I stood near the campfire, surrounded by darkness, while rain fell that never touched me.
Then the voice spoke—that American Idol contestant from Hollywood week two years ago—saying, “I’m going to tell you a ghost story.”
Am I dreaming?
The man told his story and then another. He asked my son to make a howling noise for everyone gathered. Then he asked a stranger how to say “Happy Halloween” in Japanese. She knew how.
I had told my wife I didn’t want hot cocoa, but my mom arrived and handed me a Gatorade. Next to her, it was all so strange, I recognized a woman with a small child.
What is happening?
That woman babysat me when I was a toddler. I remembered my 3rd birthday party in her kitchen.
“I haven’t seen you since you were that small,” she told me.
I didn’t blink. There was no need to blink since I was dreaming. “It’s been a long time,” I answered.
My children walked up to me, drinking hot cocoa. When I told my wife about the woman, she admitted she knew her, and they started talking. Then my nieces were there. They grabbed my arm and said I should take them through the haunted castle. I followed them, but it was a maze inside the castle. As they pulled me through it, one of them started speaking Chinese.
Where am I?
I wanted to find my wife, but my daughter and my son played tether-ball with a pumpkin head. Then an announcement came.
“Pig races in ten minutes.”
I found my wife and told her I wanted to see that. I had never seen a pig race before, especially in a dream. When I arrived there, my children left me.
“We have special seats up close,” they said.
Then my neighbor arrived. I told him it was a strange night. He understood. I stood in the dirt, confused and hungry, and watched three little pigs race.
I don’t trust my dreams, because sometimes they aren’t. This story happened tonight. None of what I wrote was fabricated or imagined. I think. If I wake up, I’ll let you know otherwise.