Yes, I’m aware that it’s April now, but here’s a little (well, the only) leftover from Imperial March. What’s that again, you ask? I’ll just go ahead and quote myself when I explained it back in 2014:
‘Imperial March’ is a project, or rather a group of project […]. In our last semester of undergrad, two friends and I have gotten together to rejoice our love for anything evil in media – on a narrative basis, of course. Since we all find villains extremely interesting, we’ve decided to dedicate a whole month every year to personal creative projects in that area: we may try to write a story or […] little snippets of creativity centring on a certain theme or character; we may draw pictures (and by ‘we’ I mean everyone ‘but me’ since the only thing I can actually draw are bats, fluffy birds and beards with eyes), or do whatever else comes to our minds. And what month would be more appropriate for something celebrating villainy than a month that you can turn into a Star Wars pun?
Somehow due to life being life, we all kind of forgot about it last year, and suddenly it was April and we went “Didn’t we forget something?” I was determined to not let this happen again (the others definitely didn’t), but with life being life and the previously mentioned PhD applications, it wasn’t until my holiday in Prague last week that my Muses were awakened, inspired by a dream that went pretty meta (as in, I was determined to take a piece of the dream with me to show my boyfriend when I woke up – clearly it didn’t work as I cannot remember the actual dream, only the meta part). What the Muses made of it, though, was a world in which dreams have become largely extinct, and some people are working hard to save humanity and cure their dreamless state. The only way to do this, however, is through dreams…
It’s been ages since the last time I did any creative writing, and I’d been trying to get back into it as it’s been a big part of my life for so long. So without further ado, I hope you’ll enjoy this first, very short, scene of Dreamcatcher, which I’ll hopefully stick with for a while; it seems like a very interesting setting for me to write in.
Her eyes snapped open. Darkness enveloping her, she exhaled deeply, allowing herself to get a feel for her surroundings, unfamiliar yet something she had experienced so often recently. She slowly counted to ten, then she pushed herself upward and started to run just as she heard a low, echoing chuckle escaping the darkness behind her. Not the good kind.
As she ran, the surrounding woods became a little clearer, moved ever so slightly into focus but stayed there, hovering on a threshold of being in and out of existence. It was difficult to know which way to take – everything seemed to look the same, and she knew that if she dared look behind, where she had come from, the barely existing trees would move forcefully to block her path. As with many things, the only way was forward; turning back would only bring harm.
She tried not to focus, but nonetheless the whispers, both demanding and accusatory, grew louder. A branch snapped somewhere behind her; a second one, but this time it was considerably closer. They were coming, and she knew she didn’t have much time.
Clearing her mind completely, not even thinking about what she was going to do, she let her instincts take over and took a step sideways, practically gliding through a surprised tree that didn’t have the chance to solidify in time.
She breathed hard, felt her heart thumping, the irrational fear threatening to take over. She couldn’t let that happen just yet. Crouching in front of a shape that she was glad she could not quite make out, she reached out with one hand. It took a few attempts until she managed to grab ahold of a tiny, pulsing speck of light, which in itself seemed to be fading rapidly. Carefully, with the hurried patience of someone who had done this numerous times before, she pulled at it ever so slightly, until it formed into a barely visible thread. Quickly, precisely, she pulled more of it towards her, spinning it into a little ball, one that cats might fancy playing with but much more valuable.
She realized too late that she was focusing too hard on the task at hand, that the noises around her had grown louder still. Suddenly she could feel a hand on her shoulder.
She started screaming.
The thread in the air ripped and the speck of light vanished like a frightened animal upon seeing its predator. The woman grasped the little ball of light even as she raised her other arm in front of her eyes. The hand shone in the dim light, then slowly turned to sand. She still screamed, even though she could feel her face doing the same, slowly dissolving into the dark air. She briefly wondered why her vocal cords were still working.
Then her eyes snapped open again.