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Writing has taken off again.

Word count : 29th Jan – 500 words, 30th Jan – 600 words. Not very good, but not 0 or 100 either.

One of the first things that sent me writing was a dream I had last night (or should I say this morning?). I did a spate of free-writing. I do this from time to time, leave a notebook and pencil beside my bed for just such occasions.

I saw a strange mixture of my friends, some from kindergarten, some from school, college and my institute, some of my friends in Malaysia and Singapore. The ones from kindergarten were still small, and the ones from school had school uniforms on, it was a group of all ages, and we were on a picnic.

A picnic near an old rolling mansion, and we soon fell to exploring, all my friends broken into mixed groups, the children holding adult hands.

And then, a girl I was friends with in school and had not thought of in the longest time, came shrieking, “There’s blood, blood!”

We all shuffled together, children and adults, and went to the next room, where the wall was indeed covered in blood spatters, and pitted with holes, where the plaster had fallen off.

To me they looked like splashes of rusty old paint, but even though the splatters were dried, and looked old, there was that unmistakable, nauseating, sweet-salt smell of blood.

We all wanted out, but suddenly there was no door. No windows either. Only us, the rusted splatters on dusty, riddled, dirty walls—the child friends crying, the school friends in shock and the adult friends perplexed, trying to find their way out.

I woke up then, with the weirdest feeling of being cut, on my arms and legs, and all over my body. Though I could feel the cuts, the throbbing that usually sets in after a few seconds of painlessness, I could not see the cuts. I was pristine, whole, just the way I went to bed. No blood splatters anywhere either. No pitted walls.

I tried to get up and check myself in the mirror, and this is when I realized I was still asleep and only waking up now for real. No cuts, no blood, no strange group of friends old and new, no room painted in blood splatter. Just a dream. Well, a nightmare.

Wall, blood splatter, holes and nightmares

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • DarcKnyt says:

    Very interesting, isn’t it? The way our dreams can push us around and drive us to forget for that fleeting moment reality.

    Great picture to match the story, by the way.

  • indigobunting says:

    Vividly told. Shivers.

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