Back when I was just a little girl, I had this really strange phobia. I was deathly afraid of goblins. Neither of my parents, siblings, or any doctor or therapist could put two and two together to figure out why I had this strange phobia. I actually asked my dad about it last year, and he said that my phobia was called Bogyphobia, the fear of demons and monsters. I asked him about this, because I wasn't afraid of demons or monsters, just goblins. I hated those short, hairy, ugly little creatures.

My dad said that it may have been the cause of reading too many scary books, or that a certain video or picture may have sent me into a state of shock. I hadn't remembered seeing anything like the things he mentioned, and he must have known that this was what I was thinking, because he said that there was a small fairytale book I used to always read when I was younger, and I was so incredibly afraid of one of the pages that I would start to cry when I looked at it. He remembered reading the book to me, and I started screaming and sobbing when he reached that page.

So I asked my father where the book was, and he said that it was probably somewhere in the basement at my mother's house. I groaned just thinking about that place. It was so dank and disgusting, and nobody ever cleaned it. But regardless of how I felt, I made plans with my mother to go over there and spend the day.

But instead of sitting in the dirty living room, watching some terrible movie, I snuck into the basement. But as soon as I reached the bottom step, a horrible odor hit me. I nearly puked, it was so gross. I looked around through my watering eyes to see if I could find the source of the smell. And I honestly wasn't surprised when I saw rotting dog and cat feces, damp, dirty boxes, and a mountain of dirty laundry that the dogs and cats had used as their personal pee-absorber. I ran back upstairs and took a deep, long breath. The air wasn't clean up there, either, but at least it was better than downstairs. After another long breath, I ran back downstairs, covering my mouth and nose with my shirt.

I didn't know where to start. There were so many boxes. Just so, so many. I poked around in them. Old hats, baby clothes, broken toys, and finally, old, childhood books. I started taking them out of the box, one by one, paying attention to the titles so I wouldn't miss 'Rapunzel'. And there, at the very bottom of the box, was the old picture book lost in a mess of mess. I looked over it carefully. The gold tin lining around the outside of the book was torn and dull, and the cover was damp and dirty, but it seemed as if the pages inside of it were perfectly clean. So I took the book back upstairs, not bothering to clean up the other books, and ran to my room.

I was so glad that I had found it, yet so scared to look through it. What if that picture brought back terrible, horrible memories, or I developed Bogyphobia again? Oh well. I felt a strong need to look through it, and I had spent so much time looking for it, that I didn't care. But I decided that I would read it when I was back in the clean safety of my own home. But then I realized that my mother would probably see me carrying the book, and take it away, or worse, throw it out. So I had to sneak it out of the house. I concealed it in my hoodie, and everything went better than expected.

When I was back at home, I drank three glasses of water and ran up to my room, hiding myself in the closet with only a flashlight and the book. I was so excited, I could feel my hands throbbing. I carefully opened the book. I didn't want it to tear or break, after everything I went through to get it. I read each line, looked at every picture, until I got to the page before the one thing I had dreaded so much when I was a child. I took a few deep breathes, pondering on whether I should look at the picture, and risk my phobia coming back, or just shut the book now and sit there, hours of hard work being wasted. Screw it, I thought, and I turned the page.

I squeezed my eyes closed, and my brain started pounding against my skull. Horrible, dreadful memories came flooding into my brain all at once, like an almost endless river. I could remember myself crying and screaming, the horrible nightmares, the terrible laughs that would remain in my head for such a long time! I forced myself to open my eyes and look at the picture again. And suddenly, it looked so familiar. The short creature was dancing around a small log fire in what appeared to be some sort of cave. He had this horrible look on his face, like screaming and laughther at the same time. His nose was long, and his eyes went different ways. It was horrifying.

I shut the book and stepped out of my closet, and into the safety of my warm bed. The book sat straight across from me, and, being so afraid of it, I threw one of my pillows at it. It fell over, revealing the torn back cover with words that I could barely understand even though they were so big. I couldn't look at that book ever again. I wrapped it in paper and folded it into five plastic bags, and hid it in the darkest corner of my basement. I never wanted to see that menacing little goblin ever again.

The actual dream

The nightmare I had so many times when I was a young girl were not of the horrid little demon in the book. It was about a goblin, yes, but not the same one in the book. my dream took place at my mothers house.

When the dream started, I would somehow know that it was going to be the nightmare, because it would start off as just inky black darkness for a few seconds. The I would be in the old bunk bed in my old room. It would be midnight, and I would literally just float down the stairs. The whole house would be dark, but I went to the front door anyways. It was blocked by old 1990s VCRs (I still have no idea why), but I would always somehow manage to move them out of the way and get onto the green front porch. By this point in the dream, I would remember that my mom, dad, brother and sister had left me alone at home to go to a party. So I would go into the garage. Keep in mind, like I said, it was very dark, except I could see through a dim light. In real life, the driveway at my mother's house is very long, but you can still see the road and people walking by through a grove of trees. Back in the dream, the driveway was the same way.

Then I would see this strange, short black shadow walking along the side of the road. And then It turned into my driveway. I had to say this was probably one of the worst parts of the dream, seeing that creepy black shadow just sauntering towards me in the darkness, when no one was around. And it kept walking towards me, until it was about an inch from my face, and I could make out it's features clearly. Now that I think about it, this goblin was very similar to the one in the book, except this one had a very scary cackle. Then it pushed me, and I fell on the ground, squirming in pain as it beat me with a broom. After about 15 minutes in dream-time, he would stop, and I would be out in the garden with him, and he would force me to dance and sing a song about how great he was. Then, he would say something about knowing where my parents were, and he would be pulling me up the road in a red wagon. Then the dream would end.

I'm not sure, but when thinking about it, he may have been taking me to hell. The dream alone was just awful, but this element alone is so dark and creepy. I also remember there was another version of the dream, where I get out to the car before my family leaves, and they bring me with them. And when I look out the car window, there was the little goblin. Only he wasn't cackling—he was just staring at me with those terrible eyes.

And he wasn't happy.