The Bowling Alley (The Dream Factory)

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See “The Dream Factory” for a full list of my shared dreams.

The dream began in a bowling alley—a very small, rundown bowling alley. And old. The alley was old. I remember it was a little stuffy, too.

A friend had dragged me there. Not someone I know in real life. This guy who was much bigger than me and wearing too heavy a coat for how stuffy it was in there. Most the people in there were strange, too. I wasn’t bowling well at all. In fact, I was stinking the place up and this middle-aged woman who wore black leather, had a lot of tattoos and really just wore clothes that were meant for someone half her age and twice her beauty…she was giving me pointers. It wasn’t helping, but she was nice.

As I was bowling, I overheard this woman talking to my friend, asking him about a ‘package’ and if I was I was that package. The friend kept saying he hadn’t a clue of what she was talking about, but she kept insisting—swearing that she’d gone through the whole joint and there wasn’t one “other” in the place so I had to be it and she wanted to know his price.

A few minutes later, my friend leaned in close to me and mumbled for me to follow him. He led me to a door that led to a back alleyway, being careful to look over his shoulder now and again to ensure we weren’t being followed. Next to the door was a man who was sitting at a table, resting his head upon it as he slept off inebriation. My friend shook this man gently enough to wake him up, and he led (half carried) him out the door. The drunken man seemed to have no idea what was happening, but didn’t fight it.

We were alone there with the drunken man sitting against a stone wall. My friend looked at me sternly. “You’re in danger,” he said. “I need you to go behind those crates and hide. Whatever you see, know that you can trust me. You trust me, don’t you?”

I nodded, though I wasn’t certain. I went and hid behind the pile of crates, making sure I could still see what was going on. As soon as I was out of his sight, his face began to change into something horrendous—a monster of sorts. He pulled a hood over his head, but I could still see his face: the color of gray ash, bumpy like clay that wasn’t quite molded fully, with bright green-yellow eyes that looked out of place with the rest of his features.

A few minutes later and the middle-aged woman entered the alley. As she approached, her face and features began to change, as well. Like him, her skin changed to the color of ash though, unlike his, her eyes darkened so that the whites of them were as black as her pupils.

“This isn’t the package!” she said to my friend. “You’re trying to trick me!” and this was followed by a strange hiss.

“This is the package,” my friend said coolly. “You found me out, but were wrong about the other human.”

She studied the drunken man sleeping on the ground. “He doesn’t have the air of a human,” she said. “Who was that other one if not the package?”

My friend only shrugged.

She shook her head. “No, you’re trying to trick me. Your kind is always tricking!”

At this, my friend’s voice took on a deeper tone. “Take care in your implications, witch.”

And suddenly I knew what they were. They were witches, and perhaps warlocks, if that was the term of a male witch. I thought I remember that being the case. I didn’t take this lightly, either. To me, there was still the possibility of it being an elaborate prank, except for what happened next. The middle-aged woman’s fear showed, and in that fear her face flashed between the façade of what I’d seen in the bowling alley and the gruesome face of the monster she had become.

“Fine,” she said. “Fine, fine. I’ll take him. What’s your price? What was your buyer offering for the drop? I’ll pay double. Now, that’s fair isn’t it? Double?” This last part seemed to be more her seeking his approval, as it almost had a sheepish tone to it.

For a moment my friend said nothing.

He’s selling it, I mused, and watched the artistry of it.

“Double then,” he said. “Double will be fine.”

They made the exchange and she dragged the drunken man away, grumbling something under her breath I couldn’t understand. When the coast was clear, my friend called my name. I came out. His face had changed back to the façade of a human face.

“She isn’t the only one who was eyeing you in there,” he said. “I sensed about four more and I’m sure there were others who’d caught on or had been tipped off about your presence. My ‘drop’ of you was to the one called Petric, but he never showed. Perhaps he sensed was I did—that the place was crawling.”


“There’s magic in you, which almost never happens with humans. She sensed that. Others sense it, and you’re not safe.”

Naturally, I was beside myself, but all I could think to ask was, “So, what next?”

“Next you hide.”

And then he led me (I really don’t recall how we got there) to a cabin somewhere, and from there the dream took a bizarre twist as dreams are apt to do. I don’t remember this sequence of dream only that it strayed from the previous storyline. At one point, I ended up on top of the space needle with my family (and by on top, I do mean ON TOP).

I thought the parts I did remember were worthy of a share, however. At least worthy of capturing in my dream vault J. Comments and interpretations welcome, as always.


About authorphilpartington

Phil is a writing enthusiast of many years, having been published in numerous online and national print trade and sports publications over the past decade. He has spent the past five years delving back into the world of fiction writing, focussing on the fantasy, horror and suspense genres. Deshay of the Woods is his first novel.
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