I Woke in Fright

a record of dreams and nightmares

Month: April, 2013

“Tell me about your dream?”

by Bec Fary

“Okay –

I was at my house and it was very stormy and rainy. It was like the house but as these things always are it was modified: it was bigger and it had these strange type of awning spaces and, I don’t know, it was just a bigger place in general.

Anyway, I went outside in the rain and I was meeting X from years and years ago. We met, and she was really upset and emotional and then we kissed, five times or something. The rest of the time was us being in this awkward interaction where we caught up on odd pieces of our lives and it turned out that she was engaged to be married. I told her I had Y living with me in my house, as is the case in real life.

And it wouldn’t be very remarkable, really, except that obviously I felt really guilty for having kissed her, and when she I asked why I was feeling guilty… I didn’t feel guilty about Y.

And later in the dream I explained to Y the situation and she kind of seemed upset, but not righteously upset like you’d expect.”

“Sorry – this is dream Y?” 

“Yeah, and it seemed like she understood that that was sort of ‘permitted’, and anyway it was on waking up that I felt really guilty because, you know, because I was really thinking of someone else. And it was just odd, anyway, to have been in this interaction and to have felt this guilt and for it not to have been assigned to the person that you would expect.”

“Who were you feeling guilty about?” 

“I was feeling guilty for, you know, for having kissed X.”

He told me it was odd and unexpected to have felt that way, even in a dream. He said he’d assigned his guilt to someone from the past, someone he said he had no right to feel guilty towards. I said he shouldn’t feel guilty, because strange things happen in dreams sometimes. I don’t think we should be held accountable for the things our subconscious sometimes throw at us.

But he’s always had a lot of control, if not of his heart then of his mind. He said he didn’t want his dreams to be accepted as if they were inevitable. He didn’t think of the dream as something that ‘happened to him.’

He told me what he wanted:

“To become altered in a certain way so that those sorts of dreams don’t occur anymore.”

He wanted to control the direction of his affections. I had trouble accepting his view, because I don’t think our dreams necessarily reflect our waking thoughts (though they sometimes do). I still find his view, that he could control his waking thoughts and thus change the direction of his dreams, fascinating. I guess that crossover between dreams and awake is similar to some of the revelations and control we can have with lucid dreaming.

He said of his dreams:

“I want them to continue to be very sincere records of how I’m feeling. There’s the hope that with enough effort in the real world and with enough time, that shift will filter through. That’s the best than I can hope for. The fact that these dreams keep occurring mean that I’m not doing it good enough.”


he woke up and said, “I had the strangest dream”

by Bec Fary

He said he was sitting on a bench outside his work.

“I can’t even describe the place, it was too weird. It was like a terrace house, but also a barn… I never actually saw my work, I just knew it was upstairs.”

He had to get inside and start work but he couldn’t. Boxes of kittens kept showing up, and he had to find a home for them. He’d posted on Facebook, asking people to adopt them.

Finally he managed to get rid of them all, but a box of black-and-white puppies showed up too.

Then the puppies turned into little rats. There were giant rats living in the barn, too, and they ran out and stepped on the tails of the little rats. They were eating the little rats’ tails five at a time.

“There were all these tail-less rats running around, and the big rats were devouring them. Then people showed up to pick up the puppies, but I had no puppies to give them. Just rats.”



by Bec Fary




a dream from The Theatrical Journalist

by Bec Fary

Tetsua from 'Akira'


“What’s happened to me? I must be dreaming. I feel like I can take out the world.” 

Tetsuo, ‘Akira’

“I had the worst dream ..”

by Bec Fary

I don’t really know what they were but I was surrounded by tiny trees. There were two kinds, each kind separated by the middle of the tiny forest: one was round, stumpy and green, the other tall, slender and brown. I can’t remember how, I think maybe someone had given my some kind of toy, but I had the power to grow snow on top of the trees. I remember it was very difficult and took a long time, but eventually I got a thin white layer on each tree.

Then I was sitting under a tree, maybe one of the tiny ones but maybe not. At some point in this dream I was swimming in seawater, chasing someone, or maybe someone was chasing me, but I can’t remember who or where or how that fits into the dream.

Later I was sitting at a high bar. Even though it didn’t look like the restaurant I work at at all, I knew I was at work. I was with a few workmates and we were on break, waiting for our lunch. It was taking a really long time to cook.

Then I saw my manager through a window, beckoning me to get back to work. She turned away and I ran after her, shouting her name.

‘Hey! I haven’t had my lunch yet!’

She shook her head – ‘No, you can’t do that’ – and turned and walked away.

