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?
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?