We probably all have the memories of a few dreams floating around in our minds, especially the more vivid or disturbing ones we’ve had at some time in our lives. I even remember a couple of dreams from as early as five or six years old. Today’s prompt is to write a story based on a dream that you’ve had.
If you’re reading ahead, keep this prompt in mind for the next time you wake up from a notable dream as well. Jot it down in your handy bedside notebook or use your phone voice recorder. As they say, chance favors the prepared mind. Get it down quick before daylight clears away the details.
Now, write your dream story.
If the resulting story seems surreal (and it probably will) that’s great. People put a lot of effort into achieving that eerie, dreamscape feel and here you’ve pulled it off effortlessly.
Don’t explain that it’s a dream or show a character going to sleep or waking up. Just let it be a surreal, experimental little piece.
Here’s a quick dream story of mine as an example:
People pushed behind her and in front of her in the crowded queue. May set down the old cardboard suitcase to wipe her brow, her usually sleek hair quiff undone, bangs splayed out wildly. “What time is it? Dear Lord, I pray she gets the babies here.”
Her husband, Dean, didn’t answer. His gaze was fixed on the plate glass window. The hot July day outside screamed of Kool-Aid popsicles around some lucky neighbor’s pool.
The eerie siren started up again from somewhere off in the distance.
“Give me the phone.” May took it and pushed in numbers furiously. “Phone’s dead. Goddammit. Goddammit, where are they?”
“Language, young lady,” said a man behind her, causing Dean to break his trance and bristle.
“Sorry, Sir,” she said to the man. “Sissy and Baby Dean!” She covered her face and wept. The snake tat showing below the sleeve of her Betty Crocker style dress flexed rhythmically as if swallowing a pinky. The line moved up.
May tapped her long red fingernails on the counter. “How many, ma’am?” the ticket clerk said. Over the intercom, a woman called: “Last train out of Chattanooga, boarding. Last call for the last train out of Chattanooga.” May tapped her fingernails on the counter. The ticket clerk said, “How many, ma’am? How many?”