Friday Fantastic Flash – aliisaacstoryteller.com

Last weeks Friday Fantastic Flash Challenge was this;

Daydream. Vision. Nightmare. You close your eyes. Where do you go when you sleep?

First up is a newcomer to this blog and this challenge by the name of Bri Ollre, who has written a wonderfully evocative description of her dream experience…

The Fickleness of Dreams

My dreams are as vivid as reality. Their ebb and flow as natural as the waves of the sea cresting upon the shore. In them I am me, and someone else entirely; I can soar above the clouds, as if Icarus straining towards the sun; fall in love with the sounds of the forest, wrapping myself in its comforting embrace; feel the pain of a thousand wounds, all digging deep within my skin. My dreams are a portal to another way of life. Where I am not simply holding onto the reigns for dear life. Instead they are a plane of existence in which I am lord and commander, the rest of the world my loyal subjects.

There are attacks upon these planes- no land is free from despair. It’s stench rolling in like Sulphur, seeping through the cracks in my thoughts. Wrapping its slimy hands around my throat like a vice. I succumb to it always, thrashing and fighting until my body limp from exhaustion and I wake. Sweat covering my skin, and my heart beating like a constant thwack in my ears. Only the calming rise and fall of my cats breathing lulling me back into sleep.

Where again I venture into the unknown, and yet somehow familiar landscape of my dreams. Faces I’ve seen, but can’t recall, smiling up at me as I climb. Fingertips brushing at the peak of my desires, grasping with all my strength at the hope that resides there; straining to bring it back to reality. The broken images I see in the morning just a glimmer of what I accomplished; and with the rising of the sun they fade, slipping back into the shadows. Where they will soon again become reality behind the dark of my eyelids.

bri ollre

You can find out more about Bri on her blog, Little Slice of Bri (great play on words there, which really tickled me and made me like her instantly!), and on her website, www.briollre.com. Go check her out, she is extremely well-travelled, and writes very entertaining posts on the places she has visited.

Next up, one of my all-time favourite authors with a breath-taking piece, it’s Jane Dougherty…

Poplars

The trees tiptoed through the moonlight in a stately dance along the ribbon of road. I knew it was folly, but the path was so enticing I let myself be drawn into the dream. Trees’ dreams are not like ours. They dream of what they have known, soaked up into every cell through roots delving into antiquity and the ground-up bones of the earth. Dry twigs caught my hands and I felt the animosity through my fingertips. Earth shifted beneath my feet with the rumble of volcanoes and twisted like the scars left by loggers. Water dripped into my eyes from shrivelled leaves, noxious and putrid. I tried to pull away into the man-made strip between the rows of dancers, where the stench of car exhaust permeated the white, gravelly soil. Moonlight blinked and looked the other way. An owl hooted, a vixen screamed, and the steady whispering waltz went on.

Please, I begged. It wasn’t me. None of it was me.

But dream ears are deaf, and none so deaf as angry trees, guardians and frontline troops of the natural world. Brambles crawled over my skin, binding arms and legs, tying me to the swaying steps of the poplars.

Please.

The road stretches still, though the dream is ended. Dawn breaks in the world, but not here, not in the dream of the trees, where only night and death are waiting, for them, for me, for all of us.

Jane is the author of The Green Woman Trilogy, and Grá mo Chroí, Love of My Heart, Love Stories from Irish Myth (which is FREE on Smashwords, btw!), which she co-wrote with yours truly, as well as numerous poems and short stories published in various fine magazines and anthologies. You can check them out on her blog, and buy them on Amazon. Now that you have read her fabulous flash, you will be dying to read her books; I have, and highly recommend them!

Thank you so much, lovely ladies, for taking part and sharing your Fabulous Fantastic Flash!

It being the season that it is, so to this weeks challenge, and we are celebrating all things monstrous…

Demons. Witches. Vampires. Werewolves. Tell me your most monstrous story.

You can submit here, I will include links to your blog and books. Entries must be under 500 words, but please remember that I write YA, so there may be young people on this site… please keep it family friendly. I really hope you will join me and take part in the craic!


					
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31 thoughts on “Friday Fantastic Flash with Bri Ollre and Jane Dougherty

