Day 151 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character who can’t wake up from a dream.
Erin: I knew the real world could not be so cruel when I saw the elephant sized clown. I decided then and there to wake up. I didn’t though. I had many times in the past, but my real eyes would not open. Wake up I screamed, but that only startled the clown into chasing me. I decided if I could not wake up I would change the story. I tried to shrink the clown in my mind, but he just kept getting bigger. All I could do was run, so I did. It was starting to look like my only way out was to die. For whatever strange reason that scared me, even with the knowledge of my dreaming state.
Shannon: I snuck down the wooden staircase, trying to find the cause of the loud noise. About halfway down I realized I was dreaming as black branches crawled up the steps and tangled my feet like snakes. They moved up to cover my entire body. Within seconds my vision went dark and I could tell I was being dragged. I tried to open my eyes to wake up, but they were locked shut. I couldn’t move anything. I was paralyzed and I couldn’t feel my soft bed underneath me. I felt weightless. When I finally opened my eyes I was looking at a clear sky above some trees until an old woman appeared in my line of vision. By the frightening smile on her face, I knew I was still dreaming.
Write about a never ending dream.
Gently, my chest rose and fell beneath a million-thread-count down comforter I’d seen at a home store in the mall when my little sister got married and she was registered there. The silken cover the heavy material resided in was the softest thing I’d ever felt; it was as though I was floating in a pool of warm water that weighed the perfect, comforting amount. Stretching my long legs, I twisted my head around a tiny mountain of pillows that caressed my neck perfectly and felt at the cotton nightgown that hugged my curves flatteringly. When I breathed in deeply, nestling into the memory foam that held my body in perfect alignment, the sweet scent of vanilla burst like light bubbles about the room, forcing further relaxation upon me.
As I swung my legs, still refusing to open my eyes, around to reach for the ground, someone tapped my shoulder gently in an inviting kind of way and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Landing on my right heel harder than I’d anticipated, I spun and put up my fists, apparently prepared to fight of whoever had touched me. Finally getting a glance at the massive king sized bed I’d been in, I admired the intricately detailed golden framework that lifted the mattress almost two feet from the raised floor. Though the monster was larger than a car, it paled in comparison to the overall size of the room, which might have fit an Olympic swimming pool and a half.
Suddenly visible above the plush bedding was a handsome-faced man who’s charming smiled beamed enticingly down at me, pretty-boy hair mussed in a just-woke-up-but-still-amazing style. His blond locks combined with his shining blue eyes to make my heart stutter a half-beat and my breath catch uncomfortably in my throat. “Hey, where’d you go, babe? You don’t have to get up this early,” he mused, drawing circles in the sheets and trying to look as seductive as he could with twinkling eyes and charismatic smile. Rolling his eyes playfully, he added, “You don’t have to work, remember? We’re rich without having to work for it.” There was a robotic quality to the statement as though it was common knowledge in the universe.
I snorted in a grossly unladylike way and laughed, “Oh, yeah, right. This must just be a stupid dream, right? And when I wake up I’ll already be late to work so I may as well stay in bed?” Sharp as a tack, my words punctured the glittering sky outside the window and a chilly breeze blew in with the dark storm clouds. Thunder sounded as the storm bore down on the slice of luxurious bliss, but faded as my stance on the matter softened; if I was already late, there was no reason to get up now, I supposed.
Taking in the rest of my room, I admired the gold, mirror-adorned dressers, enormous makeup desk complete with more cosmetics than a drug store and closet doors with crystalline knobs that glowed in the sunlight. Hung above the bed was a chandelier with millions of crystals dangling at odd lengths, sparkling with twinkle lights. On the far wall was a grand marble fireplace with a roaring blaze in the polished hearth, two pastel armchairs and a chaise poised for us to enjoy the warmth. Flowing from the windows were lacy drapes that simply obscured the radiance from outside and turned it a pale lilac as it stretched across the carpets.
