The Never-Ending Dream

At an old bookstore, you find a book that helps you interpret your dreams. But something is strange about it. You fall asleep reading the book, and find yourself in a dream that you cannot wake up from. What is it? And how will you snap back to reality?

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624 thoughts on “The Never-Ending Dream

  1. downedeagle

    I used to have it all. The perfect family, the six-figure job, the white picket fence, all of it. Losing was never an option in my book. That was, until the company I worked for went under. Insider trading, most people called it; we just called it ‘making more money than yesterday’. It’s funny how nobody wants to touch a salesman after a scandal like that. Sure as hell put a dent in my most likely to succeed trophy from high school. Funny how that’s one of the only things I didn’t pawn after my wife left me for another hotshot. The only other possession that I valued as much as that trophy was my old ‘how to be successful in life’ book that I got at some old bookstore my ex kept dragging me to. It always helped me understand how to interpret all of the dreams and ideas I was coming up with. Nowadays, I fall asleep reading that little bible as if it’s a bedtime story.

    I need to get out of here. My notebook that used to hold ideas about future business ventures now holds the writings of a defeated man. ‘Don’t forget to fuck up today’ seemed to be heading of every new journal entry, and I didn’t have the willpower to reformat it. All of that changes today. I’m done with letting my past haunt me. Today is the day that I get out of the nightmare that I have been trapped in. That piece of shit book has been trying to show me how to better my life as if it knows more than I do. How can ink on paper know more than a man who has lived? A man who has experienced as many triumphs and tragedies as I have. It can’t, and I am the only one who knows how to fix all of this.

    Here we go. I’ve known how to escape this hell, but I’ve been too weak to do it. Too weak to take my own advice. Never let anyone get the best of you. Only you can defeat yourself; no one else can. I’m taking that advice today. I’m through getting down about things that I cannot control. Today WILL be the best day of my life.

    Step 1: Bring yourself to the edge of your mind, to a place where no one can touch you and you can be free.

    Step 2: Let go.

    It’s amazing how easy those two steps were. Never again will I feel a release like flying down 34 flights of stairs from my apartment balcony. In less than two seconds, I will finally be free.

  2. mle160

    I imagine what it would be like to live in between – but I know it is the same feeling I experience now, the motionless sensation of complete surrender.
    I force myself to believe that I am spinning, that the empty space that surrounds me is only an entity that I have dreamt.
    It envelopes me, hugs the curves of my body, wraps it’s cold fingers around my throat and I choke – the water runs down my face in droplets – I can’t breathe.
    Why can’t I breathe?
    The water drowns me, keeps me from seeing what I hope is a façade, but my lungs are clear now. The air circulates through my body and I’m weightless – I’m floating and sinking in the same cyclic pattern.
    A whisper tells me that this will only be a dream.
    But I know this is real.
    With every lungful of air, the truth pulses fire into my veins, and the bones that have constructed my body feel like lead. I wonder if ligaments do more than create us – if they limit our capabilities – if in the end we are all cages of our own sweet insanity.
    I’m wrong again, and I stare blankly at what keeps me alive. The orbs that see a young girl trapped in between.
    He is so strong.
    He is too strong.
    I feel myself slipping and he pulls me closer – his body is shaking – I realize mine is too. His grip becomes stronger because he refuses to remiss, even though he knows it is the best for the both of us.
    We are wind chimes, I tell myself; for just a moment we are infinite.
    The air suffocates me, and I understand that I am weak – the cyclic pattern begins again and I sink lower and we swing forwards and then back. He’s straining – I can see it.
    In a void, time is immeasurable – the breaths hold me together and all the pain keeps me from believing I am dreaming – I don’t know how long our bodies have been separated, but I understand that all of the strength in the world could never fix this.
    A love could never be that strong –and so I wonder who will make the decision to let go.
    I promise myself not to remember.
    I promise myself to remain in between.

