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Just Imagine

by FakeStories13


Just imagine…

I was lying in bed one stormy night. I closed my eyes and let the sound of the wind in the trees wash over me. It sounded like tempestuous waves.

I opened my eyes and it was still dark but I was lying on a beach. The roaring wasn’t the wind knocking against my house and crashing into the trees. The roaring was the waves of a turbulent sea. When I stood up, I could see the lights from the nearby boardwalk. Standing alone in the background, I could see the light of the colorful carnival rides and the overpriced stores. Tourists crowded the strip like moths to a burning flame. The boardwalk was far away enough that its lights didn't penetrate the beach, which was so dark the water looked like ink. But I wasn’t afraid or anxious. As I saw the stars winking down at me, felt the salty spray from the ocean, and felt the cool, soothing sand, I felt settled; safe, and content. I felt weightless yet grounded.

At some point, I decided to explore the strip. Kids sticky with cooling sweat and cotton candy ran in and out of air-conditioned stores and weaved through groups of people. Individual conversations, music blasting from stores, and screams from the carnival rides blurred into a collage of white noise. I stopped, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath; allowing the cool night air and serenity to wash over me.

But the chatter from the crowd faded away and the crashing of the waves began to sound more like the wind rustling the trees. When I opened my eyes, I was laying down again but where I lay wasn’t the cool sand on a beach. It was my bed, in my small bedroom, in my empty house. Even as the feeling faded away, even as I was brought back to reality, I found myself grasping for the memories. Grasping for this fabricated fantasy. But this fantasy was not REAL.

Reality hits me. It crushes and suffocates me. Reality is like a bucket of ice water; an unwelcome, heart-stopping wrench out of a safe, serene dream.

Any feedback is appreciated. Also, please comment on what your interpretation of my short story is. Thank you!


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Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:46 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi FakeStories13,

Mailice here with a short review!

You create with your text an impressive interpretation of the pain of waking up after a much cherished dream and realising that reality is a sad fragment in which we are driven by pain and suffering.

What I like is how simple the beginning is. It really seems like a long day after school/work and you are now ready for bed. Only then, in the dream, does a completely new world open up. I like the way you have divided the sections, where one can interpret a little that the dream goes through some phases before it comes to the awakening. It seems like a bubble that slowly bursts.

I like how the end speeds up a bit and you realise that everything you've built up in the dream is melting away.
One criticism I have, which is more technical, is how you start your dream. You write it like you're writing a story and not like the point where a dream begins. But I don't know exactly how you can rewrite that without it seeming choppy in the narrative.

As for the actual interpretation of the dream, I have the impression that your subconscious wants to weigh itself into freedom. Something is oppressing the narrator in reality, which is compensated for in the dream. Of course, it could also be a memory he has that is now reflected in the dream. More towards the second half of the dream, I see it as an urge to engage with other people. The attempt to enjoy it, however, is destroyed when the narrator wakes up a little later.

Some points that stood out while reading:

When I stood up, I could see the lights from the nearby boardwalk. Standing alone in the background, I could see the light of the colorful carnival rides and the overpriced stores.

What I like about the two sentences is how you repeat them structurally, creating a great reading flow.

Even as the feeling faded away, even as I was brought back to reality, I found myself grasping for the memories. Grasping for this fabricated fantasy. But this fantasy was not REAL.

That was an excellent description you wrote. I like how you feel the pain and longing when you read it because you have experienced it yourself. It's that urge to return and live a pain-free life again. You've done a really good job.

Reality hits me. It crushes and suffocates me. Reality is like a bucket of ice water; an unwelcome, heart-stopping wrench out of a safe, serene dream.

Just as I praised the previous section, I find this one less so. You still did a great job of describing it, but your writing style here seems more along the lines of bitterness, which doesn't fit with the rest of the text. I would try to rewrite it a little bit.

Have fun writing!

Mailice.




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Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:13 am
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courtneyre wrote a review...



