Rén is a traditional Chinese character that can be roughly translated as "humanity" or "humaneness". The rén rén is a "benevolent" or "humane person".

Bǐ mò is a term for "pen and ink", "words" or bits of writing.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stolen


Someone has stolen something from you (or your character). Something of tremendous value. What will you do to get it back? Or will you give up?

Write a post - fiction or non - and tell us about it. Word limit is 600.



Today's prompt comes from Red Writing Hood. I had a pretty hard time coming up with an idea for this one, which I found strange. Shouldn’t this be one of the easiest things to come up with? Maybe…

Stolen

I sat up in the night, not from a dream or a nightmare, but from the sound of the door of the apartment opening. I listened for a moment, breath held tight. The door shut and someone giggled, another voice shushing the first.  Another late night out for the flat mates then…

I lay back down, closing my eyes but not to sleep. What was it that was happening before I woke? It felt like there should have been something going on. I was asleep and… I reached out in my mind, willing myself to find anything there, but no. Just darkness. Emptiness.

It had been this way for months. I didn’t remember when it had started, but no those are the wrong words too. I didn’t remember when they had stopped – my dreams. From an age before I was cognizant of such things, I had dreamed – vivid dreams, subtle dreams.

“Why don’t you write them down and make them a novel?” he once asked, “You have more ridiculous junk happen in your dreams than these silly vampire novelists have all put together.”

Ridiculous junk. He had always thought so. Other people called them “strange” or even, in my mother’s words, “nightmarish”, but not to me. To me they were just something that another part of my being was trying to tell me.

I sometimes used to wake up with a sense of urgency – the need to remember, to know what had happened in the dream, because it was real and meaningful. Other times I would awake confused – how did that end up in my head, where did it come from? Only once or twice did I wake up in fear. Dreams that frightened others at the thought were no source of terror to me. On the few occasions I did have a nightmare, they were memorable, but thankfully not re-livable.

But this seemed all in the past to me. What had once remained in my waking life had now invaded my dreamscape – a pressure, a dampening. As my daily self lost its vigor, its intention, its vitality, so did my dreams. I could manage the day to day, but the loss of my nightly reflections was unbearable. I mourned.

The doctors called it depression. My friends called it “a damn shame that someone like that could hurt someone like you.” I didn’t really call it anything – not until it was much too late.

The life that I had been living and pursuing had become a confused muddle of daily routine and wandering. I had dealt with this before – losing my way, but then I had my dreams to ground me, to help me reflect, to turn to for understanding. Now they were gone too. Stolen. 

9 comments:

Colin said...

This story does have a happy ending, right?

Carina said...

It does - I have indeed gotten my dreams and my life back. And they are much more interesting and happier (respectively).

Kim said...

This was interesting. I had no idea you were going to end up talking about depression.

MrsJenB said...

This is very well written! I don't think I've ever had the same feelings about my dreams as you do - though I've had some memorable ones which stick with me to this day, I think of dreamless sleep as being more restful.

If there's one bit of concrit I could give you, it would be to look out for overuse of commas and dashes. In other words, perhaps certain lengthy sentences could be pared down a bit or broken into two sentences instead. Maybe this jumped out at me because I know it's something I need to work on in my own writing. For example: "What had once remained in my waking life had now invaded my dreamscape – a pressure, a dampening. As my daily self lost its vigor, its intention, its vitality, so did my dreams." These are filled with very strong, pressing emotion but the length, for me, distracts from that and lessens the impact.

Still a great story and it leaves me wanting to know more - who is HE? How did he hurt you? What happened next??

Galit Breen said...

Oh so sad, scary and disconcerting.

I love dreams and their mirroring of our conscious thoughts. You really set the nighttime scene here!

I loved this part: "My friends called it “a damn shame that someone like that could hurt someone like you.” I didn’t really call it anything – not until it was much too late." because it was poignant, direct, and powerful.

Erica M said...

Yummy. Bravo. Your writing is real.

Carina said...

Erica - Literally in this case. I know it's a Red Writing Hood, but this one is also a memory.

MrsJenB - I get what you're saying about that section. Sometimes I let the sentences run on as a part of the mental process behind them, but I can see how that section got a bit long. I could have broken some of those thoughts down.


Everyone - Thanks for the comments and support!

Mandyland said...

This was great. Powerful, poignant, honest. It left me wanting to read more to see between the lines.

Great job!

Mommylebron said...

This was very interesting. I think I would feel the same way if I stopped dreaming. I enjoy my dreams, even the "scary" ones. I'm glad to know this is a memory and you are happy again!
Keep dreaming!
http://allbtwnthelines.wordpress.com

Post a Comment

Place your observations in the box.

Popular Posts