When I spent a month in the jungles of Belize doing archaeology, digging an ancient Maya ballcourt, I had to get all kinds of vaccines and take malaria medication once per week for a few weeks before and after, and every week during my stay there. When the doctor told me of the side effects (dizziness, upset stomach, etc.) he neglected the one that would have caught my attention: nightmares. It also happens to be the most common side effect, so common, in fact, that almost every other member of the archaeology team who was on this medication experienced them.
These nightmares were exceptionally graphic, bloody and violent, and everyone had them. Once we realized what was happening, we instinctively made little support groups. The people who took their malaria pills on Tuesdays would wake up on Wednesday morning and huddle together at breakfast comparing horrors, and so on throughout the week. I can only remember two, and they both include my family doing horrible things.
My mother and sister have me cornered in the kitchen in the house I grew up in (near the toaster). Whenever I try to slip out of the corner, they calmly slash at me to keep me there. They’re smiling and laughing at my futile escape attempts.
Pool of Parts
I’m in a swimming pool that has been dyed red with the blood of freshly hacked-up body parts that have been put there (or maybe they’re swimmers who got chopped up before they could escape). I’m attempting to get out of the pool, but my mom, sister and dad keep pushing me back in with long wooden poles.