Dream Sequence, Part Three: Alien Invasion

Welcome back to The Dream Sequence. [If you hate this a lot, I promise it will be over in a few days!]

In case you’re just joining us, I have been describing recurring dreams/nightmares I had as a child.  In the last post I described the Mansion Escape Dream – an adventure dream in which I was the hero who had to actively find her own way out of a creepy old mansion with paintings whose eyes followed you as you walked down the hallways.

Another dream I had, more often that the Mansion Escape Dream, was the Alien Invasion Dream.  This dream always had a different setting, but the sequence of events and the people involved were always the same.  More often than not, it would take place somewhere in my house [or somewhere presumed to by my house], sometimes on the second level where my kitchen and living room were, sometimes on the first level where my grandparents lived.  Rarely ever on the third floor where the bedrooms were, but once and a while.  Sometimes they were even at my cousins’ house.  Every time, every member of my family was there.  We would be laughing, having a great time (like we always do when we’re together) and suddenly we would hear it.  It started off soft – thump, thump, thump.  Very rhythmic, very steady – thump, thump, thump.  Slowly, it would get louder and louder. thump, THUMP, THUMP.  We all knew what was coming.  We all knew what we had to do.  Everyone ran around trying to find the best hiding place they could.  It was like a life-or-death game of Hide and Seek.  Breath shortening, heart racing, I would clamor around trying to find the best hiding space I could.  Most of the good ones were taken, but sometimes I could find a crevice behind a couch or under a chair where I could squeeze my tiny little body.  Then I would stay, holding my breath and squeezing my big brown eyes shut as tight as I could while the THUMP THUMP THUMP got louder and louder.  Eventually the thumping would stop and I would hear a door open.  Still holding my breath, I would peek out from my hiding spot, only opening one eye, and only wide enough to see what was entering the room.

Sometimes, I would wake up before anything came in at all.  But most of the time, I got to see what had been making that thump, thump, THUMP and caused us all to run and hide.

The door would slowly, silently swing open and in would walk an army of dozens of creatures. They were unlike anything I had ever seen before.  They were all a different bright color – pink, blue, green.  I can’t really describe their shape or physique – though I know they were all different.  I don’t remember if they were armed with any actual weapon, but it was clear that they were to be feared.  It was as if I lived in a world where it was understood that these types of invasions happened.  And when they happened, there were rules to be followed.

The first rule was that you had to hide.  I don’t know what, exactly, would happen if they found you, but I knew it would NOT be good.  So you had to do your best to find the BEST hiding spot that you possibly could.

There were some instances, however, when I couldn’t find a good hiding spot – all the best ones were taken.  Luckily, there was another rule in these invasions that would help me from being taken or killed or eaten by these extraterrestrials.   The second rule was that you could play dead.  If you were convincing enough as a dead person, they wouldn’t bother with you.  They had no use for corpses, apparently.  So if you could lie perfectly still and not breathe at all while they were sweeping the room, you were safe.  This was tricky, since they moved slowly and swept the room inch by inch [though obviously not as thoroughly as you would think, considering some hiding spaces were legit crouching behind an armchair].  If you were strong enough to hold your breath and resist the temptation to open your eyes for long enough, eventually you would hear that same thump, thump, thump moving in the opposite direction.  The exact sound that struck fear in your heart moments ago could provide and equally opposite sense of relief.

The third rule really only applied to me.  This was on nights that I felt particularly terrified and needed to be holding my teddy bear, Wishbear, close to me in order to feel safe.  The third rule was, if you were cute and little enough, and you had a teddy bear, you could pretend you were sleeping.  Now, this was the riskiest of the three ways to avoid becoming a victim.  Though, unlike the playing dead scenario, you were allowed to breathe, you had to make sure you regulated your breathing to mimic sleeping.  You couldn’t be breathing quickly like you were in your first moments of fear.  You also couldn’t hold your breath when you felt the dark shadow of their brightly colored bodies cast over your face as you clutched your blanket and teddy bear as tightly as you could without seeming too conscious.

I realize that this all seems very intricate and detailed, especially for such a young child.  And I was pretty young.  These must have started around 5 or 6 years old, and continued for YEARS.  But it’s true. I imagine these details developed over the years of having them over and over and over again, but they’re as clear to me now as if this alien invasion had actually happened to me.

Even though describing it as an adult, I see how juvenile it was, and that I know if I had the same dream now I would probably wake up laughing at the mere though of brightly colored aliens that weren’t very good at Hide and Seek, at the time it was devastatingly terrifying.  I would wake up in the middle of the night after having this dream and fumble my way into my parents’ room to make sure that everything was still safe and normal.  If they weren’t in their bed yet,  I would go downstairs to make sure they hadn’t been abducted by aliens.  This would occasionally result in me tumbling down the stairs, but it didn’t matter as long as there were no aliens.

I eventually found out the reason why this dream happened so often, but that ties into the next dream I’m going to delve into, so I’ll leave it for now.

Read tomorrow for the next dream…if you dare!

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~ by Valerie Anne on 11/16/2010.

2 Responses to “Dream Sequence, Part Three: Alien Invasion”

  1. I also had dreams where someone was invading my house and I had to run away and find a hiding place in my house… but they were not aliens invading, but bad people. And they usually did not end in the bad people going away, but in me having to run away from them, and then waking up just as they were about to get me. Interesting…

  2. Very interesting. Part of me wants to say it must have started in the “If I can’t see you, you can’t see me” phase of childhood logic, but I know I had these dreams much longer than I believed this concept to be true.

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