Minvra

United States

I enjoy reading and been doing this as my past time a lot.
Love cooking, and learning in general. But I am not overly fond of school.
I plan to try different styles through my 4 years I have here.

Message to Readers

So, since this is my first short story (I actually completed), I'm going to need as much critique as I can for the next draft of this and for any future short stories. So what I could clear up, what things made the character pop out, what I could work on...etc.

A Dream to Remember

November 8, 2020

FREE WRITING

2
Four more days left. 
    Four until his boss lets him back. A day since he got let off—well suspended. And a day in bed trying to sleep the week off in the cold autumn of October, right around treat or treat.
    Clovis flicked his book shut and leaned in his recliner. His foot fidgeted and sped up until his entire leg racketed and shook the cushion. The young-man glanced at the clock periodically on his otherwise empty desk.
5:00 am.
5:30 am.
6:00 am.
8:00 am.

Clovis’s eyes drooped. Soon, it'll be the next day.

      Lids fluttered open.
      Calculating blue old eyes—although only tend-two—drank in the darkness. Clovis considered that the lights went out but crossed it off. So he was somewhere else.
       Clovis peered down his figure, straining to see something. He hovered his hand over where his leg is and pinched it as hard as he could. Clovis squeezed his eyes shut. Nothing.
     Clovis bent his knee experimentally. He felt it. The man clenched his hands, idly wondering if this was a good idea. This is going to hurt a bit. His foot clashed down where he stood. Nothing. Brown brows screwed up in a tight ball that if a light and mirror was here, he would’ve looked like an old confused walrus.
     Clovis stood for several moments, stuck to the place like glue. The room was like a vacuum, the air which carried sound was sucked out; yet he didn’t need to breathe. 
     His chest wasn’t moving or maybe it was. Was this the astral plane of existence...the other side? 
     As if on cue, the ground rumbled. No it was the space—pocket. The entire space was shaking and it was coming from his right.

