The alley sighed.
'So what I'm saying is I'm the alley. Come get some, you don't have the balls though. I'm the alley that all men fear. Come on down. I'm cold and I'm dark and I'm terribly creepy. I am the Alley. I'm always there.'
He hissed a cold breath of steam in the bitter night air. Headlights zipping about, people passing by, no one daring to try the alley out except perhaps a stray cat or a careless wandering rat in search of food, the alley mocked my very being. It all seemed surreal but too real at the same time, that terrifying alley beckoning me. I'd been here before.
'You wouldn't dare face me, the alley is too much for you boy.'
He sounded tired and aged yet vibrant at the same time. He was hungry, I could tell, and I think he had a carving for me, but I was in no mood to appease this alley. I was too frightened to move, rooted to my spot like a streetlight or a stop sign. 'But come on down and try me out if you must as all do, perhaps you are the one to make it to the other side. Perhaps you are the one to do the alley in.'
'Is this all I get?' The darkened alley whispered, disappointed... 'That's it, a little thirst for cheap mystery, come on in stud? Bang your head against my brick walls. Lets see if you're the one that can outlast the cave, man, and the fear, man, and time.'
It was promising, but I was terrified. I considered going down into the dark but the fact is, the alley was right, I was not the man. I couldn't beat the alley if I tried. Even if it worked out, sooner or later some dog or some bum would come along and pick at my bones scattered like toothpicks amongst the garbage, debris, and cardboard boxes that littered the alley's landscape. I would lose in the end no matter what?
There's always an alley, whether they call it a street or a thoroughfare, there's always a dark place to get lost in.
I've had that dream for years. The alley changes, sometimes it's a hallway or a closet, but there's always a dark corner I face from time to time in my recurring dreams, and it wouldn't surprise me if someday I finally tried the alley out and ran into the faceless boogeyman in there. They say if you die in your dreams, you die in real life. Maybe that will be the day I find out.
Anyway, recurring dreams can haunt you for some time. In the one I just related, there really is no sense for it. Maybe I'm afraid of getting lost or something, I don't know. Perhaps some day I'll go see someone and have that dream analyzed and find out what it all means, but until then I guess I'll just deal with it from time to time. After all, it's just a dream. Isn't that what they always say, it's only just a dream. Or is it?