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Loop

Over and Over Again

By Alexander McEvoyPublished 3 days ago 6 min read
Top Story - June 2024
28
Loop
Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

Her eyes crept slowly open, registering the brilliance of the sunlight without really processing what it meant. Rolling over, her hand crept towards the nightstand while her brain was trapped between wanting to get up and wanting to fall back asleep.

It pulled at her, that blissful oblivion. Waiting just there, just where her head’s imprint still stood out on the pillow, was potential. That’s how she liked to think of dreams, as limitless potential just waiting for it’s chance to be released. Good and bad, sexy and scary, funny and sad, they were all waiting, just there.

Fingers curled slowly around the phone that lay on the nightstand. They were her fingers, of that she was reasonably sure, so she could just command them to stop, right? Choose not to be an adult, just for today? The screen turned slowly, tearing her hopes for a lie in away like a hook and bait from the hands of a novice fisherman.

She did not remember reading what was on the screen, still trying to ignore the fact that she had no choice but to get up and get going, but she knew the time. Despite the fact that she had awoken before the alarm shrilled, it only cost her a bare few minutes of shut eye. Sighing heavily, she heaved herself out of bed, cancelled the alarm and stumbled to the kitchen.

Pressing the magic coffee button, she mulled over what she had to do that day. Files needed approvals, new tasks needed assigning, and didn’t she have a meeting with the ADMO that day? Hmm… so much to do, and here she was just standing around and waiting for the coffee. Glancing in the empty mirror, over her kitchen sink, she wondered about its placement. Had she reorganized the apartment recently? What was it doing there?

But the questions faded from her mind the second they were asked. They weren’t important after all, she could worry about furniture later. In fact, could she remember the mirror being anywhere else? Just around its edges, she could see the sun as it crept into the green sky.

Green?

Looking back, she reconfirmed that the sky was its normal hue. And the sun was cresting the northern horizon, exactly where it normally does. The rays of the rising sun bathed the world beneath her window, barely visible if she tilted her head around the edges of the mirror, casting them in bronze while the birds still fluttered and swooped down from far above her own apartment.

Really, one would think that she would have a firmer grasp on the world around her. She had lived in that place for how long now? It didn’t really matter, aside from the never-ending construction across the street, nothing about her panorama had changed. Out of habit, she glanced down to watch the worker bees do… whatever it is they did down there with concrete and huge yellow machines.

Sounds drifted up to her, barely audible through the mirror window, but it was yet a foggy morning far down below. None of the high-vis vests could be seen, nor yet any of the huge machines. It was as though she hovered above a sea of fog, and the world beneath that sea was beyond knowing. A hostile, foreign place of –

The coffee machine beeped merrily at her, tearing her thoughts away from the window. Goodness, if she was going to be that distracted today, then the coffee really couldn’t get into her blood stream fast enough. Not to mention the confusion with the colours earlier.

Pouring the purple liquid into her favourite steaming brown mug, she took a sip, wondering about her confusion. The night before had not included any hits from her THC pen, had it? That was the only reason she could think of for how unnatural she felt. A few hits too many from the green goddess too late in the evening, which lead her to her present predicament.

“First day with the new brain,” she said to herself, taking up a spoonful of milk and getting the sugar out of the fridge. “Honestly, you’d think that you were a stranger to the other half of your thinking.”

She replaced everything and transferred her drink to a travel mug before slinging her work bag over her shoulder.

Reaching out, she gripped the door handle and pushed through into her office. Just over the threshold she froze, staring in abject confusion at the room before her. She threw a glance over her shoulder, looking back down the corridor to where the security guard sat, idly flipping through the green leaves of a book. When had she arrived? What time was it?

Dredging the corners of her memory, she tried and failed to understand what was happening to her. On the one hand, it was normal, natural, nothing to even take notice of. On the other, things kept not making sense. Time was fluid, stretching and condensing, bringing her from place to place. Maybe she was sick? The last time she’d had the flu, she had half-convinced herself that she was still a child, hadn’t she? Maybe this was the same?

But she could remember the journey. The long, long walk from her apartment to the escalators. Down the twenty-odd stories as people stepped on and off ahead of her. The sudden burst of rain out of the clear sky which confused her, though these things sometimes happen in Calgary without any apparent explanation. Then the bus and the train, followed by the… well, followed by entering the office, really.

With a shake of her head, she banished those thoughts and sat at her desk. Per usual, she was the only one in the office, which was grand given that it meant she could power through some work before anyone else got in. Two tries later, the letters on the keyboard as she typed in her password floating around and refusing to be caught, she was logged in and reading a list of emails that never got any shorter.

“Morning,” said a chipper voice from the door.

Looking up, she smiled to see Alastor leaning in the doorway. He sported a two day growth of stubble, and a half-buttoned silk shirt. Hair artfully tossed, it looked like he was only a few minutes out of bed, and he was smiling directly at her. Taking one hand out of his pocket, he ran the fingers through his beautiful dark hair and –

-0-

“Morning,” the word cut itself off in a jaw-cracking yawn.

Bewildered, she looked around. Her bed, sheets disturbed so little that she knew it had been the dead-man type of sleep.

Sleep?

Glancing at her phone, in nightstand mode and showing the time, she groaned. Pressing the heels of her hands against her eyes, she watched as best she could as the dream slowly faded from memory. It was Tuesday, an in-office day, and damnit hadn’t she already done this?

