I was a kid, sleeping on a huge mattress that lay on the floor of my parent’s bedroom. The room was square, without furniture or adornment, and the mattress lay on a polished cement floor. I awoke, and looking past my parents I saw darkness pouring out from a long, thin gap where the floor met the ceiling. The blackness was pinpricked with pale points of white, and I realized it was an army of ants, large and on the move. There were tons of them, hundreds and thousands and they kept emerging, and with pincers thick and long, carrying their grubs as they fled their nest.

I roused my parents who didn’t want to wake up, but as soon as they realized what was going on we were all up on our feet and on the far side of the small room. The only way out was a door beyond the spreading carpet of vicious huge ants, and even as they debated how to get rid of them, kill them, I managed to cross over to a counter by use of a chair and then run into the kitchen beyond, yelling back to them about my plan to use boiling water to kill them all.

The water took forever to boil, and the ants began to make their escape, such that when I got back they had mostly gone in their hundreds of thousands, out the front door which was a side passage and through other cracks in the bedroom floor and walls. We tried to block their escape by wading frantically into them, causing them to hiss and grow excited, sweeping them back and forth with our feet, but to no avail. Like swirling two dimensional hurricanes they boiled away. But other insects had emerged, huge, fat wasps as big as my thumb, crawling on the floor with their angular wings, bearing their own grubs. These were lethally dangerous and we all stood paralyzed, not wanting to arouse their ire. But then they began to congregate in groups, and form these origami nests around them like wheels of lacquered cheese, deep maroon striated with orange, building these thin nest husks around them with tremendous speed.

We didn’t know what to do. In the gloom we debated, and I decided to put on protective clothing on pour the boiling water on the twelve or so nests that littered the floor (the mattress had disappeared), when water began to pour out of the kitchen and along the floor, boiling the wasps and washing them away into the cracks.

I exclaimed with pleasure at how the boiling water was working, the wasps being carried away, darkened and killed, all of us up on chairs now, but the water kept coming, deeper and deeper, flooding the room. Even though the water was lethal it didn’t bubble or steam.

We watched as it grew a foot deep, two feet deep, and then the cracks in the floor began to open up, revealing tunnels below, and a strange creature emerged and began to swim away like a languid turtle. It was a mix between the Old Ones from the Dark Crystal and a sloth, with long pale fur and a deeply wrinkled face. It swam with slow, tremendous dignity, and soon others were emerging and swimming with ease through the water, making their escape, the floor of the bedroom beginning to resemble the floor of an underwater grotto. My parents were outside now, on the flooded lawn, and my father was furious at these swimming creatures, lashing out with kicks, but they paid no heed. Maybe some twelve emerged, and slowly swam away.

I made my way back towards the counter, and saw to my surprise a human form pull free from the ever widening tunnel entrances, skin dusty pale gray/blue, swimming and fading from my sight, blending in with the rocks even as I noticed it. Just a glimpse of torso and legs. I gained the counter, and saw that it had become an overgrown patio shelf, covered with ferns, plants, moss, beautiful and decorative, with wrought iron furniture. A mermaid sat on the patio with me, but when I approached she startled and dived into the water.

I moved around, and saw something by a clump of bushes that beckoned to me, something small a few inches high, but when I crouched down to examine it too broke away and disappeared, leaving me to awaken from my dream.