    All Rights Reserved

  3. VeronicaRWinters

    Autumn leaves crunched under my feet as I entered an old bookstore. A bell on the door announced my arrival. The scent of old books and a couple of gray cats greeted me before the wizened shopkeeper did. He directed me to a miscellaneous section of used books. In perusing the selection, I was able to find what I had been looking for: A Guide to Interpret Dreams. The book was an old, brown hardcover with black embossed lettering on the spine and yellowed pages. I paid for my purchase and gave a farewell pat to the cats before I left.
    When I got home, I changed into my pajamas and sat down in my favorite reading chair. I held the book in my hands, studying the cover. I had been having a reoccurring dream as of late, where I am alone on a dark night. The only thing I could remember about the place was a courtyard with a stone fountain. As I opened the book, I wondered if it would provide me with answers. After reading a few pages about symbolism, I began to feel drowsy . . .

    I find myself in the dark of night, in the courtyard of my dream, wearing only a white gown. I suddenly sense that I am no longer alone. I am frightened because I know a man is looking for me and what he wants from me. His seductive lure beckons me. I cannot escape him. Out of the darkness, he emerges. His pale skin is a sharp contrast to his midnight black hair and cloak. He takes a step towards me. I back away into a hard stone surface. I look behind me to discover it is the fountain. I look into the water and I suddenly see myself asleep in my home with the dream book.
    It’s only a dream! I tell myself.
    I attempt to open my eyes, but they feel as though they are glued shut! I look back at my pursuer who is closing in faster than humanly possible. Was he not just ten feet away? He is right in front of me! I will not run. That will only entice the hunter in him. Besides, I have nowhere to go. He will catch me before I can take one step. If flight is out of the question, the other option is to confront him.
    “Why are you keeping me here?!” I demand.
    He smiles and I can see the hint of a fang glinting in the moonlight.
    I attempt to open my eyes again, but I cannot. No, there’s another way.
    He reaches out to touch me. I tumble backwards into the fountain.

    I woke up in my chair, with the dream book in my hands. I went to the bathroom to splash water on my face. As I stood in front of the mirror, I discovered two small puncture wounds on my neck!

    1. VeronicaRWinters

      Unfortunately, I lost some of my formatting when I copied and pasted, so please excuse some of the errors caused by that, like the book title and the thought not being italicized.

  4. Frozen Alone

    Red Dress, White Suit

    The old wood floor creaked at the slight shift of pressure from Ryann’s left foot to her right. Worn oil coated fingertips grazed the bindings of several novels before dropping to her side. Disappointed that not one title jumped out at her, Ryann told herself to leave her favorite small town bookstore before she stayed past the closing time again.

    She was three steps from the exit when the book caught her eye. It was small enough, less than 150 pages and only slightly larger than her phone. The titled was scrawled across the binding in a font she couldn’t place and could hardly read despite her own sloppy writing. She didn’t remember picking up the book. She didn’t remember tossing her last twenty on the desk while chatting up the cashier. She couldn’t even remember driving home. All she could remember was the small book that caught her attention.

    She soon found herself curled up in her brother’s blanket with a cup of tea in one hand and the book in the other. Soft snorts of held back laughter occasionally escaped her as she read. Ryann had never been one for deciphering her bizarre dreams.

    Her tea was placed on the table as she yawned. The page number blurred as another yawn came over her as she snuggled deeper into the warm blanket. Across the room, her old clock struck midnight, her candle burned low, and a picture watched the book fall from weak fingers to the floor.

    The air was an indescribable cold that she had only felt one other time. Snow crunched under her bare feet. A blood red dress clung to every curve she had. Long tendrils of light hair fell into her face in the cold winter night.

    A familiar song filled the air. She placed the song as soon as she saw the truck. The tears on her cheeks sent warmth through her whole body as details hit her. The old truck door creaked open. A young man with a suit the color of the snow emerged. Those eyes, his short dark hair, it was him.

    He was in front of her the next time she blinked. That devilish smirk she missed warmed her frozen heart. Her brother caught her in his warm arms even before she fell. He remained silent as he picked her up and carried her to the truck. She soon found herself safely in the arms of her brother watching the night sky in the back of his old truck.

    “Before you go, look at the sky,” he murmured. She looked up and saw the lights. He looked down at her and said the words she didn’t want to hear. “You have to go back.”


