When I came home after six months of living with the old Mexican lady Dona Maria, my nightmares stopped. Life seemed to become normal again. My sister and brother started school, but my mother thought it was better to keep me home until my health got better. I spent my days with the old Mexican lady and praying. When I wasn't praying, I was feeding her cats. Yet, sometimes at home, my nightmares would come with such incredible force that I couldn't control my fear and I talked to myself as I walked from room to room. As always, the next day I would avoid everyone in the family and go off by myself and play cars alone.
One day, my mom and her boyfriend took me for a long drive across the city to live with my aunt. My mother told me the reason I was going to live with my aunt was because they had a bigger house, and a bigger family, and there would always be someone at home to watch over me day and night. At first my aunt was calm and understanding when I paced the house in the middle of the night ranting and talking to myself. Yet, not one of my cousins ever woke up to help me. My aunt was the only one that woke up and took care of me when I would rant and murmur to myself in the middle of the night. But after more than a week of me walking and talking in my sleep, my aunt began to worry. She asked me one morning if I was just having dreams, or fantasies, and dream walking, and was that really me talking and muttering in weird voices in the middle of the night. I said yes, it was me, and it was because I was homesick and wanted to go home.
A week later, I was home again. It felt so good to be home again. But, a week later, to my disappointment, my mother sent me to live with my uncle and aunt in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although I was homesick, I loved living in Las Vegas in the sixties and I never had another dream-wake nightmare. A year later I was back home again in Phoenix.
After being home for a year, one night there was an incredible loud piercing scream that woke everyone up with a bolt. It was my sister. At the same time she screamed, I saw what I thought was a black cat jump on my mattress, leap on the floor in front of the mattress with a thump and crash through the open window tearing away the screen to the outside and run away with such incredible speed it was nothing more than a blur.
My mother's boyfriend came running into our bedroom in his underwear with a shot gun in his hands and went running out the back door of our bedroom. When I turned and saw my mom holding my sister in the doorway to the kitchen, my sister was on her knees screaming hysterically. We heard two shot gun blasts go off somewhere down the street. When my mother's boyfriend came back, my mother asked if he shot someone. He said no. But he decided to pull two shots off just in case there was someone out there. Just to let them know we had a gun. My mother called the police, and we were all awake and listened to my sister tell the police what happened. It was five in the morning.
She said she was asleep when she suddenly felt someone come into the room. At first she thought it was my mother's boyfriend but then she thought it was odd that he came home through our bedroom when he usually came in from the other part of the house where my mother slept. Still, she assumed it was him. Then she thought she heard a dog. Maybe a dog my brother and I had brought home. We were always bringing stray animals home. Then she felt a man touching her legs, and that's when she began screaming.
After the police left, she told my mom and us a more detailed account of what she experienced. She said that once the breathing began from somewhere in the room, it became louder and louder, yet everything still felt normal. She tried going back to sleep. The breathing got louder and heavier. She looked over at me and my brother sleeping on the mattress on the floor and thought one of us must be having a bad dream and our breathing was louder than it usually was. She tried again to fall asleep. Then she heard the breathing slowly come closer to her. In her dream state, she thought she heard a dog panting. A dog had come into the house. She thought my brother and I had snuck a dog into the house. As she tried going back to sleep, her last thought was that it was funny.
The breathing got louder and closer to her and the panting seemed so close that she felt what she thought was a dog panting over her. She smiled and was getting ready to pet whatever dog she thought my brother and I snuck into the house when she saw a black shadow of a man leaning over her rubbing her legs. That's when she began to scream.
To the police's credit, they did come by every once in awhile to check on my sister.
They never caught whoever it was that broke into our house.
It seemed as I got older, my dream-nightmares became less and less. They became few and far in between. My last one was at twelve years old. Not something you would not mark on your memory. Nevertheless... One night around one in the morning when my mother was still at work and I was reading a book, I fell asleep with the book on my chest and fell asleep. My sister came into my bedroom and shook me awake. Her hands were shaking.
"There's a man in the alley."
"There's a man in the alley."
We walked into the kitchen and I turned the light off and I pulled a corner of the curtain and looked into the back yard. Standing in the alley between the empty house and our house, I saw a black shadowy figure with a trench coat looking towards our house.
I went into my bedroom and took out a 38 Lama pistol I kept under my mattress and walked back into the kitchen and pulled the curtain aside. There was no one there in the alley. Yet even with my gun, I was afraid to go out looking for him. I slept in the front room on the floor in front of my sister's bed room with my pistol.
A week later, my mother asked me if I came home late one night with a friend or a girl and if I and my friend were walking around talking and laughing in the kitchen. I said no.