Rated PG for Waking Dreams (Not the Idealistic Kind)
read by Sarah Tolbert
by Samantha Henderson
The dream jerks me awake and I stare at the rough plaster ceiling. My body is filmed with sweat, and the pattern of cracks above me looks just like Nevada.
The dream leaves me hollow. An empty place like the inside of a drum stretched tight, a hollow place echoing with short sharp cries of dread or despair.
The dream forces tears from me eyes, crawling slowly, thick like worms, drying into sticky crusts of salt.
I blink once, twice, and emerge from the shadow of the dream. The pit of of my stomach aches, as if punched, once, twice.
I blink three times and I’m out of it. Out.
About the Author
Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California by way of England, South Africa, Illinois and Oregon. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk Revolutions and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk, as well as being podcast in Podcastle, Escape Pod, and The Drabblecast. She’s the author of the Forgotten Realms novels Heaven’s Bones and Dawnbringer, and is currently working on a novel based on her short story “Cinderella Suicide.“