After a traumatic event when I was around seven or eight. I had a recurring nightmare one or more times a night for about three weeks. A few years afterward I began playing Dungeons & Dragons where I learned about a creature named a lich, which removed its heart and placed it in a vessel called a phylactery for safekeeping. The lich would be immortal until the phylactery was destroyed. For a long time I believed it couldn’t possibly be a coincidence that I dreamt this creature up. I thought there had to be some spiritual significance.
A vacation resort where chalets are clustered together with large gardens and swimming pools between them. It’s pitch black in the night, but the grass is an incredibly deep viridian.
About 40 children are playing soccer with an empty 2 litre coke bottle. About twenty metres away a leather-winged goblin perches atop a combination safe. Its eyes are red coals and it stares at us with demonic malevolence. We play while nervously pretending it isn’t there.
After some time it spreads its wings and shoots into the air, circles above us for a while, and dives down. It picks up one of the children and carries him, screaming, high into the sky. It bites his head off and eats his flesh. We all scream and run.
We can kill the goblin if we reach its heart inside of the combination safe. In that warped dream logic it makes sense that the safe had a key.
The dream becomes a scavenger hunt. We have to find a series of clues that will lead us to the key. As we search, the goblin dives down and carries more children off to eat. By the time we find the key, almost half of us are corpses.
I reach the safe and unlock it. The heart isn’t there. Instead there’s a crystal ball. Inside of the crystal ball I see the beginning of the dream, where we play with the coke bottle. The ball sucks me in, and I’m back there at the start, except that the dead children are still dead.
The scavenger hunt begins again, and keeps repeating until I’m the only one alive – and then I wake up.