       A dark figure, with a strange white-grey glow that outlined it, emerged soundlessly from the floor (if that even is a floor). Dim, white mist spreaded out into the plane, thickening as the seconds went by.
One...two...five...seven seconds when the silhouette fully sprouted. The mist was like thick velvety white paint. But he could see, just a slight under, where the figure was. 
     Clovis approached the figure on his right unhesitantly. Surprisingly, his steps echoed louder as he progressed calmly despite the lack of sound. The mist thinned as he drew near and before him was a gate. A dark, unholy, towering, and ghastly set of  thick doors glared down at him. Its dim glow and circular knocker that is the snout of the bull gives an ancient vibe to it. Snakes slithered at the rim of the doors. Clovis smoothed a hand over. Like rusty iron.
    Clovis leapt back about ten feet. The door vibrated, then the ground and by now it hummed in the dark abyss. ...four...six... By increments, the rusty-iron gate spread outward.
    At seven seconds, the gate gaped open. On the left, an image of a man with a bad slouch and sunken sadden eyes—even his hair looked wilted—shimmered into existence. The right followed, a perkier, less messy, well-kept, and far more aware one stood. 
Clovis’s tired eyes widened a fraction.
It was him. They were him. 
       Clovis’s stomach turned, this world turned. It was like his body was being sucked into a vortex.
       And then it stopped and with it replaced by a growing killer headache.
     Clovis squeezed his eyes shut. It was like his brain had a Mario size up. And that if he banged on his skull—if he were to smash it, it would release. But Clovis still has some semblance of logic.
When the disorientation settled, Clovis saw light from behind his lids. 
     Clovis looked up and surveyed the area. The sun shined strong through the clouds and the rough cool air. Multi-colored leaves fluttered to the ground. Park benches peppered along sidewalks leading to a fountain in the middle.  
Daly's Park.
    “Clovis!” Clovis’s eyes snapped and pivoted with his body. He could only make out a honey-brown blur as it ran through him. Clovis pauses as a familiar tenor voice speaks.
     “Yes?”
     “I got a grant!” Cried the man-who-phased-through-him.
      Tenor man shifted. “Really?” 
     “Yeah, was wondering if you wanted to celebrate with me at Reynold’s bakery?” Clovis’s eyes flashed in recognition.
      The bakery was just around the block from the apartment and has been around since senior highschool days. He never went there. Never liked sweets and he grew a taste for bitter things. It would have been a waste of money since he could make some coffee anyway. 
      Maybe Alphard, an old pal, did. Before highschool hit, Clovis recalled Alphard’s unhealthy craving for sweets. It didn't help that his stomach was virtually a vacuum cleaner. 
     “So how do you feel? How much?” The tenor voice, closer to him, spoke. 
     The two men walked through Clovis. One black and one honey-brown. Two faces angled towards one another. One laughing the other nodding along. And Clovis’s world turned. His face went slack as his head followed the two. It’s like the world is spinning from the flu. Jarring. His mind supplemented.
     Holy—
     It was Alphard and a replica of someone he knows all too well: Himself.
     But it was not him. It was just like the one on the right side of the gate’s door. He looked healthier, bulkier, and his eyes. Oh his taunting eyes were dancing in amusement. 
     The three rounded a corner. In the distance was a small building up ahead. Smooth brick walls lined the sidewalk leading to a crosswalk. In front of it are two large sets of windows bent in a way that creates an incomplete trapezoid. Something akin to a cafe in France resting at a corner. Long spruce wood lined the two glass windows sandwiching the two doors adjacent to each other. A sign hovered above the doors, “Reynold’s Bakery”. 
     Alphard opens the door. A puff of blended aromas containing sweet coffee, tea, and pastries wafted through. Both Clovises and Alphard padded in. The interior is cozy, there was nothing much to say. Red plush booths stood at the windows and tables at its side. More booths were separated by a wall in the far left for privacy, and warm air vented in the building. A sign stood at the doorway “Please seat yourself.”
      They sat in the corner of the room, far left of where the entrance was.
     “So, you haven't told me what your project is called yet.” Alphard’s Clovis situated himself on the opposite booth of Alphard and looked deeply at him. Alphard closed the menu and looked at his Clovis who placed his elbows on the table. Non-existent Clovis took his left. 
      “Innovators and Ink.” Alphard grinned widely.
      “Innovators and Inc?” His Clovis mouthed. Alphard’s grin stretched into a Cheshire cat’s.
        “No, Innovators and Ink. I n k.” 
        “Why ink?” His Clovis voiced the other’s thoughts.
         “Why, what existed before pens became a thing?”
        “Pencils.” His Clovis deadpanned. 
       Alphard shook his head. “Okay,” Alphard said slowly as if talking to a child. “What is in pens?” 
         “Ink.”
         “What is ink for?” Alphard made writing motions. His Clovis didn’t notice or didn't care.
        Unseen Clovis pressed his lips to prevent peeling laughter even though he didn't need to. When did Alphard get so sarcastic? Last time he saw him, he was overly hyper and sincere that he couldn't even keep a secret lodged in a vault, much less patience if he wanted to. 
         “Writing.” His Clovis’s eyes sparked after a few moments. “So it has something to do with writing and inventing?”
         Alphard fumbled into a mix of words and flying hands. Boy it was a messy web; yet, both Clovises and even nearby customers were enraptured. Who wouldn’t? It was like a tale out of a novel. 
         Alphard explained how the company will unite ideas and doers. It wasn't just a company though, it was a community. Where “doers aren’t reserved to inventors, but also businessmen/women, and architects.” And that’s not all.
        The fascinating thing is that the “ink” portion of the company is not privy to writers, but artists in general. It’s the mere creation of possibilities and ideas. The inspiration to do, but at the same time, the act of publishing such is doing. It's a paradox. 
      Ectoplasmic Clovis smiled wryly. It was a food for thought, but the trouble in mandating would be indescribable. One man couldn't possibly do much. Besides, it's, just as it sounds, like a novel’s tale. The world isn’t like that.
      The three left Reynold’s Bakery and customers broke into discussion over what went over. The trio went to a viewing place.

