NEW FICTION: AWAKENING IN SIX PARTS by Karen M Roberts

Paul Raven @ 01-06-2009

It’s time for another fresh piece of fiction here at Futurismic, and this one’s something quite unique. “Awakening in Six Parts” is a hugely immersive and somewhat gonzo tale about dreams, mathematics and relationships, set in a tomorrow whose strangeness only emphasises its plausibility. Karen M Roberts has created something that is mysterious and revelatory at once; this story has been haunting my own sleep since I first read it, and I hope it does the same for you. Enjoy!

Awakening in Six Parts

by Karen M. Roberts

One

It wasn’t precisely forbidden for a husband and a wife to discuss their dreams, but it wasn’t the sort of thing decent people did. Max’s coffee cup rattled against the saucer when Claudette raised the topic over breakfast.

“I think my night owl is defective.” Inside her teacup, some leaves had escaped the strainer. She rocked the cup in her hands, watching them swirl.

Without lifting his eyes from the editorials page, Max said, “Did you run it through the diagnostic programme?”

“It flew off before I had the chance. But the dreams, they were… ” Claudette broke off, unable to make sense of the vivid and impossible images that crowded on her tongue. “Do you ever have unsettling dreams?” She peered across the laminate tabletop. Max raised the page of newsprint closer to his nose.

The lucid dreams provided by the night owls were realistic and recurring, a secondary life experienced while the body rested. Who had designed the owls no one knew; they had simply arrived, winging down with the gift of pleasure without consequence, of fulfillment without price. Claudette had never spoken to Max about her dream husbands, and she had no desire to know about the fantasy women with whom he spent his nights. Continue reading “NEW FICTION: AWAKENING IN SIX PARTS by Karen M Roberts”