She hated those kind of dreams. “Nightmares are far better,” she muttered, levering herself out of bed and stumbling into the bathroom. “Don’t make me do things like this over again.”

It was the weighted blanket, she knew that. It always gave her the strangest dreams. But they also had her waking up feeling the most rested, on every day except this one, it seemed. Give and take, good and bad, the only thing in her life that was perfect was coffee. Everything else had its ups and downs. And if she had to be an adult today anyway, might as well get started.

Maybe she’d even work up the courage to initiate conversation with Alastor today. They’d worked together for a while, and he certainly paid more attention to her than anyone else. Yes she could –

-0-

The alarm blared, and she turned it off without really noticing what she was doing.

“Argh!,” she groaned, heaving the weighted blanket off her. “I hate when that happens!”

From beside her, Alastor - they’d been together for years – asked sleepily, “The mundane one again?”

“If it makes you feel any better,” she said, hands over her eyes, “you looked really sexy this time.”

He rolled over, molding himself to her figure, voice still husky from sleep as he said, “did we do anything fun this time?”

“No,” she sighed dramatically, enjoying his warmth against her and the weight of his arm across her chest. “Got jammed by one of those wake up from a dream into a different dream deals.”

“Ouch.”

“Right? Ok, move over, I have to get up.”

“Babe.”

“Yes?”

“It’s Sunday.”

“Oh,” a hint of mischief entered her voice. “Well then, why don’t we see what my dream self was missing out on?”

His hand moved, sending a sudden wave of fire through her body. “I might be able to help with that,” he said, tracing along the curve where neck met shoulder with his lips. “But be warned, nothing's happening fast today.”

“I can live with that,” her eyes closed again as he kept going with his slow action. All told, not a bad morning after all.

PsychologicalStream of ConsciousnessShort StoryFantasy
28

About the Creator

Alexander McEvoy

Writing has been a hobby of mine for years, so I'm just thrilled to be here! As for me, I love writing, dogs, and travel (only 1 continent left! Australia-.-)

I hope you enjoy what you read and I can't wait to see your creations :)

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

Add your insights

Comments (27)

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  • Mackenzie Davisabout 11 hours ago

    I'd prefer to read this as optimistic...that the mundane dreams were her subconscious reminding her how much better life is when you can share it with your loved one I hope you weren't intending for the dream to be a kind of underlying feeling, just below her consciousness, laying in wait for later. Because, well, that would be depressing! Fantastic story, Alex! I have a feeling I will be thinking about this for a few days...

  • JBazabout 11 hours ago

    Congratulations on placing on the leader board with this awesome story.

  • ROCK about 14 hours ago

    Damn you're grand! I didn't want to stop reading! A natural writer with nothing less than brilliance. Well done! Bravo!

  • I really liked your story and how you took us through repeated actions and the confusion. Green and THC and green everywhere, LOL. Congrats on TS.🎉

  • JBaza day ago

    Alex, You wrote this is such a stylish way that evoked a dream like trance. I was in a cloud always looking down on the story watching it unfold. I am glad the way yours ended, a great way to start a Sunday Congratulations

  • Novel Allena day ago

    Imagination at work...isn't life just a series of loops, over and over we awake, da da da...sleep...loop...here we are again. It does get monotonous ang a bit naughty. Congrats.

  • Lizz Chambersa day ago

    Excellent read

  • I need to stay away from coffee and maybe imagining coffee as purple might do the trick. But then, that does sound intriguing. Well, maybe just one purple coffee... Oh, no. I've gotten caught up in a loop of thought. Loved it all, including purple coffee! Congratulations on Top Story! 🥳 Wonderful entry in the challenge!

  • Ameer Bibi2 days ago

    A beautifully woven piece of writing It grasped me from the very beginning Truly deserved this win Many congrats 👏

  • And congrats for top story!! 🥳🎉🥳

  • I had to breathe out in the end, I'm glad for the relaxed ending. At some point I was getting triggered with memories too. Beuatiful and outstanding story!

  • Kodah2 days ago

    Oohhh nowww this was fantastic! Congrats on top story!! 💓🎉🥳🎉🥳

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Omgggg, I've had dreams like this where I wake up into another dream and it would keep going in loops. Sometimes I would keep waking up into the same dream and that would be so exhausting! I loved how you gave her a happy ending and Vocal gave you a happy ending with a Top Story. Congratulations! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊 Also, please I need that purple coffee!! Hehehehehehe

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 days ago

    Alex this was amazing, I totally see why you got TS for it within hours of publishing!! Congrats btw!!! Also, let's talk about the Calgary easter egg you planted!! Very nice!! I feel like I recognized Alastor's name from something of your but my brain won't cooperate!! 🙀 I loved that it kind of felt like that movie "Groundhog Day" where the story kept "restarting" but it was different each time and that made it really interesting for me!! Great piece there!!

  • Shaun Walters2 days ago

    Another great one and congratulations!

  • Cathy holmes2 days ago

    That was really well done. Congrats on the TS.

  • L.C. Schäfer2 days ago

    Dreams really do be like that.

  • David2 days ago

    Enjoyed this

  • L.C. Schäfer2 days ago

    Wow, that T.S. was bloody quick!

  • Hey, congrats on your top story!

  • MRS POPPET3 days ago

    Enjoyed this read !

  • Aiman Javed3 days ago

    Congratulations on your top story ❤️that's amazing 👏

  • Kendall Defoe 3 days ago

    Not too bad! And it has a great ending!

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