Monthly Competition – September 2021

About Forums Den of Writers Monthly Competition Monthly Competition – September 2021

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    Dreams. Most of us have them. Most of my stories are touched by the dreams I’ve been lost in for years. In 300-500 words, write a dreamscape based on the nocturnal playground your mind likes to romp in when your eyes close and you turn in from the outer world. It can be based on a recent dream, a recurring one, a dream you had when you were a child that you’re only now remembering as you read this. If you don’t dream, and have no inspiration for this piece, write anything you like, so long as the story is dream-like, and the writing dreamy. Get lost in it. I can’t wait to see what you bring out with you, on the other side ✨


    Oh my days…I’m going to be spoilt for choice, the state of my dreams! I’ll avoid the teeth-dropping out ones and see what else weird and wonderful I recorded in my dream diary.


    😃😊 Yayyy! Nothing makes me happier than that which is weird and wonderful. I personally won’t mind teeth-dropping out ones. There’s beauty in nightmare as well ✨


    One of my instant thoughts was teeth dropping out! But like you, Squidge, I’ll set that one aside. Though perhaps there’s horror story material there…


    Most of my dreams are about me being chased, and my running away. Seems to be a recurring motif in my dreamscape. Sometimes it’s horrifying, other times a call to adventure, and most times, something in between the two 😊


    In the place and time I found myself, I had done something wrong.

    My punishment? A chain of large metal links, secured around my throat, pressing against my flesh, reminding me of its presence every time I swallowed or turned my head.

    A man, with whom I had a connection – were we related? Was he the reason for my wrongdoing? – received the same punishment. We left the place where the chains had been imposed upon us together, and I held his hand to give me confidence as we walked, in the time afterwards, through the busy market place.

    The chains showed above our collars.

    “It’s so visible,” I said to him.

    People avoided us, moved quickly out of the way when they saw the markers we wore, averted their eyes after the initial glance and the double-take which followed, and one last horrified stare. On the bus, I tried not to notice them noticing, tried not to care, tried to wear my punishment lightly.

    But the chain marked me out as different, as other, as having done
    wrong, although I knew not what it was that had been judged so.

    For the first time, I dared to touch the new and unfamiliar addition to my person.

    The chain fell away, and I held it out to my companion.

    “It came off,” I said.

    (Bit on the short side, 221 words, but based on a dream I recorded 8/8/19)



    Jay says he loves me. He says ‘I love you, man’. He tells me he’s killed his mother, or maybe I just think that he did. He says he crushed her like Plasticine, but I can remember that it was really me who crushed my mother. She was made of red plastic and her feet were set on a little tab so she could be stood up. I crushed her with my thumb. I remember the pain and guilt.

    But Jay says we all get second chances, even though we screwed up so badly first time. So here we both are. I tell everybody I don’t have to do this. Not really. I don’t need it. Not really. It kind of doesn’t matter that, yet again, I haven’t done anything. There’s a meeting I have to be in, or maybe it’s an exam I have to take and I really haven’t any idea what it’s about. But I say it again. I assure everybody it doesn’t matter. We laugh at how unimportant it is that I’m wasting the kind of opportunity that should only come once. And the point is I know it’s not true. I’m going to be found out.

    Jay is fitting in well. He’s going to win something and he knows all the people here. My father is over there. He’s got a plate with sandwiches and stuff from the buffet. Jay bumps him walking by and I feel angry and want to beat him into a pulp. Dad doesn’t even notice. I just worry that I’m wasting my time. I shouldn’t be here.

    Dad says, ‘You know all the food is poisoned.’

    I say, ‘It’s out of date. But there wasn’t time.’

    He eats it anyway and I have a flash of anger or maybe fear. So greedy, he’ll eat poisoned food. Then I remember I don’t have to do this so it doesn’t matter. I feel a sharp stab of sadness for my anger at him. I don’t like the way things are going. I remember my dad is dead. He shouldn’t be here to witness this. And I shouldn’t be here, failing all over again. This is getting too confused.

    Not good. The pillow is damp under my sticky mouth. My head aches. At least it’s over and I’m awake.

    It occurs to me that I don’t know anybody called Jay.

    398 words

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