Written by Jonathan Wojcik

NIGHTMARE MENAGERIE 2018, PART II

Guest Art by Dustin H!





Five more user submitted dreams coming at you, illustrated by the year's first guest artist! A few of these nightmares are pretty long form; they may as well be more early creepypasta!

IF YOUR DREAM WAS INCLUDED and you would like your Username to link to your personal blog, website or email, please let me know!


THE TERRIBLE DOG

Posted by Lukas Reimer:
"I recall another very odd dream in which I lived inside of a bizarre, cartoonish mansion, with an impossibly high roof and all the walls and windows being purple with yellow borders. Strangely enough, outside the window, I could see the sky was always night, except it was more of a seemingly doodled "night-" themed backdrop than actual sky. IDK, it just seemed...fake somehow. I lived entirely alone in this house, except for a dog. The dog was kind of like a basset hound, with big droopy ears and a stubby-legged body, but what was creepy was its face. Its face had a very human quality to it, with striking blue eyes like a person's, and the dog had a very mournful expression. For that reason, I hated that dog, and whenever I looked at it, it was looking directly at me with its sad eyes, and I would glare back with contempt. I knew there was something wrong with it. But one day, I wake up (it's still night) and walk into the TV room, only to see the dog lying on the ground. I approach it and realize it's actually a SHED PELT of the dog. As soon as I see this, the TV (an old rabbit-ears model) erupts with deafening static, and I somehow immediately know that this means it's controlling the entire house. My perspective suddenly cuts to a view of the insides of the walls, showing a a massive, pale blob of blubber, pulsating and writhing. This is what the dog molted into. It began to emit what I can only describe as a "silent scream," like a raspy voice attempting to scream, but...not. Unfortunately it ended there, but I still found it to be extremely profound and important to my life in the dream...until I woke up and realized it was actually all total nonsense."


Wow, what a bad, awful, wretched dog! Good thing it finally got its life in order and made something justifiable of its miserable life! Amazing progression of events, though. It's always interesting how "important" dreams can feel until you wake up, and it's no wonder people must have believed they were prophetic or symbolic messages from some higher power. Those dreams where you have some completely different life are always especially fascinating, and often feel strangely ominous.



THE GARDENER

Posted by Red Spy:
"In my dream, I first awoke in what I can only describe as a desert with green sand, trees dotted the landscape, but would unnaturally sway. I found myself wandering around the sandscape, to eventually find a house that was like if Tim Burton built a house all by himself. It had strange jagged angles in it's designs. I knocked on the door because in dreams, you tend to do stupid things. Suddenly the peephole looked at me with a very human eye. It gave me a bit of a look down. The door then opens to no one inside. "CRASH." I heard a load of pots and pans fall over. Curiosity overtook me as I explored for a source. The house was built like a maze and the walls would move as if they were alive. The floor carried distinctive prints, lines from wheels, and big tree stump like prints. Each corner looked the same as the last. There were bones on the floor, but not of humans, They were too small and had what I could only compare to a deer skull for a head. Human eyes would litter the sparse areas around these skulls. I continued on like a dumb ass.

The doors and corridors would continue to wind and wind, all the halls looked the same. All a pretentious gothic aesthetic with windows that would look into other identical rooms. Eventually, I reached a wide open room, in the center rested a giant kettle, all around it existed bottles of spice with labels like, "Running away", "Falling Forever", "Malevolent Being", "Benign Being", and more.

Suddenly out pops a being from what I thought was the laundry chute. I knew it was the owner of this room. It was a squat being with long gangly arms and short, stumpy feet. It's belly was a cauldron and it possessed no head. It walked around in an exaggerated manner swaying its feet high and flailing its arms, it walked over to a wall and grabbed a chef hat from the wall and set it in the pot. The hat dissolved in the cauldron. On the hook where the hat came from started regrowing a hat as soon as it dissolved. It lumbered around going,

"Doo de do doo dee doody dee..." In a voice that I could only compare to Grrr from Invader Zim. Its hands were long like wires. I didn't understand how it would grab spices from its shelf. A long snake-like tube arose from the cauldron's top, striped like Beetlejuice, and violently sprayed brown muck into the kettle in the middle of the room. He would pour spices into the big center pot as a dark purple foam spilled over the edges. The walls began shaking violently as a gregorian choir filled the air, ghastly faces rose from the pot. It felt like the apocaly...

