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  1. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Manchester, England

    Short Story Contest (23) - Theme: Dream vs. Reality - Details & Submission Thread

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Apr 9, 2008.

    Short Story
    Contest 23
    Theme: Dream vs. Reality​

    Open to all, newbies and established members alike. Please post your entries in this thread. At the deadline I will collate all entries and put them forward for voting in a seperate thread. Sadly there are no prizes but honour on offer. The winning entry will be stickied until the next competition winner.

    Theme: Dream vs. Reality (courtesy of member thecox). Over to you. Any interpretation valid (as Freud would have contested and the Surrealists embraced).

    Suggested Length: 500 - 3000 words.
    Deadline for entries: April 23rd 2008 17.00 (UK local)

    (The next contest's theme will be a Survival Scenario due to interest in the theme in the theme voting.)

    There is a ten percent leniency above and below the upper and lower word limits, respectively. Please try to stick within these limits. Any piece outside of the suggested limit will still be entered into the contest but flagged as such.

    Try to make your story complete and have an ending rather than be an extract from a larger one and please try to stick to the topic. Any piece outside of the topic will be dealt with in a piece by piece manner to decide its legitamacy for the contest.

    Please remember to give your piece a title and give its word count in brackets at the top of your story.

    Thanks and good luck.
  2. Heather Louise

    Heather Louise Contributor Contributor

    Dec 10, 2006
    Likes Received:
    My Dream is your Reality. (677 words)

    What have I done to deserve this, Karly though to herself, as she stared at the place where her hand used to be. Blood gushed from the gaping wound, pouring from her stumped arm like a crimson waterfall. At first she felt nothing, only silence. Suddenly, pain shot up her arm, so overwhelming that the corners of her vision blurred. She attempted to scream but the gag in her mouth muffled any noise she made. Besides, the room was sound proof.

    “Shout all you want sweetheart, no-one can hear you,” He leered, a broad smile spread across his face. Last night the smile had looked charming and charismatic. Today he looked like a maniac. Her head lulled slightly, her chin hitting of the top of her chest before jerking back up. Walking calmly towards her, the man wrapped a black cloth around the stump of her arm, applying pressure and tying it in a tight knot. She had never experienced anything more painful in her life, and despite desperate efforts to ignore it, the agony overcome everything. Her severed hand lay in an ocean of blood on the floor by her feet, her good hand handcuffed above her head.

    “You know, Karly, I like you. I like you very much. I once had a dream about a young woman who looked just like you; she was even called Karly too. That’s why when I saw you last night; I knew I had to re-act my dream. Do you dream Karly, I bet you do.” Struggling to focus on his words, she watched as he perched on the corner of a wooden table. His eyes never left hers, as if he were searching for something hidden within them.

    “I used to dream a lot when I was a young boy. I used to dream about being rich and famous, and having an established career and a beautiful woman on my arm, just like you. When I reached thirteen, I was having different types of dreams. They were still of beautiful women, Karly, but in very different circumstances. Well, now I get to live my dreams Karly. Have you done that?”

    Karly thought back to her life, of her dreams and ambitions. From a young age she had loved to sing and dance. She would spin and jump around the living room singing along with the television through her young years, much to her mother’s annoyance. On a few occasions she had performed on stage at a small nightclub as a warm-up act and for a period of time had sang with a church choir. Eventually the need for money to feed and clothe herself took over, and Karly had found herself working as a receptionist for some flash insurance company. Over the years, the thought of singing on stage for thousands had left Karly’s mind, being replaced with ideas of promotions and buying a new car.

    “See, Karly, people always have dreams. The difference however, is that very few people actually get to live their dreams. They give up. I never did, and never would. My dreams are reality for me, who could want anything more?” Karly shook her head, angry at his words, disappointed with herself. Why had she never pushed at her dreams, at singing? She was a good singer; everyone had always told her so. Yet the need for money, no, the want of money, had stopped her. She had wanted a smart house and new car, to own twenty pairs of shoes and go clubbing every weekend.

    Suddenly, Karly jerked as she realised the man was standing above her. In his hand sat a knife, gleaming under the light from above. Its edges were sharp, Karly could tell that even before he wedged it into her ribs, piercing her heart. Blood gushed everywhere as the pain slowly ebbed away, being replaced by a dull ache that faded into nothingness. The last thing she remembered hearing was his voice, over and over in her mind.

