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Travel Story by Derek Rodger

  A Nightmare in Phnom Penh?
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Derek on vacation

One evening I went to bed, feeling very tired of all the travelling and just needed my sleep. During the night I was woken up by something rather scary, and it wasn’t a very nice experience. I do not know what it was, and it’s hard to describe but I will tell the tale.

In the middle of the night I felt a gentle nudge against my toes. As you know I have ten of them - one was touched so gently. Its touch felt 'hairy' and made me jump. I turned over and in my subconscious I thought, “God this isn't real, get up Derek”. Then...I saw this thing; it had webbed wings with tightly bulging veins. It was indescribable and looked like some sort of big bird, a motionless one. Pulsing with fear I got up; this creature/thing was amazing. I stood up, panting, and frantically brushed something non-existent from my pillow. I know I had been drinking last night (fact: only one glass of beer, maybe another half), but alcohol had sharpened my senses, as well as putting them under strain. I felt 'it' shamble towards the corner of my bed. Was it already there? It was so dark, pitch black, and everything seemed shapeless.

Believe me, this is not some make-believe tale - its mouth opened up baring its teeth with a shocking clarity that sobered me up immediately. Within a minute, it disappeared.

Yes, I did shout, "Auntie Irene! Auntie Irene! It's getting me!" I couldn't make it out, what animal was this? Has it been featured in the National Geographic magazine? Maybe it's me hallucinating, or I had been dreaming of a weird fictional character. (Mood enhancers did not induce me, ok!).

If you can work this out, let me know. The receptionist laughed and said, “A rat shambles along the corridors of this 10 floor run-down hotel. Don't worry it looks like a rat but maybe it has flying wings!” Did she believe me or was she laughing at my crazy story?

Date Submitted: 20 Nov 2006

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