Wednesday, November 4, 2015


(From The Good Ship Reverie.)

WARNINGS: Paranormal themes.

Rock 'n' Read

The Reverie’s strangeness had inspired a number of weird things in Daniela’s mind, but the dream put every one of them to shame.

All Daniela’s dreams tended to be vivid ones, and this one was no different; the influence of the ship turned this particular dream into a 1920s silent film, even complete with a gritty black-and-white tone that covered everything her dream-self saw.  She was experiencing the dream’s events from her own body – at least, she was as far as she could tell.  The clothes she wore were most definitely not her own.  Her mind had slipped her into an elegant gown that shimmered in the right light, and paired it with a string of pearls heavy enough to be made of the real thing.  Pearls hung from her ears, too, and silky white gloves engulfed her hands and arms to the elbow.

The dream’s surroundings were just as surreal, but it only took a few minutes of pacing through dark-paneled and fine-carpeted halls for Daniela to realize where she was.  Even in complete colorlessness, there could be no mistake.  Her subconscious hadn’t taken her far at all – she was wandering through the gilded belly of the Reverie.

A man was singing.  The sound was distant enough to echo, but close enough to sound as though it came from all sides of her head at once.  Daniela pivoted as quickly as she could on the glamorous heels she’d found on her feet, then tripped uneasily down the hallway into which she’d placed herself.  She was headed somewhere specific, but couldn’t remember exactly why.

“You there, miss!”

Daniela spun around and nearly fell into a wall, inexplicably dizzy.  The man was approaching her now, his entire body just as monochrome as everything else.  For some reason it didn’t surprise her at all that he was dressed in a vintage pinstripe suit, complete with a removed fedora he carried at his side.  His clothes were clear, but even though Daniela was staring straight at him, it seemed to get harder and harder to focus on his face.  It took her several moments to realize his mouth was moving, and he was speaking to her.

“I- excuse me?” she said to him, her own voice sounding infinitely louder than his.

“I said,” the man repeated, gesturing urgently with his hat, “I said, step lightly!  Those dogs are awful noisy!”  He gestured again, this time at her feet.  “You’ll wake him.  Are you coming to the dinner party?”

Daniela’s head was spinning.  She opened her mouth to reply when a sudden pitch sent her stumbling toward the wall again.  This time she struck it with her entire side, a pain shooting up her hip.  It was as if the floor itself were moving.  “Wake who?” she called to the man, who stood stock-still and upright, immune to the slow tipping of the floor.

The man tilted his invisible face at her.  She could see his monochrome eyes, his open mouth, his large ears and nose, his sturdy jaw – but not his face.

“Wake who?  The captain, of course!  You’ll wake the captain!”

Slowly he raised his right hand.  Daniela’s eyes moved to the engraved ring that sat on one finger, reflecting flickers of white light as he moved.  The man tapped his nose once, then pointed at her as though he’d communicated a clever secret.

The ship’s gravity was pushing Daniela further into the wall.  She raised her voice without knowing why, amazed that the pinstriped man still hadn’t fallen over.  “Wake him?  Isn’t he steering the ship?”

A cheerful and terrible laugh broke from the man’s mouth, reverberating down the hall with a sudden loudness that sent Daniela’s hand flying to her ear.

“Why on earth would he be?  We’re sinking!”

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