Wednesday’s Rambling Writer – I Just Had The Weirdest Dream + ROW80

I have been wanting to write another flash fiction piece for a while now and as I didn’t have anything in particular planned for today’s Wednesday’s Rambling Writer post, I thought that a flash piece might just be on the cards. I had a niggling feeling that Haley Whitehall had posted a challenge for this month so I went searching and sure enough she had…

The theme this month was Dreams. More specifically, you are to write a piece revolving around a dream. The rules are listed here:

  • Genre: Anything goes. Mystery, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, horror, fantasy, slip-stream, or whatever. Warning if it horror I’ll be reading through my fingers.
  • Word count: It should be 500 words or less (go ahead and write some more if you really must ).
  • How to share: You can put it up on your blog and link here or (if you don’t have a blog) you can email it to me and I’ll put it in a post for you.
  • Time limit: From now until the next challenge is posted.

Now, just by coincidence my husband had a weird dream a few nights ago, when he recounted it to me I thought  it might make a cool story. So I quickly (like really quickly, so excuse any errors) typed up a flash piece. Only problem is I couldn’t get it down to 500 words (honestly I didn’t even try to, it is 728 words and it is almost bedtime so editing just seems to difficult).

Anyway, here it is. I hope you like it. As always let me know what you think. (Oh and BTW some ROW80 stuff is at the bottom!)

I Just Had The Weirdest Dream

He was trying to avoid looking at it, to avoid thinking about it, but it was huge – how could you possibly avoid it? Instead he focused on his daughter’s face.

“Daddy, I’m scared.” Her words sharpened his senses. “What is it?”

“It’s just a cloud, don’t look at it.”

They had first heard about it on the news less than 2 hours ago. The news broadcast had been a warning sent out to all residents in The Valley, they had received text messages too – one of those new emergency-mass-transmission ones. The message had been simple.

‘The viral cloud is coming. It will hit The Valley within the hour. Do not inhale the fog. People with purple discolouration in their eyes should be avoided.’

The interviewers were talking about how violent the infected people were. There were fresh warnings to trust no one – not even your neighbours.

About that time he had turned off the news and returned it to the kid’s channel – his son and daughter sat together holding hands.

That was when the screaming had started – as if the enormous black haze that was floating down the main street of town was not terrifying enough, now they also had to contend with a mass of rioters and who knew how many of them were infected. He could hear their screams, the loud falls of their feet against the pavement as they progressed past his house.

When a brick careened through the front window he realised that their current location wasn’t safe – they needed to leave The Valley.

“We have to get out of here.” He saw his kid’s eyes open wide as he spoke; he knew the thought of leaving the house was terrifying; I mean it was scary for him, he couldn’t imagine how daunting it would be for a 5 and 7 yr old. “I need you to stay close to me at all times. Keep these on,” he said, fitting thin paper masks over the kid’s faces. “And keep moving forward.”

He knew from watching the news that the authorities had set up a barricade around the borders of town, if he could make it there, away from the rioters and infected people, he knew everything would be alright.

As a precaution he slipped his Smith and Wesson handgun into his pocket before they left.

The first assault occurred as they reversed their car of the driveway. The woman came out of nowhere, screaming at him to stop. She was hysterical, her tears smearing mascara all over her face. He didn’t look into her eyes; he didn’t want to see the evidence of infection. He told his kids to close their eyes as he kept on driving – her body felt like nothing more than a speed bump.

He drove in the opposite direction to the cloud. They made it four of the required six blocks before they were forced to get out of the car and walk, the road was filled with abandoned cars. The second assault occurred only a block from the barricade – they could already see the gates when a man with grey hair ran at them, his arms flailing wildly, his words running together into an unintelligible mess.

He couldn’t risk the man getting too close – he removed his gun from his pocket and fired a single round. The man’s head exploded.

A tall police officer loomed over the gate; he pushed his kids towards him. In the background he could hear a voice, crackling through the static on the man’s radio.

“The virus causes severe hallucinations. There is no cure. Eradication is the only option. You are green-lighted to kill on sight.”

As the officer took a step towards him he caught a glimpse of his own reflection in the man’s badge. He looked manic, his hair dishevelled, his face splattered with blood, the whites of his eyes a deep shade of purple.

He lifted his gaze and came face to face with the police officers gun. Two images flashed before his eyes – the woman with the mascara smeared face and the grey haired man. With a sickening twist in his gut he realised he knew them both – his wife, his father. The crack of the gun was deafening.

I sat up in bed, heart pounding, covered in sweat. I turned to my wife.

“I just had the weirdest dream…”

Okay so onto ROW80. Straight into it! Here are my word counts for the week:

Thurs – 749

Fri – 761

Sat – 562

Sun – 1020

Mon – 745

Tues – 556

Wed – 528

Which gives me a total for the week of 4921 and a total so far for ROW80 of 27732. Which I am pretty happy with. I managed to hit my 500 everyday and I read more than half of Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone, which was my other main aim for the week.

So goals for the coming week include:

  1. 500 words a day on Soul Hunter
  2. Comment on at least 10 ROW80 blogs
  3. Finish Kristen’s book
  4. Finish critiquing a short story for a friend

I hope you are all going well with your goals and that you liked my story.

Jody Moller

8 responses to “Wednesday’s Rambling Writer – I Just Had The Weirdest Dream + ROW80

  1. Really good word counts, well done!

    I enjoyed your story. I enjoy stories where ‘the enemy’ is something you can’t control like a viral cloud.

    I hope the rest of your week goes well!

  2. Pingback: September Flash Fiction Challenge – Powers

  3. Thank you for participating in another one of my flash fiction challenges. Eerie story, Jody!
    The historian in me feared that the line, “It’s just a cloud, don’t look at it,” was referring to Hiroshima. This is the kernel of a great idea. I think you could develop this into a novel.

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