Short Stories

Weird Dream

Illustration of girl dreaming

Writer: Dale Spencer
Written on March 03, 2013

            I hate Monday mornings thinks Samantha. They’re the worst! She stares at the classroom whiteboard and yawns before resting her head on her desk.

            “You’re dreaming,” exclaims a male voice.

            She lifts her head. Weird. He’s not in our class. How come no one else seems to notice? After blinking several times, she whispers, “Leave me alone.”

            “No. Come with me.”

            “Look. I didn’t sleep well last night,” says Samantha. Not to mention my so-called best friend is twofaced! I can’t believe she said those things about me at Steve’s party.

            “You never woke up. We have to go now!”

            “What?”

            He grabs her arm. “Samantha, your life is in danger.”

            “Let me go, you psycho.” She looks around. No one is aware of their presence. Her forehead creases, “I don’t understand…what’s going on?”

            He rolls his eyes. “Just come with me. I’ll explain as we go.” Yanking her forward, he drags Samantha through the classroom door. They rush down the empty hallway.  

            “Your dream…I’ve changed it. It won’t be long before he notices.”

            “He?”

            The boy doesn’t respond. He stares straight ahead.

            She frees herself from his grasp, narrowing her eyes, “Hey, who are you? And what do you mean I’m dreaming?”

            “I’m Josh. Look, the one who did this to you wants you dead. But he can’t pull the plug on your mind until you reach a blissful state.” He motions her to go on.

            “Trust me,” she scoffs, “There’s nothing ‘blissful’ about this place.”  

            “Again, I altered your dreamscape. You were supposed to win a chance to be a singing contender on a reality show. Everyone at your high school would admire you.”

            “Oh. Well, I suppose that would change my mood.” She grins, “Especially if I got to rub it in my former bestie’s face.” She pauses, “Why would anyone want me dead?”

            “Your mother took something that doesn’t belong to her. A research associate of hers wants to kill you and hold your older brother’s mind ransom until she returns it.”

            “What did she take?”

            “No time to explain. Let’s go!”

            They rush outside. Josh stops, causing Samantha to bump into him.

            A man stands before them. He gives them a glassy stare. “Joshua, what are you doing?”

            Josh stays in front of Samantha. “I won’t let you do it. She’s innocent. She’s done nothing wrong.”

            “Fool! I told you to quit monitoring this girl’s dreamscape. Your obsession with her has gotten out of hand.”

            Samantha’s eyes widen. He’s been watching my dreams? She turns and sees Josh staring down at his feet.

            Josh reaches into his pocket and pulls out a hand gun. He cocks and aims it at the man, “Sorry, Sam. When you left Friday night’s football game, I injected you with a serum that allows us to monitor and control dreams. Please forgive me. Say goodbye, Dr. Jenkins.”

            “Are you crazy?!” gasps Samantha, but she does remember feeling a sharp sting on her arm last Friday. So it wasn’t a bee.

           “If you release her mind,” says Dr. Jenkins, “I’ll have you arrested for possession of drugs. Isn’t that why you agreed to help me in the first place? Don’t you want a clean record, boy?”

           “Not at the expense of someone’s life.”

           Samantha hears the sound of a bullet. Everything around her turns white, and she sees that she’s sitting up in her own bed. She remains there for over an hour, contemplating school, her social life, Josh, and whether or not she has been a victim of dream control.

           A young man tosses a wrinkled shirt over his head. He stops in her doorway. “Shouldn’t you be in school? Mom will be mad.”

           She glances at her clock. “You’re late too. Let me guess. Today is ‘Senior Skip Day?’”

           “I’ll take you to school if you keep your mouth shut about this.”

           “Deal.” She grins. “Oh, and Andrew…”

           “Yes?”

           “Did you by chance have a weird dream last night?”

           He lifts a brow up. “No. But you’re the weird one in the family.” He glances at his cell phone. “Speaking of weird, have you heard the latest news? One of Mom’s co-workers, named Dr. Peter Jenkins, was in pursuit of a troubled teen. He just got hit by a car and died. The kid convinced the authorities that Jenkins was blackmailing him. It says here that Peter was giving his test subjects drugs that induced dreamlike hallucinations without their permission. Several people have already died from his experiments. He was working on a project related to oneirology.”

           He pauses. “Before she left today, Mom told me that she planned to expose someone at work for unethical practices. I wonder if she was referring to him. Weird, huh?”

           Samantha clears her throat. “Yeah, weird.”

 

 Obsolete Toys

Greenpeace photo on e-waste

Writer: Dale Spencer
Written on May 05, 2013
 Revised on July 05, 2013 

        Someday thinks Xī Wàng, I will make my father proud.

        Her tiny bare feet shuffle through the ashen grounds, shattered plastics, and computer monitors as she plays tag with the other children. Feeling faint, she coughs several times. She has to rest. Something wet is leaking from her nose. It’s blood. She can taste it in her mouth.

        Her father appears. He takes a dirty rag and wipes her face. Its sticky touch and pungent smell nauseate her.

        “Work” — his blistered hands shake a bucket filled with copper wires and metal scraps — “or there’ll be no money for rice.” 

The short story above, “Obsolete Toys,” was inspired by a current environmental issue that I wasn’t aware of until recently. It’s one of the fastest growing waste problems, e-waste. Do you know where recyclers are dumping most of your electronic waste? The truth can be shocking! Click here to see a news report and video on it.   

 

3 Responses to “Short Stories”

  1. R. Thomas Says:

    This story grabs my attention accept I want to know more.

  2. Laura Oliva Says:

    Wow, cool story! And great job on your website- love what you’ve done with the place!

  3. Jane Says:

    Awesome job! I concur, really nice site.

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