I received a review on Smashwords for my short story Dreaming Falling Down (free ebook!) in early February so that signals a timely intervention for what to next write about here. I shall indulge in discussing Dreaming Falling Down in my Uncovered series. First things first though, it was a review and it was a good one and here it is:
Made me shudder…
What a tormented existence for Abraham, the main character.
There is a sense of being trapped, of hopelessness and dread.
Playing a tiny part in a huge unknown and unexplained activity where one is not meant to question but just keep carrying out the same role… This really is the stuff of nightmares.
Looked at another way, it also made me think of the daily grind for anyone working in a vast, depersonalised organisation, where they must just keep repeating the same thing and never stop to wonder what they are actually doing… Chilling stuff.
I extremely grateful for the review, posted by Caroline Wood along with the five stars that she gave. Incidentally, before I go on, I have read Caroline’s work before and it is brilliant. I can’t think of another way to describe it better. If ever you wanted to meet a unique literary character then go and read her novel Noah Quince. It’s a brilliant (there’s that word again) piece of fiction that provides some wonderful nuances about society as well as leading you down a dark and twisted path that you won’t see coming. It’s just a 99c download and for a superbly, creative and inspiring piece of work, you can’t beat that.
Dreaming Falling Down – Uncovered Spoiler Alert
Back to the review, no, not the review, Dreaming Falling Down. Uncovering it takes me back to a place many years ago. Give the story a read and you’ll probably be able to pinpoint the source of inspiration about it. For those who haven’t there is spoiler alert warning here. The inspiration came from an idea about a man whose job it was to deliver nightmares. Where this actually came from is unknown or unremembered but more likely than not it was just a random thought of mine. But once that idea was planted, the nightmares then needed a delivery system, which is where the black boxes came from. At first, the main character Abraham was going to be a man who deliberately went around delivering these boxes of nightmares.
Whether it is simply procreating, writing a novel, becoming a religious leader or whatever it is, purpose gives us a way to define our lives
But instead it felt more intense, more suitable to have him unaware of his actions, which was important for the dramatic closing of the story. Just having him play ball in a pliant manner because he had no other option than but to do so, gave the story and extra level of depth I felt. It afforded me the chance to then have a big reveal to him, to have the experience of seeing what his actions were and having to deal with the shock and the horror of it. If he had been aware of his actions then he would have to have been either numb of flippant about what he was doing. I really wanted that crushing scene of remorse as a climax, and having everything catching up with him at the end allowed me put in the big twist. At first it looks like he’s escaped something, but he’s dug a deeper hole for himself.
Dreaming Falling Down is also about finding purpose, in a twisted and weird way. Abraham no longer wanted to be in the world because he felt helpless and out of place, so to then have the carrot dangled in front of his face to actually serve a purpose would have seemed so alluring. Having a purpose is for many, a key piece of the puzzle of life. Whether it is simply procreating, writing a novel, becoming a religious leader or whatever it is, purpose gives us a way to define our lives, to give us something tangible in this world. It offers a lot peace as well instead of the alternative of just aimlessly drifting through life, just going through the motions until we die. It gives comfort that perhaps we won’t be forgotten after all when we do pass on, that it was all worth something.
But for Abraham, ultimately his purpose was forced upon him because he couldn’t make a choice about his own life, and then that ended up being something negative for him. I went through this in my own life, of not making my own choices and having to live with the consequences of that. The Three Sisters in the story was his salvation all along and is nothing more than a metaphor about not opening your own eyes to the possibilities around you, instead he feared them only because of the stories he had heard bout them, instead of making his own judgement.
That’s the difference between belief and knowledge.