A Nightmarish Reality

Posted: November 11, 2010 in #fridayflash, Short stories

Nightmares are glimpses of realities, which the mind can no longer keep buried in cosy, PG rated dreams.

Lloyd’s body animatedly wriggled and turned in the bed, images racing through his mind. What he’d done had been simple, but his psyche had overrun with violence whilst asleep.

His vision started with him hiding behind a door, his heart beating so fast his dream felt real and alive. He closed his mouth, pinning his lips together internally with his teeth, to not make a sound. His nostrils flared slightly as he tried to control his heavy breathing. The door was like a shield to a brave knight.

Beads of sweat developed on his brow, like small droplets of glue, sitting firmly on his pale clammy skin and glistening from the moonlight peeking through the small window in the room. He tried to sense the other being in the room beyond the door he stood behind. Where he was, what he was doing and when the right time was to commence his attack.

His panic had turned into threat, as he pounced from behind the door.


He felt the wooden bat vibrate in his hands, as it whacked into another humans flesh. The solid wood, which had grown from the earth’s garden, once a natural beauty somewhere in the countryside, was now being used in hostility and a brawl between mankind.


He continued to swipe the bat, its smooth finish allowing a tight grip, swinging back and forth, until the victim fell to the ground. A sense of achievement, power and fear rolled itself into a huge ball inside of his stomach, churning around like a food processor. His enemy now motionless on the ground in front of him, nothing more than a rag doll. He’d won, but yet a sudden feeling of remorse filled his bones.

He starred at the immobile mortal that lay before him, the bat dropped from his once strong and assured hands, crashing to the floor, as the reality fell on him like a grand piano in a cartoon.

* * *

He woke, the dream tiring him out more than a marathon run. His eyes began to focus on the cold, stone coloured walls that surrounded him. He pulled the blanket up and under his chin, like a child just woken from a nap in a strange place; this was his only comfort in his dazed state.

The jangling of keys was heard in the corridor, similar to the jingle bells children may hear on Christmas eve, only this jingle was more of a wake up call.

The prison guard unlocked the small hatch in the middle of the door and peered through. “Good sleep Lloyd?” he asked.

Lloyd nodded, “Would rather it was in my own bed!”

“I know mate”, the prison guard said in a less harsh tone than normal, “Most of us would’ve done the same. With any luck the judge will see that.”

Lloyd was comforted by the guard’s confession, but it didn’t help his current situation.

* * *

“Mr Lloyd Jameson, there is no doubt in my mind, that this was an act of self-defence. A man protecting his family and home, from an intruder. This does not, however, dismiss the fact you beat a man with a wooden baseball bat, causing serious bodily harm to his spine and fractured his skull. I therefore sentence you to …”

  1. The door was like a shield to a brave knight. – I really like this line.

    Didn’t really see the ending coming – Bet he wishes he was still dreaming!

    small typo in “self-defense” btw

  2. Jim Bronyaur says:

    Hmm… I like this. Jumping scenes usually annoys me, but it works here. The ending (of course) brought everything together.

    Well done.


  3. Tony Noland says:

    Quite a visceral feel to this one.

    btw, missing an apostrophe in “another humans flesh”.

  4. adampb says:

    I enjoyed being taken on the ride in this flash. Strong imagery and a good ending.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  5. Jason Warden says:

    This was quite good. I really liked it and the ending is just perfect. Couple small things. In the second paragraph I don’t think you need the adverb ‘animatedly” it’s clunky. Also later, the clarifying sentence about the grand piano pulled $e away from the story for a minute. Just doesn’t fit the mood. Overall well done. Good story.

  6. Excellent story! The time line jumping made this one. I like how you ended it.

  7. Sam Adamson says:

    I really like this and find I have a certain sympathy for your protagonist. The ending pulls everything together really well too. 🙂

  8. donaldconrad says:

    The time jump ending works well with this tale. Love the analogy of reality falling like a grand piano in a cartoon. But in that sentence I think you meant stared, not starred. Thanks.

  9. Maria Kelly says:

    Wow! This one is a gut-puncher. Nice descriptions. Love the image of the grand piano falling. 🙂

  10. John Wiswell says:

    I normally don’t like sound effects in fiction. How did you get them to work? Nice trick!

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