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Sleeping Beauty

Sunday 30th June, Story #182/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished 23 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - July 2024
Sleeping Beauty
Photo by Amin Moshrefi on Unsplash

She lies in the hospital bed, machines beeping and whirring, her hair spread on the pillow. No bruises, no bandages, no blood. Thank god.

She looks like she's been asleep for a hundred years, and will sleep a hundred more. Her dreams will be peaceful, right? Wherever she is inside her head, it'll be a good place. Won't it?

The man looks like he hasn't slept for a century. His hair's sticking out, as if he's run his hands through it over and over. His bloodshot eyes have both red rims round, and dark shadows under them. He drags both hands down his unshaven face.

He sinks into the chair beside her, too exhausted to keep pacing. Then, too agitated to rest, he jumps back up again as if an electric current running through it bit him on the ass.

Televisions dotted about the hospital loop the news. Muted, but with subtitles switched on, and headlines scrolling across. ...DREAMFIX(TM) MANUFACTURERS ISSUE RECAL... The bedridden woman appears on the screens. The photo's from a better, happier time.

Pacing again, his lips are moving. He's gesturing, scowling. His anger dissolves. His eyes are wet.

A nurse arrives, and for a moment, when she opens the door, his voice, is audible in the corridor:

"-I'm sorry, I-"

Why's he sorry? Did he do... this... to her?

The nurse moves how nurses do, with absolute economy of movement, and confidence that comes from long practice. She touches his arm. Her eyes, worn and and kind, hold his. He shakes his head, gazing back at the woman in the bed. The nurse speaks again. He nods, thanks her.

The door clicks shut, and the nurse mutters as she walks down the corridor, "-bloody dream machines-"

The man kisses the woman's forehead. "-back in a minute," he's saying at the door. "I just nee-"

He sees me. Recognition flickers on his face, though I've never seen him before. He's in front of me in two strides, his fist flying towards my face.

"You stay, away, you hear? Stay away! Stay away from her, from here, stay out of her head or I'll-"

People are pulling him back. My head's ringing.

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Word count excluding note: 366

Submitted on Sunday 30th June at 10:20

*Quick Author's Note*

First, and most importantly:
thank you so much for reading my story! The ha'penny that Vocal will toss in my hat for your eyeballs landing on this humble piece will be well-spent.

If you enjoyed this one, the very best compliment you can give me is to share it, or read another!

A Year of Stories: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one continues my 182 day streak since 1st January. This means tomorrow marks my halfway point!

Please do consider lending your support to the other creators who are also on this madcap "a story every day" adventure. They are putting out excellent content every day!

Rachel Deeming

Gerard DiLeo

Please do leave me a comment: I reciprocate as many as I can. Leaving a comment makes that easier.

The story behind the story: I always try to write these so they can be enjoyed as stand-alone stories, but you can also read this as a follow on from these:

Thank you!

Thank you again, most sincerely. Especially if you are one of the wonderful people who has been staunchly reading these daily scribbles since the start of the year. I see you, and appreciate you very much indeed!

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About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

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Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (21)

  • Novel Allen16 days ago

    So many concepts which are totally possible now with AI. Dream machine, I can see how it could mess up our heads. Congrats.

  • Nidhi Gohil 19 days ago

    Congratulations 🎉

  • Cyrus21 days ago

    Love this!

  • Rachel Deeming21 days ago

    I like the way that you create that intensity of waiting before the confrontation. Nice.

  • Congratulations on your top story.

  • Grz Colm21 days ago

    Ah didn’t realise this was a series, but cool you can do these as stand-alones!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Clyde E. Dawkins21 days ago

    Major congratulations on Top Story!!

  • Another remarkable story! Congrats on Top Story, definitely deserved! I was hooked from the very start and kept wanting more!

  • Andrea Corwin 21 days ago

    😳. 😳. congrats on TS!🎉

  • Donna Fox (HKB)22 days ago

    LC this was so tense and really drew me in!! Is this part of a series?? Because I would totally read the hell out of this!! Great work and congrats on Top Story!!

  • Congratulations on this TS! This is a fascinating series of stories you've created LC! This is why we shouldn't play with people's heads! Haha

  • Gabriel Huizenga22 days ago

    This is awesome! I love your descriptive style, and the twist regarding the observer was really compelling; I'll have to check out the others in this series! Congrats on the Top Story :)

  • I loved it? Was it Morpheus, king of dreams? Or a different dream guy? Great story

  • Caroline Craven22 days ago

    Interesting twist he’s visiting her in real life. Messy! Good job she’s out for the count! Looking forward to the next one.

  • Gerard DiLeo23 days ago

    Why, that's peculiar, idn't it?

  • John Cox23 days ago

    Simply amazing read, LC! Absolutely loved where you took this!

  • Mariann Carroll23 days ago

    Captivating story. Did not expect the ending

  • This one is filled with mystique and varying levels of emotion. This was a great read from start to end.

  • Oh wow, that guy from the dream came to visit her at the hospital? Whoaaaa!

  • I first thought of The Smith's "Girlfriend In A Coma" , a great installment in your ongoing project

L.C. SchäferWritten by L.C. Schäfer

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