    “You have to let me go.” A tear blazed a trail down her cheek as blood trickled out of his temple. “Let go.”

    She woke with a start. Tears in her eyes, she looked to the picture. She felt alive again.

  5. MagiMark101


    Hope you liked the idea for a writing prompt, is was strictly FYA. It had me in stitches while I was writing it.

    If it had been a real writing prompt, I would have (in a nutshell) first told the 911 operator (on my cellphone), “I know your not going to believe me, but…” Then I would have grabbed a loaf of garlic bread and fought them off while trying to unlock the trap under the counter.

    1. Svapne

      It was a pretty fun idea- I honestly would never have thought of garlic bread, but now that you’ve enlightened me, I can’t picture it ending any other way!

      Ooo, and in the unlikely case that you have some holy water, you can ask them if they want a glass of water with their crust of bed as you garlic bread them to death! Corny victory lines are the best!

      1. MagiMark101

        Of course, holy water… how could I forget! Maybe I had stopped at a church along the way. Yes, corny lines are best for simple comedies. I messed up on the reply, I used ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’. Rats!

  6. frankd1100

    “You’re here,” he said.

    “No, I’m not,” she said.

    “But I’m holding you in my arms, your body melding with mine, like in the beginning.”

    “Sorry, Ren, my days of melding are over, at least with you.”

    “Molly, your tone is harsh like it was at the end.”

    “We are beyond the end,” she said. “That hasn’t changed.”

    “It was hard losing you,” he said, “and harder getting over losing you. Why are you doing this to me?”

    “I’m not there, Ren. I’m certainly not doing anything to you.”

    “Am I dreaming? Is that what you’re suggesting?”

    “No. I’m not suggesting. But if you think I’m there, maybe you are dreaming.”

    “It doesn’t feel like a dream,” he said.

    “That’s your problem. Figure it out. Get over it.”

    “It’s that book,” he said to himself.

    “What book?”

    “A dream book. I picked it up in the little shop in Harvard Square. The one we used to visit on Sundays after Mass.”

    She was quiet then.

    “You’re right,” he said. “This is a dream. We split months ago and nothing has changed.”

    He looked up and down and all around at shadows and spaces and little hints of thoughts and dreams he had considered over time. Too many had Molly’s scent on them.

    “OK, Molly.” He paused, considering his words. “OK, get out of my head and don’t come back.”

    “Ren, you sound angry. Let’s not go away angry.”

    His eyes opened. He sat up on the edge of the bed holding his head in his hands. She occupied so much of his heart, being without her in the conscious world was painful.

    Molly would be cruel the next time, as always, but at least he could be near her, feel her presence, and become angry enough to survive a little longer without her.


    Showered and dressed by 6:45, he grabbed his briefcase from the kitchen table and headed out. As he opened the front door a white envelope fell from the jam and landed on the bluestone walkway.

    The envelope read simply, “Ren.” He waited until he was in the car before opening Molly’s note. He’d been anticipating this day and his heart pounded as he read.

    Dear Ren,

    I wanted to tell you in person but I just couldn’t, so this is the next best thing. At least you’re hearing it from me.

    I met someone and we’re getting married in Bermuda next month. Billy, my fiance, says June in Bermuda is nice. He owns his own company and travels a lot, so I guess I will be seeing the world like we used to phantasize about.

    He’s a good guy, Ren. Be happy for me.

    Hope you’re well,


    He slowed crossing the bridge and tossed the balled up note through the passenger side window into the water below. He kept the envelope which he would pull out and study from time to time. Strangely, he never dreamed of her again.

  7. charlynchu

    I had always seen it but never had a chance to enter it. The bookstore had always been at the corner of Reddang street. Its dust-covered windows cast a misty glow to the outside world. If it was any normal day, I would usually rush past it without a second glance, but today something within pulled me to it, like a fish hooked at the end of the fishing line.