    “My dream if your reality. My dream is your reality.”
  3. Hugowin

    Hugowin New Member

    Apr 16, 2008
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    "The shades of reality" (or "my nightly bath") (1007)

    The shades of reality
    (or "my nightly bath") (1288 words)

    I slumber, yet I am forever withheld by some invisible hand, (might it be mine?) withheld at the brink of sleep; witheld from leaping into its limpid, warm waters, from letting the warmth of its blinding sun thaw on my icy heart: for my memory is indelible, even as I am overswept by the waters of forgetfulness, I still remember your smile, which is the mnemotic of my agony, the motive and cardinal theme of my abiding reverie. Oh, that beautiful heartbreaking insidious smile. Oh, that... It is a contagious disease unto the shadows, and my soul is full of them. It is the subsistance and parasite of my slumber; a slumber which is but a frenzy of somnolent thoughts. Would I that they were sedative! At least they should be palliative agents. Can they not make me numb? Please make me neutral, at least make me careless! (Was I ever carefree? Is 'carefree' even conceivable?) If I do not forget (no, I will forget you! eventually...) I can never sleep; and Sleep does not come when summoned, nor even if a child wailed for him. That is true - yes, Sleep comes only with the fluttering of a serene memory. My serenity has lost its wings! Does it sprout wings only in the silence before and after the storm? What if I am a storm! Then I shall marshal its thunder and spread serenity with the lick of my lightning. But what is a serene storm to me? My childhood was such a storm.

    So I revere my childhood's pail, brimful with sand in the morning; I reverse time and marvel at how I hefted that pail sometimes all the way onto my bed, at night even. Strange things happened one night on that bed. I conceived Strangeness and spoke tenderly to her: I was an innocent fertile child, curious of the one whom I had invented, so I asked her verily about her life, and thus, she being a bashful and kind spirit, verily she invented herself and her life with a starborne answer. The fantasy took over, and thus the pail turned violently into a well, like every great warrior battled it violently against change but changed eventually; and since I was the victor of that battle, each saved grain of sand became a dancing star, each star the product of my endeavouring voluptuousness; thus gushed the pail its content, and I chased my darling stars over the room, caught and devoured them; and the stars that absconded through the window soared elegantly skyward, to grace Darkness with twinkling freckles. I sent him a kiss, the great freckled one, and he blushed. Thus I created the twilight, the scenery for my coming dream. Thus I blew the horn which summoned my friends into my room and onto my bed. Come here, my friends; I long for Fate! We shall invent him together.

    This is my vigil. I can hear their steps! They are coming. Each step is a scorch upon the earth; cold feet that kill both herbs and weeds, also with the roaring gale of their impact do they kill them. But they kill only decaying plants, blighted ones, and make the soil sanitary in their cold shadow: plant a new seed in their wake, and a child's fantasy shall grow therefrom, a dream shall turn into reality thereby. They can see the blip-like floodlight from the dancing stars -- affixed by invisible hands upon the craggy ground, as a path towards my bedroom -- and they, the great shadows, coerced by their longing for me, follow happily along the lighted path. Only a child can compel invisible hands, with song of course - and there is a song for each spirit. Oh, they are singing the night-song. I will join them, and may my voice tintinnabulate with their tinkling hearts. May it tinkle, tinkle, tinkle. Ah, is there snow outside? May it thus twinkle! For I can hear it crackling, melting. They, hot and aroused, melt it. They can already smell the honey I've poured onto my downy limbs: to know the taste of revenge! For I am sweet as honey, and yet a kitten unto them. To revenge upon the innocence of a kitten, that is the sweetest thing for a night-creeping spirit.

    (In reality I lie here in my self-invented Lethe, taking a strange nightly bath, singing softly -- not to wake the sleeping ones; and the arch-cause of my mellow singing is, verily, the sincere truth: only a shadow full of innocence and tenderness can allure and attract the naiad -- so I sang an impromptu resembling the nightsong I often sang as a child, and recreating for myself that great night of my childhood, I felt a shadow creep along my dying rose and candle. Oh, it was the night when my fated friends came to visit.)

