Notes on images of night stories

A long time ago I had an idea to combine a large array of different nightmares and/or dreams into one big landscape. This landscape was set as one night following someone’s dreams. I wrote each dream as a short story and so spanned into a long time frame. Every time I had an interesting idea for a dream or nightmare I would write it in here.

Several of the stories were in my mind a long time before I came up with this scenario and when I finally came up with this they fitted in perfectly. Now for some facts: Each person dreams roughly between 100-250 dreams a night out of which only about 7 are remembered (if at all). The interesting bit is that dreams a lot of times are seen as fragments of many different images, emotions and other flashes from either our imagination or our memory. This gave me a very broad canvas in which to develop my stories. And I thought it might be fun to combine many different things to it. In about two months I wrote the first three stories and a rough sketch of the 10th story. The fourth came somewhat later but still at the same time frame and the fifth took much longer.

Now they are all finished and all in all it took me somewhere between 2008 and 2014 to start and finish this project. Ofcourse school at first and work later got in the way and time became a major issue for concern. But in the end it is at least finished and hopefully you will enjoy this collection of nightmares. Below are notes about what the ideas, thoughts or whatever else was going on in my mind when I was writing the stories. You can find links to all the stories on the short stories page. The one thing I still haven’t published here is the hymn to the night which is a little poem I wrote about this series. I might still add it but for now this is it.

Images of night – Intro (2008)

A very general introduction to this whole thing, but I guess you have to start somewhere and this is as good a start as any.

Images of night I – The Adventure (2008)

The first story the adventure was actually based on the very first nightmare I could remember. I was about 6 at the time, and the nightmare I had was so vivid that it never left. It was slightly different then the story in here but the general idea and the cave are taken directly from it.

Images of night II – The Witch (2009)

When I was younger I always had dreams that I could fly and after I told that to several people I realized that almost everyone dreams of flying at one point or other in their life. This manifested itself in one of my dreams, from which this story grew. After spending a lot of time diving the flying dreams slowly dissipated, and now I never dream of flying anymore.

Images of night III – In Front Of The Firing Squad (2009)

School is an environment that I always found very disturbing. I never liked school and always assumed my teachers to be monsters in disguise. During one of those moments this story was born. I admit it is not a very original but I gave it my little twist, and I think everyone can relate to the experience, making this a very accessible story.

The chair rocking part actually happened to me and I retained a scar on my chin from the experience.

Images of night IV – The Beach (2009)

I grew up next to the sea and was diving and swimming even before I could walk properly. My dad, who is an avid diver in his own right, told me after reading the story that it was the only way he would ever want to die. Not because it is a painless death or anything like that but because he feels such a connection with the sea, that he would always like to be a part of it. Even in death.

Images of night V – The Storyteller (2012) – (2014)

This is a short long story, and yes I know it makes no sense but if you’ve read it you must realize that it is a nightmare to write while retaining the same feel to it. The story is actually divided into 5 parts, all of which intertwine with the storyteller who provides the story for each set like a theater play, and lets the actors act out their parts. It is this idea that is the long story because it took me a long time to realize and come to grips with the idea in my head before putting it on to the paper. The first part of the story is also the first one I came up with and it was a very long time ago (back in 1995) the rest came much much later…

Part I – The maze sequence is my mineator impression of being stuck in the maze and dying of course. This wasn’t written in 1995 (well it was but that version has been out of existence for quite some time so I rewrote it in 2012).

Part II – I always dreaded feeling lost or losing touch and that is what this story tried to portray (2013)

Part III – big spoiler if you didn’t realize who the giant was… Hercules and still sticking to the greek theme. Well in two of the stories anyway. (started in 2013 and finished in 2014,

I actually wrote parts II,III and IV back in 2012 but the file got corrupted and I had to rewrite them which I eventually did in 2013-2014…)

Part IV – This is my impression of medieval Lyon in France. I was there a few years ago and was in awe of all the small allies and doors that lead to or houses or to secret restaurants and disco’s. I thought it would be a fun idea if someone would be stuck in such a place without the ability to speak to anyone or understand anyone which is a feeling everyone who has travelled to distant places where English is not spoken must have felt.

Part V – Big bang backwards need I say more?