I really liked this. The second paragraph could have some restructuring, but it's still nice! Your imagery really strengthens the story. I'm inspired to write about one of my own dreams now.
Personally, the story reminds me of how it feels to grow up. Not only in the sense of being taken away from childhood, but also the pain of wishing you were a kid again




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Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:27 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! A late welcome to YWS!! I'm sure you'll love it here. :D I'm just here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Well, this was a pretty cool interesting story here. There definitely seems to be a lot more happening within in than is immediately obvious on the surface, and there's also some awesome description down in there too. :D

Anyway let's get right to it,

I was lying in bed one stormy night. I closed my eyes and let the sound of the wind in the trees wash over me. It sounded like tempestuous waves.

I opened my eyes and it was still dark but I was lying on a beach. The roaring wasn’t the wind knocking against my house and crashing into the trees. The roaring was the waves of a turbulent sea. I could see the lights from the nearby boardwalk. I could see the light of the colorful carnival rides and the overpriced stores. Tourists crowded the strip like moths to a burning flame.


Well, that is an intriguing start that you've got there. Certainly a pretty mysterious transition here from being in bed to suddenly appearing on a beach. Also love the imagery there as well. It really conveys quite an image and the way you describe things in the second paragraph with things sort of coming into focus for the character here is a nice touch to see them coming to the realization of where they are at.

I could see all this as I stood alone on the sand in the background. The boardwalk was far away enough that its lights didn't penetrate the beach, which was so dark the water looked like ink. But I wasn’t afraid or anxious. As I felt the salty spray from the ocean and the cool, soothing sand, I felt settled; safe, and content. I felt weightless yet grounded.


Hmm, well this tourist area is certainly an interesting detail because it seems a tad bit different compared to all the other imagery of nature but well, I suppose we shall see. And its interesting to see the character so relaxed despite how dark the place is. They seem to just be focusing on the soothing qualities of a beach...and this is really starting to make me think this is perhaps a dream that they are having here.

As I lay on the sand, I could still hear the crashing waves. I could see the stars winking down at me despite the brightly glimmering boardwalk. At some point, I got up and explored the strip. Kids sticky with cooling sweat and cotton candy ran in and out of air-conditioned stores and weaved through groups of people. Individual conversations, music blasting from stores, and screams from the carnival rides blurred into a collage of white noise. I stopped, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath; allowing the cool night air and serenity to wash over me.


Hmm, alright so we're headed toward the tourists I see, well this was still actually a pretty relaxing image here...seems to be a slightly chaotic but wholesome place judging by this description here. The description of the last line is also intriguing, the protagonist wonders towards all that chaos but then seems to just want to enjoy the peace of the surroundings...I wonder if there's a message somewhere in that.

But the chatter from the crowd faded away and I the crashing of the waves began to sound more like the wind rustling the trees. When I opened my eyes, I was laying down again but where I lay wasn’t the cool sand on a beach. It was my bed, in my small bedroom, in my empty house. Even as the feeling faded away, even as I was brought back to reality, I found myself grasping for the memories. Grasping for this fabricated fantasy. But this fantasy was not REAL.


Hmm, well that seems to confirm the dream theory there....and well, this is a pretty normal scene for most there, just trying to hold on the last dredges of the dream, and trying to imagine its real. Although the way this particular thing is worded, I have a feeling this is more than a mere dream, or at the protagonist is stuck in a situation where the real world is not a very good place.

Reality hits me. It crushes and suffocates me. Reality is like a bucket of ice water; an unwelcome, heart-stopping wrench out of a safe, serene dream.


Well that seems to really drive that hope...and well...it is hard to see what this may be, but perhaps this beach is somehow significant to the protagonist. I have a feeling perhaps even that tourist area may have some sort of significance especially since the dream faded away from there. Its tough to point out, but yeah, it was certainly a pretty interesting little story this one. :D

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, well, it was a really interesting read. Hopefully I didn't overthink things there at the end, but uhh...that's kind of what I think I saw in it. Anyway that's about all I've gotta say for now. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:22 pm
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starlitmind wrote a review...



Hey there! :) I saw this piece in the literary section and wanted to leave a review for you. But first of all, welcome to YWS! ^_^ If you ever have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you c: I'll jump right into the review!

I was lying in bed one stormy night.