    You wonder who my friends are? Hearken, and I will tell you the greatest secret you may ever hear: my friends are Chaos, Discordance and Absurdity. They are invented into the cave and summoned out of it by the innocent fantasy of a child. And lo! I am that Innocence. What shall happen when we meet? Don't be shy now, listener. If my song is pleasing, then come hither and watch me play too! Go thither, hide there, yes there behind my desk. Or even better, sit in that corner over there (thus the child pointed into a dark corner, where he had his box and his playthings): be the shadow of my desk chair. Yes, now be silent like a shadow aswell. But there is something I must tell you; I will hurry to do so before they enter. And so the child skimmed across the room and whispered unto the shadow in the corner: if you can believe in the apparent world, it can only be true for you; but never believe in the true world, for it is true for all, and never for you - and these are my playthings (he emphasized with his fingers, from which honey dribbled, upon the mien of a woollen duck,) do not (he emphasized by drooling open-mouthed upon the 'O') do not touch them or they will play with you too. The outer door opened, a strong icy wind shook it, slammed it and re-slammed it. Nimble feet buffeted against the floor, crackling with the crackle of the living room TV. All the commotion, of course expected, startled the child, and thus he danced quickly back into bed and hid himself under the covers. He lay in a pool of sweat, but he enjoyed it dearly. "Time to sleep," he thought, whereupon he heard the fluttering of a white dove.

    I, the silent shadow in this desolate corner of the room, would fain be dead than to remember this night, this dreadful scene. But where is the Sun to alight the flowing passengers of her arching hand unto me? It lurks behind the window pane. Would I that she were a train and crashed through the window, flashing into me! My ebb, your flow. In my youth, which was hours ago, my mouth formed a dribbling 'O' as I saw a man die with a smile on his face, a haunting countenance, and with his death the candle of my conception and childhood burned out -- the remains of which crumpled into the water and became cold, as this man already had. How can I forget that smile? Death creeps along the floor - creep hither! And as it creeps closer, the sun rises higher, and his face shines brighter, but his eyes seem deader -- yet they watch me. They still remember me? Now I am a great contrast, a dark memory; but nigh will I be overswept by the light, and forever shall I succumb to the serene afterglow -- forgetfulness. Is that a dove, that which I hear cooing outside the window? Oh, that I heard it flutter too!

    comic life
    blipping, flashing, beaming
    white, yellow, fate, grey, black
    creeping, spreading, cloaking
    tragic death
    burnished, lit
    burning, warming, melting
    white, yellow, catalysis, brown, black
    crumbling, dimming, crumpling
    scorched, dark

    Written by Hugowin.
  4. Hoot08

    Hoot08 New Member

    Sep 1, 2006
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    Where Dreams End

    Where Dreams End : Word Count-2000

    Hundred foot waves crashed all around him, pushing him beneath the turbulent ocean surface. He plunged down deeper only to be pulled back to the surface by his own buoyancy. The intense wind and stinging rain barely allowed his vision to clear through the darkness of the thunderstorm that seemed to be brewing overhead. Even From the blinding lightning strikes he couldn't deluge much, other than he was stranded with only an orange life preserver and that no land or boats were in sight. Not even the flotsam or ship debris that an accident may have caused, nothing. The deafening sound of the waves as they continued their assault was only silenced from the oppressive roar of thunder above.

    David hugged the preserver with all his might as with each successive hit from a wave sent him plummeting deep into the frigid depths of the ocean. He didn't know how much longer he could hold on, His grip was weakening with every passing second, and without it he was sure he'd not be returning from the ocean's floor after the next wave. Slowly his pruned fingers unlocked from one another and the preserver slipped from his grasp. His heart raced as he clawed for the preserver but it was already lost amidst the torrid waves and carried off far from his reach. He looked to the sky, to the last glimpse of the world he'd known before a wave landed right over head and sent him down beneath the black waves.

    He sunk like a stone, deeper and deeper. Despite knowing his demise was in short sight, David couldn't help but notice how tranquil and serene the ocean was beneath it's rough and turbulent exterior. It seemed as everything was in a stand still, paralyzed, except for him as he continued his dismal descent. He felt his lungs begin to convulse and he opened his mouth, releasing a multitude of bubbles. His chest heaved in and out but it was of no use, there was no air to breathe. His heart raced, his body shook and in an instant it was over.

    * * * * *

    His head shot up off his pillow and he struggled to regain his breath. He rubbed a clammy hand over his face and brushed away a few strands of curly brown hair from his eyes. It was just a dream, a nightmare really, but to him it seemed so real, so vivid, at least no dream prior had evoked such imagery of reality. It was as if he had just been plopped him into the Atlantic Ocean. He had smelled the salty wisps from the ocean's wave and saw the harrowing darkness that is the ocean in the midst of a swell. Relieved, he pulled both legs over the edge of his bed and tried to take in a deep breath. His heart pounded against his rib cage, so much so that when he looked down to his naked chest he could see the vibration with each pump that all so precious organ made. It had to be the worst nightmare that he could recall and yet he wasn't sure why he enjoyed it so much. It exhilarated him, to feel what maybe it'd feel like to die, the utter horror that pervades one mind when they know their life is almost over with only a few minutes remaining for them realize they won't be able to see the sun again or anything the world has to offer. He didn't know why such a morbid dream would pique his curiosity but for the next few days that was all David could think about.

