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January 16th, 2002, 04:11 PM
I have a story idea about a dream character that comes to life. It is a much more complex idea than that but I don't want to give to much away. I am looking for people who are interested in the idea and who want to discuss it with me and/or critique my writing. This is what I have so far:



That first time she saw it, she tried to ignore it. She closed her eyes, her head swimming and tried to count slowly to one hundred, but it didn't go away. She knew it wouldn't. In fact, it had grown. Well, maybe not grown exactly. Maybe it had just moved. She could see what almost looked like eyes now and what might be a red tongue flicking against her wrist. The only thing she knew for sure was that she didn't like the look of the thing. It made her stomach queasy. She hated reptiles, especially snakes, and she was pretty sure that this was some kind of snake. Initially, she couldn't be sure though because she thought she saw four small legs spreading suspiciously out of it main body.
It spoke with a low, liquid burble, a seductive curling voice, "In the beginning there was darkness, that much they say, but there's a lot you might not know. The statement I think, therefore, I am leads to a weighty responsibility you know."
She thought that a strange introduction, damn strange actually, "Who are you?" she demanded.
"I am the snake," it answered, with a blink as if that should have been perfectly obvious.


It was dark. It was always dark in the dream to start with. Lights flashed. She could feel the movement underneath her, a slow steady rocking accompanied by a repetitive clack. She waited with considerable anticipation, so much so she could feel it in the back of the throat. Her mouth was dry and the air tasted stale like cigarettes and old men. The image of the girl faded slowly into view across from her as the lights grew gradually brighter. Her black socks peaked out of the top of her old army boots, reaching up to just under her tightly pressed together knees. She wore what looked like a school uniform: a plaid skirt, a v-neck sweater, and a white cotton blouse with a crisp white collar. Her skin glowed with a pale luminescence in the murky greenish light.
The alarm woke her abruptly. Not again she thought, every night this week it had been the same. She fought to free herself from the twisted, sweaty sheets. The dream just made no sense at all. Her reaction to it sure didn't anyway that was for sure. It wasn't much of a nightmare. There was no reason to wake up this exhausted day after day. It wasn't as if the girl seemed threatening or dangerous, just familiar somehow and that was all. She gave the bedding one more kick, which sent the dog sliding off the end of the bed. It wagged its tail, dancing anxiously, and looking up at her with its big brown eyes, with a whine. She hated Mike's dog, "Yes, Herbert I know. Daddy forgot to fill your dish again didn't he." The stupid dog never paid attention to her unless it needed something.
She padded off into the kitchen, fed the dog, and grabbed a cup of the luke-warm coffee mike had made early that morning before he had left for work. She wondered briefly if she had time for a shower. She grimaced at herself in the hallway mirror, sipping at her coffee. What the hell, she looked clean enough. It was Monday and she didn't give a damn. The idea of a shower just seemed like it would take too much energy. The idea of the hot water and steam just made her feel even more ill. She felt like she might have another stomach ache coming on and her head hurt. She had to stop skipping breakfast like this all the time, but the idea of getting up any earlier just seemed impossible lately.
She put her dirty mug in the sink. Besides, she had to hurry if she was going to catch the subway to work, and she couldn't afford to take a taxi again this month. She grabbed a sweater and a pair of slacks off the pile of dirty laundry by the door and threw her hair back into a ponytail. Pulling on the clothes and her jacket, she slid her feet into her old tennis shoes, picked up her purse and fled out the door.


