I’m in a sterile grey room. From an apparently elevated position (and through a standard-issue dream-sequence fisheye lens) I can see a gurney in the centre of the room which is set diagonally. There is a closed door in the far wall. A voice says something like “Avoid contact with water for seven days to make yourself truly unattractive.” I notice that strapped to the gurney, under a sheet with her head showing, is a young girl with matted black hair covering her face. The voice, perhaps emanating from a speaker, appeared to be addressing her directly.
It is now that I notice I am also strapped to a gurney; this one is lined up against the girl’s, head to foot. The girl now sits up and her face is drawn and gaunt, mouth agape but silent, eyes pale, sunken and staring at me, unblinking. Panicking, I try to move and to shout “No” but I’m immobilised and all I can manage is a weak “Nnnerrr…”; it’s as if I’m sedated. I continue my pathetic moaning as the girl leans closer and closer. And I wake up.
Once I’m awake I’m wondering why the hell my stupid meatbrain decided to do that to me after a 4:45 am trip to the latrine, because it’s now just after 5am, my alarm won’t be soothing me awake with Radiohead’s “Treefingers” until 6:20 and I doubt I’ll get any more sleep now. Doesn’t my brain realise that it suffers more than anyone when I don’t sleep? Stupid conglomeration of fancy twirly bits wrapped around a lizard’s CPU.
And now that I’m thinking about it, why the crap was it a bedraggled zombie girl with long black hair? Ring-esque Japanese horror-hime are so 2001 and besides, I haven’t even watched a horror movie since I caught the original Dark Water on TV in 2003 (which, incidentally, gave me my last proper nightmare featuring actual, literal cold sweat). Why did my nocturnal nemesis have to be a movie trope from last decade? I’ve played loads of scary video games in the intervening years, so why couldn’t it have been, for example, a Left 4 Dead Hunter (at least my doom would be voice by Mike Patton) or a Dead Space necromorph? I’d still be terrified, but I’d be writing “Hey, I was torn to bits by my favourite video game badguy in my dream last night” instead of “Sadako? WTFF?”
But hey, at least it wasn’t a vampire or a werewolf (sorry, “lycan”). They’ve kind of lost their impact, what with all the sparkly, shirtless ephebophilia and stealth Mormon propaganda.