Today I would like to offer up an excerpt from my supernatural novel Evil Deeds. In this passage we have George Mathews in the midst of a nightmare. George is the head of the modern-day family who have moved into the renovated farmhouse which had once been the home of the Franklin family. That’s until they were told to leave by an unfeeling land agent who went by the name of Robert Jacobs. In his dream, George takes on the role of this same Robert Jacobs. He finds himself in a life and death struggle with another man who turns out to be the farmer James Franklin:
George was shocked to find himself lying on the ground, while a man who was a stranger to him repeatedly rained savage blows on his person. What’s going on? he wondered in stunned disbelief. Why is this man attacking me? Oh, God! I can’t seem to get him off me: he’s so strong. What am I going to do?
Then, not quite believing his luck, he reached a hand out and felt something firm and solid. It was a stick of some description which lay next to his prone form. Not wasting any time, he frantically took possession of the implement and with as much strength as he could muster lashed out at his assailant.
It was the first blow which did the trick. George’s aim was true as he struck the crown of his opponent’s head. It turned out his weapon was a cane or walking stick of some description. George didn’t know how he had come by the cane, but he wasn’t much concerned by that. No, his only thought was survival.
What am I doing? George asked himself in a manner which seemed to highlight his confused state of mind. Why am I repeatedly striking this man, when he is lying defenceless on the ground, unable to defend himself? Yes, he attacked me, but he’s in no position to hurt me now. So, why do I keep bashing his head in with this cane? That’s not right! Why, it’s completely inhuman. What’s caused me to act in this barbaric way?
Finally ceasing his brutal assault on the man, George looked first at the prostrate form beneath him and then the instrument of his butchery. Look at this cane, he mused in a transfixed style. It’s so regal-looking, with a polished silver handle and the model of a lion’s head sculpted into its surface. I’ve never seen such a stylish cane before.
God, George! he upbraided himself within his tension-filled mind. How can I think about something so trivial as the style of this cane after what I’ve done to this poor man? Jesus! Look at him: he’s covered in blood and he’s…
Just then, as George looked yet closer at his would-be assailant, he was shocked to his very foundations by a chilling discovery he had made. The staring eyes of the man below him had no life in them and his body lay motionless. He knew he was dead.
Staggering back from the grisly sight and the devastating conclusion he had drawn, George made to leave the scene. But he found it impossible to do so. I’ve just killed a man, he realised in stunned disbelief. But I haven’t just killed him: I’ve beaten his brains in with this vicious implement. My God! This can’t be happening, there must be a mistake. This can’t be…this can’t be…this can’t be…HAPPENING!!!
George jolted upright in bed, as beads of perspiration streamed down his face like rainfall in the height of the monsoon season. As he looked around him, he came to the glorious discovery that all he had previously gone through had merely been a figment of his imagination. It had been another of those terrible nightmares he never seemed to be free of. That’s all: a bad dream, caused by his heavy responsibility at the bank, his long journeys to and back from London and his recent domestic troubles.
Yes, thought George, as he wiped away some of the sweat from his forehead, but what made me dream something so horrible? I mean it was cruel and heartless what I did to that man. It was like I turned into a different person, someone I didn’t like and who I wouldn’t want to be around.
As George sat up in bed and rested his back on the headboard, he glanced at Fiona who slept peacefully beside him. Huh! he ruminated in a wistful way: I bet she never has any bad dreams. Oh no! Only lulling, carefree hours of sleep for my dear wife. It’s only me who seems to suffer from these nightmares.
Cloaked as he was in the darkness of the night, George felt like a blind man desperately trying to find his way in the world. In truth, he had been feeling more and more like that of late. This didn’t exclusively concern his sleeping hours, either. For he had been consumed in recent times with a sensation of dread.
He didn’t understand where this desolate feeling had come from, but it was there all right. The nightmare he had just experienced seemed to be trying to tell him something. It was as if there was a point to it all, like it was a presentiment of what could be waiting for him around the next corner. Unless he took the right precautions, George felt the dream was furnishing him with the knowledge that he was in a lot of trouble, possibly even danger.