Sunday, October 30, 2011

Studlar's Nightmare

Halloween is a special holiday for fans of the strange and terrifying, like yours truly, and probably most students and alumni of The Center for Cartoon Studies.

Hence, I'll share a special drawing.

"Studlar's nightmare." Based on a true story.

It was a windy night in July, on Galveston Island, Texas. My parents were visiting from West Virginia. We were on a much needed vacation. For our first night out, we camped at Galveston Island State Park. We did not anticipate the extent of wind. On the sandy beach, on a barrier island, with ocean waves rumbling. With no trees to guard us, the wind blew full-force. Sleeping in a tent was a difficult endeavor. The whole structure shook and rocked, nonstop through the night. The fabric whipped and slapped about. Sleep could happen only in short doses. Finally, I went to sleep solidly. And then awoke. A huge, wolf-like dog had my hand in its jaws. It felt like a solid clamp, a vice grip. But it wasn't cutting my flesh, yet. I wanted to pull away, wanted to make noise, to escape. But I couldn't move. I tried very hard, but my body didn't quite respond. Like I was made of led. As I gradually came to, I could move my limbs slightly. Gradually, I came to realize that there was no dog. My hand was only clamped in place with one of my knees on either side. I regained control, and pulled my hand free. Evidently, I had experienced sleep paralysis. I had read about the phenomenon before, as a possible skeptic's explanation for reports of alien abductions, and visits from angels and demons. I thought it would be a frightening thing to experience. And indeed it was.

Happy Halloween, one and all!

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