By Kim Richards
Nightmares are one of those things all people have in common. No one is immune from the terror and dread they can bring. In a way they tie us together, proving our humanness. For some, they are a thing to be avoided by taking care with foods eaten in the evening or bringing oneself into a gentle, relaxing environment before sleep time.
For others, like me, they are a fascination. My sweet dreams are fleeting. I wake and think, 'that's nice" before going on with my day. The happy pastels evaporate like a morning mist. They're nothing worth discussing or wondering what catalyst set my mind to creating them. Nightmares are a whole other thing.
My nightmares are vivid creatures which can linger for days...sometimes continuing from one night's sleep to the next. I've never bolted awake, shaking with the emotion of a sweet dream but I have from a nightmare. I've never taken action in my waking life to prevent something from a sweet dream from occurring. I have from nightmares on several occasions.
The dark dreams filled with fearful places and events reveal my innermost worries and vulnerabilities. There's no pretending those parts of my soul don't exist when in dreamland. That's what I mean when I say they show our humanness. All the waking facades and theatrics can no longer conceal those elements of ourselves in nightmares. We are laid bare before ourselves. That can be more terrifying than the dreams themselves.
I've taken to facing the nightmares; examining them and pondering their role in my self. In a way I make peace with them. Perhaps many writers of dark fiction do. The need to know and understand is more urgent than wanting to put it aside to forget. Let's not forget that famous quote: "We have nothing to fear except fear itself."
BIO: Kim Richards (Gilchrist) writes mainly dark fiction. She is CEO and co-owner of Damnation Books and Eternal Press. She also is on staff at Writer's Chatroom www.writerschatroom.com Kim lives in Northern California with her husband and two feline supervisors named Isis and Essla. Visit her on the web at www.kim-richards.com