It's the early 1970s. My dream is shot thru a gauzy, wood paneling on the walls, clichéd '"Family Affair" lens. I'm at my grandmother's house in Sandusky on the Bay. It's a beautiful summer day. I've just come inside from playing with some neighbor kids on the docks of Lake Erie, sailing homemade wooden boats on string in the water, tossing frisbees and swimming in the warm bay.
My grandmother has made me a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, made with fresh Goober brand mix from a jar with a side of Hi-C.
She turns on the rabbit-eared television for me to watch while I eat my healthy, growing boy meal. Life for an 8-year old boy doesn't get any better than this.
And then, it appears.
THE HIDEOUS VISAGE OF THE MALEVOLENT, EVIL, SMIRKING, HOTPANTS-CLAD "HERE'S LUCY" MARIONETTE!
It stares at me from the television screen, tipping its black tophat in my direction in a friendly, get-to-know-ya-before-I-SWALLOW YOUR SOUL fashion.
Its flaming Hell hair beckons me to surrender all innocence and morals and join it in the fiery, smoking pits littered with Pall Malls, shattered glasses once filled with scotch on the rocks and discarded pink, spongey Lilt Home Perms. It raises its spindly, evil arms to present the show credits.
Then, it does the unspeakable.
I attempt to avert my eyes to avoid the horror, but I cannot. I sit, transfixed, as it prepares, puppet legs tensing in effort.
IT POINTS TO THE TITLE CARD THAT READS "HERE'S LUCY". THEN, IT SPINS. IT SPINS AS THE IMAGE OF THE REAL LIFE, WHISKEY-THROATED, CROAKING SUCCUBUS ITSELF APPEARS ONSCREEN.
I wake, screaming.