For this post, I'm featuring a story I wrote when I was 18 years old as my entry to my small town's local radio station's Halloween Story Contest. I won for my age group, and part of my award was being invited to come and read for the recording personally. I was the first contestant to read my own story, but having winners into the station to record became an annual tradition. Small towns are cool like that :)
As for current events, this week has been hectic. As in 'cyclone' rather than 'whirlwind'. It's been mostly good news and moving forward activities, all of which are Very Awesome Occurrences, but still a lot of things happening at a very fast pace, and all of it requiring phone calls, emails and/or interacting with humans. (Real, living humans, not the mostly imaginary ones in my head I write stories about.)
My 5-months-physically-isolated and happily introverted self is a very tired bean on this Friday night.
Yup! I'm writing this one up on Friday before bed because tomorrow has appointments, too. Well... one Very Important Appointment: I get to go visit my Chiropractor! Not only is she amazing at her job, she has weekend hours!
Sunday early morning is reserved for shopping needs and late morning is for my youngest to have dance. Sunday afternoon is for me to figure out just how the heck to survive next week as I'm shoveling loads of laundry through the machines.
Surprisingly, I crammed writing time in around the edges of everything else this week. Fifteen hundred words of a new scene were added to the big manuscript, plus a few hours for editing. I fell in love with this story all over again. Now if I could just get it to cooperate and allow me to narrate the scenes in order, that would be great. LOL :D I hope you're keeping safe and having a good weekend!
1. 'Falling' Asleep
People have always talked around campfires. They've told stories of great loves, and great loves lost; of Fairies, and of the Small Folk; of monsters from the grave, and of the evil lurking deeper; most commonly of ghosts, and most recently of aliens. And sometimes, just before dawn, when the night is the coldest and the morning is the furthest away – when even the flames seem to hide from the darkness – the tales of dreams begin to unravel.
This is one such story, fit for a fireside telling, but told 'round tables with electricity to push back the shadows. So light a candle, turn off the switch and snuggle up to someone you love, and I'll tell you the tale of the last dream I ever had.
The dream that ends all dreams, if you will...
I have always been one to have nightmares. Ever since the days of childhood, my nights have been peppered with shadows. Never a happy dream for me, oh no. Sunny days always turned to dreary nights, friends and family turned to foes, and strangers turned to dangers. Never a friendly face, and never a helping hand.
As a teenager, I learned to wake myself up from my strange and horrible visions by saying, as loudly as I could: "This is only a dream and now I am going to wake up." And in the few times when that didn't work, I would pinch myself as hard as I could until my eyes would open, wide with terror and bleary with sleep, the green numbers of my bedside clock glaring out at me with the blank fact of the early morning hour.
The last dream I ever had began in the same manner as any other I've had before: from a great distance up and accelerating at an alarming rate down. Down towards a tiny spot of light that I just know is going to explode up around me and bury me in all sorts of nasty things. Then, just at the very last moment before impacting with the tiny spot, it disappeared and I plunged into the sinister blackness of what I've come to call Shadow Land: the darkest corner of the dream world.
I stumbled around for a few moments, fear beginning to nibble at the edges of my mind and the sense of deja vu overriding all my senses as I began to walk east. Trees that had always been there suddenly grew up all around me in a think tangle. My sense of direction evaporated in the dense forest and, even though I knew that by going east I could get out and into the sunshine, I no longer knew which way east was.
I ran for what seemed like hours, always going in a different direction and always ending up back in the same place, tripping and sprawling and scraping my hands and knees each time I returned. Every time I walked away, a brightly colored, shiny bird would flit across in front of me, and then pivot on a sharp angle that only it could find to make a B-line for the edge of the forest. Every time I chased the bird, running as fast as I could, the bird flew faster and faster until I couldn't see it anymore. Every time after the bird disappeared, I felt those eyes staring out at me from a hidden place and a cold wind rustled through the dying forest to chill me to the bone. Every time, I forget the way that the little bird had gone and would just bolt blindly through the trees, the hot breath of that thing just behind me.
A weekly blog updating on Saturdays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!