I woke up a little groggily. I have awakened from a nap several times this way in the past but I noticed that it requires a little more will and effort to really get up from my bed this time.
I remembered having worked a sweat a couple of hours ago when I weeded out the thickening grasses in the vacant neighbor’s front yard. That probably accounted for the muscle and back aches I’m feeling.
After pushing the water closet’s flush button I proceeded to turn on the lavatory faucet to wash my hands and that’s when I almost jumped with a start. Any remaining drowsiness I previously felt went poof in an instant.
I felt like being in one of those horror movies as I stared at the strange much much older face in the mirror who stared back at me with the same surprised and horrified look.
Am I presently in a nightmare? Have I taken a nap too soon after the workout I did earlier that my body is reacting rather strangely by giving me this weird dreams?
Convinced that it’s just a dream, I felt some sort of eerie elation as I thought about finally being able to experience lucid dreaming.
I hurried outside and immediately decided to enjoy the much hyped joys of conscious dreaming. Like flying a la superman. I willed myself to be attired in Superman clothing – the kind of material and design used in the latest Man of Steel movie. And of course I have to blow up my pecs a bit to make my look more credible.
Oops, what’s wrong? Why is it not working? Why am I still looking down at very elderly wrinkled hands and loose clothing usually worn by old folks? And the painful joints and pains in almost every part of my body — what is happening?
I tried to think of other ways of checking whether I’m dreaming or not? Pinching! So, I pinched the fleshy part between my wrist and elbow.
Ouch! That hurts! And it wasn’t even a really strong pinch.
I’m not dreaming then? I hurriedly ambled back to the bathroom mirror to check again. Nothing’s changed. There’s still that old guy. On closer inspection, I recognized that he’s actually me. But why is he so old? I know I’m presently forty-something. What’s with the 80-something guy in the mirror?
I thought of the other people in the house. Oh, just my luck! I remembered they had gone to the mall to buy some school supplies.
Confusion and the scary feeling of being hopelessly lost threatened to overwhelm me. This just can’t be. If this isn’t a dream, I can think of only two other possible explanation for this. Either I’m a victim of some evil spell, or I have lost my mind. Whatever the case, I can only see myself facing hopelessness and an inability to find a way out of this quandary. If I haven’t lost my mind yet, I’m sure I will within the next few minutes if this goes on any further.
Oh my God, even thinking about it and writing it down makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
I had to blink twice and get myself out of the trance to stop the thread in my head. Whew! I think this ‘writing prompts’ technique may work according to the intentions of their originators.
I just happened to stumble today upon this writing prompt generator page and got this first prompt:
[note]”You awake from a nap only to discover you are 80 years old. Describe what happens next.”[/note]
I had earlier plotted to stretch this into a dream within a dream instance. But I soon realized that singers and storytellers probably share a common trait. That they both emote and thus feel the emotions of the characters in the song/story.
I almost got to the point of being overwhelmed and thus had to cut the story short. And I’m not even that good a writer.
Writing prompts, they say, are great tools to overcome what they call writers’ block. I also think it’s one cool tool to practice one’s writing skills and thus improve in this area. Aside from the site I mentioned earlier, there are other sites that offer this tool for writers and would-be writers.
I also searched for an iPhone app for this and found 17, of which only 3 are free. Of the 3 free apps, 2 are probably cool enough for this exercise.
Flash Fiction Prompter – is a free iPhone app that can provide random plots for a short story. It even suggests the characters as well as the setting for the story. Perfect especially if you want to improve your imagination and story writing skills.
The other app is called WordDot, a random name and phrase generator. The phrase actually consists of two random words which are most often unrelated.
What do you think of writing prompts?