When I was about 24, a friend and I went to her family farm. A big fire had burnt down the main house years before, so we slept in separate chalets which had no electricity. When my cellphone died I had no way of telling time. I read by candlelight, and eventually dozed in and out of sleep.
It occurred to me months after that the creature from my dream was the same goblin I’d dreamed of when I was a boy. Only this time it was desiccated and weakened with nowhere near the same strength it had when I was a child.
As an aside – apparently the caretakers practice witchcraft, and the creature did resemble one interpretation of the Tokoloshe.
I fall asleep and wake up a few times. I realise that I’m asleep, and the dream becomes fully lucid. I decide to try out the lack of limits of my imagination.
I fly through space and live in the core of a star. I climb the Great Pyramid of Giza and ride a colossal squid through the Mariana Trench. I become CEO of Earth. I drive the world’s fastest cars on highways with no one else on them. I live as an orangutan.
I live a hundred lives and decide that I’m filled. I wake up. I’m holding a grocery bag in my hand that’s hanging off the bed. There’s a weak, sneaky hand stroking mine as it’s trying to get at my groceries. I wake up more fully and to see who it is.
It’s a humanoid creature about half as tall as me. It’s skin is like a warthog’s – leathery with fine hairs covering it. It’s eyes are much too large and it has no mouth or nose.
I wake up, flustered, I was so sure I had already decided to wake up. I go to the bathroom to wash my face and the creature is staring at me from the doorway.
I wake up, scared. I check my pulse, I lie in bed for a while trying to calm down. I look around for the creature. I can’t find it. I go to the bathroom. The creature is there.
I wake up and jump up. I rush to my friend’s chalet and bang on the door yelling for her to wake up. The creature crawls out of the window next to the door. It looks at me and its face tears open so that it has a makeshift mouth that it uses to scream a high wail. I grab it and shove it into the toilet, trying to flush it down.
I wake up and start crying. I have no idea whether I’m awake or asleep. I’m too afraid to get up and get the dominoes falling toward the next time I see it. Each time had seemed so real, I’d felt fully conscious.
That was the last time, and I spent days worried that I would wake up again.