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Flashfiction #31: Dream

Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by Lucaniel, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Lucaniel non serviam

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    Feb 15, 2009


    1. Your work must be within constraints of the theme.
    2. Of course, all themes can be interpreted in any number of ways.
    3. 500 words maximum per entry, or else the entry will be disqualified.
    4. Only post one entry per theme. The highest rated entry will choose the next theme.
    5. You may not rate/review your own work.
    6. Add a rating out of ten at the end of your "review".
    7. Be constructive/honest when criticizing a piece. No mindless flaming.
    8. You do not have to enter a flashfic to rate.
    9. If you enter and do not rate & review the other entries, your flashfic is disqualified from points.

    Starts 04/04, Wednesday, ends 14/04, Saturday, reviews from 15/04 to 17/04 Tuesday.
  2. shit shit is the ne plus ultra

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    Nov 22, 2007
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    Your dream is a funny thing. Your ambition dream, not sleep dreams. But even ambition isn’t the right word because you have ambitions for all sorts of things everyday, like the ambition to go to work on a Monday and see it through without killing everyone. No, YOUR DREAM is a lot different. It’s what you’d be in the best timeline where circumstances aligned so amazingly that you managed to somehow not fuck it all up.

    When you’re old it stops being such a burden to think about because your opportunity to somehow pull out a win is mercifully nearly behind you, and you start to appreciate how impossible it was all to begin with. Writing a best selling novel? Flying a rocket into space? Running into burning buildings for a living? What the hell were you thinking?

    That’s kids for you, earnestly pouring their hearts out about their ridiculous dream to anyone who will listen, in front of crowds or girls or crowds of girls in the cringiest ways until it’s tainted in such filthy memories that it stinks to think about. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a part of you, and no matter how old you are or what accomplishments you’ve stacked up, “he wanted to be such and such when he grew up” sums you up.

    That creeps up on you in your weakest moments, and hopefully those are when you’re inebriated so you can pass out from sadness and crush them with a hangover. Otherwise it can fester into depression and leaves you sitting in front of a white computer screen, for instance, being smothered by the realization that if this wasn’t too much of a pain in the ass to actually accomplish you would’ve surely done it by now. You’ve wanted to all your life, after all.

    You can’t really imagine what would happen to you if you even accomplished your dream. Would you cease to exist? Seems almost likely, replaced with a clone that, however admirable, is clearly too far removed from yourself to actually be you. Imagining it is like watching Mark Wahlberg play you in a movie about yourself, with your teeth fixed, without that habit of looking down when someone talks to you, and with a build that makes clothes that aren’t baggy look somehow not ridiculous. In other words, not you at all. And if you can’t stand not being Wahlberg then life gets kinda dark.

    But if you think back to why as a kid you decided on your dream, you’ll remember that you wanted to write a novel because you like to write. You wanted to go to space because you like to experience. You wanted to become a firefighter because you enjoy helping people. You start to do these things, and you realize you really are living your dream. You, not Wahlberg. You then make that your bedrock because, despite whatever else that happens, living your dream is a damn cool thing to be doing.
  3. Island In the Sun Moderator

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    Jul 13, 2007
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    October 23, 1919

    I awoke last night from the most frightening dream. I have no words to describe its contents, and even if I had, soon it won't be necessary. The dream has already begun to fade from memory. This is the fourth night in a row that this has occurred: the fourth night of awakening to a cold sweat and a primal sense of dread, nothing like I had ever experienced before.

    It may just be stress, but if it does not resolve itself soon, I shall speak to the good doctor for an alleviation of this malaise of the mind.

    October 25, 1919

    I have spent the last couple days reflecting on these dreams. They feel real, as if I'm there, whisked away to another time and place – reliving the sights, sounds, and horrors of those bygone days. I know this cannot be, so I have sought the good doctor's advice. He says such a thing is normal for men like me but that I should be careful speaking openly about it. There are men out there, he says, who would say I am of weak character and that this malaise is of my own creation.

    He says that I should not even speak to my wife about this. He worries that if she discovers my weakness, she may leave me for a stronger man.

    Surely she sees what is happening, but perhaps the good doctor is right. It may be wise to remain silent.

    October 27, 1919

    I have sought the advice of the minister down the street, believing that this might be the devil at play. He is of the same mind as the doctor and says my affliction will pass with time. He is a wise man, but I am curious as to how he can be so quick to dismiss supernatural causes. I asked how he could be so sure that this was not the devil's work. He brushed me off, saying that he knows the devil when he sees it and that it is not here.

    October 31, 1919

    Today was Halloween, and this morning, I awoke with an even greater sense of dread than before. It must be the devil. It simply must. There is no other explanation. Perhaps it is the time of year, Halloween after all, and once it passes, the devil will return to whence he came.

    I pray that is what happens.

    November 11, 1919

    I have been exchanging telegrams with an old friend who has had similar experiences. He says that we are not alone in our plight and this affliction is common among men like us. He has also said that many weaker men have succumb, taking their own lives because of this malaise.