Ooh, how about instead of saying "stormy night," you could describe the night instead? You mentioned winds rough enough to be compared to tempestuous waves (and I loved that simile, by the way!) What other descriptions could you add to show the storminess? Rain that's pounding, sounding like it's going to break the window? Black clouds that block any light from the moon / stars? Just some thoughts to consider! ^_^

I could see the lights from the nearby boardwalk. I could see the light of the colorful carnival rides and the overpriced stores.


Could you go more in depth with these descriptions? The narrator sees them, so I would also love to see them c: Especially with the carnival ride lights - what colour are they? Are they flashing or staying still? Are the obnoxiously bright / neon, or a softer colour?

I could see all this as I stood alone on the sand in the background.


I thought the narrator was lying down - did they get up? ^_^

I could see the stars winking down at me despite the brightly glimmering boardwalk.


Ooh, I love this part - it almost feels like there's a message in there somewhere, something like "no one and nothing can shine out your own light" or "you shine brighter than everyone else" or something like that xD I also love the use of the verb "winking"!

I felt weightless yet grounded.


Ah, this is super interesting!! Feeling grounded and feeling weightless are positive feelings, but ones that I didn't expect to be associated together; I love it! ^_^

Kids sticky with cooling sweat and cotton candy ran in and out of air-conditioned stores and weaved through groups of people.


I think this is my favourite sentence of this piece! Something about specifying that the stores are our-condtitioned feels really cool. Also, love the cotton candy that was mentioned and their "cooling sweat" + large groups of people

But the chatter from the crowd faded away and I the crashing of the waves began to sound more like the wind rustling the trees.


I believe you have a story "I" in there ^_^

Grasping for this fabricated fantasy. But this fantasy was not REAL.


I find the last sentence to be unnecessary, because you already mentioned that the fantasy was "fabricated," so we know the fantasy isn't real. In addition, I find the fabricated fantasy sentence to be a stronger end to your paragraph. But that's just my opinion! :)

Reality hits me. It crushes and suffocates me. Reality is like a bucket of ice water; an unwelcome, heart-stopping wrench out of a safe, serene dream.


Ooh, I really love the simile you used at the end! It's unique to me, and that's what makes it more impactful. I find that metaphors tend to be stronger than similes, so if you want, you could remove the "like" and strongly state that "Reality is a bucket of ice water." Just a thought! ^_^

And that's all I got for you! Overall, I really enjoyed reading this short story. You explored a super neat concept: how dreams can be an escape for reality, and the bigger picture that reality is harsh, cold, and cruel. The beach definitely sounds a lot more pleasant than the storm, which was a great comparison to draw out. It's a little scary how "fabricated fantasies" are more appealing than real life, and that sort of concept was also displayed in this short story.

Thanks for sharing! ^_^ It was a great piece, and I hope to read more from you soon. Hope this helps!




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Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:16 pm
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WinnyWriter wrote a review...



Hey there! Your short story is great. You've taken us to a place in your imagination and allowed us to see it in our mind's eye through the image you paint. You've done great with describing the setting.

I also like how you've worked emotion into this. You e described not being afraid, but feeling safe and settled. I also really love how you said, "I felt weightless yet grounded." Really beautiful sentence that depicts not only a physical sensation, but also the soaring contentedness of the heart.

So I did notice a few things that could be improved. First off, you wrote, "As I laid on the said....," etc. The correct verb here would be "lay," not "laid." You've used it correctly later on, so it's really just a small critique. However, in the same paragraph with the above mentioned grammar error, you ended two consecutive sentences with the word "boardwalk." It just sounds a little clunky. Other than those, I don't think there are really any points of concern.

In conclusion, I feel like you're giving us an image of how easy it can be to escape reality by disappearing into one's own head. There, anything can become like it's real, and it's such a freeing feeling. But having to come back down to earth can feel so disappointing afterward.

Great job here! Keep up the good work!




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Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:54 pm
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RealSadhours296 wrote a review...



I really, really liked the imagery here. It's not too detailed to where I easily zone out to it, and then forget what I'm reading (this happens to me whenever I encounter 'purple prose' works a lot), but it's just detailed enough that I become immersed in the world; in the sights and smells and tastes of the writing.

As for the story itself, I can sort of relate to that feeling; of dreams that feel so much better than reality. I usually have pretty weird and nonsensical dreams, but even those feel better than real life at times.

