Writing Prompt #4: Dream HarvestingI recently had a dream – one of those dreams that pulls you in and captures you, that you hate to wake up from – it was so detailed and real. I woke up feeling as though I’d lost something important.
I tried to remember everything I could, tried to write down all the details that were fresh in my mind. But it wasn’t enough. I lost so much, I could just feel it.
I like to refer to these as my material dreams because these dreams are where I find my best story ideas – where I get great writing material.
When I think about it, I realize that a LOT of my stories came into existence via my subconscious. I wasn’t sitting around trying to think up an idea – I was sleeping and it just developed.
So, for this writing prompt:
Take a recent dream – or a recurring dream with which you’re very familiar – and write a snippet of the story behind that dream. Since it’s a dream, put yourself in the place of the main character and write in First Person P.O.V.
The lights flashed ahead: blue and red. I braked as I approached the scene, creeping in carefully. With so many police cars and so many flashing lights, I was expecting a car wreck of some intensity. However, as I neared, there was merely a blockade and police shining flashlights through car windows.
Must be a sobriety check point, I thought.
I lined up with the cars in front of me and lowered the volume of my stereo. It wasn’t necessary, but it seemed that lowering the volume was always the proper thing to do in the car when something important or serious was happening, regardless of whether or not volume had anything to do with the situation.
As our line inched forward, I thought I saw movement in the darkness just beyond the bubble of flashing cop lights. Upon closer inspection, it turned to be an advertising banner for a local pizza joint staked into the ground and flapping in the breeze. I shook my head. It was late and I had worked a twelve hour shift at the office editing reports. I was tired – my eyes were tired.
My turn at the blockade came quickly. I rolled my window down as one of the officer’s approached my car. He flashed the light in my face and peered into the backseat of my Jeep.
“License and registration, please,” he said.
I unclipped the insurance paperwork from the underside of my visor and handed it over so he could skim over it while I retrieved my license from my purse. He waited patiently but continued to flash the light into the backseat as if expecting to find something illegal there.
“Have you seen or heard anything unusual this evening?” he asked.
“No, not particularly,” I answered, giving him my license.
“Well, all seems to be in order here,” he said after a long moment, returning the paperwork. “But I want you to head directly home and stay inside this evening.”
“We’ve had a lot of bad things happen to a lot of good people tonight,” he said cryptically, glancing over his shoulder at another officer who was checking out another driver in the next line over. “We hope to have the matter resolved soon, but it’s my suggestion that you get yourself somewhere safe and keep an eye on the news.”
I opened my mouth to ask him for a better explanation but he stepped away from my car and began waving me through the blockade. I drove through reluctantly and found myself backed up in another line slowly advancing through a small detour. Again, I saw a flash of movement off the side of the highway, but there were no advertisements or signs posted there.
My conversation with the cop had left me feeling uneasy and as I stared out my window, searching for something creeping through the night, I locked my doors as a simple precaution. The line of cars progressed forward and I finally approached the detour, which led us away from the center lane of the highway.
There were several more police cars stationed there, making up a half-circle around something I couldn’t make out. Men in black suits milled about talking with the officers and scribbling down notes on pocket-sized paper.
As I passed through the detour, I was certain that I had seen a man out of the corner of my eye. I looked, thinking my paranoia was simply getting the better of me. Then suddenly, a hand slapped flat against my driver’s side window and my door handle rattled loudly as the hooded man fought against the lock.
I floored the gas pedal and swerved into the ditch, passing the car in front of me. My heart was beating in my throat, the pulses reaching down to the tips of my fingers. I careened wildly to the side, gripping my steering wheel with white knuckles, and steadied the vehicle.
Once I had pulled back onto the highway, maintaining my frantic speed, I looked into my rear view mirror. He was there behind me, driving what looked absurdly like a cement mixing truck. I panicked, veering off the highway to take the first exit onto the city streets.
I passed into a small park, thinking I could outrun the large truck on the narrow residential streets nearby. However, he was on me in moments, ramming that massive truck into my back bumper. I screamed as the steering wheel ripped backwards out of my hands. The car began to skid sideways and then I hit something hard and fast.
When I opened my eyes, I was pinned upside down in my car, hanging from my seatbelt. Blood was dripping down my face, but I didn’t feel too much pain. I fumbled with the seat belt, one hand braced on the roof above me, and then it clicked and I crumpled to the ground. I kicked the driver’s side window, trying to get out of the car, but the window wouldn’t budge. They made those things stronger than I had imagined.
He’s out there, I thought.
I tried to find another escape route. The windshield was crushed but it too refused to break loose with the minor amount of force I put on it. Behind me the rear end of the car was more elevated than the front, so I squeezed into the backseat and managed to get the back door to open into a gap just wide enough for me to fit through.
I collapsed onto the ground – what felt like hard dirt – and rolled onto my back. The hooded man was leaning against my crushed back bumper watching me with amused eyes. I tried to scream but no sound would come out of my open mouth. I could only stare at him with my jaw dangling open.
He pushed off the car and slowly moved towards me. I tried to scream again. The police were so close…If only I could scream. I stood, swaying on my feet, and tried to run. My feet refused to respond, and I tripped, slamming back into the ground.
He continued walking towards me. He was patient. I wasn’t going anywhere, so he relished the moment, taking it in slowly.
I felt his hand on my ankle.
And I tried to scream again…
And remember: if you wanna share your own writing prompt, drop it in the comments! Write on!