False awakening

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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.