I Collect Nightmares

I dream a lot, but I rarely have nightmares. I think that if I ever found myself haunted by terrible dreams, I would self-prescribe a generous dose of Granny Weatherwax’s headology. So… when Björn, over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, asked, “How about the nightly visits?” I responded with a poem inspired by Granny’s headology, in Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade.

.
I collect nightmares.

Petunia was my first, named
after a great-aunt, who forced me
into pink lace, taffeta and chiffon,
topped by a brain-shrinking tiara.

She wilts under black ink,
runs screaming
at the sight of comfy jeans.

.
The Prick, my second nightmare,
wears eyes, teeth and stink
that fit Aunt Petunia’s son.
She says The Prick doesn’t exist;
but armed me with couch-talk
and pills of fog, to quiet
what might lurk in my dark.

Talk and fog make poor weapons
against crooked teeth and eyes aflame.
To collect The Prick, I had to craft
a heavy Nightmare-Be-Naught Stick.

.
On days of turmoil, The Prick
has tried to creep into my sleep;
but my Stick breaks his teeth
and puts out his eyes
before he can spread his stink.

I collect nightmares… and Sticks.

.
Headology: “Granny Weatherwax had never heard of psychiatry and would have had no truck with it even if she had. There are some arts too black even for a witch. She practiced headology—practiced, in fact, until she was very good at it. And though there may be some superficial similarities between a psychiatrist and a headologist, there is a huge practical difference. A psychiatrist, dealing with a man who fears he is being followed by a large and terrible monster, will endeavor to convince him that monsters don’t exist. Granny Weatherwax would simply give him a chair to stand on and a very heavy stick.” ~ Maskerade

linked to Rereading My Pratchett

I Said No Bogeymen, by Zorm“I Said No Bogeymen”, by Zorm
(This illustration was inspired by Hogfather, a different Pratchett book. But the character’s reaction to the boogeyman makes me think that she, too, has heard of Granny’s headology.)