One part that kind of broke my emersion for a second was this part in paragraph 4:

"I could see all this as I stood alone on the sand in the background. The boardwalk was bright but the beach was so dark the water looked like ink. But I wasn’t afraid or anxious."

Specifically with the last two sentences. Prepositions are usually not used to start a sentence, as well as end it. It's not that it's grammatically incorrect. You can still do it; it just kind of broke the emersion for me because I tend not to write like that. I would have put a semicolon there.

It's a small nitpick though, really. Everything else was great. Keep up the good work!




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Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:40 pm
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AshlynPhoenix wrote a review...



Hiya Ashlyn here for a review!! Before I dive into it though please know that this review is not intended to offend you or make your writing look bad!

I opened my eyes and it was still dark but I was lying on a beach. The roaring wasn’t the wind knocking against my house and crashing into the trees. The roaring was the waves of a turbulent sea.

Hmmm...I feel like you use the word was to much here. Maybe there's a more engaging way you could word that? Either way, as far as bringing images into the readers mind, that does its job-I can hear the sound of the waves, and feel the ocean breeze. Definitely, I can see myself along a endless beach thats almost white with moonlight, and I imagine my self looking up at the sky.
But I wasn’t afraid or anxious. As I felt the salty spray from the ocean and the cool, soothing sand, I felt settled; safe, and content. I felt weightless yet grounded.

Weightless yet grounded sums up my interpretation of this peace. In real life, the narrator feels 'weightless' or numb with stress, and the dream is his subconscious mind trying to shelter or 'ground' him, in a safe haven from those emotions.
Where I lay wasn’t the cool sand on a beach. It was my bed, in my small bedroom, in my empty house. Even as the feeling faded away, even as I was brought back to reality, I found myself grasping for the memories. Grasping for this fabricated fantasy. But this fantasy was not REAL.

You did an amazing job here! This left me with questions, and left me wondering what exactly that dream represented. Especially the 'grasping for the memories'. Maybe in attempt to shelter him from those emotions the narrators subconscious mind formulated the dream from snippets of his memories?
Reality hits me. It crushes and suffocates me. Reality is like a bucket of ice water; an unwelcome, heart-stopping wrench out of a safe, serene dream.

Mind-blowing way to end the story <333
In conclusion you did a great job with this!

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Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:34 pm
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chikara wrote a review...



Hey there!

Since the title is the first line, I'll just focus on that- it's simple, but it really sets the scene. What happens later in the story might not be real, or it might be real and the narrator wants to downplay whatever it is. Both are things I've seen in short stories like this, and both have their pros and cons surrounding atmosphere and the overall voice.

It's hard to tell just from the first line though, so let's look at the rest~

I was lying in bed one stormy night. I closed my eyes and let the sound of the wind in the trees wash over me. It sounded like tempestuous waves.


This feels almost dreamlike? The narrator is lying in bed, so obviously they were trying to sleep some time. They also mentioned sounds of trees and waves, which are both noises that people use to fall asleep to, as they are calm and set a peaceful tone to the room.

Paired with the next lines, the whole dream setting works. Listening to waves, the narrator dreams of beaches and what comes with that kind of place.

The boardwalk was bright but the beach was so dark the water looked like ink. But I wasn’t afraid or anxious.


I was starting to think it was a nightmare, and it possibly still can be. All of the descriptions used can be considered dark depending on the person reading, and I'm not really feeling it. With the whole dream aspect of this, it's really hard to keep between the thin lines of this really scary nightmare that keeps you awake for days and dream that's fine.

I don't mind either of those plans, though.

But as the chatter from the crowd faded away and I realized the crashing of the waves was in fact the wind rustling the trees, I woke up.


I was right! Like I said, it's a really cool idea to play around with. It is quite hard to actually end the dreaming sequence and go back to reality at some times though. I could specifically point out this scene above as proof for why I think that too~

When you wake up from a dream, you might feel terrible. Some people might not even realize they were dreaming, and because of that small thing, this scene is kind of weaker than the others depending on how you look at it. I would've liked a little more build-up to the person realizing that they are awake, and maybe some disappointment.

That's all I have to say. Nice story!

Cheers!






I really like your suggestion for when the person wakes up! Thank you so much for your review!




Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.
— James R. Cook