This one was a baffling quagmire of symbolism, with no clear indication of what any of it meant. I was in this darkened house. There were staircases everywhere. Too many staircases, and shadowy figures walking backwards up them in single file.
There was a rhythm to their movements. Not a dance but certainly synchronized. Above me, more staircases, more figures walking either up or down them, and moving through passages. Corridors of some kind, but which I could somehow see into from the outside despite being wooden, or tunnels carved out of rock.
Figures and passages. Passages and figures. An endless procession, like blood cells rushing through your veins. Where are they going? Where did they come from? What is their business? The clock struck eleven.
The clock face was designed to resemble a lunar crescent, as in a partial eclipse. Every number on it was eleven. As I watched, I noticed it reflected in a nearby mirror. The numbers of course were still legible because 11 backwards still looks more or less the same.
The symmetry of it was important for some reason. As was the Moon. Apollo 11? It’s the only connection I can think of but has nothing to do, so far as I can tell, with the shadowy figures or the staircases and corridors they traverse.
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. It synchronized with the rhythm of their movements. I heard a door slam. Then another. Then a window. Then cupboards, one by one in rapid succession, all in time with the rhythm of the ticking clock. As if everything in the house that could be opened or shut was opening and shutting one at a time in rapid sequence.
When I found a window and looked out of it, of course the Moon was in partial eclipse, and had the number eleven carved into it. The digital clocks all read 11:11. When I tried inspecting a book taken from the shelf, it came alive in my hands.
It was still made of leather and paper but there were slits in the leather that opened like eyelids and it had eyes under there. Another slit opened for the mouth and it had teeth, and tongue and everything. “What are you?” I demanded to know, repulsed yet fascinated.
As if the jig was now up, the clock also came to life with its own face. The eyes moved to follow me. It licked its lips now and again. When I stepped out the front door to look at the house from the outside, it was alive. Two second story windows for eyes, and the first story door for a mouth.
“What ARE you!” I demanded again, this time shouting. But it offered no answers. The skin, made of siding, just writhed slowly and subtly as the eyes looked around from beneath the sliding window pane eyelids and the tongue emerged from the open door periodically to lick around the edges of the door frame. It felt suspiciously familiar. I am 99% sure I’ve seen this house in a dream before.
What is it? What is any of this? What could it possibly mean, from any perspective? Maybe just full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. But there’s a lot of stuff in here to point to and say “that looks like some kind of encoded message” yet none of it leads anywhere obvious.
Was this a nightmare? There was weird shit everywhere. But I was never “afraid”. I felt morbid, intense fascination. Then some mixture of awe and terror upon realizing the house I’d been inside of was alive all along. None of it scared me though.
It’s the feeling of looking at a photograph of one of those horrifying sea creatures you often see clickbaity slideshow articles about. They look grotesque but then turn out to be the size of your thumb irl. So they’re not frightening, you just can’t help but stare, studying every bizarre little detail.
That’s what it was like. I didn’t really take anything away from it besides “What in the fresh hell was all that about” but it furnished a lot of interesting imagery I will draw upon when writing horror stories, as my dreams frequently do.
Follow me for more like this! And why not read one of my stories?