"DONE!" Squealed the pot in it's high pitched voice. One of his gangly arms grabbed a flask on the shelf and scooped up the disgusting looking mixture with a drinking glass.

"Sweet dreams." Whispers the creature. He grabs a small speck from a lone jar, high in the air. It glimmers like moonlight. He awkwardly hobbles about, adding small things to it. First was darkness, then came malevolent being, then came surreal, then came alien. He hobbled to a door and opened to a garden. I followed. It was a surreal thing, large, blooming stalks rose from the dirt, brains growing on the end of these giant stalks, like human fruit.

"Gardener! Ooo Gardener!" Yelled the pot, each step was the equivalent of someone hitting a pan against another pan with how loud it was. "I have made another vacation!" The pot approached a deer skull, but it had bicycle wheels attached to each side of it's head. It had two mechanical arms, one with shears, the other adorning a watering can. The deer skull's mouth opened, a clusterfuck of eyes in random position were speckled all over a wall of flesh inside of the mouth. The Deercycle gripped the concoction with it's forked tongue and poured it into its watering can. Then the concoction was poured on one of the brains. The brain shrivelled, but then returned to full size. The gardener then turned to another brain, this one was dark and purple. He took the shears and cut the brain stem.

"Waking one up I see." Chirped the pot joyously. "I'll be right back!" The pot hobbled off, not seeing me. I knew I was unseen by the pot, and I knew I shouldn't be here. I watched the Gardener scrunch up, and then molt its skull, to only have another beneath. Suddenly the gardener turned to face me. It wheeled backwards next to another brain, made a shushing motion with its scissors and then cut the brain stem. I then woke up for real in real life, it was trippy as hell."


There's so much to love in this dream. We've got multiple abstract, goofy characters in a truly eerie setting, up to who knows what, but it feels very significant to the "story" here that the dreamer wakes up as soon as the brain gets trimmed. That cauldron is up to some weird dream-sorcery, I'd say!



THE PROSTHETIC MAKER

Posted by MadHighlander:
"Dream number three: The Prosthetic Makers. I mentioned this one in the comments under last year's final nightmare creatures entry because I had it in the first week or so of January and it was one of the first I recorded in my dream journal.

I dreamed I was visiting a friend of mine (who didn't exist in real life; it may have been the same person who was my roommate in the previous dream). In this dream, he lived in his own house with two sisters, a brother, and his mother. One of the sisters, I learned, had some sort of degenerative neuromuscular disorder that made it difficult for her to use her hands, and was also feeling under the weather on top of that; when I arrived, she was sitting in a chair wrapped up in a blanket with a box of tissues nearby.

My friend, his brother, and I moved into the TV room and started watching cartoons. If it was a specific cartoon, I forget what, but it's not important, since shortly afterward I brought my phone out and started to check twitter.

Now, in this dream world (I 'remembered' this around this point) a widespread disease had recently appeared and started to spread worldwide. The disease was fungus-based; inhaling the spores initially caused flu-like symptoms and would progress and go away just like a flu... unless the victim was physically disabled in any way (blindness, limping, etc.). If this was the case, then the victim would progress into a zombie-like creature that sought to replace their poorly functioning body part with an intact version. (And I'm sure you can see where this is going, though I couldn't in the dream.)

It was shortly after I remembered this that my friend's mother bustled by us, bundled up in a thick coat and quietly cursing in a nonspecific foreign language. She kept furtively looking behind her, and hurried out the door. None of us took any particular notice of this.

Apparently, one of the people turned by the fungus had become semi-famous on Twitter, and I had been following him there for a while. As I was browsing Twitter that day, I found that that particular infected had retweeted something from an account I recognized as my friend's sister's. It read:

     hands good now

Now I spotted the foreshadowing, and got the attention of my friend and his brother, and we hid in a corner behind the couch. Peeking around the couch, I saw the sister approaching the door. She was very clearly not okay; her skin was shrivelled up and the color of tree bark, covered with a thin, peachlike fuzz of white mold. Her hair was long and brown, but brittle looking, and her eyes and mouth were nothing but empty, dark hollows. She was dressed in a long yellow raincoat (Or a fur coat? I don't remember, only that it was yellow and about ankle length). The shrivelled skin ended at the wrist; her hands were normal skin-color and the nails were long and painted red. I recognized the nails as belonging to the other sister, who I had met briefly on the way in. The divide between the dried and normal skin oozed blood down her arm. As we watched, hidden, she shambled zombie-style out the door.

