That Hideous Strength

There are only two dreams which I can remember from my childhood.

In by far the worse of the two, I am pursued through a deserted tar and concrete cityscape by a Brontosaurus.

I must have been around eight or nine years old and that dream frightened me so badly that I remember it to this day.

Eventually the symbol for fearsome creature was replaced in my dream imagery by big cats – lions, tigers and panthers – and they were usually menacing someone I loved, rather than myself. I remember more than one terrifying nightmare where the big cats were after my son, and I seemed powerless to stop them.

Today in waking consciousness I am more likely to be scared of a couple of tons of metal and plastic alloy barelling through life’s spaces with a semi-somnolent anthropoid at the controls than I am of dinosaurs or lions.

But that’s just the shape of the threat morphing. As far as I know, the threat is the same within this dimensional existance; something huge, something excessively powerful, something not quite under any form of rational control.

My baseline fear is this massive, seemingly unstoppable force which can easily swat the life from a fragile, unarmoured mortal body; which cannot be reasoned with and whose blows are shockingly fast, almost infinitely powerful and swiftly lethal.

In fact, my baseline fear has a name which has swum up out of my un-indexed mind just last night and the recollection of which has prompted me to draw an old trilogy of fiction by CS Lewis into my Kindle. It is


One response to “That Hideous Strength

  1. That hideous strength is one of my favourite C.S. Lewis books, and I’ve blogged about it quite often.

    I rarely dream about animals, and frightening dreams that I recall from my childhood don’t feature them.


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