When I was a boy I had a recurring dream. I think it started one night during a thunderstorm. Upon the window of my bedroom, shadows would be cast by the branches of our tree when the wind would blow. Lightning exploded outside my window, but in the flash I saw a figure, something unreal, something terrifying. I'm not sure if it was an episode of Scooby-Doo that conjured the Electricity Monster, or if it was the lightning I saw that later was manifested by what I saw in the cartoon, but it was a creature made of pure energy, a being of pure electricity that frightened me. The dream would proceed always in the same way. I would be in the living room of our home at night. As if on a line, I was carried inexorably down the hallway, into my room, and unavoidably under the bed. I would come face to face with the electricity monster. Terror would grip me tight and though I wrestled against the flow of this dream I could not escape it. This nightmare tormented me for many years, but eventually ended. I cannot say whether any event ended it, or whether it simply faded from my mind. Many years later, as a man, I had the same dream. It began like all the others, in the living room of my childhood home, being dragged down the hall as if on a line, falling under the bed to face the creature. This time, it was different. This time, I was a grown man, who had faced many things, who had reckoned his fate, who accepted his mortality, who was afraid of nothing except harm to his own loved ones. I stood before the monster defiantly. I said to it, "I'm not a boy now. I am no longer afraid of you." It replied to me, "That was the face I bore when you were a child. My True Face would have broken you. You are now ready to see my real countenance." It pulled back its face and revealed a cosmic horror beyond any words I could use to describe it. I felt cold into my bones and I was paralyzed with fear. I woke gasping for breath, shaking, covered in sweat, shaking in terror. I felt all the walls of security built by my adult life fall away like a castle of wooden blocks made by a child, knocked over.