March SOLC–Day 23
I wake suddenly. What is that?
I’m curled in a ball beneath a tangle of sheets. My shoulders are raised and tense, my breathing ragged and my fists clenched. Dim memories of rattling, phlegmy Sleestak* breathing, unspoken threats and shuddering fear flicker through my mind. I’m overheated again and push back the covers. Oh, it’s another nightmare. I tend to have bad dreams when I get overheated, but I can’t resist the welcoming weight of a pile of blankets. At this time in my life when my body’s thermometer is a bit wacky, my dreams often drift into the realm of dark and creepy.
This particular dream is hard to shake, though I can’t remember the particulars–just the dreadful inhuman breathing and the threatening atmosphere. Lying here in the dark, still sleepy, I deliberately push my mind into new channels. The dream lurks, a dark smudge in my brain, insidiously threatening to spread and pull me back in. What will I write today?
Suddenly I hear it again. That threatening, rattling breathing. What is it? Where is it coming from? But I’m still awake… Aren’t I?
The thoughts sprint through my mind as tension clenches me again.
And then I realize. That breathing? That awful, rattling breathing from my dream? It came from my husband snoring beside me. My very own Sleestak.
*Note–I’m dating myself with the Sleestak reference but for some reason that’s the description that lingered in my mind when I woke this early this morning, though I think they hissed instead of rattled. Why Sleestaks? Who knows! The mind is a funny thing. It’s been close to 40 years since I watched the show Land of the Lost and many decades since I’ve thought of these creatures. According to Wikipedia, “Sleestaks are devolved, green humanoids with both reptilian and insectoid features; they have scaly skin with frills around the neck, bulbous unblinking eyes, pincer-like hands, stubby tails, and a single blunt horn on top of the head…” Charming, right? And in case you missed the original show or have forgotten–here’s a photo: