False awakening

The memory and sensation of my fingers gripping coarse fur and my own screams waking me to a room that was usual in every way except one, remains strong and tactile. My logic has tried to explain it away as a type of false awakening dream but 12 years after it last happened, I still wonder.

I mentioned in the post if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more  about writing inspiration… “Previously I wrote a short story about not a dream, recounting the events where I was asleep and my then husband morphed into a werewolf beside me in bed. It wasn’t a dream. It did happen. That it occurred annually three times, and the two subsequent times my other sleeping companion, Baddy Cat, stood guard… gives the it was real argument weight”.

Werewolves were a topic again last week when Buried Words and Bushwa posted Death of a werewolf. 1893. Commenting, my thoughts returned to the experience, and the 500 word short story I wrote about it for fantasy genre competition. There are 2 versions: the real, and the vamped up version I submitted. For me, writing about something that happened is enjoyable, so I blog. Easy craft of short story writing still eludes me. I find it hard work. Out of curiousity I did a compare of the 2 versions, and the result is the version below.

The Werewolf

Screaming. Someone was screaming. I opened my eyes. The screaming stopped. I thought I heard my husband ask A voice asked “Are you alright?”. I rolled over turned to face him my husband. There was enough light in the room to perceive a Instead, the moon lit the menacing shape of the werewolf lying next to me, asking “You were screaming. What’s wrong?”. I blinked unbelievingly and otherwise too terrified to move,  my arm instinctively shot out to push him away keep it at bay. As my hand met the primitive fur on his of its back, I struggled to comprehend. I looked at my the contrast of my own pallid arm and my hand firmly holding against the dark hairy body at bay, and around my bedroom, yes, everything was normal except there was a werewolf next to me, speaking to me.

His Its brown eyes shone glittered, looking at me quizzical and concerned speculatively. In the soft darkness I could discern his a face, although furry and dog like, did not look evil, just scary hirsute and primordial. His The body and coarse fur felt dense and muscular against my fingertips. When the werewolf spoke his voice had a soft growl like timbre, the menace of its voice belied the ordinary words, “What’s wrong? Did you have a nightmare? “Was I having a nightmare? I asked myself. I couldn’t think remember what I had been dreaming or why I would have been screaming. Now it seemed I was awake and conversing with a werewolf. A one sided conversation, as I was vocally paralysed.

Only Slow seconds had passed but they were slow seconds, stretched out with fear. “What are you doing here?” was the response I eventually managed. Again, the puzzled look. The werewolf’s eyes were gentle and expressive but his muzzle as he spoke revealed long, pointed, yellowed incisors. “What do you mean?” he asked back. I struggled to verbalise my thoughts, “You’re a werewolf” was the only response I eventually managed. He looked at me, then down at himself. His The werewolf’s expression showed no trace of reaction but its eyes glinted evilly like deep set coal fires. When it spoke, the muzzle revealed long, pointed, yellowed incisors. “You’re dreaming, go back to sleep” he it responded, breath fetid with death, and as he it looked deep into my eyes, sleep reclaimed me.

I next awoke in the early morning light, my grey cat curled at my side watching over me. As I remembered the night, I rolled over anticipating with dread anticipation of the werewolf, my arm outstretched, but my husband’s pale skin shone faintly in the light from the window. The cat nudged against my arm and I slept again. In the morning I asked my husband “Do you remember last night?”. “Yes, you were dreaming had a nightmare” was his only short response.

The next following night I felt reluctant and uneasy so I delayed as I prepared for bed. My husband was already sleeping by the time tiredness prevailed and I eventually fell asleep with the cat next to guarding me. I awoke to her licks on Her warning growl woke me, my arm already rigid arm and my hand enmeshed in the rough texture of the werewolf’s fur. My As my eyes recognised the same dark sinister shape, I closed them again and when they reopened, it revealed what my fingertips had felt in that moment, the change back to the bare skin of my husband.

The grey cat always slept with me after that, and although my sleep suffered with expectation there were no further visitations, until exactly a year later,mail I awoke to her licks on my arm outstretched, hand planted against its back her urgent growls opened my eyes to the sinister form once again revealed by the light of the December full moon.

According to the consensus of dream interpretation websites, and best said by Blackridinghood “To dream of werewolf means that someone you love and trust has revealed (or is hiding) a different side of themselves. They are hiding something important from you.” Hell yes, didn’t that turn out to be so. False awakening indeed.

35 thoughts on “False awakening

    1. Thank you. I’m learning I should never put anything I write away. There’s a good chance another way to use or look at it may come up. And, in researching the post I found information I didn’t have before that puts a new perspective on the time.


  1. Ooh. *shudder runs up spine*
    An interesting writing format too, I could see it in my minds eye as I was reading just like a movie that runs two story lines simultaneously. The character looks, then looks again, and you aren’t sure which version is real.


