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The Shadow of Dream

She awoke at about five in the morning to the incoherent shouts of her husband and a firm fist in the face. “Jimmy?” she asked, panicked, stinging still from the blow he landed.

“But… Who… And…” Jimmy was shouting nonsense and flailing his arms about, his face contorted in anger. “It was just… Wha…?”

“Jimmy? Are you okay?” She asked again, shaking him hopes of rousing him from his deeply troubled sleep.

And as though it never happened, his confusing tirade turned to gentle snoring. Unfortunately for Shannon, though, she couldn’t get back to sleep. Her face was hot where the bottom of his fist made contact with her eye and the adrenaline rush of having been aroused from her slumber in that way made it impossible to continue resting. Leaving Jimmy to rest, she got out of bed and wrapped her terry robe around her slender frame and left the bedroom.

This story appears as part of the collection "The Cruel Kids: Four Short Stories".  You can get it for the Kindle or the Nook.

Comments

Anna Russell said…
Your first sentence had me hating Jimmy then your last one had me wanting to give him a hug. Cleverly done.
I love the way this can be left to the reader's own interpretation of the dream.
Another good one from you.

Hugs
Anna xxx
Rohit Gore said…
Hi Bryan,

I saw that you like comments, so thought of taking your offer. I generally start my feedback with a disclaimer...I am just a struggling scribbler. The feedback that I am giving you is no way an expert's opinion. However, I do believe that by giving inputs, I can hammer the good things about writing into my thick skull ;-)
- I really loved the way you have started this story. It is full of action (although 'sleepy' stuff) and there is something happening that makes you read on. I love stories that start with action. I, as a reader, am like a train passenger. I want the train to move the moment I board it!
- It has a deep poignancy to it and I love such short pieces. It is the fear of the father who is continually worried for his children. The dream was a beautiful projection of that deep fear every father has
- It focuses on Jimmy almost entirely, but also builds character of Shannon.

A few things:
- I am always partial to stories that have fewer characters. This is a thousand odd word story and the fact that it had more than 3 characters can be distracting. But you have done well here.
- Just after the vivid start, the action suddenly drops. I think (I guess, rather) you could have done the entire breakfast routine of Shannon as a breather before the action builds up via the dream. However it broke the spell for me.
- Just have a closer look at the way you have described Jimmy's show of emotions: "Somberly, he looked out the window" , "With a deepening solemnity, Jimmy continued". I am sure you can do this far better by 'showing' rather than 'telling'

I look forward to reading your other stories! And, yes, I have the habit of not following my own advice ;-), so be absolutely brutal if you ever get some time to go through my wares.

Warm regards
Rohit
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