I wanna be a paperback writer

What I’m listening to right now: Highly Suspicious by My Morning Jacket

So like I said Monday, I’ve been writing a lot of fiction stuff in my free time. Its the first time I’ve ever really delved into it, so I want to put some of it out there to see what kind of reaction I can get. So heres a short short story I wrote. Enjoy.

“I think I’m dreaming,” I tell my parents as I sit in the backseat of the car while we drive to nowhere in particular. The slithering, echoing melodies of “The End” by The Doors plays softly on the radio.

“Oh? What’s this dream about?” My mother asks.

“No, no, I don’t think you’re hearing me. I’m dreaming right now, as in you, me, this car, aren’t real.”

“I know honey, I understood you the first time. What is this dream about?” She asks again, apparently unfazed by the insanity of my statement.

“Well, a group of random guys, including me, awoke some zombies when we tried to steal their treasure, so now they’re slowly taking over the world.”

“Hmm, interesting,” my father replies, keeping his eyes on the white, empty road ahead.

“So how did you end up here?” My mother asks as she reads her Martha Stewart catalog. Neither have so much as flinched during the entire crazy conversation. They just keep doing what they’re doing, apparently content with being imaginary figures in my head, driving on a never-ending road to nowhere.

“I don’t know. The zombies moved into someone’s house on a tropical lake after killing everyone in the town. Then I suddenly ended up here.”

“Maybe you woke up,” my father suggests casually.

“But this still feels like a dream.”

“But don’t you find it odd that you’re talking to your parents about a dream that you’re having right now as we speak, that you’re aware of the fact that you’re dreaming?”

“Well yea, that is pretty weird.”

“Are you sure you’re still asleep?”

The same rolling green pasture passes by, repeating itself like a nature documentary on loop outside the car window. The line separating reality and fantasy is becoming dangerously skewed, a surreal situation in a surreal plane of existence. Will I ever be able to get out of this unconscious purgatory, or will I be stuck in existential limbo forever?

“Time’s up son,” my father says.

“What? What do you mean?”

“You didn’t think you could stay here forever did you?” my mother asks.

“I don’t even know where I am!”

“That’s not important. What’s important is where you’re going.”

“Where am I going?”

“That’s for you to decide.”

The final remaining beats of “The End” float through the car as the last words of my mother resonate in my head. Suddenly the answer hits me. This isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning. The long, winding journey on the white highway is nowhere near its end. I might not always know where it’s going, it may not always be smooth, but as long as I’m in the driver’s seat, it will lead to the place I want to go, instead of nowhere in particular.

“End of this road, son. Time for you to take the wheel.”


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