Five Nightmares - Neddal Ayad
Number Two

Older, late teens.  I wake up and can't move.  I can breathe but it feels as if someone or something has bolted my ankles, wrists, knees, and neck to the bed.  I try to call out or scream but I can't.  No voice.  My head feels numb.  I feel some-thing, a presence, at the foot of the bed.  Again, I can't see it but I get the feeling that it has a vaguely human outline and that it's pitch black.  Or not.  It has a nebulous, shifting quality.  I feel it hanging over me, pushing down on my back, squeezing the air from my lungs.  Eventually I fall back into a deep sleep.  Later I find out that this was a manifestation of what's known here in Newfoundland as the old hag .The technical term is sleep paralysis and there is a neurological explanation.
Number Three

Some background:  As a child I lived with my mother and her parents.  I'm very close to my grandmother and was close to my grandfather until he died.  In the years leading up to his death my grandfather suffered from a protracted illness.

Shortly after my grandfather died and for years afterward I had a series of recurring dreams, all variations on the following:  I'm at my mother's place.  My mother, grandmother, and grandfather are there.  Problem:  My grandfather is dead.  I know this because I was at the hospital with him hours before he died, was at the viewing in the funeral home, and was at the funeral itself.  I ask my mother and grandmother what's going on.  They don't know what I'm talking about.  I ask my grandfather but he can't speak.  I look at him and I know that he is dead.  He may be walking around, but he has the look of the dead, the several days dead, about him.  And he can't speak.  And he looks confused.

This is where the dreams would vary:  Sometimes I woke up at this point.  Sometimes it would continue.  When it continued, it was always the same - I would have to kill my grandfather.  The details aren't important.  By the end of the dream he would be dead for the second time.  Sometimes there would be a second funeral, sometimes not.
Number One

From when I was a small child:  (Two?  Three?  Younger?) I wake up and there's a monster standing over my bed.  It's big with shaggy blue fur, long teeth, and a crazed look in its eyes.  It growls and grimaces and foams at the mouth.  It looks like a Muppet version of Grendel and is absolutely terrifying.  I wake up (for real) screaming.
Number Four

There's a dead woman in my backyard.  She's blond, maybe thirty-five to forty years old, and a professional type.  Or at least that's what I gather from her clothing.  I have no idea who killed her or how the body came to be in my backyard but I do know that I have to keep it hidden.

The woman's body is still in my backyard, under a pile of leaves and branches.  It's also in my house, in my bedroom, under my bed.  The body has been dismembered and is in a garbage bag.  There is no blood, no viscera.  The body in the garbage bag could be a mannequin.  But I know that it's not.  People keep coming in and out of the room.  Trying to chat, wanting to hang out.  I keep trying to find excuses for them to leave.  I have not killed this woman, but I feel responsible and I feel like I'll be held responsible.

Number Five

Am on a pathway.  It is winter and the snow crunches under my boots.  The path winds through a grove of willow trees. Their branches hang low and menacing, like whips about to crack.  They sway and pop in the breeze and I don't want to turn my back on them, but I also don't want to stay within their reach.  I follow the path into a small clearing.  As I enter the clearing, I realize that it is really a large field.  It's a clear night with a full moon.  In the field, illuminated by the moonlight are rows upon rows of skulls, planted like cabbages.  Some are polished to brilliant white, others are black and charred.