When I stepped my dainty feet to the window and glanced out, I spotted a pool that could have fit my entire apartment at least three times, perfectly-trimmed hedges concealing a manicured rose garden from the neighbours and some kind of sporting court in the distance. It could have been a magical scene did I not have a persistent, nagging feeling at the back of my mind that it wasn’t right.
After a few oddly-silent moments taking everything in, I turned back to the gorgeous man who was lounging in my bed staring glassily at me with his deep blue eyes and posed a question, “Is this really what my dream life would be? Not working at all with an expensive house and a boy toy who doesn’t say much?” Aren’t I deeper than that!? I wanted to shout at the top of my lungs, but I was afraid of offending the man in my bed, even if it was just a dream. Silence met me with a stony expression as the breeze froze and a butterfly passing by the window was suddenly set in glass before my eyes. Blinking about, I wandered to the bedroom door to find it locked.
Sighing deeply, I planted myself on the Persian rug stretched between the bed and chaise, attempting to keep my cool. “Fine,” I whispered angrily to myself before squeezing my eyes shut tightly and giving the skin on my arm a painful pinch.
A moment later the light that had been streaming on my eyelids was interrupted and replaced with the cold, grey light that streamed through my apartment’s half-pane glass. The spicy vanilla scent was gone, along with the softness of high-quality carpet between my warm fingers. Instead of the heat radiating from the fire behind me, a chill was worming its way to my bones and digging at the comfort I’d felt in the dream.
Dreading the moment I would have to face the real world, I held onto the half-dream for as long as I could. When something touched my shoulder, though, I jumped and lashed out frantically at the handsome man, tangling the soft sheets about us in a mass of down and silk. Embarrassment lit my cheeks ablaze and I murmured a hurried apology before disconnecting myself from the bedsheets and padding over to the window again. Once there, with my heart beating out a samba in my chest, I turned back to the man and demanded an answer, “This isn’t my dream life. So, why am I here and why can’t I wake up?”
When I was met with silence again, though the clouds didn’t come and time didn’t freeze, I didn’t get an answer from him. Instead, I screamed in my head and pinched my arm raw; I was going to wake up from this nightmare of a dream life if it killed me.
August hears Heather thrashing, all the way from up the stairs. He sits up in bed and groans. He rubs his face as he walks down the hall, only to hear her go silent. August waits for a moment at the top of the stairs, then goes back to bed. His head hits the pillow and he exhales for a minute. ‘For once…’
Just as he closes his eyes, it clicks; this has never happened before.
He stands up and walks back to the stairs. With every step, he quickens his pace. “Heather?” He asks. When he reaches the kitchen, he still doesn’t have an answer. He opens her door to see her laying still.
“Heather?” He asks again. He goes to her side. He watches her breathing. “Too shallow for sleep,” he deduces. “Heather! Heather wake up!” He shakes her shoulders. He takes her pulse for a moment, which is also slowing down. “HEATHER!”
Heather then opens her eyes, gasping. August helps her sit up. Heather still gasps for air.
“Good, keep breathing. That’s it,” August says, but inside, he’s as panicky as she is. She grips his arms, branding bruises onto his biceps. But he doesn’t pull away. He just keeps her eyes on his and nods every time she takes a breath. “Heather, you can hear me right?”
“Okay, you’re breathing, you’re okay,” August assures. Heather loosens her grip. August sees she’s shaking, so he moves over and wraps an arm around her. She slings one over his shoulder and the other under his arm, burying her face in his shoulder. Then she lets out her terrified cries.
Whoever hadn’t woken up to August’s frantic yelling was definitely awake now.
August looks over Heather’s head at Noah, “Call Captain Rogers.” Noah nods, and leaves for the phone. August turns his head slightly to look at Heather’s head. He strokes her hair slightly, to not disturb her. “What happened?”
Heather sniffles, “I couldn’t leave.” She gasps a little, as if she still couldn’t get air. August backs up to give her space, but Heather won’t let go. “I couldn’t wake up. It was… It was all so real.”
August looks at the others gathered at the doorway. He holds Heather gently, hoping that the Avengers will have an explanation.