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!