Daddy, where do stories come from?
My Meditation Card this morning was the 8 of Swords. Not a good way to start the day.
A woman, judging by her dress she’s not a commoner, stands on a muddy plain. She is securely bound and blindfolded. Around her are 8 swords stuck upright in the mud. In the distant background, a castle stands on a rugged mountain.
This card speaks to me of helplessness and of unseen danger far from the safety and comfort of home.
I think of my mother at supper last night. She has been an invalid since her last major stroke abour 4 years ago. For the past six months, she has been fading. She can barely see and speaking is a real effort. She has little strength and cannot sit upright for more than a few minutes at a time. She can no longer eat solid food and lives on Glucerna.
The horror is that she is still alive in there, trapped in a body that no longer functions, her personal oubliette. And she can’t even scream.
Title: The Scream You Hear May Be Your Own
Bill Akers is troubled by a recurring dream that he is having more and more frequently. In the dream, he is in a hotel hallway, drawn there by screams that apparently only he can hear. They are coming from inside Room 832. He approaches the room. As he touches the doorknob, a scream occurs that is more physical force than sound. It flings him across the hall and pins him to the floor. He feels like the force is filling him to bursting. As he feels that he can’t take any more and is going to explode he awakens.
On his way to work, the bus is much more cropwded than usual, and he is forced to stand. Instead of reading his newspaper, he has to watch the scenery. Along the way he sees an old but elegant hotel which draws him. He knows that it is the hotel from his dream.
On his lunch hour, he goes back to the hotel and asks about Room 832. It is empty, so he checks in. Upstairs, he sees the exact same scene he has been seeing in his dream. He walks nervously to the room and opens the door…
And then I woke up!
Ha! You didn’t think I was going to give away the ending, did you?
This is what Frank Herbert called the “demanding memory” in Dune. This story does not demand to be written, it compels me with overwhelming force. That means it should be a good one.
Submitted “Where the Heart Is” to C/OASIS. I am also getting “Baby Blues” ready to submit to “The People’s Friend”. Since they are in Scotland, things are a little complicated.