I had a strange nightmare last night. I only remember flashes of it now. Miss Trunchbull, the tyrannical headmistress from Mathilda, was out on a lonely plain at night. She was seeking to dredge something up from the bottom of a mine shaft with which to use against us. With her was a maintenance man, and he was casting his bucket into the well. As soon as he lobbed it in, the rope began to play from his hands with terrible speed, as if something other than gravity had taken it and begun to yank it down into the depths of the earth. The man held on, but this proved to be a mistake; the rope yanked in the flimsy little warning barrier he had placed about the hole, and then he followed with brutal directness into the black.

This was no comedic fall; for a moment I had his point of vision as he rushed towards the mouth of the well, felt his decision to brace with his feet once he reached the lip, and then briefly sensed the bones in his legs shatter as he was yanked down down down.

Miss Trunchbull stood there in the darkness, flabbergasted. And then, terribly, the maintenance man began to emerge, but he had clearly been transformed. In death he was terribly more alive than he had been before, filling the air with a charged horror as he hauled himself slowly out of the pit, speaking in an amused undertone to Miss Trunchbull, his face procelain white and cracked. He seemed to have grown hunched, larger, and and Miss Trunchbull reacted furiously after a moment of shock, attacking him and beating him into stillness.

My dream shifted, and I understood that some hours had passed. Miss Trunchbull was lying down, exhausted, knuckles cracked and bleeding, and around her lay the corpses of some six or seven copies of the maintenance man. Another was slowly hauling himself out of the pit, his pasty gray face bland with subtle amusement as Miss Trunchbull heaved herself to her feet to batter him to death again.

There was much more to the dream; the denizens of the pit below figured prominently in it, and I myself entered the scene at times. Underground rooms and passageways, industrial walls bleeding rust in ghastly streaks, creatures that were part rat part something else attempting to escape; a strange and convoluted nightmare that I wish I had jotted down upon awakening. All I recall now is Miss Trunchbull and that endless, slow torrent of maintenance men arising from the pit. Ah well.