Writing Prompt: The worst dream ever–but real. (Yep, that particular dream.)



WRITING PROMPT:
Living the Dream
Feel

free to take the following prompt home or post your
response (500
words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings.
If you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail it to me at
writersdigest@fwmedia.com, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

It’s like one of those dreams where you’re horrified to discover that you’re walking around in the buff—only, well, real.

(Image:
Suat Eman)

–


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One thought on “Writing Prompt: The worst dream ever–but real. (Yep, that particular dream.)

  1. Mark James

    “My armor was my skin.” I shifted in my chair, felt the slimy leather slide against my back.

    “Is that what brought you to my office today, Mr. Vincent?”

    Being shot was painful. Sitting across the desk from that doctor with all those pieces of paper on the wall behind him, all of them saying how he had a license to sneak into a man’s mind, that was agony. “The Summons brought me here, all right?” I tried to find a way to sit so I couldn’t feel the leather touching me. “Just ask your questions.”

    The annoying sound of him shuffling papers ate right through my eardrums. And the chair. I couldn’t take the chair much longer. “It says here you told the Helper on the scene that you felt special inside your armor.”

    “I didn’t say that.”

    On the street, forty three stories down, I heard two kids talking about hiding from their mom between the parked cars; two men argued over who should get the bill for lunch. “Do you believe the Helpers lied about you, Mr. Vincent?”

    “No.” My voice came out too loud, made me wince. “I believe you want a confession.”

    “Would you like to confess?”

    In slow motion, I saw a sheet of paper on the edge of his desk flutter to the floor. I slammed my hands over my ears to block out the sound of it slicing through the air. Between clenched teeth, my eyes screwed shut, I whispered, “Give me back my armor.”

    His words thundered in my ears. “I’m afraid we can’t do that.”

    I felt warm, slick liquid drip down my lips. My nose was bleeding.

    “Your symptoms have become quite volatile,” he was saying. “We’ll need to observe your behavior.”

    When I was two years old, I was recruited into the Iron Wars, given my armor. It grew up with me, covered my skin, kept the world far away. Now this man wanted to leave me naked, so leather chairs could touch me, so voices could stab through my ears, make my head want to explode. I leapt across his desk.

    #

    The world was white and blue. I swept my eyes over the room, saw the heads-up display tell me the wall was 3.88 feet away, the temperature was seventy five degrees, and ambient sound was dimmed by fifty nine percent.

    I took a deep breath, felt water fill my lungs, filter through the gills of my armor.

    Soft waves of sound came to me through the water. “Mr. Vincent, is your tank warm enough?”

    I murmured a sound that my armor translated as “Yes, doctor. Thank you.”

    The Iron Wars began deep out at sea after we poisoned the world’s oceans. Warriors like me were genetically bred to live and fight in the water.

    We won.

    For the first time in sixteen years, I felt sunlight on my face; air moved across my skin. The ones who took my armor taught me about life on land, a life that felt barren, cold, empty.

    Now I’m where I belong, inside my armor, untouched, safe.

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