Tag Archives: writing

Counting Sheep Never Really Works

This week my Indie Ink Challenge comes from wMe. The Challenge:

I fear its a dream

But I can feel its real

Please don’t wake me up

This is easily the strangest post that I have ever written. My goal in writing for this challenge was to create something in writing that could successfully match what it felt like to be in a dream. What I mean by that is that linearity and cohesion are two things that went out the window for this story. I did put in italics as a last minute addition to help with the reading of the story, without them it was too impossible to follow what was happening, rather than just confusing.

I challenged Tereasa Trevor with the prompt “Realize, Nobody Cares.” You can view here response here.

I hope you enjoy!

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What was once a beautiful blue sky has changed into a fiery hellstorm of black and green. Resulting from a huge thermonuclear mass extinction. There are very few of us left, even less who avoided any injury from the incident. It was over in an instant. Mutilated bodies filled the streets; meat, not really bodies. I escaped without a scratch, so I travel. I travel to save those who cannot save themselves.

I am in my bed. Always in my bed. The world is back to normal, no disaster, no apocalypse. With a sword in my hand I fight against the forces of evil. I can fly. The wind in your hair is an experience that you- well, you have to feel it for yourself to understand it.

Asleep, always asleep. There is a state of mind, they call it lucid dreaming. It’s when you are able to control your dreams. I am a millionaire. Like you are aware that you are dreaming, so therefore since your brain understands that what is happening is not actually reality but your own imagination you can control the events of the dream. It’s kind of like becoming aware that you are living in the Matrix I am Neo.

The Chosen One, it feels great to be the Chosen One. I can fly again, I always seem to pick flying no longer Neo. Typically there are two ways in which one can experience a lucid dream; the first is that you go to bed with the intention of having a lucid dream the Matrix is boring and though you can flying again train yourself into having those types of lucid dreams, it is very difficult to do.

Where am I this time? The second type of lucid dream is that you fall asleep and start dreaming A tropical island? but eventually you realize that this reality I wanted to be in a plane crash you’re in is false stranded. It’s like, I don’t know, having an awakening in your sleep. And once you have need to build a hut that realization, you can do anything.

I am the in the category of the latter, I go to sleep normally but than I realize that I am dreaming. It’s been that way ever since a boat! I was a kid. Rescue I’m saved! It happens every single night, whether I want it to or not. I can’t control it.

Now I am touching the Sun.

The real problem with lucid dreaming, at least when I it’s beautiful the sun have them, is that it’s like my brain keeps trying to trick me into dreaming againeed to wake up need to wake up by changing the scenario of the dream. It’s like a smash cut in a film, and each smash cut resets my mind, I’m just simply dreaming, blissfully unaware, at least briefly. I “waken” every time, but I can only control what is going on for a short time before my brain in class in my underwear resets the dream again.

It’s like a nightmarish game of cat and mouse, between me and my brain. When I am awake, I am constantly afraid. I’m afraid that I am still asleep, that my mind just did another smash cut but I’ll never become aware, that I’ll just become trapped in a prison made by my own fucking mind. Maybe it’s already happened.

What was once a beautiful blue sky has changed into a fiery hellstorm of black and green.

I need to wake up wake up need to wake up please let me wake up. But then you can’t control anything, here I am God. The Chosen One. Neo. Wake up wake up need to wake up.

At least for a time…

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For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, wMe challenged me with “I fear its a dream, but I can feel its real, please don’t wake me up” and I challenged Tereasa Trevor with “Realize, nobody cares.”

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An Image

After a week hiatus, this is my second week in the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. (It would be week three, but last week I didn’t realize that I needed to sign up again. My mistake)

My challenge comes from Zee. The challenge:

Write about the biggest decision you have ever had to make and include at least one lie in your story…

What I found to be the toughest part about this challenge wasn’t so much the content, but how to make the content interesting. What I mean by that is that if I am talking about myself, why should you, the reader, care? We don’t know each other, what makes you want to know about my life?

It’s a fine line, in my opinion, between a ‘dear diary’ and creative non-fiction. My challenge was to aim for the latter.

Hopefully I succeeded.

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It’s funny how one brief moment of insight can push you to change your life. But maybe ‘insight’ is the wrong word. Maybe ‘inspiration’ or better yet, ‘warning.’

See, it was my first year in college and I made the decision to stay at home. It made sense, no need to pay money for rent or a dorm or food. I could just bus to school everyday.

But the problem was that when I was home, I wasn’t doing anything. Most of my friends were gone, so I would just sit around in my room all day, alone.

What eventually changed was that my Uncle moved into the house. I can still remember my Mom insisting that ‘he will only be here for two weeks, at the most.’ Four months later and he was still there.

One day I was sitting in my room, as I usually did, watching Family Guy, and eating Pringles. When I ran out of chips and needed to get more I saw my Uncle sitting in the living room watching Family Guy and eating Pringles. Basically doing the exact same thing.

That was my moment of insight. Or warning. It only lasted for a second, but it felt like an eternity. In that moment, I saw myself in 30 years, sitting exactly where he was sitting. In that moment, I was my Uncle. I had never grown up, never moved on.