    As the door closed behind me, a cloud of dust poofed and slowly covered me all over. Instantly, I sneezed. This place was really dusty. I started to manoevere around labyrinth of booksheleves. Some of the aisles were so narrow I gave up trying to squeeze through. Surrounding by books was my greatest nightmare. My poor results in school were a testament to that fact. As I rounded the corner, a book caught my eye. Its blood-red cover framed the folk art drawing of a lady with long golden hair lying on the green ground. She was staring up heavens that changed from a cloudy blue sky to a silver starry midnight. “Reaching your dreams” was written in black courier ink at the top of the cover. Before I knew it, I was at the counter paying for the book and then heading out of the shop. “Goodbye and may all your dreams come true!” was the last I heard of the old cashier lady with a bandana wrapping her head, beaming her toothless smile.

    I kicked off my shoes and huddled on my reading corner. I hugged my pastel blue cushion and sat comfortably on the blue leather sofa. I felt like I was in a trance, desperate to start reading the book. The pages flew past in a blur, and the words started to sway in the dimming light.

    “Christine, you need to be standing here.” A pale young lady ushered my to the front of the row. Her onyx hair reflected the candlelights that floated in the air above. The people behind me all had that same similarity – pale white skin with dark or onyx hair. They looked so beautiful, yet alien. “We need to get rid of the other clan. Only one of us can live here!” The leader shouted. His raised fist drew loud shots of approval and enthusiasm. “This group will go there and annihilate them!” His hand swept over the front row’s heads. I smiled as we got ready for the onslaught attack.

    We ran in the black darkness and reached the other village, like an experienced and trained army. As expected, the other clan was hidden in one hut. Their shadows flitted through the slits of the wooden hut. With a signal, we all rushed in, baring our fangs and sharp claws. But the group inside was prepared; they came at us with their yellow beaded eyes and wolf-like teeth. The shrieks and growls were deafening. Surprised villagers clad in their nightwear ran out of their huts. Some became unexpected casualties as claws and fangs lashed through the air.

    My claws were swinging in the air at one young werewolf. He had tripped on the ground and was lying with one of his hands trying to cover his face. I smiled as I flung my claw at his chest. But just before I could slashed across his chest and feel the satisfying warm liquid on my fingertips, I was pushed sideways to the ground. A sharp pain laced across my shoulder as the young werewolf disappeared from my view. In an instant, the pressure on my shoulder disappeared, but the crippling pain started creeping across my body.

    Chaos still surrounded me, but I could feel or hear nothing except for that excruciating pain. I hurried towards the edge of the nearby forest and buried myself in the thick vegetation. I fell down on the ground on top of rotting brown leaves, screaming in pain. The pain seemed to last forever, but in an instance it disappeared. In relief, I gave a sigh, which came out as a howl. I got up, knowing that I could not return back to my coven. I was now an outcast – a hybrid of vampire and werewolf. If anyone knew of this, both the coven and clan would hunt me down for my demise.

    I started to swim towards the sky, knowing that somehow I was able to fly. But the height depended on my strength to propel myself up in the sky. Soon the tops of trees were at the same level as my body, and the village huts seemed like small triangles. But at a distance, I could see the whole coven rushing out from our nest. They were heading towards where I was at! At the other end of the nearby village, the clan of werewolves who had heard my howl also ran out at me. I quickly swam higher and further into the forest, knowing that both coven and clan were able to climb and jump but they could not fly.

    The castles were coming to me, and I swam harder and harder, until I could reach one of the pointing sphires. My body ached from the effort, and my breath came out in pants. I was much higher than anyone ever tried to be. But the vampires and werewolves were all coming closer to me. They reached the bottom of the castle and started to climb. They pushed each other off the walls and the lower sphires. I knew this meant that their hatred for each other was still there. But their eyes had the same determined gaze – they wanted me dead. Even though I was tired, I started swimming again, heading towards the moon. I heard the approaching shrieks and growls. They were starting to jump and climb even higher to get me! I kicked at the air hard, and felt the hardness. My eyes fluttered open for a second, and I saw the orange light that lit my reading room.

    This was just a dream! I had to wake up to get away from this nightmare. I tried to open my eyes bigger as my head screamed loudly “WAKE UP!” Just then, I heard a clear voice from below of me. “Why do you want to wake up? Aren’t you realizing your dream? You’ll never be able to escape from here!” And she started laughing maniacally.

