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Dreamless (0)

by keystrings

Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

Her life started as a simple one. She was homeschooled, but not really by her parents as her mom lived as a wannabe socialite and her dad worked far too long at his work. Not that she knew what his job was, exactly.

Instead, the staff at their not-so-humble abode raised her and taught her the alphabet and numbers and how to not cry from feeling too overwhelmed by the pressure of her parents and their grandparents.

The one interesting part was that she slept but did not dream.

It had become her usual routine, sleeping, waking up with no recollection of anything while sleeping, then back to sleeping at the end of the day.

The last time she dreamed, she was seven years old. What was the dream about?

She didn’t really remember besides a brief glimpse of a strange man standing in the hallway of her home. Although, it wasn't quite her home, after all. The wall color was different.

Her parents claimed that she had seen a home intruder and that was why she dreamed of it, but somehow forgot about it from the shock of witnessing it in real life. But, then why did she not dream ever again?

Again, their explanation was that the therapist they hired determined a way for her to not relive that nightmare and simply worked with her to develop a way to sleep without any dreams.

Not that she remembered that at all, either.

But, that had become, again, her new normal. At the young age of seven, she had permanently become someone that did not dream. She didn’t have anyone to talk about that with, not really, since she was homeschooled and didn’t go outside much besides with the appointed staff. No sleep-overs, no parties.

Well, her parents had parties. Grown-up parties with other grown-ups. If there were kids, there weren’t any that she got along with, nor did they ever exchange numbers or ever talk much besides the niceties.

Every once in a while, she was able to run around the nearby park and played on the toy set there, but she could never go when there were other people around. So she would be bundled up in layers in freezing weather since no one was wild enough to want to play during that time.

One day, she swore to herself. One day, she would have friends to chat with, friends to hang out with, friends she would be able to actually speak her mind with and not worry about the consequences.

And that would start with being able to get her schoolwork done and go to an actual college, like the ones she read about in her beloved books.

Some part of her was surprised that her parents let her grow so obsessed with reading and book collections. Maybe something in them decided that their daughter deserved to be happy even if she was doomed to be alone for such a long time in her life.

The cynical side of her said that they were happy she found an activity that was solitary, kept her busy, and only required simple conversations to get her more to read when needed.

College. That was her goal. Even if she would seem like such a naive person, a typical protagonist in those coming-of-age stories that lined her bookshelves.

Enough time passed that she eventually landed to this critical point in her life. Here she was, on the night before she would be moving into the first place ever that she was not surrounded by her parents and family. Would this be possible for her?

All of her beliefs and hopes? Caitlin hoped beyond anything that could be possible. 

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105 Reviews

Points: 33
Reviews: 105

Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:27 pm
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fatherfig wrote a review...

Hello, this is your local gremlin, gem, bouncing in with a tentative review.

The main character here, Caitlyn, seems to live a very shut-in life; she is a solitary little girl who has no friends and does not dream, and her parents rarely communicate with her. She feels more like a bother to them than a daughter, and there are mysterious circumstances around where her dreams have gone.

I feel like this is all being told for a reason, and I can see this story taking off well from here. However, I find the events surrounding her dreams very odd, which may be differences in lifestyle or socioeconomics. She only had that dream once, and on a scale of dreams, I would count it as odd but not alarming, and her parents got her a therapist to help her forget it. It did not seem like a dream she was even afraid of. By her explanation, she seemed curious. It seems as though her parents are hiding something or paranoid about dreams for some reason. Also, I hope she sleeps well because not reaching REM sleep is not a fun deal, trust me.

She also seems much too surprised her parents allowed her to have even one hobby. That does not seem very good. The impression of her parents I have is that they are negligent, and they are discouraging. I do not understand why she is not allowed around other kids, either. I am very curious about how everything will unfold in the following chapters. I hope college is one to unfold for her, haha.

Keep writing!

This is gem signing off ~

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1027 Reviews

Points: 181
Reviews: 1027

Sun Sep 17, 2023 5:34 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...

I sense that there is something off about Caitlin’s life. She was homeschooled by a staff, which implies that her parents have a lot of money. Her parents hosted parties and never let her talk to other kids. Nothing is about why she’s homeschooled and Caitlin can’t even dream…

I have a feeling that her last dream wasn’t a dream. I have a feeling that her parents are keeping secrets. I don’t trust them at all…

I will check out the next chapter. I wish you a fantastic day/night.

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116 Reviews

Points: 14874
Reviews: 116

Sat Sep 16, 2023 11:54 pm
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LuminescentAnt wrote a review...

Hi key! Long time no see. :wink: I am going to review your prologue!

So it seems like the main character is Caitlin, who doesn't dream. We know a little bit about her personality, though not much, since this first chapter doesn't take place in real time, and it is more about describing what her life is like. She doesn't really talk to people, and shoe doesn't have any friends because she is homeschooled, and she doesn't want to play with the kids at the playground. She mostly spends her time reading books, so I guess she is an introvert, but that's all we know in this chapter. In the next chapter, the reader will most likely learn more about her personality, or maybe more about how she doesn't dream??

This was a pretty short prologue, but that's totally fine! I like reading short things anyway. I think this is a decent amount of information for a prologue. We mostly learn about how she first became dreamless, and why, so the prologue is mostly for background information so the reader is informed abut the character, which is what a prologue is for. One thing though - a was a teensy bit confused at this part -

Her parents claimed that she had seen a home intruder and that was why she dreamed of it, but somehow forgot about it from the shock of witnessing it in real life.

Did the thing that happened in her dream happen in real life? If so, I don't think I remember reading it? Or maybe I missed something.

This is just the prologue, so you could make the perspective in Chapter One anything that seems fitting. If you were to use first person, I guess that would be so you could describe scenes based on what Caitlyn thinks about it, so if you are planning to have lots of scenes in which she has a lot to say about it. Third person, I think, would work better if you are trying to convey the story as more physical stuff happening, with more visual details and such. But don't decide because of me - I have never included perspective in a review, ever, so this is new to me.

Overall, this is a good introduction to the book! And also you ended the prologue saying that Caitlyn will have the opportunity to meet friends for the first time - and it makes the reader interested on what she will do in this situation, which is always good. I hope you are going to continue this series! Thanks for hosting the workshop!

Happy Writing!
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