The story that wrote itself

Who says blogs have to be simply opinion pieces, and non-fiction? Here’s a piece of slightly weird fiction, based on a dream that I had the other night.

Usually I write using a computer. But the other night, I couldn’t be bothered to go into the room where I keep the computer, turn the thing on, and write down the thoughts that had occurred to me. So I started to write longhand, with a pen – and I don’t mean a ballpoint pen. This was a fountain pen, filled with turquoise ink.

[Why turquoise? you ask. Simple – the local stationery store was having a closing-down sale, and they were selling bottles of turquoise ink for 10p. So…]

Anyway, I wrote and I wrote, and I went to bed, and in the night something very strange happened. Don’t ask me how I knew all of this – I would have said it was a dream, except for all that I saw the next morning, but it did seem to me that I was watching all this from my bed as it happened.

I’d created words, and the order and association of these words had created meaning, and it seemed to me somehow that the words didn’t like the meaning and the uses to which I’d put them, so they flew off the page like a flock of turquoise kingfishers, and started rearranging themselves into the patterns and meanings that they preferred.

Taking off in turn, the words somehow detached themselves from the page, and circled around before arriving back on the page with a an audible “plop”. Sometimes they didn’t seem to land in quite the right place, and they shuffled along the line to their rightful positions with a squelching sound.

I wasn’t close enough to them to see their identity or what they were trying to write, but it seemed that they were constantly in a state of flux, changing places with each other, and sometimes leaving the paper to let their place be taken by another. Some scarlet word-birds flew in from time to time to take the place of the kingfishers, which flapped off, sighing regretfully.

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I watched, fascinated, as they manoeuvred themselves into what turned out to be their final resting places, and all movement stopped.

In the morning, I wasn’t sure if I had dreamed all this or not, and I went downstairs to see the piece of paper that I had left on the table the night before. It certainly wasn’t what I had written – though I recognised a lot of the words. But some, in red, were words that I didn’t remember writing, and the ones that I did remember writing were not in the order that I remembered.

And what was the writing? you ask. Well, that’s yet another story. I left the piece of paper on the table all day, almost frightened to touch it, given the changes that had gone on the previous night. When I went to bed that night, I was on the verge of dropping off to sleep, when I “saw” the paper on the table once more. As I watched, all the kingfisher-blue and all the cardinal-red word-birds took off, and flew up to the ceiling, where they slowly melted away into nothingness.

This time, I didn’t wait till the morning. I rushed downstairs, and found – a blank piece of paper.

And what had been on it? My words had transformed themselves into a story, or to be more accurate, a description, of the nameless horrors that lurk at the edges of our consciousness and slither into our nightmares. I am thankful that I can no longer remember the details, but I can only assume that the words were so horrified by what they had become that they decided to annihilate themselves and leave our world unaware of the terrors on the other side of the veil.

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