I've always had really vivid dreams, often with recurring themes. For as long as I can remember I've dreamt about the same scary dog, zombies, and certain places.
There are about four different places and, in that sort of wibbly-wobbly dream way, they're all houses. The only thing they have in common is "the bad place"-- some part of the house that I try to avoid. I'm usually not sure why. I just know that there's something terrifying there. Even while staying out there's the heavy knowledge that, eventually and inevitably, the bad place will spread and envelope everything.
Last night, I dreamt about one of these homes again. It's a grim, nonsensical sort of apartment that maybe used to be a shopping mall or something. The rent was cheap for undisclosed reasons and my family and I moved in because we were desperate and excited to have found so much space. But, this... badness, this gut-turning fear kept us out of the biggest part. We thought it would go away, that we'd get used to it, but we never did. Not really.
Last night though, last night something happened that's never happened to me before.
I went into the bad place. We decided to clean it up. For whatever dream logic reason, a cousin I haven't seen in a while was there and decided to play a joke by scaring me while I was in there. She did it and while I recovered, soot fell from the chimney into the fireplace behind her. Then, slowly, two pale and bruised feet came into view. Then legs with thin, dried trails of blood. By the time she had lowered herself out of the flue and into the room, my cousin and I were running back toward safety. The girl was clearly dead. She moved like someone had broken every bone and support in her body, jerky and popping while her skin rolled around loosely. She followed us all the way to the cleanest part of the house, so we kept running. Outside to where the sun and busy street could save us.
And it worked.
She stumbled onto the sidewalk and disintegrated. We went back inside and the bad place was gone.
I feel like I just beat a game. Never have I ever actually succeeded in cleansing one these places, though I know I've tried. I wonder if I'll dream about it ever again or if it's just done now. I can't help but feel a little proud of myself.