Friday 16 May 2014

Dark Fiction - Fur


By Casey Douglass

as part of #fridayflash.

One image bleeds into the next, a hazy scene forming once the seeping impressions become more solid. An outdoor car-park, pretty full but with the odd space here and there. Groups of people chatter and laugh, the event or happening that drew them here either finished or about to start. There is a suggestion of folding tables and bric-a-brac so it might just be a car-boot sale.

A babbling man with a bushy beard is gesturing to a small gathering behind a red hatchback, his right hand continually shooting up to his nose to scratch at the hair just beneath. I recognise him as Slavoj Žižek, the Slovene philosopher from The Pervert's Guide to Ideology, a film that I had watched weeks ago. I like philosophy. I also would be intrigued by any guide written with perverts in mind, wondering how that might make it any different to a regular guide. What I got was an interesting look at some of the things that we treat as factual and don’t question. Where perverts come into it I still do not know.

The people are enraptured with the furry man’s talk but his words fail to reach me with enough volume to decipher. I pass by and continue to look around me, hemmed in on all sides by hot metal and baking concrete.

I don’t know how or why the shift occurs but things begin to change. Maybe a fleeting anxiety crosses my mind or it just happened without my intervention. What was a sunny day begins to dim into a very dark twilight, the cars around me falling into a deep shadow and only staying visible where some unknown light source glints from their contours.

A deep rumbling howl erects the hairs along my arms and neck. I hear a woman scream and sense the people around me scrabbling for somewhere to hide. I am grinning, a strange hot sensation in my chest, like the fire in the core of a furnace.

A loping thing rounds the side of the car ahead of me. I walk towards it, my right arm partly across my chest, the fist clenched. I know it is going to happen. Everything about it angles the events into one narrow funnel which can only lead to one outcome. The black shaggy dog launches at me with an almost sub-audible roar, its teeth latching onto my right forearm as I bring it meet it. I feel no pain, no real sensation besides the pressure around my forearm. I am surrounded by darkness now, the only feeling my pounding heart and the strain from smiling so forcefully. Then I wake up.


This is the tail end of a dream I had a few days ago. I have the feeling it was a dream which was getting a few things straight in my mind. My anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has continued to be problematic for weeks. The therapies and methods I have been using to try to improve my emotional response all rely on a certain level of acceptance, which at times I have struggled to get to.
This dream seems like a more visceral way of my mind getting the message. If I had to guess, I would say that the cars could be my obsessions, the philosopher the ways I try to get a handle on things/techniques I use and the black dog the anxiety that launches itself at me. In the dream, even not knowing it was a dream, I marched straight towards the dog knowing what would happen, accepting it. It’s quite funny that I can do something like that, yet the prospect of possibly having left a tap running reduces me to palpitations. Either way, a cool dream and one as I said, that feels like it had a use.