The dream is always the same. I start by clenching the carabiner. I am already halfway up the steep rock face. I gasp. I don’t rock climb, this isn’t me, what am I doing here?! It clicks that this is a dream.
I carefully continue my ascent. I find upper body strength I did not know I possessed. Higher and higher. The sun beats down, but it’s also windy.
Two thirds up the face, I discover super-human speed. My arms and legs sprout sinews and climbing suddenly becomes second nature. My climbing crescendos and I am nearly at the top when I see you.
You reach out your left had, smiling. Slowly, I reach out with my right hand, but as soon as I make contact, you disintegrate into a grotesque confetti. I am horrified.
I try to find hand holds and foot holds, but now what once were rocks are now paper mache, plaster and sea foam candy.
I grab harder, but the more force I exert, the more quickly the landscape disappears. And then I am falling mercilessly backwards.
This is how the dream ends. I wake up as though I have fallen into my bed. I check to make sure I am in one piece and slow my breathing.
My fingertips taste sugary and I turn to tell you my dream.
But, of course, the bed is empty.
This flash fiction prompt came from the Whidbey Island Writers Association: http://www.nila.edu/wiwa/word_well/