I’ve been wearing my Nightmare Pants for a few years now. They’re pastel blue pajimjam pants that have fun pictures of balloons, elephants, popcorn (next to the word “POP!”), horses, stars, circus tents, and clouds on them. They’re not called Nightmare Pants because they’re super unflattering or they fall down unexpectedly or they’re see-through or they're covered in blood or anything like that. They’re called Nightmare Pants because they give me nightmares.

Every time I wear my Nightmare Pants, I have nightmares—this is one of the most reliable things in my life. When I wear my NP, I wake up very terrified and with some supercrazy idea in my head. The nightmares can be about anything, but they’re often about someone grabbing my stomach—recently it was a perv Santa Claus—or being stabbed in the stomach with a rusty knife or feeling a demon baby kicking really hard from inside me or something else happening around my stomach. I think the waistband is too tight and that’s why they’re my Nightmare Pants.

But sometimes the nightmares have nothing to do with my stomach and are about other things. Sometimes they’re about going to visit my mum and realising that her fridge has been broken for months, so she’s been quietly living off these poisonous berries in the garden and refuses to stop eating them even though they’ve been making her sick. Or maybe they’re about me becoming so consumed by rage that I beat the living daylights out of somebody, even though I’m never violent or angry towards other people in real life. Or maybe somebody gets really furious at me, and they whack me like a pinata—maybe with a softball bat or a frying pan or just with their boring ol’ fists.

At this point you might be thinking, “How about you just don’t wear the Nightmare Pants, maybe?” That’s a great question and I appreciate the suggestion/concern, thanks! :)

It would make sense to chuck the N-Pants. Melatonin gave me some of the most disturbing nightmares I’ve ever had, so I avoid that. Drinking too late at night can also give me a bad time, so that’s out.

But it’s different with the Nightmare Pants.

I like the pictures on the N-Pants, and they were a present. I feel like I have to wear the Nightmare Pants because I like the pictures on them, they were a present, and pajimmyjams are supposed to be comfy and comforting and lovely and nice and cosy. I’m also endlessly curious to see if it’ll happen again. Maybe they’re not Nightmare Pants after all. Maybe it’s all just been a massive coincidence, and I judged them too soon. That’d be terrible and very unfair to the pants.

So I just wear the Nightmare Pants—maybe every three or four nights. I keep hoping they’ll suddenly change from being Nightmare Pants to Dream Pants, but they never do.

It’s not that bad, really.

But maybe give it a bit of a think before buying someone a pair of nice ‘n’ cosy pajimmyjimjam pants. Maybe wear them yourself for a year, just in case they turn out to be Nightmare Pants and then the person can’t get rid of them because they like the pictures and the N-Pants were a gift.

The End