When it comes to the town I grew up in, if you don’t leave when you have the chance, you will never leave. I decided it was time to move away. Far away.

As far away as I could get of that image.

I didn’t tell my parents when I started looking into international programs through my college. My first choices were in Asia. But no, I thought, that would be too difficult, learning one of those languages. Maybe an English speaking country? Yes, that makes more sense. England itself, maybe London? Too common a choice.

What about Ireland? That’s perfect. I had always wanted to visit Ireland, it had a beautiful image in my head. I settled on Dublin.

I was already finished with the applications when I finally told my parents. They said they were okay with the idea. I’m still certain that they thought it was just a notion that I was entertaining. That I would never, could never go through with it.

I still remember the looks on their faces when I got accepted.

Fast forward three months later and I am standing in the security line at the airport with my Dad. He convinced the ticket lady to give him a security pass, so he could see me to the gate. My Dad and I, we didn’t say a whole lot to each other, waiting for the boarding to begin. When it was time, we said our goodbyes and that was that.

On the plane, I look at my reflection in the window. It is an image of myself, and no one else. But I can picture you. Yes you, sitting at your computer, reading this.

By now I bet you’re wondering what in this story was a lie. Well, I’m not going to tell you. Not specifics anyways. Because if I told you why would you, why should you believe me?

The truth is that no matter how hard you try to tell the whole truth when you write about yourself, you are going to lie. Guaranteed. To tell the complete truth would make for extremely boring reading, because if you leave even a single detail out, you are lying by omission.

Lets also not forget the fact that deep down, we are all salesmen and women. We all seek to sell a crafted image of ourselves to each other. I did that here, everyone does. Think of every single memoir or biography you’ve ever read. Every single detail is crafted so that you’re reading a version of them that they want you to read. We all do it, even if we don’t realize it. Think about it, how many different versions of yourself are there? One for your co-workers, one for your friends, one for your spouse, for your kids. For your readers.

Maybe nothing in this story is true. Maybe I’m a completely different person than the one I specifically crafted here. I’m a 40 year old comic book nerd living in my parents basement. Maybe everything is true, and this admission is the lie. How could you possibly know? And maybe, just maybe this whole post-story-rant-to-reader is me further crafting an image of myself to you.

Or is it better to not think about it?


Urban Decay

I came up with the idea for this story, surprisingly enough, while I was driving around earlier this week. I was excited, because I had the idea to write this from the second person perspective. Not I, not he/she, but you. It’s a perspective you almost never see (outside Goosebumps “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories) and for good reason, it’s really hard to do.

I’ve also noticed that my stuff has been on the heavy/depressing side lately, and I wanted a bit of a change of pace.

Enjoy.

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You’re driving down a road and it becomes immediately clear that you do not belong here. Your car, while reliable, is slowly falling apart and being passed by people driving Porches and Ferrari’s. You even swear that you just got passed by a Rolls Royce.

You look around and see you’re surrounded by houses that should really be called “mini-mansions.” They are built from the brick of Depression Era houses; also mansions, tore down and rebuilt anew.

You’re driving down a road in which the medium income for residents is somewhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million a year. Driving along, you think to yourself how you’re almost entirely sure you won’t make that much in a lifetime, let alone year after year.

To your left is a private golf course that you have no hopes of entering.

But anyways, you continue to drive down the road, which begins to bend. And after the bend you notice that things aren’t quite the same.

The road, which was pristine and smooth as silk behind you, is beginning to show some wear and tear. It’s not horrible, but it is noticeable.

You look around and see you’re surrounded by houses that could be called “functional.” They are all built from the same cookie-cutter pattern, a sea of clones. The cars, like the homes, can be called “functional.”

There are no golf courses here. You can picture yourself starting a family somewhere very similar to this place, but not yet.

And so, you continue to drive down the road. On your right you pass a lake, in which you can see litter on its frozen beach.

The road has deteriorated severely. Potholes plague the street every few feet. After hitting a few, you curse to yourself and begin to swerve around the holes like orange caution cones.

There are no homes here that you can see. Plenty of shops, sure, and some places you frequent occasionally, like that cafe on your left.

A bit further still, and you can see places of residency. Apartment complex after complex, walls of them on either side. You notice how the signs are all written in two, three or even more languages.

You can’t imagine seeing that near the private golf course.

The condition of the road has become completely unbearable. It has turned into one gigantic pothole. The rattling of your car forces you to continuously turn up your radio, to drown out the grinding noise. The vibrations cause the panel on your steering wheel which houses the airbag to fall off. It dangles by a single wire, for the horn. You quickly tape it up again at a red light.

And finally you turn off this road and into your own apartment. You enter and find the four flights of stairs more exhausting than usual.

You walk inside your own apartment room, which is a mess. You see dishes in the sink, overflowing onto the counter, neglected for days, maybe even weeks. You pass the dishes and open the fridge. There isn’t much food, but you weren’t looking for food. You were looking for a beer.

You take a drink and look out the window. You see the skyline of the city begin to light up right in front of your eyes, in the evening air; the city coming to life. You smile, musing on the beauty of it.

You are home.