    Dreams often have an effect on people, it leaves them wondering if there was meaning or if it reflects something in their life. Perhaps it symbolized something in their own reality, or maybe a sign for things to come. Whatever the case dreams can often have a powerful impact. For David, all he wanted was to experience a dream like the one the previous night once more. Every night before going to bed he would think of the most horrid incidents. Plane crashes, jumping off a building, car accidents, anything that might implant images of death so he could rejoice in the adrenaline that came with it. Yet this only complicated matters for David since it was difficult to drift to sleep. His mind couldn't drift away from consciousness fore it was too wrapped up in his macabre thoughts. He found himself yearning for this unequaled burst of adrenaline and exhilaration, as a junkie might hunger for a fix. Yet every night there was nothing but the boorish blackness of his own eye lids as he continued to be unable to find the sleep he needed.

    He got out of bed one morning and dragged his body to the kitchen table where his mother had breakfast all set. His mother busied herself around the kitchen, flipping a few pancakes over the stove while she set a cup of coffee for his father. She came over with a fresh batch of pancakes when she shrieked in horror and dropped the plate to the ground which sent a mishmash of pancakes and sausage scattering across the floor. Quickly she grabbed David's face with one hand and forced him to look her in the eye. Large black bags hung beneath his dried bloodshot eyes, though they were barely visible beneath their drooping lids.

    “Are you on drugs mister?” she scolded.

    “No ma, I haven't been able to sleep for the past few days, maybe a few hours here or there,” he replied through a yawn.

    As any mother, upon seeing their child looking ill, she placed the back of her hand against his forehead.

    “Well, you don't feel warm but I'm going to make an appointment with Dr. Green for today, just to get you checked out.”

    “Ma I'm sixteen years old I think I know when I'm sick or not. It's fine I just need to stay home from school and try and catch a few Zs,” he said as he turned his attention to his syrupy coated pancakes.

    “I don't think so. You and I are going to make a trip to the doctors later. Maybe he'll prescribe a sleep aid to help you get some sleep,” she said with the finality that only a mother can muster.

    “Alright,” David said in defeat while inside his mind raced.

    A sleep aid could be just the medicine for his little sleeping dilemma, then not even a fog horn could wake him from his slumber. The morning dragged on, inching forward minute by minute while David wandered about his house aimlessly. He walked around, the hardwood floors thumping beneath his feet. Anxiously he chewed at his fingernails, spitting the remnants to the ground. When the hour finally came around for he and his mother to make their way to the train station, his nails were down to his finger tips.

    * * * * *

    The train whizzed by as David and his mother rushed to make it in time.

    “We'll have to wait for the next one,” she said before sitting down on one of the iron wrought benches that were scattered up and down the boarding platform.

    This was the last thing David needed, more time before he could find solace in his dreams, in the intense experience he hoped he would engage in again . The individual strips of iron dug into his back as he tried to make himself comfortable.

    “Here let me help,” his mother said, removing her purple snow coat and placing it next to her so he could sit on it.

    He reluctantly moved closer to his mother and nestled up against her. Surprisingly he felt the familiarity of the steady fall of his eye lids as they seemed to get heavier and heavier until there was nothing but darkness.

    * * * * *

    His eyes fluttered open to view the near vacant train station he fell asleep in except one thing was missing, his mother. He looked around but she was no where to be found, not even her purple snow coat he had used as makeshift bedding was present. It happened, finally he had fallen asleep and was dreaming. Joy didn't suffice as the feeling that overcame David as he came to this realization. He looked around at his dream world, the place he had so longed to find after his brush with the ocean and it couldn't have been a more perfect scene.

    His eyes looked about at the various of commuters standing about, drinking coffee, doing things that people do in real life. It looked so real just as his ocean dream had. He remembered again the body shaking heart pumping exhilaration he felt in his dream and how long he had been waiting for the opportunity to feel those bodily pleasures again. The sound of an engine chugging brought a coy smile to his face as he watched the train barrel down on his position with no stop in sight. With a maniacal laugh he leaped from the loading platform into the incoming train and was swept beneath its front and raked across the iron tracks with a sickening thud.

