Word Bytes | Endless Cycle
A monthly flash fiction by Allusir who loves dragons and unicorns, and if there is a place, book, or game with one or both of these magnificent creatures, you can bet he'll want to be there and maybe even live there!
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Or read more of his fantasy stories here:
Friday night laundry was the worst.
Heart decorations had rubbed themselves in my face all day. The love struck puppies I called friends and party animals I called roommates were all out. They all had someone to hold close and whisper sweet nothings to.
What did I have? A basket of dirty gym clothes to carry down the stairs and wistful dreams of the curly haired blonde I did my best to not check out in the locker room twice a week after dance.
Next Friday my professor was off on some trip. Maybe I could bump into my violin playing dream boat between the music hall and the gym and see if he wanted to have a swim buddy.
“Hey, I always see you in the locker room after my class. Maybe today, we could…” Nope, already dripping with creepy stalker vibe.
A few choice words seethed through my teeth and echoed off the crusty basement walls as the washer door smashed my knee. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t going to find anyone. My Friday nights would be forever filled with laundry.
Life as a famous dancer meant leaving this small town in the middle of nowhere. Who knows where I would end up in the next six months. Each engagement announcement that blast my Twitter left me with a sour feeling in my gut.
“If only I could forget these dreams.”
“If that’s what you really wish for,” a voice whispered through the dusty air. “I can give you what you want.”
I spun on my heel and came face to face with a monster. Wispy smoke glowed and floated around the beast’s striped fur. Long tusks and a trunk grew from its face.
“What are you?”
“Baku, Mo, I’ve had many names through the ages.”
“What do you want.”
“To help you,” the creature smiled. “To make those painful hopes and wishes disappear.”
It turned to smoke and drifted around the room until the puffy cloud hovered next to my ear.
“Think about it. You won’t have to think about all the things you wish you had. You won’t have to feel the sadness, the emptiness. You won’t be tormented by what to say to that musician.”
“Can you really do that?”
“If that is what you wish for. I am a dream eater. I will eat all your bad dreams. I will give you freedom. I will be right here in this basement, whenever you desire.”
My phone vibrated. Yet another picture of happiness in a restaurant plastered in hearts. More impossible dreams of the couple being me and that guy turned to crushing loneliness.
“Will it hurt?”
“Don’t worry, you won’t remember a thing.”
* * * * *
I found myself walking up the stairs, basket full of clean laundry. I didn’t remember folding everything, but it wasn’t the first time I spaced out. I turned off the light and when upstairs, unable to hear the whisper behind me.
“See you again next week.”
~ THE END ~
(Illustration: Pei-Ling Chiu)
I wrote this piece from a contest prompt, and really hope it will help people think of the endless cycles in their own lives. So often we get stuck in a loop of doubt, insecurity, and fear. Rather than face those fears head on, too often we are willing to give up on our hopes, dreams and happiness.
Afraid to confess to the person you have a crush on
for fear of rejection.
Tell yourself he’s probably straight
and continue to be a wallflower.
Afraid to tell your family that you’re gay
for fear of abandonment.
Tell yourself they don’t need to know
and continue keeping your life fragmented.
Afraid to hold your boyfriend’s hand
for fear of disapproval from those sharing the sidewalk.
Tell yourself it’s not really a big deal and continue hurting his feelings.
Afraid to leave a bad relationship
for fear being unable to find another in a more limited pool.
Tell yourself it’s not that bad, list a few good memories and continue to suffer.
Afraid to adopt a child
for fear they will be bullied about having two fathers.
Tell yourself you never really wanted kids and continue envying fathers playing in the park.
Take a moment to look at the cycles in your life. What are you living in constant fear of? Are you really okay with that? Or do you still dream and wish for change?
( Editing： Alexis )