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Lucid Dream


Ergo

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This is my first time posting so sorry in advance if I mess something up. :lol:

This is a long (but still under 1000 words) flash fic that I've been tossing around for a month now. I'm debating on evolving this idea into a longer story...so feedback would be fantastic.

LUCID DREAM

William found himself staring at a coffered metal ceiling. Fifteen minutes had passed without his notice. He?d been placed on a 3 hour interval sleep pattern. Enough time to analyze the anomaly in his REM cycle. William smoothed a tremulous finger through his dirty hair. His eyes darted beneath hot lids. His lips, still asleep, continued to mouth phantom whispers in the humid isolation lock.

The reinforced glass windows were beaded with moisture and stars warbled behind them. The Esperanza was a small private delivery vessel. William could only lay prostrate on its cool metal floor. His mind was blank. Not quiet or stagnant, but a void of uncaring precision.

?Esperanza, this is Station86. You are cleared for re-entry at 04:00:00. Sit tight and we?ll pull you in. Over.?

William?s brow twitched. His eyes melted open. ?Where am I?? he whispered into the murky quiet. His own voice sounded startlingly unfamiliar. Slowly he sat up?grimacing as the action sent a pained shock up his lower back. His skin was sticking to the floor. He had legs, arms and feet like any other day. Unfamiliar limbs with unfamiliar skin?unfamiliar sweat. The unfamiliar sense?of himself.

?We?re all forgetting.? Came a course reply to his previous question. A grey old man was sitting in the dark at the controls. ?That?s the only reason I am still at this job. No one else remembers how to do this.? Clucked the old man while adjusting the lights.

?Sorry, I?m not myself.? Will said while stretching his neck. ?They wont let me sleep.?

?It?s because you still dream. The judges wont like that?or understand it. I read the report on you.? Coughed the old man while rubbing a dirt stain in his denims. ?Dream theory is nearly as extinct as I am. They do not dream, they do not remember, but they are certainly content. On a more useful note, you, William Lawson are currently en route to station86 where you await trial. You were??

?An assistant.?

?There we go, waking up now are we??

~ ~ ~

?No, your honor. The incident that took place between me and my assisted was not a misunderstanding.? Will growled for the fifth time. The trial was dragging on far longer than the court was used to. Viewers had accumulated in the small conference area. There were 5 judges, and 5 assistants at their private aid. At the velocity the trial was progressing William felt that he would be committed to the asylum before dinner.

?Then there must have been an anomaly in your training.? said one of the older male judges.

?No sir.?

?But the reports from Station22 connotate suspicious brain activity during your REM cycle. Mr. Lawson, I must suggest to the room that you seem chemically unbalanced. We only want to help and yet you resist the council?s knowledge. What would you have us do? If you are not mentally unwell or suffer from poor training, then what is the matter with you??

?Professor Dietrich has instructed us to keep you on the Meridian Sleep Pattern for a reason. Human 'dream' theory has been disproven for over a century. Are you aware that you have committed a class A offense? It says in the official reports that 25 year old Kurt Gladney and two attendants awoke to find that his Assistant, 17 year old William Lawson, was talking in his sleep.?

?I never said that I dream!?

William could hear his own echo. He could see the whites of the head judge?s eyes. The attending assistant?s quickly moved to offer comfort.

?In continuance?? Came the strong voice of the assistant. He directed the flabbergasted judge back to his report and managed to nullify the shocked tone of the room. Relief settled across the trial. Everyone shifted as their nervous smiles eased and grew genuine. The air was light again. William felt like he had missed the punch line to an unspoken joke.

?Yes.? Stuttered the Judge. ?In continuance, Mr. Gladney attempted to wake his assistant at approximately 2:37am. Allegedly, the assistant awoke in a state of physical dementia and shouted incoherently until medicated.? William lowered his head and focused on the floor. It had been a dream?everything had been hot and fragmented. Kurt had water running from his eyes. William had been sitting on Kurt?s lap like a child. The water tasted like salt. The heat in his cheeks had disturbed him.