    * * * * *

    The dull toll of a church bell broke the seemingly impenetrable silence that encompassed the small funeral procession as they exited the church, a casket at its head. Slowly the men and women all dressed in black got into their cars and followed the herse to the cemetery. It was a polite service, considering the circumstances, with an eloquent speech conducted by friend who had known the deceased quite well. Tears were shed, though none more than the mother who stared absently as they lower her son's casket into the ground. She had hoped for an open casket at the wake, but the damage done was too severe to repair, something she took harder than anyone else.

    The after party, if one could call it that, was nearly held in silence, none that were present felt it particularly right to speak on such a sombre occasion. Eventually people started to move around and talk amongst themselves, though the mother sat alone in a corner, a tall glass of wine in hand.

    “Why doesn't she come over and talk with us, it helps the process,” one funeral goer said to another.

    “She was there when it happened, except she left him alone while she vent to a hot dog vendor to pick up lunch for the two of them. When she got back they were scraping what was left of David off the front of the train and its tracks,” the other replied.

    “That's horrible. Do they know if he jumped or was pushed?”

    “He jumped alright. All the witnesses said so, in fact they all said he was laughing when he did it,” the other said.

    “Wow he must have be crazy or lost his grip on reality but then again whats the difference,” he said with a helpless shrug of his shoulders.

    David's mother heard the last trails of their conversation before gulping down the rest of her wine. David wasn't crazy, no he was her angel her delicate little man who she used to bring to the Zoo on weekends and to the library after school. No he wasn't crazy at all, he just needed sleep, and as calming a thought she had had in the past few days, she knew he'd get all the sleep he wanted where he was now.
  5. Luminous

    Luminous New Member

    Mar 24, 2008
    Likes Received:
    A Lover's Reality

    1,381 words

    She was beautiful, and my heart kindly agreed. Her luster and gentle hands lured my entirety from the beginning. Her name was Holly, and every moment spent with her, I found myself falling for her even more and wishing those moments would last a little longer. She wasn’t only my greatest love, but also my best friend, and if that’s cliché, let it be. Her brown eyes were entrancing, a perfect paragon of enchantment. Staring into them left no hope of escape and left you completely spellbound. While I gazed at her, I loved feeling her skin and adoring its smoothness. She was a pleasure to the senses, but the true flare I held wasn’t sensory at all. It’s rare you come across such an independent and sure woman who knew what she wanted for herself, and I wholeheartedly respected her gumption.

    I met her when we were both quite young. It’s near impossible to forget the reckless days of Stemming High School. We didn’t have class together, but our families being close neighbors left for memorable morning and afternoon bus rides. We would talk about everything in those short twenty minutes, and we continued to talk about everything else throughout the night. We spent all the time we could together, but back then, romance never played a role or detail in the picture. It’s fair to say neither of us had realized our selective taste for girls at the time, but it didn’t leave either of us shocked. I came out first, and as soon as she joined me, the rest fell into place. I didn’t wait long before owning my feelings, and at first, she held doubts. Before the next year, we finally were together in the way I had always wanted, and I was happy.

    Holly was destined to change the world, or at least I always believed it. I knew her far well enough to see the internal need to make something of herself that she felt, and I was eager to motivate her in anything she did. In her own words, she had dreams to be one in one thousand, which is a true value compared to our title of one in ten billion as humans. One in one thousand, she would repeat it often. That’s when the real dreams began.

    I quickly fingered through my hair and readjusted my garments before climbing up the stairs of the bus. I always wanted to look pretty for her, and I tried my hardest daily. Turning to the crowd of kids after giving the driver a nod, I saw her sitting in our normal seat towards the front of the bus. I smiled naturally when her eyes caught mine and sat down in the seat behind her. Sitting next to her would be too obvious.

    “Hey, how’s it going?” I realized my attraction the week before. She was so kind, but temptation wasn’t enough to ease my nerves. For now, I stayed quiet and put on my best teenage look and accent.

    “Morning,” Holly replied with an audible yawn, “I’m completely wiped. Didn’t get more than five hours sleep.”

    “Don’t we all love those days? Have a long night?”

    She shifted in her seat to get a better angle at me. “Not long per say, just interesting. I don’t think I’ve told you about the dreams I have been having.”

    “No, you haven’t,” I said, trying to avoid giving myself away with my awkward expressions, “do tell.”

    “It’s not anything too interesting just…I’ve been having these dreams where I do something completely outstanding…like, something only so many people do or are remembered for.” It was completely Holly. “Last night I backpacked around the world.”

