August 2, 2013

Another Bizarre Dream/Nightmare

Another Bizarre Dream/Nightmare
Last night we had a strong windstorm blow through town and a lower-than-normal temperature drop accompanied it. It felt more like late August or early September rather than the 1st of August.

When the seasons change here and the relatively cool night start to turn cold I end up having some real freaky-deaky dreams. When I wake up I usually can only recall a fragment or two, for which I'm thankful, but if I get woken up early I can often remember far much more.

Over the years I've noticed that if I have a "nightmare" I tend to wake up early.

This morning I woke up quite early.....


Nightmare at Camp WapelloLast night's dream had me visiting my old Boy Scout Camp. During my time as a Boy Scout I lived in . Camp Wapello just happens to be located in the other side of the county, so it was not only my local Scout Camp, it was just local. I was a camper for a couple of years and on Camp Staff for five years. I've only posted about "Big Sister Night" and my dream (unfortunately) did not take place on Big Sister Night.

I was in uniform as a visitor to the camp on a Friday night and was asked to set up the big camp closing campfire that is held the night before that week's campers pack up and leave camp. I worked my way to the campfire ring on the edge of Scout Bay and started to get to work. Normally the campfire ring would already be setup and all that is needed would be for someone to haul in the firewood and build the campfire. The campfire ring was just a mess, with benches and their small concrete supports strewn about. It looked like the ring was setup in a strange configuration (as opposed to concentric rows forming a semi-circle around the campfire). I ended up spending all of the time I would normally use to build the fire instead trying to square away the benches.

Courtesy National Museum of Scotland
By the time I get to start chopping wood and building the fire it is time for the evening campfire. The Staff start the proceedings as I frantically attempt to get the fire going. Soon enough the fire is built and I look down to notice that my torso is just covered in small round droplets of blood. The color isn't quite right though, looking more purplish than deep red. One of the Staff, the Camp Ranger I worked with at Camp Mitigwa, just laughs at my not-quite-bloody body. Evidently nobody warned me that the firewood "bleeds". Just as he warns me to not touch these droplets I do so and the drop bursts, revealing a scary little insect that looked like a sandworm. If you've never seen a sandworm, they have strong little pincers that shoot out of the mouth.

After hastily flicking off the scary bugs that I managed to release from the blood strewn on my
The abomination's tentacled hand
uniform from chopping wood I walked the few steps down to the water's edge to clean up. Before I could realize what was happening I was grabbed around the leg and dragged into the water. Somehow I managed to not only take a breath before being dragged under, but I had also forgotten to drop the handaxe I was using to chop wood. I managed to chop at the thing holding onto my leg and a lucky blow managed to sever the appendage holding me underwater. Once I had my feet underneath me again I was above water and could hear the raucous laughter of Staff and campers who just assumed I had fallen into the lake. They could not see the end of the creature's appendage that was still attached to my leg, even though it was still wriggling. The appendage looked like a squid's tentacle ending in a human hand.

I hid this monstrosity as I stepped out of the lake. Since I now had the group's attention I was asked to tell a ghost story. Now it was still way too light out for a ghost story and this really wasn't something that is done at the Friday night campfire, but I had the perfect tale to tell.

I told the group about the history of Lake Wapello, Iowa's oldest man-made lake. The lake had been created to contain a terrible horror that the early settlers of the Iowa territory couldn't out down. The settlers  damned up a local creek, which flooded the lowland area. They sacrificed one of their children, a young boy of Scouting age, in an attempt to lure the creature to the area. When it became stuck in the muck and mire of the flooded area they thought they had finally managed to kill the beast, but they were wrong. It was merely trapped, unable to pull itself out of the mud. The settlers instead permanently damned up the creek and filled in the whole area, creating Lake Wapello.

Camp Wapello held an important role in containing the creature. The Scouts culled the waterfront of plants that the creature could use to feed on or extract itself (if you've ever pulled lilly-pads to clear way for the swimming area you could believe this). The campfires and the specific songs sung around the fires had a mystical role in keeping the creature secured in the mud.

Courtesy of Reaper MiniaturesBecause of the Scout's efforts, the creature was still in the lake, but because they had started veering away from established campfire rituals, it was slowly growing larger and stronger. "Everyone" knew there was a "dead spot" in the lake where the fishing was poor, but nobody realized why. It was poor because the creature of the lake would consume anything it could get its tentacles on. I explained that the creature was growing and that someday it would grow big enough to be able to pull itself out of the lake and wreak havoc on the descendants of those early settlers....those now assembled around the campfire. I had proof!

At this point I pulled out the tentacled hand to prove that the creature still exists. As if on cue, there was a loud collective gasp from the Scouts. They weren't shocked from the tentacled hand I held aloft, but at the sight that the creature was emerging from the lake! For some reason I was armed with a pistol and as I woke from my nightmare I was busy emptying the clip into the beast....to no effect.

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