Tonight’s flash fiction is unusually short for being me, and the idea came from an episode of Clear Skies (a totally rad Star Trek rpg that you should totally watch). Hope you enjoy it!
She was having the dream again. The landscape was a mess of roiling, twisted shapes, painted in putrid colors. Distant screeches tore at her eardrums, and the scent of burning prickled in her nostrils. Fear surged inside her like a heatwave, adrenaline spiking as the urge to run came over her, making her muscles twitch with impulse.
She stood her ground. She knew none of this was real, no matter how real it felt. In a moment she would reach into her pocket and feel for the smooth rock she’d found on the beach last year. She’d kept it in her pocket constantly for nearly three weeks now, ever since she told her therapist about the recurring nightmare and received the suggestion to keep something on her that she could reach for and not find, and know by its absence that what she saw around her wasn’t real. It was effective so far – she still had the dreams, but they weren’t as distressing now, didn’t leave her as exhausted in the morning.
She took a deep breath and slipped her hand into her pocket in search of that reassuring emptiness… and her fingers closed around the coolness of smooth rock.