This one was initially fun and nostalgic. I returned to a cabin on Lake Vermilion where I used to spend Summers when I was younger. I’ve only ever been there in the Summer, but being that it’s in Minnesota, the lake freezes over every winter. The ice is so thick, year-round residents traverse it by snowmobile.
In this dream I was at last staying in the lake cabin during the Winter, and had to contend with the ice and snow. The cabin was conveniently filled with all manner of sleds and sled-shaped objects I could slide across the ice on, so I picked one and headed out.
The surface of the ice was odd. Not perfectly flat, but textured. Very beautifully textured, with regularly spaced bumps. Yet when I slid over it, it behaved as if flat. Someone on shore called out that I should be careful, as the ice was not yet thick enough and I might fall through.
Sure enough, the ice buckled under me. I was plunged into frigid water. Before I passed out, I glimpsed a massive, spherical creature covered on all sides by eyeballs. I felt immediate deja vu, as if I knew this creature and we’d met before. It telepathically scolded me for falling through the ice, but assured me everything would be okay.
It then warned me that I would be visited soon, because of my close call with death, and that I must not trust this visitor, or else I will die. I thrashed helplessly, the water filling my lungs, yet I could feel it moving me back upwards toward the opening in the ice.
I passed out. Then woke up in the cabin, surrounded by family members, including some I haven’t seen for over a decade. Much of my extended family has property on that lake. I was told I fell through the ice, but was spotted by that man on the shore and rescued.
I told them it was in fact the creature I’d seen under the ice. They told me I was delirious from pneumonia. A visiting doctor assured them I would be fine, as I’d not been in the water for very long. Nevertheless I was kept bundled up in blankets like a burrito and doted on.
Later that night as I lay in bed, I heard movement above me. The cabin irl does not have an attic, but the dream version did. Something was scuffling and crawling about up there. I strained my eyes to see through the darkness, focusing on the trap door style ladder up to the attic.
Slowly, it began to open. I recalled the creature’s warning, and grew tense. Inch by inch it opened. Soon I could see an eye peering through the opening at me. “I can see you” I whispered. It closed partly, as if the thing was wary of me. “Whatever you want, I’ll have no part of it. Go away.”
The door opened further until I saw the face of a beautiful girl looking at me. Bone white, with features like a porcelain doll. But also a small pair of fangs protruding past her upper lip. “Go away!” I urged. She looked hurt, and briefly I felt like I was being rude. So next, I asked her name.
She told me she doesn’t remember. That she’s hidden in the attic for so long, she forgot her old life. I asked why she stays up there. She said it’s because a monster confined her here, and any time she tries to leave, it sends people to kill her. I felt pity, but also suspected she wasn’t telling me the whole story.
She emerged from the attic trap door, crawling upside down on the ceiling. Then she sat cross legged on the ceiling, upside down, and looked “up” at me. She asked my name. I gave it, and we began chatting about our lives. She just seemed frightened and lonely.
When I told her about the creature’s warning, she flew into an unexpected rage. “That’s the monster that put me here! You can’t trust it! It will do the same thing to you!” I didn’t know who to believe. The creature under the ice saved my life. But this girl didn’t seem so bad. She seemed a lot like me in some ways.
“Come up into the attic with me. I’m lonely. You’ll understand everything when you come up there, I have so much to show you.” I told her I couldn’t trust her yet. That I also didn’t trust the monster completely and just wanted to sleep, to recover from the fall through the ice.
She started to argue with me. But then the door to my room opened. In the blink of an eye, like a video tape being rewound at high speed, she crawled backwards up into the Attic and shut the door. It was my dad. He said he heard a girl’s voice in my room and asked if I had any visitors.
I assured him it was nothing. Probably I was just talking in my sleep. I didn’t want him to freak out and try to kill her, after all. The next night, the same thing happened. She emerged from the attic. I asked how she could crawl on the ceiling. She said she didn’t know, but simply weighed as much or as little as she wanted.
She demonstrated by floating around, strands of hair waving about as if she were in space, or underwater. I said it was really cool. She seemed pleased. I asked if she needed anything to eat. She looked away. After a moment, she simply said “I’m not hungry right now, it’s fine.”
I wondered if I’d offended her somehow. She again asked me to come up into the attic with her. She said it’s cozy up there, that she’s put in a lot of work over the years to make it comfortable and a nice place to live. She said everything wrong in my life, I could escape by coming to live up there with her.
I sensed desperation in her voice. I again declined, but said I’d think about it. The next day, when everybody was out on errands, I poked my head up into the attic. Once my eyes adjusted, I saw the girl. She was sleeping, arms crossed, on the ceiling.
There were shriveled up corpses of boys about my age stacked up against the far wall. I stifled a scream. It still woke her up. Her eyes opened, glanced at me. Then at the stack of bodies. Then back at me, mournfully. “It’s not what it looks like” she said. “You don’t understand.”
I began to retreat down the ladder. “Don’t go! You’re different, I really just want company!” I closed the door behind me, ignoring her continued muffled pleas. I told dad about her. He didn’t believe me, and didn’t even bother to check the attic. Just laughed it off.
I deliberated over what to do. It seemed like she was bound in some way, such that she couldn’t hurt me unless I willingly went up into the attic with her. I contemplated burning down the cabin, but could not bear to on account of its sentimental value to me.
I decided I’d have to ask the creature under the ice what to do. I didn’t want to, but I deliberately dipped into the painfully cold water through a hole in the ice, which was now melting on account of weather growing steadily warmer. I had goggles on and could see more clearly.
I dove down, seeking out the monster. Soon enough, it appeared. It told me I shouldn’t have come here. That it saved me once, but would not help me a second time. I told it about the girl. It said it already warned me, and it was up to me to heed that warning, but that I’d already blown it by coming down here again.
I didn’t understand what it meant until I tried to swim back up. Somebody had covered the hole. I pushed at the ice, probing it for thin spots I might break through, but it was still too solid. I felt myself blacking out. The next thing I knew, I was bundled up in bed again, surrounded by family members. They all looked mournful and grief stricken. I apologized, but they ignored me.
When I got up, they still ignored me. That’s when I looked back and saw my body. Pale, hair still soaked, clearly drowned. I tried to rouse myself. I tried to re-enter the body, but couldn’t. Soon, some men in uniforms came to take the body away. Night fell, and everyone went to sleep.
The pale girl came out of the attic and approached me cautiously. “This is your fault” I said. “I went back because of you. I know what you are now. You’re dead.” She reached out and took my hand. “Now you’re dead too, and we can be together.”
So it was that I at last gave in, and climbed my way up into the attic with her. There I found the ghosts of the boys she’d fed on, sitting around talking to one another. I couldn’t see them before because I’d been alive, presumably. They looked at me with a knowing, piteous expression. “Oh look, another one” the nearest boy said.
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