What happened when you woke up?" "I was having a dream. I don't know what it was, but when I woke up, I had this awful realization that I was awake. It hit me like a brick in the groin." "Like a brick in the groin, I see." "I didn't want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that's really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you're so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare." "And what is that nightmare, Craig?" "Life." "Life is a nightmare." "Yes.
So does anyone have a good survival strategy, or is there no hope for getting out of this nightmare?' asks the Colonel. 'We came up with a big, fat zero. I don't know how we're going to survive the blood hunt, ' says Dee. 'That wasn't the nightmare I was referring to, ' says the Colonel. 'Death by stupid comments is what I was talking about.
The nightmare was shaped like a goddess - a beauty with a body curved to incite reckless sinning. She wore an angry pout that he knew would burn his mouth. She had hair like snow and eyes as cold and fathomless as the deepest reaches of space. How like a nightmare to seduce and terrify at the same time.
The full moon shone brightly between the trees, so I was able to see, a few yards in front of me, the origins of a distressing noise. It was two cabbages having a terrible fight. They were tearing each other's leaves off with such ferocity that soon there was nothing but torn leaves everywhere and no cabbages. "Never mind, " I told myself, "It's only a nightmare." But then I remembered suddenly that I'd never gone to bed that night, and so it couldn't possibly be a nightmare. "That's awful.
I don't think I suffered with depression, I don't think I'm a depressed type of person - I just think I suffered a depression to do with snooker, and I just couldn't handle it. I could go out and play, but take me out of there and I couldn't do life. It was a nightmare, my life just felt like a bit of a nightmare.
To see human beings in agony, to see them covered in blood and to hear their death groans, makes people humble. It makes their spirits delicate, bright, peaceful. It's never at such times that we become cruel or bloodthirsty. No, it's on a beautiful spring afternoon like this that people suddenly become cruel. It's at a moment like this, don't you think, while one's vaguely watching the sun as it peeps through the leaves of the trees above a well-mown lawn? Every possible nightmare in the world, every possible nightmare in history, has come into being like this.
The body is transmuted into other forms, worms batten on it, it helps to feed the grass, and some animal consumes the grass. But as for the survival of the individual spirit of a man, show me one tittle of scientific evidence to support it. Besides, if it did survive, all the evil and malice in it must surely survive too. Why should the death of the body purge that away? It's a nightmare to contemplate such a thing, and oddly enough, unhinged people like spiritualists want to persuade us for our consolation that the nightmare is true. ("Monkeys")
'My problem was comparatively simple, ' Marcus said. 'One kiss was enough to solve it. But that doesn't mean one kiss is enough to wake everyone up and end every nightmare. [... ] That's okay, ' Marcus whispered to him. 'One kiss doesn't need to be enough to let you know that the nightmare is really over.' Liam swallowed rapidly, the world around him becoming embarrassingly misty. 'I'm not going anywhere, ' Marcus promised. 'There'll be as many kisses as you need.' Tilting Liam's head back, Marcus dipped his head and brought their lips together one more time. Liam sighed softly into the kiss and, very slowly, woke up just a little bit more.
She reached out and touched the king's face, cupping his cheek in her hand. "Just a nightmare," he said, his voice still rough. The queen's voice was cool. "How embarrassing," she said, looking at his maimed arm. The king looked up then, and followed her gaze. If it was embarrassing to wake like a child screaming from a nightmare, how much more embarrassing to be the reason your husband woke screaming. A quick smile visited the king's face. "Ouch," he said, referring to more than the pain in his side. "Ouch," he said again as the queen gathered him into her arms.
Megan Whalen Turner