    My thoughts drifted off slightly. Travel was always a passion of mine, just to see something beyond what I normally see. She always had me. “That sounds like it would be an enjoyable dream.”

    “It was amazing, and a couple nights ago I climbed Mount Everest, which I found kind of strange…I never had any desire to climb mountains, but it definitely isn’t something people do everyday.” I could tell she was beginning to drift off herself.

    We kept chatting throughout the drive and said our see-you-laters once we got to school. Days pressed on the same day after day, and all I really looked forward to was getting to talk to her. For the next few weeks, she related the dreams she had in the night past, and I always listened contently. Yesterday, she cured cancer; today, she wrote and epic novel that withstood the test of time; tomorrow, she was going to end a war. She was inventor, actress, and politician all in one week, and it was clear it didn’t matter what she did, but how important it was. The dreams provided her with a new stress for finding greatness, and I kept supporting her. One in one thousand, the thought kept pressing on her.

    Then I remember getting on the bus one day and finding her staring out the window. Worried, I didn’t think about sitting behind her. Placing my bag on the floor at my feet and turning my entire body towards her, you could see the concern in my eyes. I couldn’t think of anything to say, so I sat quietly next to her. After some minutes, she broke the silence.

    “I had a dream last night.” She didn’t turn away from the window.

    “What was it about?”

    “I survived a nuclear war.”

    I wasn’t sure how to respond, so again, I stayed silent.

    Holly waited a few moments before continuing, almost regaining her mental thought. I somehow sensed she was to say more, so I just sat and waited. Finally, she finished in the same, emotionless tone.

    “My whole family was killed. After just a month, desperate animals attacked me…I woke up then, but I can only figure what they wanted my meat for.”

    Neither of us said anything more for the rest of the ride.

    The dreams abruptly stopped that night. Nothing was to keep me away from her though. Not long after that day, I finally cut through my nerves and let everything out. She gave me the sweetest kiss and a memory to last me for my whole life. It took a few weeks for her to ever bring it up again, but finally after patiently waiting, she answered all my dreams.

    Carefully, I stepped out of the vehicle in one of my best dresses, a bouquet of lilacs in one hand. The cemetery I came to was one of the nicest in the city, and truly was a sight to see. The tombstones were well kept, and the field showed with stunning greens and every flower color imaginable. I had cried all the tears I had to with my first visit, and now it was a simple ritual. She truly deserves it, I thought, and on this special day of our anniversary, I had to do something special.

    We weren’t young anymore, but she was taken far too early in anyone’s opinion. Disease took the woman I love. I couldn’t tell you the unpronounceable name of it anymore, but I figure the emotional trauma wiped out most of the fine details of the tragedy from my memory.

    I roamed to her spot and stood hushed before her. With meaningful eyes, I read the words written on the unforgivable stone.

    Holly Sasha Marine
    Loved partner and mother
    You will always be in our hearts”

    I gave a small smile at the havoc of memories that flooded through me. I gently placed the beautifully scented, lavender flowers into the small container attached to the stone’s side. After a small time of mourning, I said my final see-you-laters and walked out of the cemetery. I looked back more than once.

    The bouquet that now sat at her grave was bound with a small ribbon that carried a fastened card. It blew open and shut wildly in the wind.

    “To the woman who exceeded her dreams.
    To one in one thousand women who had as much kindness as she did
    To one in one thousand women who had as much courage as she did

    To the only one woman who stole my heart.
    My love.”
  6. Bick

    Bick New Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    Likes Received:
    St. Louis, Mo
    Going Home - 867 word count (Sorry, thought I had put this up.)

    Pain. Fierce electric pain. It flew through her body like a speeding yo-yo. Her heart pounded in panic; Fire, heat, explosion. She cried in anguish as she thought of all the family members that had been in the building. A family reunion, everyone had been there. Everyone that she had loved. Escape. That’s what she needed to do. She put all her weight on her arms and pushed up. A quick shrill sound escaped her lips, and everything went white.

    Though this was only for seconds, for the whiteness was then filled with delightful smells and a familiar building. She could smell her father’s cigar smoke. Those sweets smell only he could create. She could smell the lovely aroma of her mother’s special chicken and dumplings. Her bare toes wrapped themselves around the plush carpet, welcoming the gentle touch. Home. She looked out the front window, it was slightly opaque from the cold, but she could still see the beautiful powdery snow. She walked past her father, and came into the pleasantly warm kitchen. Her nostrils were filled with the overwhelming aroma of the Chicken and Dumplings, and her mouth watered with desire. She dipped a spoon into the boiling pot, and gently blew on the molten liquid. The steam rose, sending delicious wafts through her nose, exciting her senses. She gently put it to her lips and took a deep sip. She gave a huge grin of pleasure, as the perfect combination of pepper, salt, chicken broth and onion danced on her tongue. Her mother walked in, with her old red apron on, and smiled. She reached in for a hug, only to have it all disappear.

