Friday, June 4, 2010

Dream Sequence Blogfest

So very last minute over at Elizabeth Mueller's blog, I find out about a Dream Sequence Blogfest being hosted by Amalia T.  
I don't think I have ever participated in a blogfest.  But dream sequences are part of what my current work in progress is about.  
The following scene is very raw example of the 'condition' that my MC--Damien deals with daily.

The queasiness in my stomach told me that I was lost in someone else’s dream again. It had been happening for months and I still hadn’t gotten used to it.
The night of my sixteenth birthday, it happened for the first time.  When I woke up my head felt like someone had used it for batting practice.  After I figured out that these dreams weren’t my own it became easy to distinguish when I wasn’t dreaming.
Gives a whole new meaning to “pinch me I must be dreaming.”    
In someone else’s dream, everything outside the dreamers mental focus appears in black and white.  Landscapes further from the dream center appeared vague and blurred as if I were walking around without my glasses.  Even the sounds of the dream becomes muddled the further I am from the dream center. 
I always felt a little bit safer being out of the dreamer’s focus, because sometimes people would remember seeing me in their dreams if I didn’t.  If I could, I would stay in the blurry outskirts of the dreams but it is only when I get closer to the vivid colors and crisp objects that the sickness in my stomach eases. 

My lack of focus, the gurgling of my stomach and grayish hue of my skin let me know I was far from of the dreamer’s focus.   Bile burned my throat, so—I headed toward the vivid colors. 
Unmarked gravestones surrounded me.  I figured names were just something that this dreamer’s mind just hadn’t generated.  Across the cemetery, there was a ceremony taking place near a short casket in color.
I began to walk with purpose forgetting that I cover ground much quicker in the dream state.  It only took seconds to reach the congregated group.  You could taste the sadness in the air.  I know that sounds weird, but emotions were very different in dreams. 
A young mother in the front row hugged an infant to her chest as she sobbed on the shoulder of her husband.  No one could even look up at the pastor as he spoke about loss and tragedy.  There were subtle glances at the tiny casket, but other than that everyone cast their eyes to the ground.
In fact, I think I was the only one that noticed the lady walking toward the group.  She proceeded slowly with her white dress draping the ground.  Her face was veiled.  Cradled in her arms was a swaddled infant.  With slow precision, she made her way closer to the group.  She started to gain the crowd’s attention, when she approached the mourning couple. Everyone was silenced and waiting.
The white lady bowed her head toward her swaddled child and hugged the bundle to her chest.  Her shoulders shook in a sob. 
“I can’t...  I can’t live like this any longer,” said the voice beneath the veil.  She handed the baby to the man who had been comforting his mourning wife.  He glanced down at the baby he had just been gifted and then to his wife.  While I stood confused they seemed to comprehend exactly what had happened.
The white lady then proceeded to the closed casket.  She clasped her hands over her chest. From beneath her hands black flamed over the white flowing fabric of her dress as if her despair singed the white dress completely blackening it with grief.  But when her veil vanished I felt as if the breath had been sucked from my lungs.  She was my mother.
I stood there stunned and staring.  I knew dreams could be disjointed and complete nonsense, but this dream and the emotions were so thick.  I guess the fact that I hadn’t been close to my mother in weeks made seeing her in this dream now hit me that much harder.
The funeral party vanished.  Only she, I, and the casket remained at the graveside.  This was her dream. 
There was my mother, the same woman who could no longer look at me—her son.  I felt like that baby she had just abandoned so easily when it would need her the most.  The fire was burning within me and my heart pounding.  She was giving up just the way she had on me.
In a low voice, somewhere between a plead and a demand, I said “Mom?”   She seemed unaware of my presence as she crumpled to the ground next to the small casket and opened it.
“Mom,” I said louder more forceful.  The lump in my throat was growing.  I couldn’t swallow the pain back.  My eyes were burning; my breathing deepened and I clenched my teeth.  Then, I exploded.  “Mother, look at me now!” 
She looked up at me. “Damien,” she said. It was nice to hear her say my name to have her look at me.  Yet there was nothing but sadness in her eyes.  She returned her attention to the casket and removed the corpse of an infant.  She hugged it to her and sobbed.
As I watched her pain, my anger melted.  I knelt beside her.  I wanted to comfort her the way she had always comforted me in the past.  I wanted to look in her eyes again.  Somehow, I knew that if only she would look at me she would stay here with me and fix my problems.  “Mom, I need you.”
     For a moment, she looked at me.  I could feel her love the emotional barrier separating us was fading.  I reached for her.  The movement reawakened her previous resolve. She closed her eyes, her head hung and she sobbed harder. “I can’t. I can’t live like this.” Tears washed down her cheeks, and our surroundings changed to a mausoleum.
A large stone casket lay open in the center of the tomb.  She rose with the infant in her arms.  My eyes bore into her back as she stood there frozen for a long moment.  She glanced over her shoulder to look at me once more.  She levitated above the casket.
     I was losing her for good.  “Please stay?”  My words brought her instantly before me.
 She raised her hand to my cheek and tucked my hair back.  “Sweet boy, it is too late.  My baby is dead.” 
I wanted to object to tell her no, I was her boy and I was living right here.  But she had faded like smoke before me.  She was in the stone coffin holding the small corpse. 
The sound of the stone grinding closed filled the crypt.  A chill ran up my spine.  With all my strength I struggled to stop the stone.  It was useless. 
A deafening echo boomed.  My mother was sealed in a house of death.  All was black and I was back in my room—awake with another migraine.

