Sunday 15 September 2013

Keepers - MWBB

My days of Flash Fiction writing are slowing down as I want to focus on editing my existing novel and gear up to this years National November Writing Month, which I really want to achieve this time round - third time lucky!

I found the song for this weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster inspired something dark, but I don't think I gave it enough time to gestate. I had a busy week doing other things and so rushed it a bit too much.

The prompt song this week was:
Red Eyes and Tears, by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

In her dream she was in a nightclub; she could feel the thump thump of the music in her chest. It was getting harder to breathe the harder it thumped. She gasped as something touched her face.

Laura opened her eyes. She could just make out a black hooded figure above her. She opened her mouth to scream, but she could only hear the screaming music. Then there was breathing in her ear. A hand trailed down the side of her torso to her leg. Her clothes were still on, but her arms were tied to something behind her. She felt her eyes bulge as she tried to look around her, but it was too dark, there were only shapes.

Her mind raced. She’d been in her car in the parking lot leaving the campus; fiddling with the CD player. Something had come from behind. Something had covered her mouth. Then there was nothing.

A whisper, “I’ve been waiting so long my love.”

A man’s voice; soft and gentle. He touched her face; fingers searching, touching her mouth, pushing into the side of it; metallic taste - dirty.

She could hear her laboured breaths over the loud drone of repeating lyrics. She shifted. Her ankles were tied. Was she on a bed?

He continued to whisper. “I have you at last. You’re here. I can’t wait to show you my love. Oh I can’t wait to show you.”

His voice brought an image; the common room at lunchtime. A conversation. A debate. The boy opposite her slouched back, long hair covering half his face. He spoke in short sentences, gentle tones. Did she know him? What was his name?


The figure jerked, pulling back out of her view.

“Is it you Nathaniel? Why are you doing this?”

Silence. She shifted again, feeling the strength of the ties. No give. Then something covered her face and her attempts to scream were stifled by unconsciousness.

Laura was shivering so hard she jolted awake. It was raining; she was soaked. It was night, but the sodium lamps were working. The alleyway was empty. The stiffness in her legs as she staggered to her feet told her she’d been here a while. She found her car at the curb, dark and empty. The keys were in the ignition, her purse on the seat. She couldn’t have dreamt it, could she?

When Laura arrived on Campus the next day she looked for Nathaniel in the lecture theatre. He was at the top, hair hanging over his face. She switched on the overhead beamer and addressed the class.

“Ladies and Gentleman, last night I had an anomaly; a moment I wasn’t sure was real or whether I was dreaming. So our task for today is to consider, how do we know the difference between reality and dreams? How can we be sure which is which? Give me your thoughts.”

Hands shot up immediately, including his.

“Let’s try one at the back. Nathaniel, isn’t it?”

“Yes, Miss.” The gentle tones were the same.

“Tell me Nathaniel, what do you think?”

“Rational thinking and logic, Miss.”

“Go on?”

“When awake we can think coherently, we can run our thoughts through a process. In dream state time and events jump about.”

“Give me a for instance?”

“Well say something happens, something disorientates you,” Laura went cold. “You have to take the key markers of the event and see if they run coherently, if one things plays after the other or whether they jump about. Like if you were in one place, then suddenly in another.”

“But there can be other reasons for that, like if you had fallen asleep - or even drugged - someone could move you?”

“Yes Miss, but is that logical? Is it likely?”

Laura didn’t respond, jumping to another student and continuing the class. When it was over she busied herself as the students filed out, preparing for the next class. She heard someone singing. A chill ran up her spine as she recognised some words; ‘Red eyes and tears’. She turned and saw Nathaniel. He smiled.

“Sorry Miss, I love that song. I just listen to it over and over.”

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