It is now 5:42 AM and I just awoke from the first real, truly terrifying nightmare that I’ve had in years and it went something like this:
I was staying with family friends in England in a multi-room flat, occupying the now empty room of their one-year-deceased daughter, a little girl who was obsessed by Barbie-type dolls. Also staying there was a pretty young twenty-something named Tammy; she had a platinum blonde bubble haircut and looked just like a woman who would be found in early-1960’s news footage of British girls freaking out to the sight of the Beatles, specifically the likeness of sex comedy film star Mary Millington as she looked before her career began, during her days in Mid Holmwood when she was just pretty young Mary Quilter.
With the crazy, distorted sense of time and logic inherent to dreams, it seemed like I had stayed at the flat for weeks, getting to know the charming Tammy quite well, but it was odd that none of the other residents seemed to see her or even know that she was there.
The whole dream was kind of eerie up to that point, with all of it taking place at night and illuminated by sometimes-faulty fluorescent light, but the whole thing turned utterly terrifying when I returned to the flat after being out for the day and settled in for the night. As I tucked myself in, Tammy’s voice came from out of a shadowed corner and told me how glad she was to have gotten to know her during the weeks that I had been there. She rather stiffly emerged from the shadows and sat on my bed. Running her hands through my hair and over my face, Tammy began to kiss me and caress me and I responded in kind.
Suddenly, her body became cold and rigid. Doll-like. She fell away from me and she melted into the shadows again, and when I looked to where she fell I could not see her. I got out of bed and groped for the ceiling cord, desperate for light. When light flooded the room, I saw that the floor was littered with many vintage doll collector’s magazines, “mod” doll’s clothes and old LPs featuring a doll that looked exactly like Tammy, all former treasures of the deceased little girl who had lived there. Then I felt a cold plastic hand upon my shoulder and turned to see Tammy’s face, only now she bore the frozen painted smile, unreal hair and staring eyes of a mass-produced fashion doll.
Her body began to shrink to toy-sized proportions as she clung to my neck, and she urgently explained that she had grown weary of the little girl’s daily attentions, such as an endless cycle of humiliation and terror involving being dragged everywhere by her hair, getting lost under furniture for days on end, and being allowed to be used as a chew toy for the family dog. She eventually could no longer bear such treatment, and one night Tammy killed the little girl. Knowing that the child’s grief stricken parents would maintain her room exactly as it was before their daughter’s death, Tammy merely bided her time until someone new came to occupy the room, someone whom she liked more than the little girl. That someone was me and she was determined that I join her forever in her lonely dollhouse.
Horrified, I flung her tiny, naked form from me and heard her break into her assorted pieces when she again landed in the shadows. Swiftly, her parts attacked me in a fit of rejected rage, Tammy’s high-pitched voice crying and shrieking out her resentment. The tiny limbs and other pieces clawed and bit at my face as I tumbled backwards out of the shrine to dead little girl, and while I fought furiously there was little that I could do since the disembodied components constantly changed location and were difficult to fend off.
As I screamed and thrashed about on the living room floor, the other residents of the flat ran out to witness the sight of me in mortal combat with what appeared to them as inanimate doll parts. In their eyes I had not only violated their daughter’s cherished memory, but I had also clearly gone barking mad. I finally gave up the fight and collapsed onto the floor, resigned to spending the rest of my existence in a home for the hopelessly insane, destined to have nightly visits from Tammy, who now had won herself a companion by any means neccessary.
I know all of this sounds rather silly, but try to filter it through your own dreamscape perception, complete with all of the skewed sounds, sights and slow creeping feeling of seasick horror found in the realm of nightmares, and you will see how I sat bolt upright at the dream’s conclusion.