A Nightmare on My Street


The 5th prompt in the 30 Day Writing Challenge is…

Write about a dream or nightmare that you’ve had and turn it into a short story.

“Mum, who’s that man?”
Tessa looked at her teenage son, standing in the bedroom doorway. “What? What man Leo?”
“The man that’s just gone down the stairs?” Leo looked as nonchalant as ever, nothing phased him. But even Tessa was shocked that he seemed so relaxed about a strange man in their house at 11pm. Throwing down her book Tessa climbed out of bed.
“Well where’s your father?”
Leo shrugged. “I dunno.”

Grabbing her dressing gown Tessa ran out into the hallway. Fleeting thoughts of grabbing a weapon or calling the police raced through her mind but instead, she rushed to the top of the stairs, Leo following close behind.
“Where did he go?” She asked, her heart beginning to pound.
“Downstairs!” Leo pointed down into the darkness.
“Hellooo…” Tessa called down the stairs. “Alan?…Alan? Is that you downstairs?” When Tessa had last seen her husband he had been in his study, but if he was still down there the hallway lights would be on.

Neither of them had noticed that the bathroom door was shut so when it opened they both jumped.
“Whats going on?” Alan emerged, shaving foam smeared across his chin.
“We’ve got a burglar!” Leo stated wide eyed, finally beginning to realise that this wasn’t just a visitor no one had told him about.
“What? Well call the police or something!” Alan grabbed a towel and wiped his face. Pushing his wife and son out if the way he ran down the stairs in his boxer shorts.
“Be careful.” Tessa grabbed Leo’s arm and gripped tightly as she saw Alan disappear into the darkness.

“Ow…bugger!” Alan cursed from the darkness.
“Are you ok darling?”
“Shh Mum!”
There was silence from below and slowly, light emerged from the dining room and kitchen. Alan appeared at the bottom of the stairs and turned on the hallway light. “There’s nothing down here.” He shrugged.
Tessa turned to Leo, her hands on her hips. “You’ve not been smoking something have you?”
“No mum! God!” He threw his hands up in the air and stomped to his bedroom, slamming the door.

Alan rolled his eyes and turned off the light before making his way back upstairs towards his concerned wife.
“He probably had a nightmare love.”
Tessa relaxed and smiled. “I think you’re right.” She ran a finger across his chin.
“Ah, yeah, you go back to bed, I won’t be long.” Alan bent and kissed the top of her head and went back into the bathroom.

Tessa picked up her book from the bed. After everything that had happened she was no longer in the mood to read so she placed it on the top of the pile next to her side of the bed. Hearing footsteps on the wooden floor behind her she spoke without turning. “What time do you want me to set the alarm for?” She could feel Alan’s breath on the back of her neck. Giggling, she turned, but the room was empty.

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Courtesy of James Barker @ freedigitalphotos
I did really dream this, although it was a lot longer and involved 2 of the kids and several running up and down the stairs sessions for The Hubster lol…it really freaked me out at the time, and even now it sends a shiver up my spine.

I don’t tend to have nice dreams :(

Have you ever used a dream or nightmare as inspiration for a story?

24 thoughts on “A Nightmare on My Street

  1. Liked the ending. I don’t tend to dream a lot and it seems the ones I’ve had lately have been doozies. More bordering on nightmares. I haven’t used any for story inspiration, but I did write one in my journal. It was a weird one that involved cutting way too much grass.

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  2. I guess when you woke from the original dream you must have felt as if your view of reality had shifted; an uncomfortable feeling. You turned that round into a story based in the real world, with real people, and finished with that same shift of uncomfortable disbelief. That’s good short fiction Vikki, well done.

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  3. Creepy ending! I’d love to read more!

    Dreams always inspire my writing. Several of them have made their way into my supernatural-thriller series, and many have created standalone stories. Most are odd and creepy, but a few are romances. :)

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    • Thanks Chrys :)

      Oh I’d love to use them more in my writing, but some of them are so horrible that I wake up in tears (aparticularly awful one about my cat springs to mind) and the thought of fictionalising them is like reliving it. If only I could have NICE dreams :)

      Xx

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  4. Nicely done, Vikki! You had me nervous about Tessa the whole story, and the ending was nice and twisty. :)

    I haven’t yet used a dream to inspire a story, but I did once dream a scene in my story that I didn’t feel ready to write. It was so real, and the fear I felt in the pit of my stomach so strong, that when I woke up I went straight to my computer and wrote it all down. Even though the scene was pretty scary, dreaming my story was so cool that I wish it would happen more often!

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