reason, at some point I forgot all that I previously endured... and, I have been "granted the opportunity" to go through it all again to remind me.

I "know," no amount of begging or pleading will help, or any amount of proving I remember. So, I do what I know I'm supposed to do without a single person yet seen.

I slip off my clothes. Slowly walk to the chair. I turn around to sit, sobbing and shaking violently... and wait.
.
.
Monsters are a good thing, I'll fight dragons any day in my dreams.

K2
 
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Stephen Palmer

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About 15 years ago I woke up around 4 in the morning having had a vivid dream about a sinking house. But rather than vanishing into the ether, the dream expanded into a story with a full plot, and I found myself actually preparing a book. At that point, I had to get up, find a blank notebook and get everything written down. Much later, I wrote the whole book, in the form of a children's story. It's never been published, but one day I hope it will be. It's the only time in my writing life this has ever happened. What was so strange was how the story multiplied and sophisticated in my awake mind after the dream finished and I woke up.
When I get asked about this sort of thing, I usually refer to Neil Young. He goes with whatever music or lyrics come to him first thing in the morning, when his unconscious mind is 'close' to his waking mind. I've done the same thing for decades. It works.
 

tegeus-Cromis

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About 15 years ago I woke up around 4 in the morning having had a vivid dream about a sinking house. But rather than vanishing into the ether, the dream expanded into a story with a full plot, and I found myself actually preparing a book. At that point, I had to get up, find a blank notebook and get everything written down. Much later, I wrote the whole book, in the form of a children's story. It's never been published, but one day I hope it will be. It's the only time in my writing life this has ever happened. What was so strange was how the story multiplied and sophisticated in my awake mind after the dream finished and I woke up.
When I get asked about this sort of thing, I usually refer to Neil Young. He goes with whatever music or lyrics come to him first thing in the morning, when his unconscious mind is 'close' to his waking mind. I've done the same thing for decades. It works.
I used to write poetry, and even had some published (about 12 pieces, altogether). I once woke up with a whole (unrhymed) sonnet in mind, or rather I remember it forming in that period between sleep and waking. I immediately wrote it down, and didn't have to revise a word. I still have it. Never tried to get it published, though.
 

AlexH

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I remember a dream where I went to the cinema in a big shopping centre with a friend. I fell asleep during the film (has anyone else fell asleep in a dream?), and when I woke, no one else was in the screen. I was worried about my friend as he'd been on crutches. I left the cinema, and the shopping centre was dilapidated, like it'd been closed for years. Outside, the city was covered in a layer of sand. It was all from a cinematic perspective rather than my point of view. I may get around to turning that opening into a short story one day...
 
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I used to try and write down strange dreams once I woke up. It lasted for a grand total of two dreams and this was the only SF-like. It started with me standing on a beach watching as several World Devastators (super weapons which appear in the Star Wars Rogue Squadron game on the N64) descended on the horizon. The devastators were filled with Borg, however (I know, I know, Star Wars technology and Star Trek villains, get over it, it was a dream :p ). The rest of it involved running around, trying to escape the Borg with people I went to school with. It ended when I fell into a pitch black crater shouting "Mario, Luigi, help!"

Dreams are weird.
 

Parson

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Not quite the same thing. But I would often go to bed on Saturday night disgruntled by one of the pieces of Sunday's sermon only to have a good answer for the problem the minute I woke up on Sunday. It was so common that I got to the point where I didn't worry much about a whole on Saturday night because I was pretty sure something would be available to me on Sunday I had not thought of before.
 

-K2-

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Not quite the same thing. But I would often go to bed on Saturday night disgruntled by one of the pieces of Sunday's sermon only to have a good answer for the problem the minute I woke up on Sunday. It was so common that I got to the point where I didn't worry much about a whole on Saturday night because I was pretty sure something would be available to me on Sunday I had not thought of before.
Divine inspiration perhaps? (I say that with warm intent :), not mocking).

K2
 

olive

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I've always had a very vivid dream life. I remember them so often. I also experience sleep paralysis sometimes and that's another show at night, oh my. I don't have any superstitious belief -or any other kind come to that- but nightmares or dreams of any kind are exhausting sometimes, and occasionally frightening, maybe even scary.

My dream world has turned into a rich colorful theme park after high school when I started university. I've studied art history, and from student years onward I have been to paintings, murals; chatted with artists and sculptors and such, historical characters, or characters from myths and scripture... etc. in my dreams. I still get them occasionally.

