I frequently dream about the house of my childhood, where I lived from the time my parent’s brought me home from the hospital until I was almost twelve. We moved during the first semester of 6th grade. Although this era of my past occurred so many years prior, I typically take my current age & form during these dreams, which often involve encounters with the supernatural.
It happened at the Yellow House on the Hill where I grew up. Many of my dreams, and especially the scary ones, frequently occur there. Even after all these years . . . when I was a child living there, I was convinced it was haunted. And not just haunted, mind you–but reaming with otherworldly entities. In my childhood mind, there was something bad lurking around every corner–down the stairwell to the basement, behind the bush leading to the backyard, in the bedroom that I just walked away from. Now that I’m spiritually mature & worldly, with over twenty years of lifting weights & partaking in all you can eat buffets under my belt–I realize how silly an idea that is. But one thing is for sure. Even if that house was never haunted, I still am. Even after all these years, the muscle memory of that fear still cries out to me when I’m most vulnerable & least on guard–they reach out to me in my sleep.
To get an idea of the house’s layout, think of the main level extending left to right from the viewpoint of the main road that runs in front of it. Standing on the road, you will see the extreme left side of the frame which houses the master bedroom & a utility area where the laundry & washer are. Scanning all the way towards the right, you will see the living room. From my parent’s room on the left, you will see the house gradually transition from night time to day time, meaning the bedrooms are all towards the left of the house. In the middle we get the kitchen & dining room & all the way on the right, we get the living room. In my childish mind, I thought of it this way: when it was dark, we stayed on the left side of the house. When it was light, we stayed on the right side. Where ever we weren’t, that’s where “the others” dwelled. Someone strong like my mom or dad could break the rules & go into the living room at night or into the bedroom when it was daylight; but if someone small & weak like me were to try, I would do so at my own risk! The other entities that shared the home with us didn’t take kindly to having their space violated. They wanted us to respect the rules; otherwise, they would make a point to show up where they weren’t supposed to be!
Now that you understand the layout, you should know that my parents kept a makeshift prayer area in their master bedroom. It didn’t amount to much more than a clear space on the carpet with a plastic runner laying over the main footpath which allowed us to kneel down in prayer before a large cross that hung on the wall. This cross wasn’t just any routine cross that you’d typically see in homes. It was as large as the ones you see hung up in the front of most church’s. I have no idea where my parents got it, now that I think of it; but as a child, we never questioned such things. More more key aspect to note. My parent’s were raised as devout Catholics in the Philippines. I bring up the Philippines because the way Catholicism is practiced over seas versus the way it’s practiced here can be noticeably different. My parents came up in the late forties & into the early sixties. They grew up against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion from WWII. Their upbringing had an almost post-apocalyptic filter to it, at least when compared to how my contemporaries & I were brought up in the great USA. To my point, Catholics don’t use crosses, they use crucifixes. These are crosses that contain the dead body of Christ before his resurrection, covered in grime in blood. Just that this imagery sink in for a moment.
Although I haven’t been inside that house for over thirty years, during the dream, I am my current age. My niece, who was a pre-teen at that time, is a pre-teen in the dream; around the age of eleven. My niece held onto the innocence of childhood a bit longer than some of her peers, and in the dream she behaves more like a child than a teen–innocent but extremely vulnerable.
Somehow my niece & her parents are visiting during the dream. The two of us are alone in the utility area of the master bedroom. I’m distracted with a chore while she wonders off to explore. I still hear her cheerful, young voice as she tries to maintain a conversation with me. In typical adult fashion, I’m too pre-occupied to listen to exactly what she’s saying & simply respond with an occasional, “U-huh.” Until her cheerful voice turns into a scream of horror!
Jolted back to the present, I whirl around to peek through the threshold of the utility area and into the master bedroom. Just feet away from me, standing on the plastic runner that acts as a mat when the family kneels in prayer, stands the Devil himself. I’ve faced the Devil in my dreams before, but never in this form. He is wearing feudal era armor like a Samurai warrior, complete with sharp spikes protruding from numerous areas. It would be more painful to me than to him if I gave into my instinct to charge him & rain down furious punches upon his torso & stomach area. He was way to tall for me to punch in the face as he stood about 8 feet tall. He held my niece in his left hand high above his shoulders as she wailed, kicking & screaming. My bewilderment dissolved into rage, and I demanded the Devil lay my niece down. With a primitive roar, I crouched down into a 3-point stance & charged the monster like a berserker warrior . . . to my shock, the fiend stopped my assault with the gentlest effort of his right hand, similar to that scene in The Matrix when NEO first stopped bullets by simply raising out an opened palm. It was as though I had run into a forcefield–no harsh impact, no thud–just instant paralysis. There was a humming silence in my ears, the kind you hear when you’re around technology that’s constantly running. The rageful drumbeat of war in my head had been replaced with, ironically, a quiet peace; but a peace than came with the fear of helplessness. The Devil then lifted me high into the air, and the higher he raised me up, the taller he became! The devil now stood at least 10 feet tall & he held me high overhead at an stratospheric 13 to 15 feet. I could even hear the wind whirling as if around the cliffs of a mountaintop as the ambient noises of earth’s surface drifted away far beneath me. I struggled against the fiend’s iron grip but for all my effort, I could only manage to swing my feet back & forth & scream. I heard a diabolical laugh that boomed like thunder from all around, not just from the Devil’s face as he pulls me close to it. Deep inside the dark opening of the feudal helmet I only saw two narrow spheres of burning white light. Without a word, he flung me towards the ground so far below. This time, I felt the impact as I land with a loud thud!
I quickly tried to regain my footing, as I held my right hip which had been injured in the fall. Still not having risen to my full height, I watch the Devil drift backwards away from me without even moving his feet–as he effortlessly glides along the thick carpet like an ice skater. My niece is still kicking & screaming in his left hand. A sensation of deep dread sinks in as the inevitability of my failure becomes clear. I scream out helplessly as the Devil vanishes into thin air taking my niece with him.
I fall flat on my face in wretched agony. I had never felt so weak before. The Devil has stolen away my niece from my care & I didn’t even land a single punch.
My older brother was going to be pissed!