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John Carpenter's


Bennings’ Dreams

By Cpl Ferro

When George Bennings was eighteen years old, he broke his neck in a car
crash.  Disturbed by talk he might not walk again, he proved the
doctors' fears unfounded by making a complete recovery.  He joined the Army not
long thereafter.

In dreams, the glacier had moved down to cover the camp with a
twenty-foot layer of encrusted ice and snow.  He tried to get down into MacReady’s
shack, but it was buried in the solidity even over its roof.  Pawing,
snuffling noises were near it.  Something else trying to get in, but

In the kennel, he saw It again, spread out up the wall disgustingly,
this time coated in what looked like congealed beige kitchen grease.  It
formed a pupae, adhered to the wall, mucky and pulsating.

Walking through the compound, someone moved behind him (Mac?) – he
thought wrong, perhaps, he doesn’t know who was behind him.  Walking outside,
the exterior exit to the camp was different, instead of a short terminal
tunnel, this opened up into a giant glass or crystal portico, enclosed with a
windshield.  It wasn’t beautiful, just unexpected, and Bennings’
marveled at it.

A lonely creature was hiding in the pupae; the mucky grease was gone,
leaving only a girl within – a nymph, with pink skin, globular breasts,
hips, all of it.  She was all there, just for him.  He stood looking
into the otherwise empty kennels, entranced.  And there was a song, a
high-pitched, almost silent song she was singing.  Was there a motion
behind him?

He lay in his bed, and awoke with a start to realize the dog was in the
room with him, lying down, a long grey-black shape in the shadows.  It made
a noise but wasn’t growling; rather, making a weird hissing sound that
was worse…

Bennings awoke again with a start, this time with one of his sustained
yawns, to realize there was no dog in the room with him.  The strains
of Motown reached his ears…

“Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
”Very superstitious, ladders bout' to fall,
”Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass
”Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past”

He returned to bed and the music drifted away.  In dreams, he saw that
schizophrenic corpse Doc and Mac had brought back from Insanityland,
Norway. He realized that the corpse wasn’t something the Norwegians had
but that, as told by the shape it had taken just before death, it had
burned itself. At the end they had all went insane.

What if monsters are real and all want to “come through the doorway”
into my mind?, he thinks, then shakes the thought away, tossing in his sleep.

In dreams, he found himself submerged again under the glacial
oppression of the camp, twenty feet down and in the Thiokol, a hunting rifle on the
seat next to him.  But, his neck was broken and there was ice filling every
air pocket.  He couldn’t move but he could see through the blue-tinted ice. 
All around the Thiokol were the terrible dogs, except here they weren’t
dogs, but wolves.  They were frozen in the ice, too, just waiting for him.

/Dreams are slow under the ice.  You’ll be here a long time./ One of
the wolves told him.

Later, up on the ladder clearing his meteorological gear out of the
store room so as per Doc’s orders the burned remains of the Norwegian
scientific monstrosities can be locked up, he thought he half-heard the song
again, the Siren song he’d thought so beautiful.  He started humming it to himself
alone in the room with It…

* * *
The Bennings-thing, caught by hostile natives, dowsed in accelerant,
had the impulse to Communicate to save its own skin, but it was not more than
an impulse, because as soon as it opened its mouth all it could do was
/sing the song/…



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