I have certain themes repeating themselves, going away for years and coming back. When I was a kid I used to fly all around. Or make huuge jumps. Then I started to live in short movie dystopias wherein each I was running in streets at night bare feet in my nightgown and then get caught and convinced that everybody has to look like my dad but will have their own voices and personality. (Shut up Freud.) Then they changed into nightmares where people turn into zombies and robots. I've always failed to save anyone in these, not even myself. So many of them. I haven't had any of this after 30, I have been seeing war now. But more than the action I see burnt people and children around when we all go on living our lives. They are ordinary, straight nightmares.

I also have a few I had in spaceships I never forgot. They were just fun. Wohooo. Never had any since.

But the most interesting ones the ones I 'visit' Ancient Egypt or whatever that is. These dreams have evolved too. Long story short, first I was going around some colorful ancient sightseeing which was so much fun but then I started to find myself in huge, dark ancient tombs. Gods are walking around in dark, deep but I can barely see. That is scary. Watching 'Anibus' moving and speaking in Ancient Egyptian -think about the RA voice in Stargate- is scary. Last year it was Prometheus again in Ancient Egyptian tomb. I was hearing his voice in my head in the dark. He was huge and leaning towards me on to my head but I close my eyes. I can see it, but I can't. It's not like they would harm me in the dream, it is that sense of extreme archaicness, the feeling of something so ancient is so powerful in the dream, you feel so insignificant that is scary. You feel like what I have done wrong.

Sleep paralysis is frightening a bit, but just for a moment. It's more like wrestling with an invisible being, sometimes it roars and grrs, it feels furry or sometimes like a human, sometimes you see things in light, an arm embracing you -although the room is dark of course- it is just in your mind. Your brain wakes up in a level, but your body cannot move, it is in paralysis. Probably when we had to sleep high places for safety for a long time evolution granted us this kind of muscle paralysis so we wouldn't harm ourselves. You just need to get out of it. Mine sometimes starts through a dream. Somebody catches you in a dream, pulls from your arm...etc. I often wake up in that situation. Floating in the air is fun because you feel weightless in air. I have felt that twice. Once there were people touching my feet and arms and they were -supposedly- from different centuries. That was the weirdest dream/nightmare/sleep paralysis whatever it is I had in my life. They were laughing and speaking in foreign languages, I didn't understand them but I knew what they were saying. There was a woman with a hat that had a feather.

It's perfectly understandable why human culture has built so many myths and beliefs around this. It's quite powerful. It would have been weird if we hadn't. I've talked to different people who experienced similar things and my conclusion is it is about your belief life and how your mind works. But there is nothing real or supernatural in it. A religious person feels/sees a djinn -or a demon according to the culture- I always feel/see a human being. Doesn't matter what you think, as long as you concentrate on waking up, you do. There is nothing to worry about. You could say a prayer or recite a poem or repeat timetables, they all work the same. You just need to get your consciousness. You need to really wake up and spend a little time awake or highly likely you'll get into the same paralysis again.
 

Parson

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Interesting and nicely reflective post. I have shared your dream of flying. It is such a rush! But the following line made me laugh.

I started to live in short movie dystopias wherein each I was running in streets at night bare feet in my nightgown and then get caught and convinced that everybody has to look like my dad but will have their own voices and personality. (Shut up Freud.)
Well played Olive, well played indeed.
 

olive

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Interesting and nicely reflective post. I have shared your dream of flying. It is such a rush!
Do you mean flying like superman in a dream or 'waking up' and finding yourself feeling like floating above your bed?
 

Parson

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Let me see, I'm not sure how to diagnose what you are asking. These are dreams, so no actual floating above the bed, but is that what you meant? Let me explain:

My dream is like this. I find myself running not toward or away from something, but simply running, and then between one stride and the next I don't come down. I just swoop and sway and go up and down at will, no restraints, no purpose, just the shear joy of flying. ---- Less wonderful is that I now understand that when I have very graphic dream like this (I sometimes see color and have felt like felt things) it is because I am seriously worn out and/or my sleep apnea is really active. ---- Yes, I have a machine, and when it's working well no such dreams.
 

olive

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So you are dreaming about flying. You are flying in your dreams. I used to have those when younger.

The other thing is a hallucination you can have during sleep paralysis. Probably the best one. You feel like you're floating above your bed, you are physically sure that's what's happening. Because although you think you are awake, you are actually not, just a little. When this happened to me I was 'awake' enough to think that 'if I was really floating in the air, my head would bump to my bookshelves'. Because at the right wall above my bed, there were bookshelves up to the ceiling in my bedroom. It's really weird.
 

-K2-

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@olive ; in some regards that somewhat applies to 'sleeping with one eye open.' For numerous reasons, that's how I slept until roughly 40. Though I might dream, I could also--at the same time--see and hear what 'actually' went on around me while I slept. Able to recount such events the following day, or even instantly awake and take action.