  1. ahhhhh vampires, I adore vampire stories its like my secret guilty pleasure, I haven’t ever dared to write one though…. hmmm. If I get time I will give it a bash, no promises this week, not got a thing ready for next week yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Toni thought the back bedroom odd from the outset. The smell – like something she remembered from her grandparents’ farm when she was small. ‘What’s the smell?’
    John turned from the window. ‘What smell?’
    The seller appeared behind her. ‘The farm probably. Over there.’ Toni couldn’t say why but she didn’t like him at all.
    They moved in. John wanted to use the back bedroom but she refused so it filled with the stuff they didn’t need immediately.
    When John went away for a conference Toni avoided the room until she couldn’t find the address book. ‘Damn where is it?’ She lost track of time and began to feel sleepy. She knew she should get up but dozed. Instantly she was in the room but it was night. She was in bed. John came to her and they made love. Yet when she opened her eyes it was the seller not John.
    Toni came to with a start, shaking her head. In her hand was the address book.
    When John returned she had news. ‘I’m pregnant.’ They were delighted.
    Slowly the back room emptied, though Toni never went back in it, leaving it to John.
    Then six months later, he went away again. She had him make sure the back bedroom door was firmly shut. He even offered for her to come with him but she knew that was stupid.
    As she lay in bed her mind drifted back to the farm and her childhood and that smell. It came to her: It was the smell from the parlour when they laid out her great aunt. The smell of death. Maybe something had died on the farm next door. There had to be a rational explanation. Even so she didn’t want to fall asleep yet eventually tiredness overtook her.
    She was in the back bedroom, in bed but this time she was on her own. Gradually she realised she was in labour and the baby was about to appear. In horror she watched as the infant’s head emerged, calloused, weeping sores and tiny black eyes set almost touching. There was no hair but rather two stubs like the beginnings of horns. A man was taking the baby; the seller.
    She woke with a jump. Her phone was ringing. She pulled herself out of bed and realised pains were shooting across her stomach. Labour pains. She snatched up the phone. John.
    ‘John, the baby’s coming. I need you.’
    ‘What? Now? Oh heavens. Right I’m on my way. I’ll call an ambulance.’
    ‘Thanks.’ Relief flooded Toni. ‘Why’d you call?’
    ‘What? Oh the seller rang. He left something important and he’s coming round to collect it.’

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes great story, Geoff! I read it shortly after you posted it here and it kept me up half the night in terror. If I ever have children, I only want living human babies… totally creepy!

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  3. Eeeeeek, Ali! I tried getting mine in on time. Here it is, guess better a bit late then not at all. Apologies!
    Four PM, the night of the blood moon, saw me picking my way carefully across gnarled tree roots and jagged cracks as I entered the park alone. The day’s warmth seemed to be fading more rapidly than the sunlight, but both cast a collective shadow, an impending foreboding that silently trailed behind me. My friends tried to warn me earlier. People were being advised to stay indoors after five, they said. But I already had plans.

    I noticed an absence of birdsong as I ducked inside the tent which mom erected for our campout. We’d watch the eclipse in style, faces turned to the stars. But first, we had a play to rehearse.!

    At six PM, Kyle, a teen actor in our play, nervously checked his watch. “It’s late” he exclaimed. “I need to get home to my family.” He got on his bike, and the night swallowed him.

    With growing trepidation I zipped the tent, fiercely hoping he’d make it home alive.

    I sprawled on a sleepingbag and the casual conversation between mom and I created an oasis within the rapidly encroaching darkness, hovering watchful, right outside.

    Suddenly, something under the sleeping bag bumped me from behind. “Mom!”

    “What is it?” She half-turned from the mirror.

    Desperately, I fought back panick. “Something’s wrong. Under the sleeping bag. I don’t want to touch it.”

    Her presence behind me was reassuring until the cry of alarm. Startled, she dropped the edge of the sleepingbag and stumbled backward against the wall. “It’s a bug. It’s been skillfully dismembered.”

    “How did it get in here?” I thought of the bug’s insect family whose mother or father would not be coming home tonight, and the boy who might not make it home, and wanted to cry.

    Something was dreadfully wrong.

    Mom stepped around in front of me, and was staring at me with hollow eyes. Her energy grew distant, dissociated. I watched in horror as her spirit ebbed out like a tide, and the dark separating silence took its place behind her eyes. Her mouth spoke with someone else’s voice: “A witches brew.”

    I bolted. Outside, I almost crashed into a woman.

    “Who are…”

    “I can’t go back in there to get mom,” she interrupted apologetically. “She’ll have to save herself.”

    Heart pounding, I stood in bafflement for a moment. Then I knew. She was myself, who separateness would have stolen from me. In a daze, I reached for her. She had no body, but slipped seamlessly into the space which could have permanently held absence.

    When mom emerged moments later, I was fully integrated. Hands clasped together, we fled the shadows of separateness and the vacancy of an eclipsed sky.

    When I woke, unsettled and disturbed, my ancient kin stood around me, Sadbh’s peaceful light Glowing soft above my head. “We can expand the light within and woven around us until there is no place for the illusion of separateness,” Caoilte explained. I waited expectantly. “It starts within you, first.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will add it into next weeks post Êilis, dont worry! Great story, but it sounds like there is more to come? It has a quality of disassociatedness and confused images which remind me very much of my own dreams.

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      1. Yes, there’s more, actually. I thought about posting it in expanded form on my blog with more on what happened right afterward. To be honest in general so much has been happening that it’s been hard to just keep up with it myself, let alone reflect or right about it. Attempting to stay on top of everything anyway…

        Liked by 1 person

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