I ran to the bar to cancel my lunch order, and then had to get back to the tree I’d been sitting under. I’d left my shoes there.

I knew I was late for work now so I was hurrying everywhere. I was running, but my body felt so heavy and I could only move slowly. Eventually I made it back to the tree, and tried to put my shoes and socks on but it took the longest time. My friends had left their clothes on the ground under the tree as well, so I started carrying them. There was a heavy jumper that weighed me down even more.

I saw my boyfriend in the distance, running and laughing. He was with a friend, and I heard him saying he was really excited to visit me at work and ‘Listen to the beats.’ He was about to turn a corner but then he saw me and smiled.

‘I’m on my way to quit ny job,’ I told him. I felt so bad that he wouldn’t be able to visit me, but I could tell he was happy for me.

Then I was making my way to work again, and had to walk through a long, dark underpass with columns everywhere. There were other people around but they were really far away. Then I saw a man up ahead. He was hunched over, with shadows over his face and I felt so threatened. I tried to run but my bag was too heavy. I just had to walk slow, trying to push myself faster and edging around the man.

I finally made it to work, and there was a slow treck up some wooden stairs. I saw my co-workers along the way but for some reason I couldn’t talk to any of them. As I arrived I realised it was Christmas Eve and I didn’t know why I was even working that day. When I made it into work I saw my manager looking at me. She knew I was frustrated but I couldn’t talk about anything then, I had to start work.

‘_____, I want to talk to you at the end of this shift.’

She started laughing at me and turned her back.

by Bec Fary

“…and the old man took off his trousers and went to bed in the dark. He rolled up his trousers to make a pillow, putting the newspaper inside them. He rolled himself in the blanket and slept on the other old newspapers that covered the springs of the bed.

He was asleep in a short time and he dreamed of Africa when he was a boy and the long, golden beaches and the white beaches, so white they hurt your eyes, and the high capes and the great brown mountains. He lived along that coast now every night and in his dreams he heard the surf roar and saw the native boats come riding through it. He smelled the tar and oakum of the deck as he slept and he smelled the smell of Africa that the land breeze brought that morning.

Usually when he smelled the land breeze he woke up and dressed to go and wake the boy. But tonight the smell of the land breeze came very early and he knew it was too early in his dream and went on dreaming to see the white peaks of the Islands rising from the sea and then he dreamed of the different harbours and roadsteads of the Canary Islands.

He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, not of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, not contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach. They played like young cats in the dusk and he loved them as he loved the boy. He never dreamed about the boy. He simply woke, looked out the open door at the moon and unrolled his trousers and put them on.”

from ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ by Ernest Hemingway

by Bec Fary

I told him I was horny, but too sleepy, so I’d probably have sexy dreams about him. Instead, this happened in my sleep:

It was a long and detailed dream and I guess I can trace some insecurities there.

I’m three years out of high school but in the dream everything was the same as it is now, only it was the first day of school term. I was at my family home – my parents and my brother and a few other people were there – but it wasn’t ‘home’ as it is in waking life. We were in the middle of a forest or something, there were trees and stones everywhere.

____ was there too and he had to drive me to school. I realised I was in my school uniform. I remember, in the dream, it reminded me of this moment from Trainspotting. I was embarrassed, but he just laughed and shrugged it off.

He was meant to drive me to school, and I was late, but we ended up somewhere else. There were a lot of people there – maybe from my high school but I’m not sure – and they were drinking. People kept offering me swigs from bottles.

____ had a strangely-shaped bottle, it was very thin and filled with a clear, fizzy liquid.

Suddenly everything shifted back to my parent’s house, and I saw ____ steal the bottle (which turned out to be a bottle of clear champagne) from my parent’s fridge. I think he was quietly offering it to everyone at breakfast. Later my mother confronted me about it.

We looked out the window and saw a crowd of people around a fence. Everyone was laughing and taking photos. I remembered I’d seen what they were looking at earlier when we’d pulled up in the car. Shiny, coloured letters – MMF – were strung on the fence and it reminded me of Meredith Music Festival.

He asked if I wanted to take a photo but we couldn’t decide which camera to use. I looked over again and saw they’d strung ribbons and pom poms around the letters and I said I didn’t want a photo anymore because they’d spoiled it.

by Bec Fary

“…once, a guy came in because he had dreamed a record, the whole thing, melody, title and artist. And when I found it for him (it was an old reggae thing, ‘Happy Go Lucky Girl’ by the Paragons), and it was more or less exactly as it had appeared to him in his sleep, the look on his face made me feel as though I was not a man who ran a record shop, but a midwife, or a painter, someone whose life is routinely transcendental.”

from ‘High Fidelity’ by Nick Hornby