Nightmares and the Screaming Monkey

Bella and the MonkeyI have the strangest nightmares, usually  about animals. They don’t go away until I flip on the light and can convince myself it was just a dream.

Once I firmly believed that a bear would lumber up the stairs and into my room if I did not stare at the door. Another time I was certain there was a lion in the corner. It was watching me.

The other night I had a dream that my docile chocolate lab, Gracie, had ripped apart my little terrier, Bella. I should have known it was just a dream; in real life it would have been the other way around. Frantically, I pawed the bed, trying to find Bella and make sure her body was in one piece.

My most realistic dream was about a monkey. It screamed this blood-curdling sound, ascending to an ungodly shriek.

Aahh Aahh Eek Eek AAHH AAHH EEKK EEKK AHHH AHHHH EEEKKK EEEKK

The sound continued at ten-second intervals, piercing my sleep. After several rounds of screeching, I was awake enough to realize this noise was not stopping and it wasn’t a dream. I flipped on the light. It was four a.m.

The room was silent.

Okay, maybe it was in my head. But I didn’t think I drank that much wine before bed.

Gracie was sprawled across a pillow at the head of the bed. Bella was out of sight but I felt her weight warming my feet.

I turned off the light.

Aahh Aahh Eek Eek AAHH AAHH EEKK EEKK AHHH AHHHH EEEKKK EEEKK

I flipped the light back on and sat straight up. This was not a dream. Bella was looking very guilty at the end of the bed.

She gripped a toy monkey between her paws.

I yelled at her but was too sleepy to make an effort to take it away. Big mistake. She kept gnawing at the stupid thing, and it kept screaming.

I bolted for the end of the bed, grabbed the toy, and threw it. It flew down the hallway.

I didn’t take into consideration that Bella is a dog. Before my head even hit the pillow again, she fetched it and brought it back.

Aahh Aahh Eek Eek AAHH AAHH EEKK EEKK AHHH AHHHH EEEKKK EEEKK

The monkey is broken now. I’m not sure how that happened. Or I am. Just don’t tell Bella.

 

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