Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pillow Dreams

At writing group we are given a list of prompts and 10-20 minutes to write. The idea is to just write. The result is a raw, probably unfinished piece of work. Below is what I wrote at group recently. This is very raw. I revised nor added nothing.

The prompt: What if your pillow collected your dreams and you could plug it in to your laptop and watch them over and over again?

Pillow Dreams
By Mary Patricia Bird

I awoke at 3 a.m. in a hot sweat. I had been dreaming. I know you should write down your dreams immediately so as not to forget them, but I was more concerned with my moist clothes and dry mouth. I changed my pajamas and got a drink of water, then I climbed back into bed and immediately fell asleep.

When I awoke in the morning my mind was blank. The dream had completely disintegrated from my mind. Frustrated, I sat up and stared at my pillow. It was a new pillow, one I had just bought the day before. I was just now noticing a black cord sticking out of the pillow case. I pulled on it but it didn’t budget. Upon further examination I realized it was actually attached to the pillow, the end a USB connection.

Curious, I grabbed my laptop and plugged the USB into it. Strange images appeared on the screen – colourful squiggly lines which eventually faded into darkness.

Like a movie, a scene began to appear. A tree, and then another tree, and then another. I was staring at a dark forest. It wasn’t just any forest though. It was familiar to me. I became mesmerized as I “moved” through the forest until I reached a clearing where an old cabin stood.

“Oh God,” I moaned. This was a scene from my dream. As it came back to me I felt sweat trickling down between my breasts. If this was my dream I knew what was going to happen. I tried to focus, to stay put, not moving, but the cabin grew larger on the screen as, obviously, I approached it.

My heart began to quicken and I brought one hand to my chest, the other to cover my eyes slightly. I didn’t want to look but at the same time I did.

A hand, my hand, reached to open the door. It was as if I was playing in a virtual reality game, but I knew this was no game and it was not going to be fun. I still could not remember exactly what lay behind that door but my mind and body were telling me it wasn’t good.

Should I hit the escape button? Unplug the USB? I couldn’t do it. I had to see, had to remember.

As the door slowly opened I walked inside the dusty old one-room cabin. My heart raced harder, my breathing quickened, my eyes widened in shock and fear………


Time’s up. How will this story end? I don’t know. How would you write the ending to this bit of flash fiction?

It's All Downhill

From the writing prompt: “I never stole your bloody car!” I wrote the following story.

It’s All Downhill
By Clare McCarthy

            I could feel my face turn crimson as I roared at the old man, “I never stole your bloody car!”
            In actual fact, I had recently purchased Newt Lymbuner’s 1929 Model A Ford Roadster from him for what I thought at the time was the extravagant sum of forty-nine dollars. I had been saving all of my earnings from that summer’s jobs to purchase my first set of wheels. 
            You might think that I had committed a crime to pay an old man such a measly small amount for one of Henry Ford’s creations. But what you may not realize is the fact that the old man had bought the vehicle used and had driven it to work daily for twenty-one years. Thus, when I bought Newt’s Model A, it had been on the road for almost all of the eighty-nine years that Newt had been alive.   
            The number of miles travelled in all of those years can create a good deal of wear-and-tear on any piece of machinery. For the forty-nine bucks that I paid Newt Lymburner for his chariot, I had to replace a dead battery to get the car running again. All five tires (and that includes the spare) were worn as smooth as a baby’s backside. The brakes were in such bad shape, it took me five miles of dragging my feet just to get the old roadster to stop. The suspension was worn so loose, at times the front end would shimmy and shake, as violently as a Hawaiian Hula Dancer, with a bad case of nerves. 
            So, as you can see, I didn’t get much for the forty-nine bucks that I’d forked out for Newt’s roadster. Maybe the old man was the real thief in the deal when he charged me as much as he did for his worn-out vehicle.
            But all of this avoids the real reason why Newt thinks that, “I stole his car!” At the age of eighty-nine, Newt Lymburner lost his driving licence, because dementia had settled in. He had forgotten completely that he had actually sold the car to me only yesterday. 
            I understand that back in 1942, Newt in his roadster had even courted and proposed to his late- wife Nellie.  
            Sad, isn’t it?
            Besides parting with his beloved chariot, and all of its related history, the old codger has lost a host of cherished memories along with it as well.             
            Who, or what, then was the real thief here in this story?

Posted on behalf of Clare McCarthy

Friday, February 24, 2017

Meeting Notes and Prompts February 18, 2017

At the next meeting (March 5th) we will be holding a Blind Book Exchange. Each attendee should bring two books wrapped in wrapping paper, newspaper, brown paper bag, comics, whatever. Anything that makes the book unrecognizable. Both of your books should be wrapped in the same paper so you know which books are your's. You don't want to end out taking home your own books.

The purpose of this is two-fold. One, to possibly introduce each other to new writers and/or genres. Two, we would like reviews of these books to be posted on this blog.

If all goes well with this Blind Book Exchange, we will arrange another one and expand it outside the group.



1. What if your pillow collected your dreams and you could plug it in too your laptop and watch them over and over again?

2. My spouse made me coffee this morning and winked at me when he/she handed me the cup. I've never before been more scared of a drink in all my life.

3. I believe there comes a time when everything just falls in line.

4. She was grateful to be living in her very own version of happily ever after.

Keep in mind the possibility of future publication when writing from prompts this year.

"There is freedom in being a writer and writing. It is fulfilling your function. I used to think freedom meant doing whatever you want. It means knowing who you are, what you are supposed to be doing on this earth, and then simply doing it." - Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down The Bones

Next Meeting with Blind Book Exchange:
Sunday, March 5th, 1:30pm, Leader: Nancy