That's all I remember from this dream. I do remember that the Prosthetic Makers were 'color coded'; that is, they had a preference for certain colors depending on what body part they were after. The sister wore yellow because she was looking for better hands; the guy on twitter used patterns of green for his backgrounds and profile picture because he was looking for eyes. I think his profile picture might actually have been a close-up of a green eye."


We've all seen parasitic fungus zombie outbreak scenarios, but the twists to this are amazingly unique, and feel like a social metaphor almost too on the nose by dream standards. Disabled people are the ones who become full blown monsters, and then seek only to replace the one part they remember being wrong with them!? That's so beautifully, heart breakingly symbolic of how society treats the "imperfect," it's almost unbelievable that it was stumbled upon by an unconscious brain.



BLOOMING BABY

Posted by Viist:
"I had this dream almost a year ago, it was very very odd and very distressing even though looking back on it, it's ridiculous.

To summarize, there was this sort of "epidemic" going around. It caused people to suddenly start scratching their bellies, and then out of nowhere , plants would start sprouting and blooming from their mouths, consuming them whole and leaving nothing but seeds containing the "essence" of its victims . I remember this being extremely stressful cuz no one knew what caused it, only that once someone started scratching, they were doomed. I was as at school, and someone screeched, out of the classrooms there where plants blooming, everyone started scratching their bellies it, plants were blooming everywhere and consuming people and I was scared shitless, I started running away and suddenly I found myself in a tower (you know how dreams have this way of seemingly changing out of nowhere). I had a sword, and I felt like the "hero" of the story. I had to stop the plants, so I got at the top of the tower And there in the middle of the roof, there was a baby, I'd say maybe 2-3 years old. It's neck was cracked, it eyes were hollow, but what was really unsettling about it, was that it's stomach was see-thorugh, and in between his organs, there was a plant, a little sprout. I realized that the baby was the "villain" and that I needed to kill him, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I just stared at it... And my belly started itching

I woke up terrified, honestly."


What a concept! A dead little kid, seemingly controlled by one cute little parasitic plant sprout, who just erupts people into vegetation by sheer proximity. That actually IS terrifying and not ridiculous, especially the itchy feeling that precedes it. I feel like this little shit would make a perfect villain-of-the-week in some sort of horror/action manga or anime.



NAN DUMPSTER

Posted by Luke Harrap:
"So a nightmare I had as a kid that has always stuck with me as scaring the bejeezus out of me despite being arguably laughable, involves the "nan dumpster".

So I'm sitting in my bedroom, ice fishing through the carpet from the top bunk. I keep pulling up toy trucks and throwing them back because I'm trying to catch a new doll, when I hear my Nan calling me from outside. So I walk through my window, shattering it as I go, to go and find her.

Her voice is coming from around the corner of the house, and when I get close it be aomes very clear that it's not her.

The thing that's calling me looks like a dumpster covered in rust, with 8 legs made up of old broken dolls legs, and 2 long arms made of dolls arms. It come lumbering towards me and opens its lid/ mouth showing teeth made from doll heads and a long, lolling red tongue. "Come here, I've got a presen for you" it says still in my Nan's voice "all the dolls you could want". I ran away and it followed me back around the corner, but then it saw the broken window..."look what youvedone you stupid boy! Pop isn't going to like this!" That's when it's tongue unravelled and I saw that it was made of synthetic dolls hair. The tongue shot out and wrapped me up, pulled me in and ate me. I woke up just after I heard all the dolls head teeth giggling as they started to chew me up."


Everyone who commented on this one agreed that there was, in fact, nothing laughable about it. I don't think many waking minds can come up with a child-eating monster more dreadful than this, a truly fresh and bizarre take on the classic that is doll-based horror. From its design to its behavior, this reads like an obvious instance of "vengeful toys," an entity embodying the anger of dolls that have been broken, thrown away and neglected by children. While every aspect of it is cool in some way, I think we can also all agree that the giggling doll heads for teeth is an absolutely unforgettable image.

More and more, I wish we all had the resources and organization to turn the Nightmare Beings into some sort of monster-collecting game.


PAST NIGHTMARE BEINGS:






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