Jane didn't so much hate her job as she was indifferent about it. She was indifferent about most things, since the accident. She rubbed her knee absentmindedly while she read the advertisement on the wall of the subway. It was almost unbelievable to imagine how career-minded she was in college but that was before of course. Mike had recently heard of a similar bus accident, which had happened only a few weeks ago. Apparently, the poor woman involved had been dragged for over two kilometers and they had to use dental records to identify the body.
Jane remember the shock of being whipped off her feet when the bus started with her foot caught in the front door. There had been no pain, just disbelief at suddenly being knock down to the ground. Her head hit the pavement and the air was pushed out of her lungs. Luckily, the bus driver must have heard her scream and he had stopped the bus. She didn't believe that the driver when he said he hadn't seen her running. There had been another woman boarding as she arrived at the stop and she had time to check her watch. She remembered being mad that the bus was five minutes early but also being very relieved that she had made it just in time. She had had a group meeting for a project she was working on with some of her classmates that morning and she didn't want to be late. When the driver closed the door on her foot she had shouted "Excuse me!" with frustration but to no avail.
The bus drivers of North Bay were well known for there discourtesy among the college students, and as far as she was concerned the bastard had heard her but had decided to ignore her. The could remember many times when a bus driver didn't wait for other people when they had had to run to catch it. It was a silly, cruel, game the drivers played, closing the door just as the runner reached the bus and driving away. Sometimes other passenger would even shout to the driver to let him know someone was coming, but that never mattered. This time the game had backfired. The driver hadn't closed the door quickly enough and her foot had gotten caught.
She wasn't dragged all that far, a dozen feet maybe, but that was enough. She couldn't walk and the driver had had to half carry her to a near-by bench. She didn't remember a lot of what happened after that. The driver talked on the phone and got on and off the bus several times to talk to her. She had had trouble remembering her address when her asked. The driver tried to be reassuring, to apologize. He had even helped her find a fellow classmate to explain everything to her professor. She couldn't imagine trying to explain such a ridiculous accident over the phone. She was worried he wouldn't believe her. The driver's supervisor came to pick her up and take her home so that her husband could take her to the hospital. It made her angry now to remember how she crawled up the stairs to get to her apartment and that idiot just watched her do it . Mike took her to the hospital right away and after what seemed like hours the doctors told her she had a bad knee sprain and a pulled groin.
She had tried to contact a lawyer after that, she phoned the police, local news papers, and even the radio stations. No one cared about what had happened. The lawyers said it was a traffic accident and because she hadn't suffered any life-changing injuries she didn't have the right to sue. The police said that they couldn't charge anyone with anything because it was a civil matter not a traffic accident and that she should contact a lawyer.
She had been near the top of her class before the accident. She worked hard to really do her best on her assignments and she thought she had a promising computer career in front her. Her professor had been very nice about everything. For about a month she couldn't walk without crutches, or sit for more than an hour or so and she needed a cane for another six weeks after that. School became impossible. She missed the last month and watched her grades go down the toilet. Her professor gave her a few take-home assignments and she managed to make it in to write the final exam but she knew that her certificate wasn't worth the paper it was written on. It was a gift, a well meant and intentioned but a gift just the same. She had missed a lot of important content. Mike had graduated that same year, and they decided to move to Toronto where Mike had been offered some construction work at a prefab housing company.
Jane had accepted the measly thousand dollar the city's insurance company had offered her and she got a telemarketing job at a local call center. It was possible that she could have found something better than that, if she had put some effort into looking for a job but, she didn't really care enough to try. She just wanted something simple for a while. Something that didn't require effort or thought, and as far as that went telemarketing was perfect.
The car squealed to a halt, pulling Jane from her contemplative moping. She looked dully at the passengers as they entered the car. Suddenly, one of them caught her eye, a teenage girl in a school uniform . . .

January 16th, 2002, 04:21 PM
Thanks for your post, Xalia.

We're reminding everyone here that we have a Short Story section which you can submit your works too as well, rather than clogging up the messaage boards with really long posts etc.

Once posted, readers can then give you feedback here, as well as rate your story or chapter through our rating system. To submit anything else you may wish to post, please click HERE (http://www.sffworld.net/members/sff/home.nsf/frmInputFiction!openform).

I'll get back to you on your tale once I've had a chance to read it. Welcome to the forum! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

[This message has been edited by erebus (edited January 16, 2002).]