Posted by: victanguera | December 31, 2009

Writing Prompt #117

Tonight I’m dj-ing on Salt Spring for their New Year’s dance. Of course I’m horribly nervous. Insert requisite dreams. I think I realized that you can find out what your deepest fear is by the dreams you have. Some people dream about arriving somewhere without clothes, or getting lost. Me: being late… who knew. Every time I go somewhere or start a new venture, I dream I arrive after I should.

So for today’s prompt, what does your protagonist dream about before a new venture? Also think about the nuances of those phobic dreams. If you are about to start a new job, your dreams would be different from the ones you would have if you were flying somewhere for the first time. What do those dreams tell you about your character that you didn’t know? How about your antagonist–come on, they can’t be fully confident in their evil take over the world schemes. What do their dreams reveal about their deep insecurities?

p.s. Most likely no prompt tomorrow as I’ll be on my way home from Salt Spring. Have a happy New Year. Don’t drink too much champagne at midnight.


  1. I have two protagonists. They have dreams involving famous characters in history and film. I think this reveals how they naïve they are when it comes to the situations they put themselves in. They are treasure hunting on an island and they fail to see the danger ahead of them. They only know what they’ve seen on tv. I didn’t really have that in mind but I guess that’s what their dreams reveal about themselves! Happy New Year’s Day!

    • Very interesting. When I first read what your characters dream about, I thought there might be some symbolism dreaming about historical characters. That could be so cool to play with: “Oh, I remember how to do this, Benjamin Franklin did…” and then they fill in the blank. But maybe he never did. Is it only one character that has these dreams, or all of them. Wow, the potential for plot elements if all of them are having the same kind of dreams. Okay, I’ll shut up now.

      My character doesn’t dream. Because she’s a vampire and dies during the day, my logic is that vampires die so they don’t have to dream and thus relive old memories that might haunt them (like their first kill, or the day they became a vampire etc.) At one point, my protagonist is injured and winds up hallucinating, the closest thing to a dream-state for her. This is what she “dreams”:

      I dreamed of a young girl, maybe four or five. Two polka-dotted yellow ribbons cinched her coppery red hair into unruly little pony tails. Looking back over her shoulder, she ran down a sunlit street. She laughed and waved her tiny hand for me to follow.

      I skipped after her. The warm mountain breeze blew my long black hair in to my face, and I brushed it back. The girl disappeared from view, and I pursued her into a wooded copse. Pursued her giggling laughter deeper and deeper in to the deep green darkness.

      “No…” The tortured sound escaped me. Gasping for breath, I wrenched open my eyes, still gummed shut with suppurating pus. The agony tore at me. Shadowed forms danced in front of my face.

      “Don’t. Just lie still.” A hand pushed me back on to a cold surface. “Increase the drip, Simone.”

      “Are you coming?” The girl had paused, watching me from behind a tree. Spots of darkness dappled her white dress, giving her the appearance of an appoloosa. “Come mommy. Let’s play hide and seek.”

      “Run. And don’t come back. Don’t ever come back.” I pleaded with my eyes, willing her to listen. But she waited, a smile playing across her lips. “Yes, hide. Oh god, please hide.”

      I yelled and yelled, but no sound came out. Yellow ribbons poked out from one side of the tree, then the other. Dark forms moved nearer, then farther, taunting me with a promise of safety for her that wouldn’t come.

      “She’s delirious. Can you get her to drink?” Someone held a cup under my parched lips, cracking them even more. I moaned, turned my head away. Pushed the hand back.

      “No. Please don’t make me. Kill me.” The sound wailed through me, out my parched lips. “Please, let me die.” I thrashed on the stone slab. Arms encased me, making movement impossible.

      “Shh,” she said, and put her tiny finger over her lips. “Don’t be silly. Close your eyes. Count to ten.” Her giggle–and her bright yellow polka-dot ribbons–gave away her hiding spot, but I pretended not to notice.

      “I won’t count.” I threw my hands up over my eyes, gouged at them to eradicate the vision. “Run, darling. Run. Mommy won’t catch you. I promise.”

      “Hold her.”

      “Drew,” I moaned, but received no answer. I thought I reached out my fingers, but touched nothing but air. He would save her. “Stop me. Please, stop me.”

      “Make her drink,” he said. Fever wracked my body, and I curled up around the shivering. Warm flesh bumped against my mouth. I sucked my lips inward, not wanting to feel the tantalizing warmth offered.

      “No… Not you, too.”

      Flesh hit my lips again. I beat at it, sank back in to the dappled tree surrounded copse. Pain in my neck. My hand, reaching to touch, came away slick with blood. Fangs sank deep in to unresisting flesh. I moaned. Thrashed in pain. Images flashed white and red ehind my eyes.

      Red bloomed on a small white dress.

      The blood lust cleared.

      A small body lay crumpled at my feet.

      Arms, warm and strong, snaked around my middle.

      Shh, I’ve got you, a voice that no longer existed whispered in my ear. But it was too late. It would always be too late. “I’ve got you.”

  2. I really like it! One thing, why was pus in her eyes? Ew. But The rest of it was very cool. I love vampire stories, especially Interview with the Vampire. Do your vampires have any other quirks other than dying during the day? Did the vampire really kill her daughter?
    I should play around more with the historical characters. There is some history in the story, I just have to do more research. You gave me a really good idea! I’ll et you know how it goes.

    • Thanks! I’m glad you like it. Tavi, the protagonist, gets caught in the sun and almost burns. As a result, she is covered in burns and pus (ha, ha thanks for picking up on my typo. I made it that she had a cat on her eyes). I can’t say anything about her daughter, that would give away too much.

      I’m glad you have a great idea for your story. Yes, please let me know how it goes.

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