Last night I dreamed that I met the Devil…

Zoltan - Hound of Dracula.

We fought a frustrating sort of wrestling match in a shadowy corridor where arms kept coming out of the walls to try to pin me down.

Now, I’d always assumed that if we did ever stumble across each other (perhaps at a conjuration or even during the rush hour at Waterloo Station), we’d be on the same side. I don’t have a literal belief in the Devil, any more than I have a literal belief in God; to me he’s a mischievous and contrarian archetype rather than the CEO of Hades. So to come face to face with him as an antagonist in all his fury was a bit off-putting to say the least.

He was wearing whitish-grey prison overalls and had dark brown hair and a beard. Not at all the blonde sophisticate of the Vertigo comics (borrowed liberally for my own depiction of him in Gape). This time he was closer to Viggo Mortensen’s portrayal in The Prophecy but had a raw screaming fury to go with it. In fact he kept grabbing at me and at one point bit my shin – really deeply.

I awoke in a cold sweat, not daring to open my eyes in case he was standing there at the foot of the bed. I can’t remember the last time I was so shaken up and convinced of the reality of a dream. The only move I dared make was to pull my foot back under the duvet in case something grabbed at it. As everyone knows from an early age, bed covers are the best protection against monsters.

This morning it all made better sense.

Last evening Mrs A and I watched a TV programme on puppy training in which a tiny cross-breed called Byron kept biting at his owners. I also then realised as dressed, that my silver chain with an inverted pentagram was hanging off the knob on the drawer of the bedside cabinet. I’d found at the back of said drawer a few nights ago and had polished away the tarnish before hanging it there and forgetting about it again. I’d obviously made an unconscious association between the two and my sleeping imagination had filled in the blanks.

It’s good to know that it was just a dream and that back in reality, The Devil and I are still on speaking terms…

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