?Mr. Lawson, you are about to be accused of willfully causing a state of duress to your assigned, Mr. Gladney, and his staff. This is in violation of your very existence and purpose in the human nexus. Despite our obvious diagnosis, you continue to cause disruption and set a negative example for our public!?

The judges words were venomous and meant to sting. William knew that his current behavior alone was warrant enough for deportation. ?Perhaps the catalyst of my episode was chemical. I ask to be sent back to Station 22 where I can be medicated. While the sleep schedule has limited my episodes, I do not feel that I am able to perform my duties while on it. Please forgive my aggression judges.? Withholding the truth was inherently wrong, but this somehow felt as close to right as the robed men could comprehend. A solution that satisfied the prosperity of supposed human mental well-being.

~ ~ ~

?I will do my best to serve you without error Mr. Gladney.? William felt the need to explain his violation of social script as they left the court building. ?I meant no harm to the peace. I simply do not wish to blame the climate of your home.? Holding his breath, William continued until interrupted.

?Tears? Whispered, Gladney.

?I don?t know what you?re talking about?I?ve never seen?? Will choked.

?They?re called tears, William.?

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Hmm. It's Interesting, though I'm a tad confused. I'll have to go away and think about it, but my first instinct is that it needs to be a longer piece. Primarily so as you can un-confuse me ;)

Thanks for sharing, Ergo.

Camy

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It's intriguing and very promising but a little too obscure for a bear of very little brain.

I'm with Camy on this one - if it was (much) longer the 'world' it inhabits could be described and explained for dim readers.

One thing's for certain, it shows the author's got a lot of talent. I want to read more of your stuff!

Bruin :lol:

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Well thanks ya'll. I was trying to write something that focused more on how the main character felt rather than specifics ... and wound up raising way more questions than I thought I would. I think I'll squirrel this away and keep it simple for my next stab. :lol:

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Hey Ergo,

Where as I do agree with those comments above, this piece was a tad bit confusing upon first reading, I also found this piece to be quite intriguing.

I think I figured out what you were trying to convey, after re-reading it more than a few times.

Sometime in the future, maybe as a means to keep the population subdued and the upper class in control, dreaming was deemed counter-productive and certain measures were taken to eradicate all forms of free-thinking.

And I'm assuming here, that the measures that were taken to keep this in check, also affected memories and certain behaviors.

I find this idea quite remarkable, and agree with Camy that maybe this needs to be explored in further detail, like a longer piece.

I understand wanting to write something provocative, thought provoking, and edgy. And flash fiction is a perfect venue to explore these kinds of themes. But you must be careful, readers are extremely fickle...they want to be stimulated by new edgy ideas, they want to be taken down pathways that they normally never venture upon, but they must be taken there carefully. Nothing turns a reader off as fast as a confusing narrative and murky plot.

Flash fiction is a piece shorter than a thousand words, but a complete story must be told in those thousand words. If I were you, I'd try to expand this flash fiction into a short story, delve a bit deeper into the story and explain in greater detail. Remember, short stories are anything under fifty/sixty pages. Plenty of space to flesh out this very intriguing idea.

On a different note, you have great vivid imagery, a rich voice, and a talent for writing. I for one can't wait to read something else from you.

Great job, Ergo.

Jason

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Great interpretation Jason, pretty much spot on. I've been studying a lot of short SF stories lately and have had estrangement and lack of concrete explanation on the brain. A lot of my preferred stories have that "WTF?" quality after you finish reading. I mostly wanted to test the waters and see if the concept had the resilience to grow into a short novel. I tend to spout half baked zingers. You're totally right though, audience is key and sometimes I get caught up and forget that.

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  • 3 months later...

Take it from an avid reader (reads a StarTrek paperback in 3 days), future culture themes are usually very interesting.

This story does not seem to present issues of violence, or mistreatment but, rather, explores a restrictive culture.

My curiosity is peaked and I would like to see more development of this story.

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