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United States

Message to Readers

This short story is more for my own entertainment than to be published segment-by-segment on this site, but it is a very difficult work of writing and I would LOVE FEEDBACK. It still feels rough around the edges. Anyway, I'd love any advice you could give on this :)

Dreams - The Beginning of a Short-ish Story

September 16, 2018


From the darkened recesses of my brain, nowhere comes.
    Vast and vaguely misty, nowhere was slightly faded, as though from memory.  Billowing thought swirled through my vision. It was beautiful, and it was off-putting.  There were colors here: a gentle green and blots of purple, and I stared, transfixed. The fogged corners were closing in slightly, capturing the colors, brightening them, and I realized quite suddenly that I was slipping away.  No, no.  I would not wake up, not right now.  I couldn’t face it. I would find this moment before it slipped through my awareness.  Please no.  My invisible fingers found one another and gripped tightly.  I would hang on.
    I waited.  My eyes blurred, then sharpened.  I blinked rapidly.
    Instantly, objects appeared.  A wave of plastic texture unfurled beneath my feet, tossing me forward, and I fell face-forward.  A domed sky of violent amber crashed overhead. Slim trees erupted from silhouettes. I sighed deeply, inhaling the foggy air, slowly pushing myself to hands and knees and staring around.
    The sky was most unusual.  I had dreamt of stranger domes before, but never had they been as blatant as this one.  One time the sky literally had been a dome, a sealed plastic half-sphere that had sucked the oxygen from my lungs until I woke up.  Another time it had been a gigantic mirror, and I had found myself staring at two sets of wilting grass and wondering which was the right one.  But this sky was so straightforward. It was a polished amber, fairly unremarkable, and slowly husked clouds drifted in from its depths, shaping the brown sheet into something extraordinary.  It couldn’t exist, but it felt real.
    That was strange thing number one.  Strange thing number two was in the trees.
They looked like they might be birches––they were pale, and small horizontal hacks had been drawn in the trunk every foot or so.  A frozen shower of dark leaves fountained from the upper branches, drawing distinct figures against the skyline, as they normally would.
But they were shiny.  The beautiful trees were reflecting the lighted sky in a manner that was almost certainly metallic.  Finding one beside me, I fingered it carefully. The ridges were smooth and sharp, and the thing was cold.  I slapped the tree, hard. A clanging copper echo sounded back. Strange.  The material world, it didn’t usually make it into my dreams.
I worried again that I was waking up, and I urged myself to stay planted.  I needed to occupy my thoughts. Lying down in the soft grass, I pulled some tufts to my mouth and carefully tasted them.  I had better be careful; poisoned grass had got me screaming from raised body temperatures in the middle of the night when I was younger.
It tasted like nothing.
That made me concerned.  There was never a nothing when I was dreaming.  Even when it seemed like there wasn’t much there, there were still swirls and fog and interesting smells.  But no, I was barely aware that the plant was on my tongue, and it was unnerving.
    At this point I was basically awake.


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  • annie_cheng

    Hehe... I finally finished my review on this piece! I'm highly aware that we were reviewing partners in November, and I'm so sorry about how late this is lol. But that aside, this piece is really special. You'll see more in my review obviously, but you're blessed with this incredible ability to seamlessly merge big ideas with a focused and grounded plot. I don't know how you do it. Great job :)

    9 months ago
  • Mary Wall

    Wow! This is amazing. It's mysterious and intriguing without seeming like it's too far fetched. Good job!

    about 1 year ago