Tag Archives: dreams

Friday Fiction – This Crazy Dream

OK, keep hold of your seats, I have managed to avoid families this week! Slightly later than normal to the Friday Fiction party, but here at last. As ever, I welcome your comments and critique, and thank you for taking to the time to read my stories. Our inspiration picture comes from Melanie Greenwood. All rights to it our hers; the writing is my own.

garden-maze

This Crazy Dream

“I had this crazy dream last night,” Marcie said, trying not to watch the door. “There was a maze.”

“Uh-huh,” said Laura.

“And this goat said the winner of the maze would have whatever their heart desired.” Marcie relived the moment, swirling in fantasy, where Laura had pushed her into the mud and sprinted among the hedges.

“Who won?” asked Laura, hardly listening.

He walked in: Laura’s boyfriend, Steve. Marcie’s heart pounded as she relived another scene: he found her, lost among the topiary, and held her close, his lips on hers.

“Well, you reached the middle first,” Marcie whispered.

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Friday Fiction – Writer’s Retreat

It’s Friday Fiction time again! This week’s photo comes from Dawn Q Landau, via Rochelle’s HQ for this unruly group of mariners. My response follows below the picture and I welcome your feedback.

Just a week in, and 2014 is already testing our strength and resolve. Still, D:ream would tell us Things Can Only Get Better, and Rudyard Kipling would declare it a test of our manhood (I mean that in a strictly gender-irrelevant sense). In light of that, this is a story about filling the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run. Enjoy…

c2a9dawn_q-_landau

Writer’s Retreat
“Look!” Susie pointed at the screen. “You know I’ve always wanted a place to write, away from distraction.”
“A ruin?” Len asked.
“OK, the picture in my head was prettier, but lighthouses are expensive. I can’t earn without writing, and I can’t write without somewhere to do it.”
“That isn’t somewhere to write! That’s a renovations black hole!”
Susie nodded. “It needs some work first. But then I’ll be free to write!”
Len sighed and tapped the screen. It flicked back to the flash game Susie had been playing when he walked in. “There are cheaper ways to procrastinate, honey.”

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Friday Fictioneers – Dreams

Next week being Christmas, I might be skipping FF to celebrate. Sebastian, bless him, found a present this morning and opened it, so he’s obviously ready! I’m close… just one more thing to buy, I think. Whatever you’re doing, even if it’s not celebrating ancient rites or a Christian festival, I hope you have a great couple of weeks and a happy day on the 25th.

As usual, the Friday Fictioneers are hosted by Rochelle and many other responses to the prompt can be found through her master page over the next few days. Our picture comes from Jean L. Hays, who holds the copyright. [I’ll link her site later if I find it, please feel free to send me a link if you have it].  I hope you like my offering; I welcome your critique and comments.

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Dreams

She dreamed of backyard swimming, of friends splashing in the pool. When the dreams grew tired from overuse, she added dolphins. In desperation, she imagined a lazy river and waving to her mother who wore a pretty dress and a wide-brimmed hat.

The hat was necessary, to hide the face she could no longer properly recall. The swishing water drowned out the voice she couldn’t bring to mind. The garden, she knew, no longer looked anything like the one where she had played. Before she agreed to help Him look for his dog. Before the room. Before the nightmare began.

***

Click here if you don’t think it can happen

 

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Friday Fiction – No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems

This week’s prompt for FF comes from An Elephant Can’t. After last week’s fairly literal take, I’ve gone right off the deep end this time – kudos and gratitude to Rochelle for continuing to challenge me every week. If you’ve got time, do head over to her blog and take a look at the other stories linked there.

In the meantime, enjoy mine…

anelephantcant

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems

She’d always dreamed about it: knee deep in the sea; pina coladas on the rocks and absolutely nowhere to be. The songs of escape tempting her regularly on her daily commute.

In the end, it had been so easy. Leave the car – with the keys in – on a busy street. Leave the apartment door open. The only really tough bit had been parting with her housemate, Alfie, but he’d find somebody else’s window box to nest in soon enough.

When the money ran out she’d have to decide what to do, but until then she’d gone coastal on them all.

***

If you’d like to share some of the music from Jess’ daily commute, have a look here, here, here and here. If you don’t like country music, don’t click on those links!

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Friday Fiction – Dress for Success

There was something deeply haunting about this week’s FF prompt from Janet Webb. So much so that I almost went with a ghostly theme for my story. But ultimately, the story landed almost fully-formed on the page. There are too many Austins in this world, and I am grateful not to be married to one of them.

window-dressing-janet-webb

Dreams

(Historical – though not *that* historical – fiction)

It called to her every time she passed, shaking its skirts, preening its bodice. But Austin would have gone mad if Janet spent her housekeeping on a frivolity. So she flirted with it from afar, sewing a quarter into the hem of her coat each week, pinning all her dreams on a dress in a store window.

Spring came. She mothballed her heavy winter coat, but not her dreams.

For a single night, the dress hung secretly on the balcony behind their tiny apartment. Austin slept soundly, Janet not a wink. Then the dress was gone, and Janet with it.

