Dream Elements

It was a very vivid dream, and I woke up immediately afterward, spending time thinking about it in the shower that morning, fixing it in my head. It's not as vivid now, but the important elements are still there.

A married couple had a new house built on the edge of a forest. There was the impression that there was a distinct boundary between forest and unforest, as if the front of the house looked out on tame lawn, while the back of the house was in the middle of trees. The house straddled the line between the two.

The kitchen had a big picture window, but the house wasn't finished and the window had no glass. Still, the couple had nowhere else to stay, so they made use of the house while it was under construction, and were sitting in the kitchen at the table, having a conversation. Through the window, the tree branches, thick enough to support a full grown person, were near enough to lean out and touch.

The couple was having some sort of banal conversation, not really paying attention to the window, when a small little squirrel-like creature jumped onto the nearest limb. They shooed it away, not wanting it to come inside, but reluctantly-- it was a strange little thing, unlike anything they'd seen before. It looked relatively harmless, they just didn't want it inside, and had no glass in the window to keep the forest creatures where they belonged; only a plywood shutter to cover the window at night.

The morning went on, the day deepened, and then it was evening, but they just sat there, reading a newspaper, chatting idly, and hadn't shut the window. A pack of wild dogs jumped up the branches from the ground. They looked like basenjis and were very menacing. They jumped through the window to attack the couple, who jumped up from their chairs and threw the attackers back out the window, then slammed closed the shutter.

What I found compelling was the juxtaposition of intimacy and strangeness. The forest was close and part of an intimate setting. But it was also a wild and potentially dangerous place-- even when it wasn't dangerous, it was unusual and unfamiliar. I want to emphasise the exotic present in a domestic, mundane setting. I also want to leave a sense of suspense at the end, open to the possibility that there could be more than just wild dogs waiting in the forest.