    1. Thank you – neither of the singular versions conveyed what I had in mind that something very real, even if it was a dream, could become by tweaking a few words, a fantasy short story but essentually remain the same. I’m wondering if this is what the media does, writes the facts and then embellishes…


      1. I’m sure of it. Look how they edit ‘reality’ shows to make them more scandalous or dramatic. I bet the print media are no different.


  2. I love the way you’ve merged the two versions.
    I wish we could get to the root of dreams, or a nightmare in this case. I assume at that time you were happy with each other for you to still be together a year later for the repeat dream. Perhaps they should not be called dreams and nightmares, but premonitions.
    Whatever, I find it quite it quite eerie, as though it’s a hidden insight into the future.


    1. Thank you – the merging was an interesting exercise. Although at the time I did the research that indicated what happened was a type of dream, it was only in researching the post that I stumbled upon the werewolf dream info… and it fell into place what the Universe had be trying to warn me of as far back as then.
      No, things were’t going that well but as you do, the effort was made as I had no idea at the time of what was being hidden… It was definitely an insight into the future, a somewhat dramatic one!


    1. Thank you. Looking back it gives me shivers too. The Universe worked so hard to give me that message, and by the third year, the light due to other events also, had started to dawn.


  3. A fascinating look at the creative process, EllaDee — and a tad frightening, too. Equally intriguing, though, was the dream’s interpretation and your situation at the time. Shivers, indeed.


    1. Thank you. It was interesting for me too, to see how I’d taken the story from an account to fantasy fiction, and revisiting all that was attached to it. Intriguing how messages come to us.


  4. A good read, especially as I have been reading a couple of Twilight novels this past week. A freebie acquisition which I will write about at some point in the near future.

    I was going to say what I thought the dream meant, but you included it at the bottom of your post! So much easier to read something into other peoples’ dreams than your own. I would probably have said unconscious fear of the person you know, who isn’t what they seem at all. I think that’s pretty similar.

    I could really do without dreaming actually. I wake up exhausted if I’ve had a busy night zapping around in my head. Fortunately the last few nights haven’t been too stressful, although I did dream about the meeting I was chairing the other day, but that was going to happen regardless. It went well and I had been worrying for nothing but it still hangs there in your subconscious and you can’t get rid of it.

    How complex is the brain?


    1. Thank you 🙂 It was interesting to write about it…
      The brain loves the opportunity to sort things out when it should be resting… occasionally though it comes up with something helpful.
      I think it’s taken me this long to get enough perspective to think of it as a dream and the message it was trying to convey. It seems so obvious… now.
      I’ve never had a dream like it. It seemed like I was awake, and unlike usual dreams nothing else was skewed.
      Baddy was also intriguing. After the first instance she always knew before it would happen and would display deliberate guarding behaviour she never did otherwise.
      Your dream interpretation was close…


  5. I’ve had a lot of dreams where I felt awake. Plus, because many of them are related to daily life, I have to struggle at times to work out whether I have dreamed something, or whether it actually happened. Seriously difficult.

    Isn’t Baddy’s behaviour a bit like animals sensing a change in the weather eg hurricanes etc? They are far more sensitive than us. And we think we are smart?

    I forgot to say in the last post, I thought the revision was interesting where you changed the terminology from he to it to depersonalise – whoever. I would probably have gone with the original because it showed the internal conflict that was clearly in your mind. It was him and yet it wasn’t. Or was it?


    1. Those real life type dreams that meet waking life are confusing 🙂
      True, cats & dogs can prewarn of all sorts of things.
      Exactly – both versions have a distinct feel, and the “it” of the second was the vehicle I used to get the fantasy feel. And yes, it wasn’t him but it was…


    1. Thank you 🙂 It was interesting to see the end result and not difficult to accomplish technically using Word’s compare doc function. It hadn’t been my intention to present it like that but it seemed to work, and conveyed the shift between the 2 versions.


  6. That is an interesting idea EllaDee.
    I like that you seem fascinated by Werewolves, my daughter is by vampires, and when you say they aren’t real, she looks at you and says, yes they are. Of course she doesn’t really believe it, but she likes the idea, or something like that.


  7. Awesome story and very intriguing. Horror is big right now–I think this could be a great short story for a contest. Just a thought…


    1. Thank you. Maybe it was ahead of its time. I wrote it to enter a short story content… but I write because I write, so it’s ok, and I need incenctive & practice when it comes to short stories 🙂


    1. The experience was so mind boggling that it took me years to realise they were very powerful dreams and messages, I was sidetracked by the method of delivery, wondering WTF 😉


        1. Aaaah. That could explain it. I don’t sleepwalk and I’ve probably only had one or two ‘lucid’ dreams my entire life.
          Do you dread going to sleep?


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