I’m not typically into the whole new year resolutions thing…I think if I have goals for my life I should think about them more than once a year, and I should start working on them when they come to mind. My goals should be something I focus on all year instead of isolating them in such a way. However, I usually do jot a few down every January, because I’m really not good at making good goals for myself, and it is good to start every year with a vision.
This January I vowed to finish a short story. Confession time: I’m really bad at follow through (probably one of the reasons I’m terrible with goals). I have started many projects that were intended to be novels, and I have started many short stories. I haven’t even been able to finish one short story. So that’s what I’m working on right now! I may or may not share an excerpt from it at the conclusion of this post. The thing about the story I’m working on right now is that I have no clue what it’s about. I started it a long time ago, probably over a year. It’s actually something from a dream I had.
Here’s another confession: dreams really fascinate me. I usually remember my dreams really well, and they are usually quite interesting. I’m not one to think that dreams always mean something, but I do believe that some of them do. So I have several short stories I’ve begun based on dreams I’ve had. The thing about my dreams is that sometimes they are very metaphorical, and typically symbolic of fears I have. This is one such dream. It actually seems a bit eerie and perhaps morbid, but I think that’s because it is one of my deepest fears, and is very serious to me. For some reason I enjoy writing eerie things. It makes me feel more thoughtful and think about things deeply and seems so symbolic and powerful. Anyway, I’m having a hard time with the length, since the dream wasn’t very long. I am hesitant to add a lot of plot that wasn’t originally there, and I think it’s more powerful when it’s shorter. But it’s on it’s way! So without further ado, after that exhibition of my talent in rambling, here is your sneak peek at it. (keep in mind while you’re reading that it’s mostly metaphor. It may get a little extreme/graphic. The main event in it is death, but look for the deeper meaning!)
“She looked around, still disbelieving, the great rhythmic waves pulsing through her, holding her breath, her song not escaping. She could feel the flesh stinging as she watched their hands sliding slowly down the harsh vines. And one by one, with indifferent, almost peaceful looks, they let go and fell into whatever was below. Her scream was swallowed up, and the silence lashed out at her as they vanished. They fell down with the drifting feather leaves to the soft mossy floor, forever down. They had no sense of how long they fell, thousands of feet blurring together, time and space no longer existing, and landing without a sound in the carefully assembled silence. The jungle held its breath, its heart beating silently, motionless, pulsing in the rattling bones. Their mangled bodies lay scattered and the trees breathed softly over them, the swell of the forest increasingly present.
Their eyes were open, one last expression frozen on their faces, a look of thrill and freedom; you could still see the rush of wind in their cheeks and a brilliant cry on their lips, a shattered silence in their eyes. And after they would say that it felt…strange, like they were shaken from their skin.
But she hung there forever. She never let go. She hung there stunned, eyes shifted down. Baked by the sun, frozen when the stars came in like icy daggers in her heart, ragged clothes hanging off her skeleton flesh, the vines rotted into her hands and wrists, too afraid to let go. And down there, there they were, their crumpled bodies laying side by side with their faces frozen in victory. And there she was hanging alone above them, far, far above, the last thing hardened, petrified, carved into her face was terror and despair and ignorance. And she never knew what it was like to fly, to shed her skin. She was lashed up there in her noose forever, listening for the summoning of the haunted song to be seized by a distant calling, convicted by the ones beyond. But all was silent far, far above.”
So yeah, I dreamed that. The dream was so vivid and fascinating that I can still remember it over a year later, and I had to write about it. Without the context it probably doesn’t make much sense, but that’s part of the end of it. I’m also having a problem with making it simple enough. The dream was very simple, but it’s hard to recreate the feeling without going into complicated descriptions and such, so I’m working on that.
I was going to end with “hope you enjoyed it” but it was not entended to be enjoyable per se. So I will end with this instead:
I hope it was thought provoking, fascinating, a bit stunning, and intriguing 🙂