Disturbing Dreams— the Human Witch Bottle

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.

I don’t have bad dreams often. Not any more. I used to, all the time. But in the past couple of years, since I’ve been on my own, I can think of  only 2 of 3 times I’ve awakened  from  a  dream  that  would  not
let  me  sleep again.  When  they  happens,  they  tend  to  be warning dreams.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

Mostly about dating. Hah.

As in, don’t bother with this man or that man because he’ll silence you or he’ll hurt you when you’re not looking. Those men tend to be more wolf-life and dominant.

I always listen to those dreams. And I don’t explain to any man that the answer is no because in my dream, he had blood on his lips and chin.

Last night, I woke from a dream that kept me fretful for the rest of  the night. I won’t be terribly specific be- cause it was…disturbing.  But I’ll  probably be more specific than will allow me to sleep well tonight.

I was—more or less—a human witch bottle. A witch bottle is used to make someone go away. A witch fills a small bottle with rusty nails, pins, urine, blood, etc. Then it’s placed near the person you want to go away. (If that’s a husband who watches TV all the time, put it under his TV chair—not under his bed!) In my dream, I was turned into a witch bottle to make people I care for or may one day care for go away.

In my dream, I had befriended—or allowed myself to become  friends  with—several   women  and  their  male friends. I didn’t know any of them in my waking world. They were all like caricatures of TV stars. People I knew from my past, but in some other form I didn’t recognize. But they didn’t look the same as when they’d been adversaries, so I let them into my life and immediately  their

covert activities started. At some point, they got a little too close physically,  on a very personal  level that would never happen in real life. I decided to grit my teeth and allow it in this dream, though. In the name of friendship.Flying By Night novel

On a metaphysical  level, I allowed them to get way too close to me. Yet, they assured me all was well and I was fine and they were my  friends.  The proximity  was unbearable but  I dealt  with their up-close  analysis  and questions and prodding as if it were torture and it eventually seemed to be over and I broke away and I went along on my way.

One of their associates cornered me later and gleefully informed me  of what they’d done, of how I hadn’t left them unscathed. Hadn’t I noticed?

Then, for the first time, I did notice. Not nails stuck into my skin, but coming out of my pours like porcupine quills.

Alarmed, I began to pull them carefully out. They didn’t hurt me but I was aware that if anyone got too close, they’d be in danger of being harmed by these sharp nails.

The  man  who  frequents  my  dreams—the   oh-so- fascinating one—appeared  at my side and I shoved him away, fearing an innocent and friendly hug would do him harm. But he understood.  He was there to help, wanted to help. He had a little black satchel with herbs inside and salves and medical tools. He insisted on helping me and I kept shoving him away with his black bag.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want his help or that I thought he couldn’t tend my wounds, but I didn’t want him to get hurt in the process. And I knew that one way or another, he would. He regarded me as a booby trap but worth the risk to help. I was the one who refused to let him come to  harm. So he left his satchel  for my use and backed away a little and let me tend my own wounds.

I worked the rusty nails out, one at a time, very carefully. Letting them penetrate my skin from the inside and work their way out until I could twist the nail heads just so and remove the offending shards.

The people who’d done this to me were long gone by this time, and I was actually less concerned  with finding them and bringing them to justice or wreaking vengeance than I was with the surprise that these sharpnesses  were just under my skin and waiting to tear apart the first man to touch me. I was intent on ridding myself of them, no matter how much it hurt. So that I could be loved again.

I woke  several  times  during  this  dream-process.  At some point, I dozed, sensing myself in a dream where I was napping, recuperating from my wounds, and the man in  my  dreams,  while  not  touching  me  or   using  his satchel’s contents to help me, stayed by my side, simply watching and concerned.

Even through the course of other dreams last night, I still felt him there, watching.