I have always been terrified to go into forests of any kind simply because of a dream I had when I was nine. As I grew older, I tried to convince myself the boogeyman didn’t exist and men didn’t live in the mountain caves down the street from our house. It was a dream I had had on several occasions and the more I asked my parents about the dream, the more they told me how it wasn’t real and not to worry about it. When they started to become increasingly frustrated by my talking about the dream, I stopped talking about it at home. At school, I regaled all my friends with variations of the dream and they never stopped gasping and screaming at all the right parts.
I never got tired of telling my story and my friends never got tired of listening to my embellishments. I think my story was my way of keeping the dream alive because I knew there was something behind the fact I kept having the same dream over and over again. As the years went by, every time I saw more than one tree clumped together, the memories of the boogeyman came flashing back. Somewhere along the line, my dream altered slightly as both the man and I grew older. It wasn’t until I was twenty-five that I realized it wasn’t a dream. The man in the cave was real. And the man was my uncle who I was told had died.