 

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Friday Fiction – He promised me a white picket fence

It’s Fictioneers time again! This week’s picture (the top one) is from Janet Webb, via Rochelle. It’s an intriguing photo and I hope you feel I’ve done it justice. I’ve finally managed to achieve my goal of following Rochelle’s advice to use it as inspiration rather than illustration – the illustration for the story is the second picture below, although I hope you’ll agree I’ve taken more than one element from the first image.

The edits are back – but for those without time or interest to read them, the final version is immediately below the first picture. Edits are then in reverse order after the second one.

copyright-janet-webb

He promised me a white picket fence (Genre: Historical Fiction)

He promised me a white picket fence. And that we’d go blackberrying in summer. He promised that our boys would be strong and dependable, our girls pretty and sweet. He promised me my dreams.

But the brambles grow all year round now, and yield nothing more than thorns. Our boys will never be and our girls cannot smile.

He promised he’d come back. He promised he wouldn’t get shot down, or captured, or killed: that he wouldn’t, under any circumstances, go Missing.

He promised me a white picket fence. Now we have one, but it is nothing like my dreams.

War Cemetary

Version 1

He promised me a white picket fence.

He promised me a white picket fence. And that we’d go blackberrying in the summer. He promised that our boys would be strong and dependable, our girls pretty and sweet. He promised my dreams. He promised me the world.

But the brambles grow year round now, and never yield anything more than ants and thorns. Our boy will not speak and our girls will not smile.

He promised he’d come back. He promised he wouldn’t get shot down, or captured, or killed: that he wouldn’t, under any circumstances, go Missing.

He promised me a white picket fence. Now we have one, but it is nothing like my dreams.

 

Version 2

He promised me a white picket fence.

He promised me a white picket fence. And that we’d go blackberrying [I hesitated over this, in case it’s an English phrase. I feel this story is American in nature, because of the picket fence. But apparently soldiers in the American Civil War called truces to “go blackberrying” to ward off dysentery – the things you learn! – so I’m good to go. I just hope you guys use “bramble”]  in the summer. He promised that our boys would be strong and dependable, our girls pretty and sweet. He promised my dreams. He promised me the world.

But the brambles grow year round now, and never yield anything more than ants and thorns. Our boys will never be and our girls cannot smile. [I felt this was a young, newly married couple, so the idea that they already had three children didn’t fit that. It felt more heart-breaking that she would never have a son, and maybe the girls are twins – still very young but old enough to know Daddy isn’t coming home.]

He promised he’d come back. He promised he wouldn’t get shot down, or captured, or killed: that he wouldn’t, under any circumstances, go Missing. [I thought at first this was a story of abandonment. Then I realised her resentment was actually grief. I wrestled with a feeling that it was set during the American Civil War, even before I found the blackberrying reference, but ultimately stuck with a more recent period of history.]

He promised me a white picket fence. Now we have one, but it is nothing like my dreams. [The story didn’t feel finished in version 1, so I added another line to tie it back to the beginning.]

[Changes to get this to the final version above are purely word-count related. I took out the first line because the repetition felt unnecessary, especially when it’s at the end as well, but I might have left it in if word count had permitted, so it became the title (which had originally just been Promises)]

 

 

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Take a deep breath…

This morning, the blog muse is strangely silent. She has nothing to say about writing, reading or anything else factual, as she usually does on Mondays, and so nor do I. (Although just typing that makes me wonder if I should muse on the concept of the muse!) Anyway, I’m hoping that it’s because she’s feeling fictional and creative, so here’s a picture of some of Rory’s Story cubes and an off-the-cuff response which I hope will be amusing, entertaining or at the very least, coherent.

It’ll be a rough draft,so please be gentle, but let me know what you think!

 

“Meet me at the fountain – You know? The one with the fish in it? – at 4 o’clock,” he said. But it’s ten past and there’s no sign of him. I should have known he wouldn’t show. My Dad has never been late for anything in his life, but the number of times he hasn’t shown up at all, well that’s legendary.

I walked around the edge a third time, trying not to look for him, trying to pretend that I was here to study the fountain’s engravings. It was an old installation – been there since Capability Brown did the gardens probably, although in those days the fish would have been something a bit less exotic than the karp which now nibbled on pond weed in the setting sun.

I got to the North-East compass point when something made me look up and out, as if a sound had caught my attention, though I’d heard nothing consciously. I read this poem once, it said “The sun sets in the West, so if you see a light in the East it will be the fire of my love, burning to return to you, borne on a magic wind to be with you wherever you are.”

There was a light in the East that night, but in the age of modern electric light, I knew it was just the gift shop, where I’d finished working a little early today to make it over here by four. But the poem came to mind and I like the idea of a lost lover, and I guess I wanted some magic in my day to make up for the disappointment. I closed my eyes and saw a rainbow, with my lover (not just his love’s fire, but himself in person) transported along it from some great distance to be by my side. He took my hand and led me into the orchard grove out past the rose garden. We sat under a tree. He said that we would be married in a secret ceremony, that nobody needed to give me away, because I belonged to noone but him. He promised he would never be parted from me again, that we would be together forever. He told me I was the one.

But when I opened my eyes, there was only a fountain, and fish, and a clock which no longer made any pretence that my father would be coming to meet me.

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