Whenever I think of Halloween and fears, I can’t help but remember one of my worst recurring nightmares as a child—and the funny way it turned out. I think it’s safe to say that I had an active imagination (yes, I see you all raising your hands… it’s a writer’s blessing and curse.)
So when I was about four or five, I started having a nightmare — every night, for about three weeks. In my nightmare, there was a big spider on my ceiling, slowing descending toward my bed. It was going to eat me. I knew it. Every night when I woke up screaming for my parents, that’s what I told them.
Now, when I’m talking about a big spider, I don’t mean a measly tarantula. I’m not even talking about the Goliath Birdeater tarantula —and because I’m nice, I decided NOT to include a photo of said really, really, REALLY big spider. If you want to see for yourself, here you go. (But really, anything bug sized with the name birdeater? Yeah. Not messing with that.)
Anyway… my 4-year old imagination came up with something even bigger. It was about as ugly at the Goliath Birdeater, but it wasn’t a foot long — it was a ceiling long. That’s right, this thing measured wall to wall, covering my entire ceiling with it’s hairy, spindly legs, its big huge fangs and …yeah, ick.
So night after night, this spider visited my nightmares. Began its descent toward my bed. Night after night, I screamed for my parents.
And finally, one night, my beleaguered, exhausted father got a little tired of trying to tell me it was just a nightmare. (Can’t say I blame him now that I’m a parent… sleep is a precious commodity.) So he might have raised his voice a bit when he told me repeatedly that it was my imagination, it was an IMAGINERY spider (said very slowly, with very little patience remaining.) So, in my most indignant 4 year old tone, I told him to take an imaginary gun and shoot it.
And I can happily say, we all got a lot more sleep after that night. Big, hairy and unwelcome never returned.
And yep… to this day, really not a fan of spiders. What about you?