Almost Eaten by a Rhinoceros
Nightmare | October 7, 2010
Down near the beach I park my van and take a nap. Windsong is attracted by noises outside and noses the curtains aside. I look out and see we're parked next to a boardwalk and it looks like Venice Beach or Santa Monica. People are walking, rollerblading, or escorting dogs on their daily exercise. It's these numerous canines that have caught her attention.
I open the door and she leaps out and runs up to a group of dogs to greet and sniff. I think there were a few people around but I get into a pleasant conversation with an attractive woman walking her dog, which looks like a fluffy Appaloosachestnut brown on the front half, and white with patches of brown in the back. Windy and this dog start playing and the woman invites me somewhere for something.
We're walking along the boardwalk, around some buildings and finally, up a flight of concrete steps. On either side are smooth grey concrete walls with a reddish guard rail along the top. The stairs ascend to a broad open floor. Directly in front is a horse attached with a chain to the door of a beautiful silver Mercedes SLR. The door has some indented strip that runs horizontally, and somewhere in the middle is a bolt or an eye hook to which the chain is affixed.
On the other side of the room is a huge rhinoceros minding its own business.
So this woman and I come strolling up the stairs. Our dogs go bounding ahead and run right up to the chained horse, barking excitedly in its face. It rears up and rips the indented strip of metal off the car's door, shaking the vehicle. The horse then goes charging around the room swinging this heavy chain, with the dogs barking and chasing. Thundering by, the stallion soundly wallops the rhinocerous in the flank with the chain, and the rhinocerous, startled and furious, starts raging. After some brief chaos the whole group of animals comes stampeding across the room towards us!
The woman jumps around the left side of the stairwell but I'm on the right, with a wall and the stair railing at my side and not enough time to follow her. So I leap backwards and get my butt up on the top of the stairway wall and my back against the railing with only a few inches to sit on. My legs are dangling down towards the stairs and I'm edging backwards hurriedly.
The horse passes close by as it rushes down but the rhino slows down as it descends the stairs and lunges its armored mouth out at my legs, missing by only a few inches. I'm suddenly in a cold sweat, still shuffling backwards with my elbows on the railing as the stairwell gets deeper beneath my feet. The rhino goes down a few more stairs and thrusts its sharp beak up at my dangling feet. My shoes brush its pointy horn and now I'm scrambling backwards to avoid falling into the stairwell.
This time the rhino lifts its forelegs, plants them firmly against the concrete wall, and lunges again. Its pointy upper lip and gaping leathery mouth are open and I can see down its grubby throat. My legs are flailing out in front and its mouth is clomp-clomping around my thighs about to take a big meaty bite and I'm freaking out! I give one hard push up with my arms and raise my butt and legs a few inches off the top of the concrete wall, straining for a few final seconds...
Then the rhino is falling back down to the steps, its hooves shaking the concrete and echoing dully off the walls. Its massive body shifts as it walks. I want to relax, but I would fall down after him. Then it is gone...
...and with sagging relief I wake up.