On the railing of a park, where viewers see the risings and fallings of sandstone mountains, stood three figures. One presence unknown to the two. The specter yawned as the sun floated down and the moon took lead in the near-eternal waltz. 
        It was surreal to see someone who looked like him, sounded like him, has his name, but wasn't him. This Clovis’s story diverges from his. He looked like well—a refined, fit, maybe a little weary, young man. Not a balding, graying, slouching middle aged man who looked like he’d been on dope and has a gravelly voice to prove so. As much as Clovis hated to admit, this person is a mother’s pride. But what stings the most—what burns from the deepest pits of hell is that this is what he could've been; if only he did something about his relationship. If only.
       The Specter sighed as he watched the two buds chat away, oblivious to a third wheeler watching their interactions. He wondered if there might've been someone who too watches him. The man shuttered, what a creep.
       
     “Ya know, I don't regret a single moment.” A soft smile graces on Alphard as he shifts closer to his Clovis.
     Other Clovis startled a laugh “Where did that come from?”
     Alphard glanced sidelong at Clovis, at him, square in the eyes, shrugged, and faced the Galaxy again. Gold light ricocheted on his shoulder length auburn hair. And silence filled the air. 
    Spectral Clovis stood mouth gaping as he brain processes what went over, trying to rewind a frame. Trying and failing to reboot as Other Clovis fixed on Alphard questioningly.
    If he wasn't as stiff as someone who saw a ghost, the Specter would’ve stood uncomfortably like he walked in on someone and was caught doing so.


    Wet, vulnerable blue eyes snapped open.
    
    Two days left until he can get out of this blasted boredom-inducing-house. He didn’t want to sleep. No he couldn’t. He didn’t want to see that look on the-man-who-looked-and-acted like him again. That steady silver-calm gaze from the moonlight square in his eyes. He knew his presence. So no he didn't want to go back.
   Clovis didn't pay to mind that his employer sent him his weekly pay despite his absence. Hell he spent it on a couple coffees at Reynold’s Bakery and still is. An espresso and raspberry danish laid on the table as he worked the newspaper crossword puzzle. Something to distract him.
   Three days and a half. Half day spent on visiting oblivion, one day willing himself awake, and two days the other on binge reading which was 99% of which he did the first day. The second was music. 
    Today, he skimmed over the web and moved on until one caught his eye. “The Howling Dog by Celestine Chua of Personal Excellence—” Clovis regarded it for a couple seconds and swiped through something else. 
     But his mind would always lead to that title with a nibbling dread. Surely he wasn’t one. He knew by the title what it entailed, but in order to staunch the nagging by reading it. And he did.
      It was confusing. But the thing that caught Clovis’s eyes were:
    “‘...so why doesn’t he just get away from the nail then??’”
    “...That’s because he doesn’t find it painful enough yet.” 
     Clovis went to bed. No matter how much he read, of crossword puzzles he did, the crude story would wander back. It was six-pm anyways. 
     Clovis found himself staring off in the distance (even though he was looking at his coffee) in Reynold’s Bakery in the far left corner of the room.
     Clovis tapped a finger and foot against the wooden table and plank respectively. He read the rest of the articles and he had a lot to think about the night before. Now he was meeting up with his boss because it's the last day of his break (suspension). In all honesty, Clovis wished he had more time.
     Half a decade later, on a lamp desk, stood a new picture of a smiling Clovis with his coworkers and boss outside in autumn. Right next to a recently dusted picture of middle school Alphard and him, arms wrapped around each other for trick or treat.
    On the new picture it said, “Last day and birth of Innovators and Ink. Trick, or treat.”

 
   Disclaimer: I am not trying to advertise a blog.

   First short story! So I'm going to need as much critique as I can for the next draft of this and for any future short stories. So what I could clear up, what made the character pop out, what I could work on...
     This was written before I joined this community (and before I knew of this). It was originally from inspiration of a Dream I had. Old friend. We drifted part. I honestly forgot the details of the Dream but it had my mind occupied for an entire day. Might've written about if somewhere. 

I'm also trying to think of a more empowering title:
A Dream to Dreams
Twin Reflections
A Week of Suspension
A Step Back




 

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3 Comments
  • Emi (Revival Year #NEWYEAR)

    I like the kind of alternate dimension feel to this. It's very well-written and has a lot og great details!


    2 months ago
  • Minvra

    Thank you. I kept going on and off with it.


    2 months ago
  • seaomelette

    Wow, this was such a creative and compelling short story! I absolutely loved it <3


    2 months ago