Images of night VI – The Forgotten (2014)

This is what I always think is a horrible feeling, more so than just a nightmare. If you think about it what the character is going through is a very scary feeling of not knowing where or what he is. What is even more frightening I think is if you have a small fragment of connectivity that is then lost, the feeling then would be endlessly worse, because for just a second you felt good, only for that feeling to leave you…

Images of night VII – Fragments (2014)

This little piece of horror is how I imagine a real horror nightmare. It is never-ending, always unrelenting in that it give you a certain blow every time you don’t want it to and there is something special in here for the trained eye. If you spotted it god for you if you didn’t then never mind it doesn’t affect the story in any way shape or form. Every real nightmare or dream sequence as a whole, I think needs an edge that keeps you guessing. Dreams many times need to be more than just images and because everyone dreams so many of them I think this story portrays them the best, in comparison to the other stories. Still I enjoyed writing this story as it led me to places I didn’t think I would go and I put horrors in here that I never thought I would put in a story, the horrors of terrorism.

Images of night XIII – Changes (2014)

Changes was written in August 2014 and it is very much what I felt like when I read Ubik by Philip K. Dick. Although we went our separate ways in our interpretation (his is science fiction while I went to a more horror like direction), the idea of going back in time and having to interact with whatever happens there is something that I always thought of as incredibly difficult. Think about it, we find it difficult enough to already communicate with people around us now, so how difficult would be to do that in the past? And what if you had no choice and you had to communicate with one another for your survival. How is that for an extreme idea for peace treaties? Take the two leaders at war dump in a room and make them work together to get the most basic of things. Sounds like a good idea to me, would save many lives. By the way there are many hints at where this is supposed to have been (a specific location in the world) try your luck and see if you can find it.

Images of night IX – Reality Flow (2014)

I like this story. I have no idea why I like it (sometimes what you like is a lot harder to explain than something that you don’t like), but I do. I wrote it relatively quickly considering the size of it and I actually like the whole aspect of fear. Where it comes from, why is it such an integral part of our lives, and maybe more importantly why so many people enjoy the feeling so much. Not just to cause fear in others but to experience it, is for many people a reason to watch certain movies. Read certain books and go to places where bad things happened, where we somewhere hope that we will witness a glimpse of them.

That got me thinking about fear in a more abstract way. If it such a potent feeling could it be that a certain race or creature would eat fear, just like certain plants pray on sunlight? And if they do how would they go about getting it? This was the perfect way to introduce them into a horror story, where you don’t really need gore or anything like that, you just need a setting and interestingly if you really want to be afraid. Being alone at night while strange little things are occurring can be more than sufficient.

Images of night X – Goodnight Kiss (2010-2014)

I love and hate this story. I don’t know why but it was very difficult for me to actually write it, all the sexual things in it were at least for me difficult to describe. So it took me ages to sit and write the whole thing out. Which is what makes it the worst story and in a way one of the best. In a way I think this is one of those first fantasies guys have, when they know what they want but have no clue what to do about it and sometimes urges propel you forward while the rest is not yet ready for anything like what is about to come. I think that is part of how society deals with these things, as a whole everyone knows sex sells but at what age do we actually understand it? Is it as young as 14? 16? Or is it much later, I know that for every person it is different but this has always interested  me and this little story is one way through which at least one part of the so called urge can be related to.

Images of night – Outro (2014)

When I decided to start this series of short stories I didn’t have everything layered out yet, but one thing I did have was the first and second story and this the very last image. It is not really a complete story but more of an extension to the last story, but the image of the shower and bugs or cockroaches or whatever freaks you out, was one that was with me from the very beginning and I always knew I wanted to end with it. If I would have to put a date on when exactly the image crawled into my mind, I would have to say somewhere in 2008, which was when I wrote the first two stories in this collection, although those two stories were set firmly in my mind even earlier, but I guess that is how connections, in my mind at least, are formed.

Images of night – A hymn to the night (2014)

This short little poem is the ending of my nightmare. It isn’t a very good poem (although I enjoy writing them, I feel they are never up to par), but I hope it gives some sort of summary in a way for the journey of this collection. I can’t say that when I started writing all of this that I knew immediately how everything was going to turn out, but I knew what I wanted. And although it took me a long time I am happy that at least a large part of what I wanted ended up on the page and not thrown away somewhere. Every nightmare is there to teach is, fear is not a bad thing, it can teach, help and more than anything give you a shiver when quiet and alone (which is best at night. When there are fewer distractions and we can’t see as well). A shiver that will run down your spine and give rise to a smile because you know there is nothing there.

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