Monday, August 24, 2009

The Gas Heater

The gas heater resided in the living room of our apartment. The dark brown, curved metal corners, the grill to let out the heat, let in the air, the blue flame glowing through it. It was a mundane part of our home when I was a young child.

Until night time. Then that heater became home to my nightmares. A monster lived in it and emerged through the top of the heater. It looked like a hand puppet of a dinosaur or dragon, with triangle fins down its back. What it looked like wasn’t what scared me. It was that this monster controlled everything that happened. I don’t know how he did it. That was truly terrifying to me. And that’s what I remember about it—the feeling of helpless subjugation and fear. My hair sometimes stands on end when I remember it fully.

This reoccurring nightmare lasted for several childhood years. And I still startle a bit when a heater cycles on loudly.

-by Terra Rafael

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