This is a recurring nightmare I used to have when I was very small, probably about four or five years old. I’ve always remembered it, and this is actually copied from an autobiography I wrote for an exercise in school when I was thirteen:
To begin with I was at the top of the
stairs. I could see light coming in from
around the living room door but everywhere else was dark. I moved cautiously down the stairs but as I
neared the bottom, I could see something in the wall. A face, I thought, and so I started to
run. When I got to the bottom, two black
and white harlequins jumped out. They
were a man and a woman whose bodies were painted like chess boards. I tried to get away, but one jumped in front
of me and the other lifted me up from behind.
Then one took my arms and the other took my feet. They bounced me in the air several times, and
then tossed me down the corridor. The
dream ends just before I hit the floor.
I can’t remember exactly when I started referring to them as harlequins. I just described them to someone once and that was what they called them. Really though they were just covered all over in checkers. Could be because my dad played chess a lot. Also, they effectively were giving me the bumps – when, usually on someone’s birthday, people lift them by the arms and legs and drop them once for every year. My older brother’s used to do that to me all the time, but why in my dream it was a slender man and a woman, I have no idea.