On Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The Language of the Heart
When I was about nine, I had a horrible recurring dream. It was pretty simple. All I could see was a face, which at first was small and in the distance, but then got bigger and bigger till it seemed to be right on top of me. I couldn’t see a body, just a face. It was a monstrous face: very, very pale, almost gray-skinned, with big staring eyes so pale they seemed almost white and a thin pale mouth that opened on to long yellow teeth tipped with red. Straggly hair that seemed to move and lift in an invisible wind blew out aroundthe face as if there was an electric current running through it, or as if each hair was alive and wriggling horribly. I always woke up just as the mouth opened wide on a terrible scream, and I’d be screaming myself, yelling my head off.
My mother would come running, but I was so scared of that dream I could not bring myself to tell her about it. I also thought that maybe if I said nothing, then I would forget it and it would go away. So I dreamed it three times before my mother finally persuaded me to tell her about it. As I described it to her, stammering over the words, I was suddenly filled with a frightening thought. What if telling her, describing the face in words, made it leave my dreams–but come into my real life? Or what if now I could …