I’m in what might be a barn . . . there are lots of small hallways with construction equipment strewn about . . . halfwalls crisscross the space into what my dream mind thinks are stalls. I don’t know why I’m here, but as in all dreams, I take it for what it is – reality.

Gunfire explodes around me, and David McKay and I dart around corners to avoid being shot. (Here again, David McKay is someone I went to elementary school with, a boy I haven’t talked to for almost 20 years – he figures frequently in my dreams though.) Earlier in the dream, at least I think it was earlier, David and I were in a diner, sitting side by side in a booth, talking, catching up. Now, we are trying not to be killed. We jump into what I think might be an Isuzu Trooper (much like the one my choir teacher Mr. Scruggs used to drive) and crash through scaffolding and such to get out. We make it.

We’re just breathing our sighs of relief when out of the bushes on Brown Ave – we’re back on my childhood town of Waynesville now – jumps a man – a shadow man, a shadow, a demon. He appears at almost the same spot where my friend Mary Ella and I were in 8th grade when these high school boys chased us. In my childhood life, we ran right past David McKay’s house on Brown Ave. We ran to his door. We pounded. No one was home. Now, in my dream, we’re driving, not running. Much faster, no less scary.

As the man jumps out, I wake up. I twist under the covers, trying to get out to go see my mom, to get her comfort. But I’m 33 years old, and my mother is 200 miles away. I am alone in my house.

I have always used my dreams to figure things out about myself. I’m not sure what this one tells me – except that once again I’ll try to find David McKay (anyone know him?) There’s something to write about here – obviously, since I just did – the content of the dream itself but also the way dreams are formed. The barn-like space, the scaffolding, the Trooper – all of that comes from watching Nancy Drew, the Movie last night (I know, I know – but it’s fun), and maybe that’s how I came to connect that stuff with Waynesville, NC. I read Nancy Drew when I was living there, so maybe my brain made a subconscious connection that I didn’t even know of. . . maybe. . . . or maybe I have fears (of course, I have fears) but maybe I have fears about this incident in particular. . . . about being alone, about being without my parents. . .

But I don’t want to get too personal here; I simply wanted to say, as many writers do I imagine, that dreams are fertile territory for a writer. Do you have a dream that you relive? A nightmare that haunts you? Can you use it to delve into yourself for writing? Share if you will.