    I swam harder towards the white full moon. It seemed to be running away from me. “Please… please let me get out of this nightmare!” I whispered desperately. At that moment, I started falling from the sky. I swam even harder and faster, but it was useless. It did not slow down my freefall, and now I was even closer to the vampires and werewolves. I knew what would happen if I landed in their hands; they would tear me apart. Instead of letting my death be so painful and out of my control, I pushed myself over to the highest sphire and flipped to my back. I knew that the sharp tip would spear through my body and sliced it into pieces. It was going to be fast and painless. I closed my eyes as a very sharp pain shot through my back.

    I screamed, and fell out of my sofa chair. I started gasping fearfully, as the throbbing pain in my back slowly subsided. I turned to lie on my back and stared at the white ceiling of my reading room. It was all just a dream! Beads of perspiration flowed down my face as I pushed myself up. The book had fallen on its side. I picked it up and read that particular page. I felt nauseous immediately. It was just like a sick joke. The title read “1. All dreams come true.” I threw the book at the wall.

    1. MagiMark101

      Good story. Seems like a lot of the old Hammer Horror movies put together minus the ‘Phantom of Opera’ starring Howard Loe. I have to say that when I read the second paragraph I had to LOL because I at first thought it said, “with a banana wrapping her head.” Then it said, “beaming her toothless smile” and that made me think of Weird Al Yankovic’s song, “Toothless People.”

  8. MagiMark101

    Here is another idea for a writing prompt:

    You’re sitting at the counter of a strange café and you can feel that your knee is stuck to something under the counter. You try to push yourself away from the counter but your other knee gets stuck. Then you notice the other ‘customers’ are looking hungrily at you and you realize they are vampires. What do you say to the 911 operator? What do you do next?

  9. MagiMark101

    Wandering around the aisles of an old bookstore was old Mr. Johanson and one book title caught his eye, because it was called, “Clown Scripts.” He said aloud, “What in the heck are Clown Scripts?” Then he opened the dusty book from the 1930’s. It revealed to him that clown scripts were the comical sketches that clowns performed in the circus. He read the first one and laughed out loud.
    Going down the Self-Help aisle, he found an old dream interpretation book and sat down at a lunch table with a cup of hot coffee to read it. Old Roman and Egyptian dream stories lulled him into a deep sleep from which he could not wake.
    Once again he was Timmy, a boy of ten and sitting with his best friend under a big red and white striped circus tent with the crowd in the bleachers. In the center ring was a clown sitting in the middle of a candy store and a big phone sat on a table. “Ring, ring” went the phone, so the clown picked it up. “Hello, Candy Store. Wow, we have a bad connection… call back in a minute.” He looked at the audience and said, “You sir look tall and strong, come up here and help me out.” A tall man rose from the audience and the clown said, “Pick up this telephone line and hold it up over your head.” The man did so, then the phone rang again so the clown answered it. “Hello, Candy Store. I can almost hear you, call back again.” The clown looked at the audience and said, “Ma’am, come up here and help me out. “ A young lady walked up and the clown said, “Stand next to this man and hold the line up over your head.” She did so and the phone rang again. The clown picked it up and said, “Hello, Candy store. I can just about hear you… call back one more time. “The clown looked at the audience and said, “I need someone short. Hey kiddo, come on up here and help us out.” A little kid got up on the stage and the clown said, “Pick up the line and hold it up like the two grown ups.” The kid held the line up over his head and the phone rang. The clown said, “Hello, Candy Store… I can here you clear as a bell now. Lollipops? No, I don’t have any lollipops. But I’ve got three SUCKERS on the line!” The entire audience burst out laughing.
    A woman holding a tray of small cups said to Timmy, “Sir, would you like a mocha sample?” Then old Mr. Johanson woke with a start and saw a lady holding a tray of mocha samples in small plastic cups. “Yes,” he said with a smile, “if only time stood still.”

      1. MagiMark101

        Cool, thanks! I put that story together from I was walking around the library and I saw an old book that said, “Clown Scripts.” And I was like, “What the heck is a Clown Scripts?” My confusion was remedied when I read the first one.