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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/