There you have it my first Blogfest.

9 Awesome Reactions:

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You did quite well for your first blogfest, Amber.

Wow, that is a powerful passage. You've tapped into most the Jungian archetypes in those few words. Magnificent job.

You know, I must be having someone else's dream some days because those times I sure feel out of focus!


sarahjayne smythe said...

Congrats on your first blogfest.
Very powerful piece and an excellent entry for this.

Carolyn V. said...

Amber Lynae! Awesome! Great writing. I was intrigued the whole time. =)

EJ Fechenda said...

How terrifying to be a teenage boy and have his ability. Then add his mother's dream into the mix...very sad. I want to know more about his "gift" and to see some non-dream state interaction with his mother. Very interesting, great work!

elizabeth mueller said...

Wow, Amber, this is so awesomeable! It is terrifying and agonizing to feel what your mc was feeling. I want to know why she' can't love him anymore and who that baby was.

I'm thinking that maybe the baby was him and he thought that he'd lived on but was only a ghost and thought he was flesh? Wow, impressive.
You'll love blogfests. I do my best to be in as many as I can! :)

Thanks for sharing!

Kris & Kels said...

I loved the ideas and your story line! Great work!

<3 Kelsey Leigh

Hayley said...

This was amazing for a first blogfest! I was so enthralled in everything I just wanted his mother to reach out and pull him into a hug when he said he needed her. Thank you for sharing this was amazing!!!

Amalia T. said...

Welcome to the world of blogfests! I loved the idea of tasting emotions in dreams. I would love to have seen more of that strange sensory swapping in the scene. This was really powerful, the imagery and symbolism was pretty chilling, too. Thanks so much for participating!

Valerie said...

Welcome to the mighty world of blogfests! This one was pretty nuts, with some really striking content. Your details were good and very dreamlike. One thing I noticed is that sometimes you want to explain things to the reader, for example: "You could taste the sadness in the air. I know that sounds weird, but emotions were very different in dreams." What you might want to do instead is describe the taste of sadness tangibly and leave out the observation; by describing it, you've established the rule and you don't need to spell it out for us. Trust us readers to use our noggins and put two and two together! Let the sensory descriptions do the work. Hope to see you in more blogfests soon!