    She woke up with a jolt. Her body throbbed violently, pain pulsating through her every atom. She could feel every beat of her heart, as if it were a tremor through her body. She felt as if there were thousands of pounds of pressure weighing down every inch of her, threatening to crush the very bones in her body. She closed her eyes, and struggled to concentrate. She could feel the almost non-existent breeze in the air surrounding her. She could hear the distant droplets of rain feet above her. She took a deep breath, only to get the sensation of sneezing. Her entire body screamed as her head jolted from the sneeze. Everything went blank.

    A warm summer breeze blew her hair gently, as she leaned onto the well-shaded oak tree. In her hand she held a metal fishing rod, and watched as it gently nodded in the dirty lake water. She closed her eyes, and listened. She heard the ruffling of the tree leaves, the barking of dogs’ miles away, and the beautiful chirping of the morning birds. She could hear the mild chatter of her father and his friends as they discussed work. Just twenty feet away, she heard the gentle flow of the stream that led to the lake. She stretched, and started to get up. Suddenly she was jostled as her fishing pole was tugged. She quickly grabbed the reel and began to bring in the line, holding tight onto the pole as the fish fought for it’s life. With one last pull, the fish shot from the lake, wiggling on the end of the line. Her father ran over to her and cheered. She smiled widely, as they laughed at the fish’s small size. He grabbed her and held her in the air, and spun. She cried out in joy, but suddenly, it disappeared.

    She woke up in a confused state, her mind cloudy with tiredness. Every breath she took was sharp and painful. He heartbeat became slower with every second. She slipped in and out of consciousness, feeling almost nothing. She dreamt of better times and of once forgotten memories. She went in and out of her dreams, confusing reality from her subconscious dreamland. Her body began to give out. Slowly, she closed her eyes. With one last breath, she left it all behind. Black.

    Darkness was soon filled with a bright, gentle light.
    The sun warmed her face, as she lay in warm grass. A cool breeze blew over her face as she took in a deep breath. The air smelled of honey suckle and other wild flowers. The sky was filled with bird songs and the flutter of their wings as they took flight. The squirrels chased one another in the treetops, sending leaves drifting to the ground. She raised herself to her feet and spun around, letting the cool air through her hair. She grinned widely, walking forward unsteadily from dizziness.

    She looked into the woods, and saw her family surrounding a fire. They all laughed and talked, while the children chased each other around. She called out for them and ran at full speed. She came to a halt in front of her father and flung her arms around his neck and cried. She felt as her mother planted a kiss on her forehead.

    “Welcome home.” Her mother smiled through tears, “We missed you.”
    She sat down between her mother and father, laying her head on her father’s lap. She smiled and closed her eyes.
    Happy, to be finally dreaming forever.
  7. silverfrost

    silverfrost New Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Living the Dream

    Living the Dream (546 words)

    “I mean, sometimes...” Mitch stared at his shoes. He could feel her eyes on him. “Sometimes, I just get bored.” That was the wrong thing to say, and now that it was out, he knew it. His eyes followed the wave patterns on the couch as he waited for something to happen. Maybe he wanted Liz to get mad, to storm out and end it all for him. It would have been easier.

    Liz's face fell into her palms and she held her breath. Mitch still didn't look at her. He couldn't. He didn't want to watch her cry. There was too much of that lately, and it was sickening.

    He pursed his lips as the tea kettle sounded in the kitchen. How dull, he thought. Every day, it's work, then two hours of Friends, then tea... He felt the cushion lift when Liz left to answer the whistle. The clock ticked. The baby cooed on the monitor. Liz sobbed as she poured the boiling water.

    “I can't deal,” Mitch whispered. This life was torture. He ran hands through clean, thick hair and dragged himself to the bedroom. The door slammed, drowning the sounds. He took off his shirt and shoes and lay down on the hard bed, careful to avoid the broken spring. Desperate to leave, he closed his eyes.

    Mitch woke up to yellow light. His movement was stopped by a weight on his arm, a stomach-down, naked body. Tan skin met brilliant, blonde hair. He gazed at her, and then at the half-empty shot glasses on the nightstand. A bottle of Southern Comfort had spilled, and still it dripped down the expensive wood.

