Friday, June 4, 2010

Black Smoke and Death - Dream Sequence Blogfest

I love entering blogfests because it gives me a chance to stretch myself as an author.  Scenes that would not occur to me, or techniques that seem too hard challenge me to break out of my normal style...and that's a good thing.

Amalia T. over at Good to Begin Well, Better to End Well, thought of an interesting and difficult challenge. Today is the Dream Sequence Blogfest. I only have one dream sequence in anything I've written and I spent days on it.  I'm still not sure if I like it.

The excerpt is from my novel, Ruby Dawn. The heroine has been fighting for her neighborhood against a ruthless gang member.  He started out with vandalism, her car and clinic and when that didn't work...he tried to kill her.  He firebombed her clinic when she and Tom, her love interest were inside.  Paul and Tiny are street kids who abduct Ruby from a women's shelter to help their hurt friend, inadvertently saving her from the gang member coming to get her.  Sheila is her foster mother who died. The bowl of sea glass...represents Tom, his eyes are that color green. The dream is an a-ha moment...the character's epiphany when she realizes that through all that has happened...she wasn't alone.

Ruby Dawn
Chapter Thirty-Eight

The scenes in my dream flipped in rapid succession, like a movie on silent fast forward. I saw myself in front of my ruined car, walking through the wrecked clinic, and nailing up the plywood over the front windows. Talking to Mike in the parking lot with the paint splashed everywhere, glowing red under a bright yellow moon, I watched the flashes with startling calm.

I turned my head and I was in the clinic with Tom, watching in slow motion, as his face registered shock at the fireball flying at us. I felt the room jerk and swirl around me and suddenly I was outside the clinic, watching fiery bottles slam against the plywood windows, not going in. Then Tom and I were running down the hall, the fire licking at the walls but not touching us, never coming close.

An intense wind swirled around me, a silent tornado spinning me in circles. I stopped on a dime, instantly still, I watched two boys going through Dakota’s car, looking for something. My address. Angry, they brought guns up and fire flew out of them blinding me to the scene. I covered my eyes.

Another pull, deep in my core, and I rushed through waves of heat. I opened my eyes and saw that I stood in the shelter. All around me, mothers and children moved in slow motion, silently laughing and heading towards the back of the building. The front door opened achingly slow and I stared, panting at an approaching dark cloud.

Fear boiled in my gut and I felt a scream well in my throat, but a hand wrapped around my waist pulling me away. Tiny’s hands yanked me from the cloud, pulling me toward another door, a bright light. Behind us, the cloud receded. Billowing backwards frantically, it sucked itself back out of the door of the shelter.

Tiny walked with me and we took the room with us, spinning it like a whirling merry-go-round. Faster and faster we twirled, making me dizzy. Stopping suddenly, we stood in the Emergency Room. I saw myself wrapping Darnell’s arm. Beyond me, a dark cloud churned and slid across the walls; hungry for me.

My heart ramped up, dread squeezing my heart as I watched my dream self continue, oblivious. The cloud coalesced into the form of a man. Running he fired his gun at me. The scene jerked forward in flip book snapshots, the bullets tearing through the room in clear, rippling paths toward me. They missed as Paul pulled me down. I stared shocked as the rounds hissed by, a hair’s breath from my temple. The cloud receded again, swirling violently away, chased by Paul.

I watched, my heart ramming in my chest, as the room spun again. The wind whipping me in circles as walls rose up from the ground around me. I stopped abruptly, everything silently still. I heard my breath in my head, rapid, uncontrolled. Looking around I saw Sheila sitting at her desk in my old home. Her body lit from within. Next to her, a bowl of brilliant green sea glass sparkled with reflected light. Longingly, I walked towards her and she looked up at me and smiled. Overwhelming happiness washed over me and I reached my hand out to her.

Her voice echoed softly in my head. “This is a choosing moment, Ruby.”

I hope you enjoyed my dream sequence. Please check out the other entries at Good to Begin Well, Better to End Well.

Photograph by molesarecoming, Uploaded on September 19, 2009.