I don't believe in werewolves, vampires, and other dark world creatures. But I also don't like to read books or watch shows about them or anything that is scary and heinous. There's a reason I close my eyes and hide my face when commercials for scary movies and supernatural TV shows flash across my television screen.
Some nights without watching or reading anything that is ghastly I can be visited by vile ugly creatures in my dreams. And not just my dreams. Many nights I'll wake up and snuggle up to my husband after thrashing to wakefulness from being chased by the menacing creatures, and when I try to close my eyes and go back to sleep they are lurking behind my eyelids. Then I spend long hours with my eyes wide open so I can keep them out of my head.
I thought these were just my own fears attacking me until I had a long thoughtful conversation with one of my daughter's friends when we drove from Oregon to Montana to a wedding. It seemed she spent many nights being chased or chasing creatures who sounded a great deal like my creatures. But she was resigned to the fact her grandmother told her she was a keeper of the gates. That at night while she slept, she battled the creatures of Hell to keep them from entering this world and causing havoc. This young woman was completely sincere when she said, "I am a keeper of the gate and even if I lose sleep, I need to be there. It's why I am on this earth."
What she said sounded a lot like a paranormal book, but she was serious about her part in keeping the evil out of this world.
I don't know if I'm a gate keeper like she is, but I would like to think my running from the evil and staying awake is one way of thwarting them.