. Dream Spider .


by Philip Wallace

He knew that something had bit him. There was a swollen red bump that was sore and it itched. He ended up getting some salve to rub on it, but really the pain from the bite was nothing compared to something else. Since he had been bitten his dreams had taken on a different feel. It was as if they weren’t really his dreams, but somebody else’s. Which is not too surprising, for a dream spider had bitten him.

Dream spiders are the color of sand and they belong to a little known genus called bibliogaimanicus. Once they were confined to a very small equatorial habitat, but with the rise of world trade a few have made their way into countries like ours. They like most to live near dusty books and warm fireplaces. The victim of the spider bite liked to lounge by the warm fire on nights when the wind howled and the cold air made its way through the brittle windowpanes.

A careful and deep look into his eyes would perhaps reveal a troubled mind, but he had taken to hiding himself away. A few weeks had gone by and he now knew the source of his night visions. It was her dreams. The lady he slept beside each night. Get bitten by a dream spider and you will gain admittance into the love of your life’s sleeping subconscious. It is a realm that can be very scary and that doesn’t even
include nightmares.

She couldn’t think of him sleeping alone so she would search him out and make him join her in the bed. So night after night the torture of her dreams ran through his mind, one film trailer after another. She dreamed of everyday things like the kids, work, cooking, shopping, and even sleeping. She dreamed of her childhood. She had the standard panic dreams. There was the one where she found herself back in school wearing only panties and a bra. She fell off of cliffs. She drowned. There were the standard car wrecks and plane crashes. These were enervating mind numbing ordeals.

Some of her dreams were interesting. These were the ones filled with grandiose visions. Otherworldly realms filled with unimaginable things sometimes arced through the night to fill his mind with lightning bombs of speculative power. Nightmares made her heart race and body sweat. If she awoke suddenly, darkness would engulf his spirit so deep he sometimes doubted he could wake back up himself. But in the morning he would rise to the warming sun and his agitation would fade as the day wore on. How could he ever tell her?

When night fell and she went to bed she would become somebody different. She was an athlete, ballerina, librarian, and once a dictator. The multiplicity of her dreams was astonishing, but there was something that nagged at him. He couldn’t quite figure it until he was left alone for a few days while she went on a business trip. It occurred to him that he was never in her dreams. It would not have bothered him so much except he was also not in her love dreams.

She spent her time in these entwined with movie stars, rock stars, and soap stars. Total strangers or even worse, men from the neighborhood would bed her. A panoply of consorts would bring her to fruition night after night with her spent form glistening and aching in the gauzy hazeworld of subconscious desires. She never seemed to remember these dreams, but he often wondered during those times when she would awake so gently in the dawn with such a smile on her face.

She still smiled at him when she fed him his meals. She still gave him a special bath every so often. They still frolicked and played when the weather was nice. But since the dream spider had bitten him, nothing could compete with those smiles in the morning after a night of love dreams. It broke his heart. And he couldn’t get her to understand his problem. He almost killed himself by jumping in front of a speeding truck, but he lost the nerve. Really, he just wished he could just go back to his own dreams, especially the ones he dreamed in front of the fireplace. He really missed those fire hydrants.



(stories) [home]