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The Syrup Dream

Thursday 20th June, Story #172/366, failed challenge entry. (Whoooosh! what's that? Oh, a deadline.)

By L.C. SchäferPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024
The Syrup Dream
Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

Sinking into sleep should be like sinking into a balm. Soothing, repairing. It should feel good. Not like it's sucking at you, like quicksand.

I've heard that, with quicksand, the trick is not to struggle, because you'll sink faster. You need to relax.

This is different. Relaxing doesn't help.

I sink into sleep, then I sink into the dream. You know how old pictures from the 1970's have that sepia look, like looking at everything through brown glass? That's what it's like. That's how I know it's this dream, and it's coming for me, and I need to run.

I can never run fast enough. It seeps along the ground after me, like a wave on the beach. Except it's golden, like sand, and much thicker and gloopier than water has any right to be. Never stopping and retreating, either, like waves should.

I feel the stickiness of it before it touches me. Then it does touch me (the back of my heel) and it doesn't feel sticky at all.

It doesn't hurt, not even a little, and that's worse somehow. If it hurt, I'd wake. But it doesn't and I don't. I can't. I'm stuck here. No matter how much I fight, try to run... it swallows me up, turning me into itself. That's why it doesn't feel sticky. It's me. I'm it.

My feet are gone, my ankles. I'm trying to run, but I can't feel my legs. Bit by bit, it eats away at me, like saltwater nibbling at a sandcastle.

I'm almost all gone, just a head floating in a sea of syrup. Soon I don't have a mouth to scream with. I panic when it laps at my nostrils. It's absurd, because my lungs are already gone, but still some part of me is convinced that I have to keep my nostrils clear... until they're gone too. Then it's long moments of seeing the sticky nothing that's left of me before I go blind.

Eyes (yes I still have eyes) snap open. A desperate gasp, as if I really was drowning. Torso lifting off the sheets, as if I've woken mid-writhe. It's only 3am, but I daren't go back to sleep.

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Word count: 366 (I compared it to Google docs, and they now seem to be the same! Maybe this changed with the recent update?)

Submitted on Thursday 20th June at 9.50

*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 172 day streak since 1st January.

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

The story behind the story: This was one that never made it to the 3am challenge!

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

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

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

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

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Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insight

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

Add your insights

Comments (22)

  • Dr. Jason Benskin26 days ago

    Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Fly Alone27 days ago

    The powerful description of sinking into sleep as quicksand is both haunting and mesmerizing, perfectly capturing the horror of being trapped in a relentless nightmare that consumes you piece by piece.

  • Mark Gagnon27 days ago

    I am glad I don't do much dreaming. I'd probably never sleep. Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Xeexarh~28 days ago

    Thumbs up!! Well written❤

  • Grz Colm28 days ago

    Yuuuck and horrifying!! 😃👏

  • ROCK 28 days ago

    This reminds me of sleep paralysis; congratulations on Top Story! Always well deservedQ

  • Imsatisfyingwith28 days ago

    Beautiful article I hope you like my stories

  • Hannah Moore29 days ago

    I enacted that gasp.

  • Lamar Wiggins29 days ago

    ahhh... gotta love dreams. Loved the part about keeping the nostrils clear. Gave me a touch of anxiety. Congrats on your TS.

  • Caroline Jane29 days ago

    Taking deep breaths now. Ha! Feels like the manifestation of sleep apnoea!

  • Christy Munson29 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story, L.C.! 🥳

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

  • Makes me think of how terrified rats are when they get stuck to glue boards, absolutely terrifying and agonizing. Well done 👍 here

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    I'm so sorry you didn't manage to enter this into the challenge. This story was so realistic though, I've had dreams like this countless times

  • Caroline Cravenabout a month ago

    Sorry you missed the deadline - this was excellent. And claustrophobic as hell.

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Super microfiction and loved it!!!💕❤️❤️

  • The not-feeling bit got me! It made it so strangely eerie! Well done!

  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsdenabout a month ago

    Maybe I need a sticky dream to help me stay asleep. Lol. Great story

  • D.K. Shepardabout a month ago

    This had such a strong nightmarish dread and sense of hopelessness in it! Such vivid description of the sinking experience

  • Lana V Lynxabout a month ago

    That was a quick turnaround for a story, LC! Would have been an excellent entry into the 3 am challenge.

  • John Coxabout a month ago

    Very well written, LC. I had a lot of immobility dreams as a child and really, really hated them. The sense of helplessness, of being trapped in circumstances outside my control, reflected much of my waking life and followed me into adulthood. I guess your story touched a nerve.

  • Andrei Z.about a month ago

    Haha, what meaning would be hidden behind this dream? Google says: 'Dreaming of something that is sticky can embody the feeling that you are attracting undesirable situations.' But if you dream of you being sticky, does it mean you're the 'undesirable situation'?

L.C. SchäferWritten by L.C. Schäfer

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