Nightmare # 1:I was falling, and for a brief moment flying ~ flying down and down and down towards the light. The wind picked up behind me and pushed me further, forcing me to lose control and lashing me around at unimaginable speeds. The air raged against me; my head ached from the pressure and I felt disconnected from it. I could only compare the fall to the acclaimed Road Runner series, where Wile E. Coyote would topple over a cliff, plunging to his death. Even the rocky landscape from that cartoon surrounded me; different shades and shapes of rock and rubble encased me, filling my peripheral vision with its distortion.
Faster and faster I fell. Faster and faster I plummeted ~ not knowing what awaited me at the bottom, but assuring myself it was not good. And as if to answer me, a horrendous laugh echoed from the pit below. And then, came the heat. In an instance, I was gasping for breath; wiping the sweat that ran into my eyes; and coughing soot from my throat. I was being thrown to and fro, now heading face first ~ and even through my watering eyes I could see the fire and how quickly I was heading towards it. But more disturbing than that was the creature that stood among the flames. I'm sure it was the devil ~ again, in cartoon form ~ with a curved red tail that came to an arrowed point and leathery red skin that glowed like embers in the fire.
His face, however, was far from animated. It was charcoal-burnt and still melting, with an oozing eye that was beginning to droop from its socket. From a hollow hole ~ masquerading as his mouth ~ four tiny snakes wiggled about, their tongues hissing and lapping up the melting skin around his features; and from it erupted another horrific laugh causing my ears to pop and bleed from its boisterous bellow. He raised one arm above his head and erected a pitchfork, anticipating my landing and all too ready to hook my body and hold me over the flames to toast me to my death ~ like a marshmallow at summer camp. I pressed frantically with my hands, assuming they would emulate brakes and slow my speed, but to no avail. I was dangerously close now, my skin beginning to bubble and blister from the heat. I opened my mouth to scream ~ but how ironic ~ no sound would follow through my voice box. I could feel my ears were overheating and soon they would burst into flames along with the rest of my body. Perhaps falling onto that pitchfork would be more humane than going out by fire.
I squeezed my eyes shut and braced myself for impact.
~~~ I awoke with a jolt.
I was sitting up in bed, sweat pouring from my forehead and down my back.
I was ~ maybe ~ ten years old and safe in my parent's house.
All safe for now.
(Animated pic is compliments of Wikimedia Commons)