    I pray for them and all the others who have died because of that fruitless war that ended a year ago today.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  4. Fedster Still allocating attribute points

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    Dec 21, 2012
    Spoiler: 498

    Eric stood on bare white room. He scanned the place for something he could recognize, but he was only met by blank space. Yet, he felt no reason to panic; the room had a distinct, weird familiarity to it. He did not feel like exploring it either: no sounds, no threats, no need to escape. The place was safe. Eric did not run from it.

    The man noticed that there was a chair behind him. A simple, white, plastic chair in the middle of darkness. Looking down, Eric also discovered that his clothes, while ordinary, were also white and pocketless. He did not remember putting this on. Should he voice his concerns? No… He did not want to displease the room. He felt that his actions were monitored, and that anything he did could trigger something — maybe something bad. Instead, Eric sat without a word.

    That was the trigger.

    Eric’s body jolted as if shocked by resurfacing memories — his childhood, school, romantic life, among others. But each memory that passed right before his eyes felt like a red-hot claw enveloping his entire body, inner organs, even his soul. The man opened his eyes as wide as he could, gripped tightly at the chair’s arm rests, and let out an other-wordly screech. He could not get words in; the pain was far too great to express it. Veins bulged, his face paled, and at one moment, he even felt like an spectator watching his own torture.

    Until he collapsed. Eric’s corpse sat languidly, as inert and as lifeless as the late. The atmosphere was different now — it was no longer welcoming and safe, but intrusive and hostile. Someone or something was creeping in, prowling, about to pounce on its prey...

    “Commencing aftercare procedure. Protocol Four-Five-One finalized,” a syringe ejected from a man’s right temple. Two hours ago, he had to be strongly sedated in order to be laid up on the cold operation table. Now, his lax muscles and stable breathing made it seem as though he was sleeping peacefully.

    Doctor Marion Vertas, Head Researcher for the Criminal Reinsertion Project, entered the operation room, governed by machines. He rested his hand on his patient. “Mister Terrance? Can you hear me?”

    The patient opened his eyes groggily. No response. The doctor frowned, somewhat disheartened.

    “Is your name Edward Terrance, sir?” Doctor Vertas had two profile sheets on his clipboard: one for an Eric Newmark, convicted for the murder of his best friend, and another for a Edward Terrance, a run-off-the-mill car dealer.

    Both profiles used the same picture. Eric’s, however, had a big, red ‘REPLACED’ stamped on it.

    “...Yes,” Edward Terrance answered, followed by thunderous applause. Marion smiled proudly; all those restless nights, all the effort finally paid off. Having this experiment approved by the board had been difficult, but in the end, all of them were convinced by a simple, yet effective argument:

    “Nobody wants to be near an ex-convict. Now, they would not have to.”
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  5. BringerOfChaos ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Oct 31, 2010
    Spoiler: 498

    I always woke up feeling nothing. No fuzzy memories of sights, no vague recollection of sounds. People give me skeptical looks whenever I'd tell them this, but it's true. It'd start with someone talking about their craziest dreams, and then others chiming in. Joining the conversation, I'd say that I didn't dream. Of course, they'd say that that wasn't true, or I forgot every dream. After I'd insist it was true, they wouldn't push the issue, thinking I wanted attention.

    The first time staying over a friends house I realized I didn't dream. I still remember that day. Having to ask my mom's permission to go, and then her mom talking to my mom. Squeezing my mother as hard as I could when she said yes. My friend and I helping her mom bake cookies. Me playing with my friends dog as my friend tried getting me to do my homework. Us giggling at each other as we stayed up past our bedtime. After we both had drifted off to sleep, the next morning, my friend was surprised to see I was still there. She said that my mom had picked me up in the middle of the night, and hearing this, I was confused too. Later, my friends mom would explain to us that my friend had a dream that felt real. I remember feeling more confused than I was before asking her the question.

    I've never experienced nightmares, while my younger sister had tons of them. I remember school nights where she'd come in my room in the middle of the night as I watched TV, asking if she could sleep with me. I'd push aside unfinished homework to make room for her, and she'd nuzzle up to me as I watched TV.

    When I was eighteen, my father had died. It was hard for my mother, and I didn't help the situation. While mourning my father, my mother had to deal with my unsavory decisions. I was failing school, held back a few years, always suspended, and going nowhere. I had no idea what I was doing in life. One day, my mother came to me, saying she had spoken to my father in a dream. They decided things couldn't keep going on like this. A dream was powerful enough to make my mother evict me.

    I had no idea what to do. A dream made a decision for my mother, and I had hoped that a dream could make a decision for me too. No dream came. I scoured the city for a job, any job. I dropped out of high school, found an apartment and roommate, and focused on my crappy job.

    I remember feeling lost... but also accomplished. I set my mind on something, and did it. I set an aspiration and then fulfilled it. That night I laid in bed, planning my next goal as slumber took me...

    I dreamed.