Fever Dreams

Posted on: March 12th, 2012 by Anthony Rapino 11 Comments

I’ve been out of commission for the past few days due to the onset of an upper respiratory infection.  It left me quite weak and unable to do much more than pop various pills while drinking tea.  Although I’m finally starting to get better, the images of my fever dreams still linger.

Before I proceed, I must admit: I’m high on caffeine right now.  I haven’t had a cup of coffee since being sick, and now I’m about 4 cups in, plus the aforementioned pills of various origins.  Lightheaded is an understatement.  My head is a hot air balloon filled with apricot jelly and pistachio nuts.  And actually, that has nothing to do with the pills and coffee.

During the height of my illness, I woke in the dead of night, shivering.  It took but a moment to realize why.  I had been sweating so profusely that my shirt and pajama bottoms were soaked through.  Not only that, but I had sweat straight through to the blanket and sheets.  I was sopping wet with sweat.  It dripped from every pore as if my body proposed to purge me of water entirely.

This, I’m sad to say, was not a fever dream.  After a delirious few minutes undressing, changing the sheets, moping sweat from myself, I finally plunged back into a deep sleep of hallucinatory dreams so surreal and schizophrenic that I could have been in a Dali painting.

I emerged first into a crowd of screaming miniatures.  I floated among these mostly faceless people as if through one of the circles of hell.  As they grasped at me, each of their words fought with the others to penetrate my face holes.  But it all sounded like so much mush-mouthed wailing.  Then, as if by Star Trek transportation, I was in a alleyway fighting for my life against some kind of pumpkin tomato with  robotic workings on the inside.  It was manned by a squirrel, sitting atop the stem with tiny controls.  There had been an internal apocalypse, and I was a survivor.  Or else, I was one of the damned.  It’s all terribly confused in my mind.

There was more, so much more.  But as time goes by I’m forgetting.  I didn’t have the energy to write it down, and now I’m regretting it.  Then again, none of it would probably make it into a story.   I’d tried using dreams as inspiration before, and it never seemed to work for me.

Do you use your dreams as inspiration?

11 Responses

  1. Diana says:

    I keep a book and pen by the bed, to write them down when I wake 🙂 Several of them became the fodder for short stories. Love the squirrel at the controls, gave me a chuckle 🙂

    • Ha, thanks! I used to try the dream journal thing. it worked, but I got lazy. :-p

  2. Jim says:

    I’ve actually converted several dreams into story ideas. Granted, most are useless, and of course, now I can only sleep with chemical aids, so I don’t remember most of what I dream about nowadays.

    • I’ve also had trouble with insomnia. I tend not to remember my dreams unless I really try. Yeah, that was what I found. The dream-stories never went anywhere for me.

  3. I’m glad you are feeling better. I do use dreams as inspiration. I spook myself out. =)

    • Ha, nice! It’s always a good sign when you give yourself the creepers. 😀

  4. I got one of those digital recorders and keep it by my bedside, but nothing worthy of recording yet. Holy cow, if I had dreams like those, there would have to be stories. The squirrel alone is inspiration enough! Anyhow, so glad you survived. Being sick during the school year is the worst.

  5. Indigo says:

    Hope you’re feeling better. At the very least you have gorgeous weather to recover by. Strange weather but still nice. All my windows are open. Makes me wonder if we’re not in for a very hot summer.

    Dreams? More nightmare than not. One is actually going to be the main plot of the next book I’m working on, an off shoot of Mad Chance. I’ve no other choice, the damn thing won’t stop haunting me so I may as well put it to work for me.

    I have to agree with everyone else. That squirrel needs to find it’s way into a short story.

    Writing? Hmm, unfurling my fingers after such a long break. Nothing substantial yet. I’m itching to get at it though…so that’s something. (Hugs)Indigo

  6. Laurita says:

    I have the most vivid dreams, but if I don’t write them down immediately upon waking, they slip away. Unfortuately, I’m not always diligent.

    Hope you’re feeling better. Although a head full of pistacio nuts sounds like it could be fun.

    • It is *delicious* 😉

  7. Katey says:

    I do sometimes, but like you, when I’m fevered and soaking and ugh, I just don’t have the energy to write them down. And those are the best, sadly :/

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