Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Three-Fingered Woman

When I was a little(r) boy, I only had three nightmares that I can remember, but they were all recurring and fierce.

One was that I was suspended in the corner of my bedroom, up near the ceiling, inexplicably moving outward as if attached to a rocket bound for outer space. I would wake up in a sweat, repeating the words "It's so far away!" until my mom got me to stop by knocking me unconscious with a miniature baseball bat stored on my bedside table for that precise purpose.

Another was that I would be forced to play Monopoly every second for the rest of my life, which just sounds like the worst thing ever. Should we use this on terrorists, or is it worse than waterboarding? Somebody read this for me and let me know--I need to go feed my gerbils.

Anyway, the third nightmare involved a three-fingered woman. This woman didn't really do anything other than exist, but that was enough for me. Something about an elderly woman missing two fingers was enough to make me scream in my bed "The three-fingered woman!" until my mom pulled out that bat again.

I have no real explanation for the first two, but the genesis of this last, rather odd nightmare was the movie Cloak and Dagger (1984), which is about a boy, Davey (E.T.'s adorable Henry Thomas), who spends a lot of time playing video games and living in a fantasy world of spies and high-stakes intrigue, accompanied by his cavalier imaginary hero, Jack Flack (Dabney Coleman). He lives in a fantasy world because his mom is dead and his father (Dabney Coleman) is a pilot who is never around. One day, a dying man gives Davey a Cloak and Dagger video game cartridge and he suddenly finds himself the target of real-life spies with real guns.

The plot, in pictures (thanks, Internet!):

Davey plays with action figures in his room, alone as usual

 "What's this? Why did a dying man give me this game?" -Davey

 "When I beat all the levels, cuz I'm a nerd, I find secret military documents." -Nerd

Dads never understand children

"Your Dad doesn't believe you, but I do--we gotta save the world!" -Jack Flack

"Wait--I AM your Dad and I just saved the world! He has been your hero all along."

At some point in the middle there, Davey is warned to be on the lookout for a spy who is missing two fingers. When he gets to the Alamo (what is it about the Alamo that made it so popular in the Eighties?) for a hand-off, things don't exactly go as planned and the three-fingered woman rears her ugly...hand...

That isn't exactly as I remember it--I thought the ole bag wore a tailor-made three-fingered black leather glove--but, regardless, you can see why this would scare a little boy every time he saw it (I watched the movie multiple times, against the wishes of my mother I'm sure).

I guess when you live in fear of something for as long as I did, your mind tends to get a bit creative with the details. Anyway, I'm proud to say I haven't had this nightmare in many days and I am damn proud of myself.




Breanne Unsicker said...

Wow~ I am so glad you had all this info, I remember it being a black glove too? did something change? Just wanted to tell thanks for helping me find this movie I was thinking about it for weeks.

Goodtime Charlie said...

Glad to help. Hopefully your nightmares have subsided by now, but if not, Dr. GTC recommends a liberal dose of wine applied to directly to your stomach for as long as you feel is necessary.