Last night’s dream:

The family is visiting an elderly aunt up in Illinois. We are in a back foyer with a glass door. I’m standing; everyone is sitting in rocking chairs, chatting, laughing, exchanging medical stories, discussing the best way to drive to this place or that.

There is an alligator climbing the steps to the back door. Alligators are not altogether common in the suburbs of Chicago, but no one is any more surprised or concerned than they’d be if it were a stray cat in the back yard. It seems that escapees from the nearby zoo are not that uncommon, and are not any cause for alarm.

The alligator nudges against the glass door, trying to get in. Still, the family seems more amused than anything else. It leans back and then swings forward against the door, but only manages to hurt its snout. It looks dazed. My relatives have a chuckle, and go back to arguing over the fastest directions to somewhere-or-other.

I move to the wall directly opposite the door so I can keep an eye on the alligator. It shakes its head, regains its senses, and backs down the steps. It trudges backwards across the yard until it bumps against the fence. It looks over its shoulder—which I don’t think alligators can do in real life—almost as though to make sure it’s given itself a good enough running start.

Then the alligator sprints towards the house, bounds up the steps and launches through the door, spraying glass all over. And I mean launches—its feet never touch the floor.

It flies at me, jaws open. I see serrated teeth, I see a black tongue protruding from a gaping, red throat, down which we all shall soon be sliding in bloody chunks. As it gets within chomping distance, I press back against the wall. It slams its jaws shut…

…and just barely misses ripping my face off. It bites down on nothing but thin air, and I reach out and catch the alligator by its snout, holding its mouth closed with my bare hands.

The beast desperately tries to open its mouth, and I desperately hold it shut. As long as I can stand there and hold this thing’s mouth closed, we’re all safe.

My relatives sit there and discuss which local grocery is offering the best coupons.