Sarah’s Dream

Sarah stood in the fog.  It smelled like strawberries.  A man sat on a park bench, reading a book.  Sarah walked slowly toward the bench, trying to make out the man’s face.  As she got closer, she recognized David, the annoying guy from the library.  She froze. He patted the bench and smiled.  Sarah sat down beside him.  They didn’t speak. It was a comfortable silence.

David’s smile faded and he nodded to three people standing in the distance.  Bradley, Melody, and Sarah’s mother stood in a circle, looking at the ground.  She walked toward them, the sense of dread growing with each step. The air erupted in a loud whispering sound.

“What did you do, Sarah?”  Bradley had tears in his eyes.

“What are you talking about?”

“How could you?”  Melody buried her face in Bradley’s chest.  He put his arm around her and kissed the top of her head.

Sarah turned to her mother.

“It’s nothing. Forget about it.  Soon, it’ll be like it never happened.”  She held her arms out.  Sarah ignored her.

“Bradley, Melody, what did I do?”  Bradley and Melody parted, revealing a basket of blankets on the ground. Sarah took a step backwards. Bradley took her by the elbow and dragged her to the basket.

Her mother shrugged. “We did the right thing,” she said.  She popped her sunglasses on her nose and strode off into the fog.

Sarah pulled back the pile of blankets, revealing a dead lamb.  “What happened to it?”  Bradley and Melody snorted. “What?”  Sarah whispered.

“You killed it.”  Melody spit out.

Sarah looked to Bradley for help.  “What’s she talking about?  I didn’t do this.”

Bradley’s eyes darted down her body and he shook his head.

Sarah looked down.  She was covered in blood.  She wiped her arms frantically.  “Where did this come from?  Bradley?”  He took Melody by the elbow and led her into the fog. “Please, help me,” her voice lost in the loud whispering.

“I’ll help you.”  David’s voice startled her.  The whispering stopped.

“The lamb. ”

“What lamb?”  David frowned.

“There.”  Sarah pointed to the basket.

David smiled.  “It’s just blankets.”

She rummaged through the blankets.  “It was here. Where did it go?”

“It’s gone, Sarah.” She shook her head and put up her hand to show him the blood.  It was clean. “It’s forgiven.”

“They won’t forgive me. They’re so angry.”

“They will. You have to tell them.”

“Tell them what?”

“The truth.  Tell them the truth.”

Sarah woke up bathed in sunshine. She looked at the clock: 1:00. Sixteen hours of sleep and she was still exhausted.  Tell them the truth. She’d never rest until she did. She would be exhausted forever.


Linking up with Write On Edge.  This week’s prompt:

This week we asked you to flip freedom upside down and write about the forbidden or the taboo. The word limit was 450.

This is a heavily edited scene from my Camp NaNoWriMo novel. I cut almost 800 words and I only mourn about half of those. (Slaying those darlings is tough.) Still needs work, but that’s why it’s called a Work In Progress.


13 comments on “Sarah’s Dream

  1. This is an intriguing abstact piece for which it’s hard to get a sense of time or place, it could even have been a dream. I personally found it hard to find the forbidden within the piece although Sarah is clearly worried and disturbed by some past action. I was also distracted by the fact that the fog smelled of strawberries, I associate that with smoke machines and therefore perhaps this altered my view of the reality! It’s strong and I’m sure it sits better within the larger piece’s subsequent reveal. 🙂

    • That’s the risk of pulling a scene out of a larger work, I suppose. The smell of strawberries is significant, but I should have edited that out this particular excerpt. Also, the forbidden is related to what she did but at this point in the novel, it’s still a secret. I know what it is, but you guys aren’t mind readers. Ah well. You win some, you lose some.

      Thank you for the feedback. 🙂

  2. Dreams are difficult to write I think. You got some nice pacing here, even though it was abstract. and the sacrificial lamb was an interesting touch. Nicely done!

    • Dreams are difficult to explain. Whenever I tell my husband about a dream, the details float away before I can catch them and he ends up looking at me like I’m crazy. Which makes sense. Dreams are crazy and fraught with personal meaning that often doesn’t translate well.

      I actually like that two people called this abstract. Most of my stuff is so concrete and boring, it’s nice to change it up. Even if I don’t quite carry it off. 🙂

  3. I read this a couple of times. At first I had a little trouble following. But then it just clicked for me. I’m very intrigued about the secret. And David.
    I’d like yo have read it before the edit.

  4. I didn’t realize it was a dream until I finished (my bad for not paying attention to the title!). But, after finishing, I really liked it. Disjointed. Abrupt. Merging. I really think you captured the essance of dreaming. Some parts didn’t make sense, but I think that’s because it’s an excerpt.

  5. I really like your story. I never guessed it was just a dream. You have a great way to keep the suspense.

    I also join a creative writing site but not the same as yours. This could be a nice place to find inspiration too. Maybe you are interested with this site too (just a thought)> http://creativewriting.ie/writing-exercises/

  6. Whoah! people are being quite critical. I would say I liked it. That’s how dreams are, disconnected and more than half of the time they don’t even make sense, but this one does. seems like she has some skeletons in her closet.

    • I don’t mind critical, as long as they’re not jerks about it.
      Honesty is the best policy. How else am I supposed to learn? 🙂

      She has several skeletons in her closet, dying to get out.

  7. I had to read it a couple of times before I picked up on it and now that I see it is part of something longer, well, I want to read the complete thing.x

  8. It took me a second to catch that she was dreaming but I think you did an excellent job of describing the dream. I agree that the word count limiting the context probably made that harder to convey. But, I think this is a great scene. I wonder what the forbidden thing she did to provoke this is.

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