K2
 

olive

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@olive ; in some regards that somewhat applies to 'sleeping with one eye open.' For numerous reasons, that's how I slept until roughly 40. Though I might dream, I could also--at the same time--see and hear what 'actually' went on around me while I slept. Able to recount such events the following day, or even instantly awake and take action.

K2
Oh, it is not like that. Sleep paralysis is seeing and feeling something physically which is not there, not happening. You hallucinate in sleep paralysis. You have no idea what is going on around in reality. It probably occurs under stress. It must be coming from something survival because it is powerful. And it feels like a powerful physical struggle. You hallucinate that -you are sure at those moments- someone, a stranger is trying to dominate you physically, squeeze your body in a tight embrace, sometimes even it feels like some sort of a 'sexual' thing, but as feeling. There is nothing of course. It's just a feeling. You are trying to break through that and it feels like you are 'wrestling'. It can be pretty disturbing. You feel like you are in a physical struggle.

But there are various experiences. Like people seeing themselves from out of their bodies, the old tale of watching something kidnapping their bodies... Or floating in the air above your head, or being touched by several people out of different times...like mine,lol. That was funny actually. Sometimes it is not bad, sometimes it really is. My friend kept touching and palming some 'furry animals'.

At times I even felt I was embraced 'compassionately'. Because being human, we tend to give those hallucinations certain human characters and feelings according to what we feel. A few weeks ago I had one. Sometimes it feels like you can't shake it very easily.

I looked up, it says 'sleep demon' in English. The White Goddess culture has a lot of rich stuff about this. It is the original source of this kind of fantasy too. Night <->Mare.
 

tegeus-Cromis

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I used to have many flying dreams. Often I was swooping very fast over hills and so, but at a constant distance from the ground -- kind of like a SW glider, I suppose. Grassy hills, overgrown. I also was aware of my body position: head forward, arrow straight, both arms by my side. (None of that Superman arms forward nonsense!) In the most recent flying dream I remember, I was floating, in a standing position, above a street in Brooklyn (which is weird because, although I used to live in NYC, that was in Manhattan, and you could count the times I went to Brooklyn on the fingers on one hand.) I was not far above the roofline, and could see the entire neighborhood. All these dreams were beautiful. They seemed so vivid that I would wake up and couldn't believe that wasn't real. They're the closest thing that might convince me we live a different, but equally real, life in our dreams.
 

olive

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There is one dream I had, not like any other, I'll never forget. It affected me very much, it changed me or I had it because I was changing. I can see where all my dreams and nightmares come from, but not this one. I think that was the most powerful one I had. It's a short, complete, very vivid dream. I need to tell it.

I'm walking in a forest, it's dark and warm. I'm carrying white jug (?) like things. There are fires lit around there is this flickering faint light around. It's so cosy, peaceful in the open forest at night. You know this feeling, you are out there with people somewhere, everybody is scattered around and you are all doing something together, collectively working. There is this feeling of full safety, comfort being a part of that. That's it. And I 'hear' people talking and walking. It was an amazing feeling. I don't see people, just figures. The voices are benevolent, soft. I don't understand any of it but 'get' what they are talking about.

Then I remember that I'm not on Earth. I'm on another planet and in a momentary panic, I try to remember. How long I have been here? (But not what is here, how did I get here.) And I think "I have been here for twenty years with Earth time...". Then I suddenly start sobbing because then it comes to me, I remember that Humanity has ended. Human civilisation is no more. I can't describe that feeling of loss, pain, and heartbreaking. The void tearing my heart. I'm crying right now writing this. And then I think to myself "All that destruction, wars, genocides what was it for... nothing ... now it ended." But then someone (?) touches my back (physically?) and says (?) 'It's OK. Don't worry.' I don't hear any voice, I just understand it. And I feel a very intense melancholia and then an incredible relief, peace. I feel/think like, "It's OK. It started, happened and ended." This happens in moments in the short dream. It feels like something very heavy was lifted from me. Then we arrive at an opening, there is an enormous tree. (It's a tree?) It's an irregular sphere-like shape. I remember its branches make small rooms like spaces in it with flickering lights. But I don't remember any detail. Nothing about the figures, that place. I woke up crying, I cried a lot but I was peaceful.

I had this dream in my late twenties. I don't know if this was the way my mind telling me to grow up, to make peace with my species, the human civilisation or not to worry about things I can't change which are my sober interpretations so far but its effect is still as fresh as that night. It's like a little stab wound in my heart. I feel it sting when I remember this dream and think about it.
 
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