    Anxiously, he pulled his arm free. That woman, whoever she was, was too drunk to wake up. He threw pillows aside and put on sweatpants. He ran from the bedroom and down the stairs until he was in the living room, a massive, open space. He clutched his temples. The light hurt his head; he could barely stand the throbbing. He treaded empty beer cans as he moved towards the phone. He had to talk to someone.

    Mitch dialed clumsily, pinching his eyes shut. Relief filled him when he heard his brother's voice. “Yeah?”

    “Dave, it's me,” Mitch said. “I had that dream again.”

    Dave laughed. “Oh yeah? Hey! Did you have fun last night?”

    Mitch sighed. He knew Dave wouldn't care. “Dave, listen. It's the same one I've had over and over, and every time I wake up here, I knew... I knew I was wrong.”

    “What about, Mitchey?”

    “This house!” Mitch realized he was shouting, and turned his voice into a whisper. “It's this job I have, the money, the woman I woke up with today...”

    “Woman?! Haha, Mitch. That's just gr-”

    “No!” Mitch cut the irritating encouragement short. “Why did I call you? You never understand.” He slammed the phone down. No one would get it, he knew.

    He scratched his head and walked to a front window. “Liz,” he muttered. “This time, we had a baby together... Me and Liz.” He watched the sun rise until it had cleared the top of his house, and then he crept towards the kitchen. Suddenly, he felt like having tea.
  8. Whitejd

    Whitejd New Member

    Jun 25, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Norman Oklahoma
    Spring Dreams Past

    Dream vs. Reality 594 Words (with thanks and a remember childhood to Mr. Ray Bradbury and his Dandelion Wine with great fondness from oh so many years ago)

    Sheldon, his feet some inches above the grass, floats toward the edge of the yard. A soft breeze at his back pushes him first left and then right as he raises one arm and then the other. Below him the uncut hay of the field comes to an end and the short cropped grass of the yard begins.

    “Sheldon” the voice calls from the kitchen of the wood frame house.

    Sheldon turns and finds himself flat on his back, the grass pricking the bare skin of his arms.

    “Sheldon, it's getting late.”

    “Time to come in.”

    Rolling to his knees Sheldon quietly answers “Yes, Mother”

    Pushing up from the lawn, his hands griping the grass, Sheldon's feet float upward until they point toward the zenith of the sky. Large black birds dodge between his outstretched legs. His new tennis shoes leave tracks on those clouds that can not outrun his pointing toes.

    The tennis shoes were new as of just before noon. They had been pure white but now there was green and brown stains around the lower, upper, since his feet were now above his head, edges.

    The dirt and grass stain had slowed the shoes and Sheldon knew that no amount of scrubbing would retrieve their newness.

    Sheldon had known that the shoes were special as soon as he had let the salesman slip them on his feet. His first steps told him that these were the best tennis shoes ever. Better than any tennis shoes of any year before.

    These were new and they were the first tennis shoes of a new spring.

    Sheldon followed his mother out of the store and to the car, his hand held firmly in hers. A box heavy with his old shoes, gripped tightly under his arm and his new shoes not allowing his feet to touch the ground they crossed the street.

    In the car during the drive home Sheldon had to fight to keep his feet down but even with all his effort he could not keep the shoes touching the floor board.

    “Don't go far Sheldon” came his mother's call as he jumped from the car and pushed the door closed behind him.

    “Yes, Mother” he called over his shoulder while racing away.

    Flying across the gravel driveway, between the house and the large oak tree in just two steps, Sheldon pushes off and his new shoes lift him over the white picket fence and into Josh's backyard.

    Josh, hearing Sheldon's call, jumps from the porch and seeing the new tennis shoes on Sheldon's feet turns and sprints off across the yard to the opening in the fence and onto the trail that leads across the field to the woods beyond.

    Doubling his efforts, his strides stretching wider and wider, Sheldon's feet only touch the path long enough to push him forward, quickly narrowing the gap with his best friend. Where both boys step small puffs of dust float up leaving the only signs of their passage.

    Josh, only a few steps from where the dirt path enters the woods, feels a gust of wind on the side of his face and sees a flash of white from the corner of his eye. The boys rush head long into the woods, first one ahead and then the other, both laughing and weaving as the path curves around the trunks of large and small, old and new trees. Two boys, free from school, free in the fresh spring of a new year.

    Both free with the first tennis shoes of this new spring.
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