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I had a dream last night, and you were in it. It wasnít the first time Iíd had this dream, nor the first time Iíd remembered it in the morning, but it was the first time I had slept all the way through it. Iíd never gotten to the end before, always waking in a pool of terrified sweat before you- well, before.

Like every other time, it started with a single image, that of a white rose against a deep black background. The rose always seems almost surreal, the stem a bit too long, the thorns too big and sharp, the petals so pristinely white I think they might be glowing. Itís turning slowly, as if stood on a pedestal for display, and despite the thorns I come extraordinarily close to reaching out and seizing it. I begin to wonder why I didnít take it, and suddenly everything twists,

And youíre holding the rose, twirling it in your fingers, miraculously not pricking yourself on any of the thorns. I bring my eyes up to your face, but as I do it begins snowing, so heavily I can barely see you, though somehow the rose is never obscured. I call out to you, but although neither of us is moving you seem to be getting further and further away from me. The snow is so thick now that I canít see you at all and, terrified, I start running toward you, only knowing where to go by the sound of your gentle sobbing and, of course, I can still see the rose. I follow you for what in the dream seems like days, never getting closer, until finally I am too exhausted to continue, and suddenly everything twists,

And Iíve caught up to you, the snow still swirling between us too thick to see, but I know youíre there. I can feel the warmth of you, smell your scent heavy in the air, hear you crying, ever so softly. And, of course, thereís the rose. I want to ask you why youíre crying, but Iím just so overjoyed to be with you that the only thing I can do is reach out and take you in my arms, never to let go again. Only, my hand touches nothing but air, and the cold of ice floating on the wind. I can still see the rose, but it lies on the ground, half buried in the white. The thorns bite into me as I lift it, but the pain goes as unnoticed as the cold, both unimportant against this sight. Thereís blood on the rose, more than just my own, and I know that there was nothing miraculous in your twirling. The rose took itís toll on you, for every spin it sent those spikes deep into your flesh. I realize Iím weeping only when the tears have frozen in my eyes, and then everything twists,

And Iím at the bridge where we met, and I canít remember why Iím crying. You look concerned, and ask me something. I brush your question off along with my tears, and pull a small box out of my pocket. Your hands rush to your mouth as I drop to one knee, and when you say yes, I am the happiest Iíve ever been. I reach out to sweep you into my arms, when I see the rose, in the breast pocket of your black coat. Your smile fades as I pull back my hand, and I know Iím coming to the end of the dream. But somethingís different this time, the blood still glistens on the shining white petals, though now the thorns had never touched either of us. Your smile disappears completely, replaced by a round O of horror as you see the end of the dream too. The rose is no longer white, but the red of the blood now pouring from the wound, and I suddenly remember why I was crying. I was crying because I didnít want to have to watch this again, helpless as your eyes, once so bright, close for the last time.

Iím crying again, trying to wash the rose white.

Think of how stupid the average person is, and then remember that half the people in the world are dumber than that.


The following comments are for "A White Dream"
by Atrophybrain

On its own...
On its own, this dream is not a story.

I need to know, fairly early on in the piece (and with a very short piece, it's very early on) what's at stake for the characters. Or at least, that *something* is at stake. Telling about a dream has a unique quality of... not to be harsh... but... pointlessness. I want some kind of tension or suspense filtering in from the "real" world, so that I'm not just listening to a dream that ultimately has no effect on anyone, and therefore no meaning within the story.

I would try this in third person, and try crossing over in some way into the real world. I knew immediately with the line, "before you -- well, before" that the "you" in the story was going to die in the dream. Could you somehow play with this idea, if the dream could change the reality, or if the character's participation in repeating the dream makes him somehow culpable in the death?

Maybe if you wrote it in third person, we would be able to accept the dream as its own reality. But if that is the case, I would take out the "before you" bit, since it telegraphs too much info.

( Posted by: lostcheerio [Member] On: September 8, 2007 )

white dream
Actually, I was taken into this dream.. and possibly because of my own feelings of desperation coming to the forefront while reading. I felt this piece rather than read it. Thanks for sharing!

( Posted by: wendythemommy [Member] On: September 12, 2007 )

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