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fiction, story, writer, writing

Dreamstream

Note: Started a new story today after a yoga flow and prompt from Creative Warriors.

I went to Dreamers for a quick escape from my life. This world is so dark right now. We can’t breathe unaided outside. Food and finances are scarce. When the Great Reallocation occurred, I found myself on the wrong side of the divide from the minimal family and friends I had left after Cataclysm. Dreamers promised a cheap, mind-bending respite from the darkness, a franchise of charlatans brokering magical dream moments across the allocation divides. Some even claimed you could reunite with family and friends in dreamstreams if you were lucky enough. I was just hoping for some sunshine and maybe a beach I remembered from my youth, the crisp, white-capped waters of what was the Lake Michigan shore nipping at my toes.

About a month ago, I first went to Dreamers after saving for nearly a year. Although my mind is flush with confusion right now, I remember the woman at the front desk. It was unusual for a human to be at a reception desk. They had long ago been replaced by virtual agents. It was better these days to keep your distance from other humans as old diseases raged new again. Being at a reception desk was a risk, but Claire did not seem to accept the gravity of her situation. She had a tight blonde bun and red lips, a vain attempt to offset eyes sunken from hunger and skin covered with grime that was impossible to remove.

“Hi, I have an hour session booked today. I went with the basic Midwest Memories dreamstream,” I said with my voice shaking slightly over the thought of trusting unknown others with my brain.

“I’m sorry, those are no longer available since you booked. We are happy to replace it at the same charge with a package one level up called Adventure Dreamscape. It is a guided dream to conquer a fear and lead you to the best adventure in your life, all in the safety of your dream, of course” Claire said with a tone as hollow as her eyes.

I stared at her for a moment, not entirely friendly to the concept. “I was really just looking for an easy first go at this dreamstream thing. I just need a break from the things we probably all need breaks from.”

Claire sighed. “And how is an adventure not a break?”

“Well, the fear part of it. For example, I’m afraid of heights. I’m not looking to escape to a mountain.”

Claire huffed. “Your fear is more of a falling, and I guarantee, per the thousand-page agreement you read and signed before paying us, that you will not fall in your dreamstream.” Claire was unmovable. If I chose to stay today, I knew the Adventure Dreamscape was my only option. I hadn’t heard of anyone dying from this, and according to Amazon 2.0 reviews, this was the best fun available on this dying planet.

“Okay, I guess I will give it a try. Is there a way to set it to stay away from heights though?”

Claire puffed. “The adventure chooses you. That was on page 600 of the thousand-page agreement you read and signed.”

…to be continued

fiction, story, writer, writing

Starting a New Story

I’m sitting in the airport waiting for my first flight in a year. A few days ago, I went to purchase new luggage, and something magical happened, or at least it did to my eyes. Inspiration and magic are everywhere you turn. You just need the gift of sight.

And it begins….

I couldn’t understand why I was the only one who could see she was different. Maybe different is not the best word to use. When you are at Weatherby’s Rack, the discount version of my favorite store I can’t afford, normal is normal, and anything not normal, is different. Claire, if her tag was not a ruse, was falling off the scale on the different end for she had elven ears and ancient runes tattooed on her face.

poetry, writer, writing

The Empty Seat

I wasn’t prepared for the empty seat at the table. He filled it so dutifully, yet quietly, each meal we shared.

This was the special occasion table, the linen-and-real-plates table. It barely fit our nuclear family of five, but somehow it detonated to fit our husbands and children.

He occupied the seat at one head of the table, across from my mom at the other end for a balanced table. The rest of us scurried to grab the spaces in-between, the youngest in high chairs like jesters off to the side.

This table was solid wood, built for joy. There was the occasional skirmish around it. We mostly broke bread and blew out candles here.

Cancer tried to take it away.

COVID tried to take it away.

The disagreements all families have tried to take it away.

We always came back though, and he sat in that same spot, asking his grandchildren and sons-in-law for extra ice cream and cheesecake, a procurement specialist for the good things in life.

This was the only throne he ever wanted. He was head of state in this fatherland. He will always fill that seat.

poetry, writer, writing

If I Could

If I could carry you on my back

To the next place, a fortress of peace, I would.

A million memories like threads

Of alabaster spiderwebs will still exist

If I could absorb your pain and any sadness

In the sponge of my soul, I would

A movie of what we were and will always be,

Beautiful and righteous, will play on

If I could rock you in a cradle of my arms

To a sweet, unending sleep, I would

Pieces of you are intertwined in all of us,

Filling the darkness of life’s lattice with good

And to carry you on in all that is done, I will. We will.

poetry, writer, writing

I Am Rich With Female Friendships

I am rich with female friendships.

Their moments of unconditional support,

Draping on me like the finest jewels.

A wealth that no bank can hold,

Providing gentle power to wield.

I am rich with female friendships.

Their laughter plated and served,

Feeding gourmet to my hungry soul.

Bountiful truths like good credit,

Opening access through gilded doors.

I am rich with female friendships.

Their apt comfort when needed,

Supplying emotional cash for peace.

A check that keeps getting written,

Never bouncing if times are tight.

I am rich with female friendships.

Their beauty, so unique, so bold,

Burying a treasure chest inside my heart.

A currency to be carefully invested,

Returning dividends, no limit to reach.

I am rich with female friendships,

The kind that couldn’t be bought,

Maximizing my life’s profit and yielding abundant love.