She Dreamt of Boundaries that Could Not Be Breached
Thousands of cannons aimed across each border, assuring destruction if the tempers of the men flared or a firing chanced in a sudden lurch. Each side called the other false in its measure, and truces were forever strained against relapse. She walked down to the streaming river, artillery lining the bank and aimed at the opposite shore. She asked a stern gunman what the other side had done, and an expression less guarded crossed his face, softening his mouth. He recovered and released a torrent of curses, a familiar parlance of insult and blame. She felt a little foolish, recalling the lessons she had been taught in school, a strange summing up of decades, slight upon hatred upon insecurity, each side extolling its own virtue. She backed away as the gunman struck a match. Consumed by fear, she unearthed a scream that shattered the sky, salting the entire man with fragments. All the cannons on the planet misfired, and, for a while, everyone forgot what the guns were for.
She Dreamt of a Place without Trolls or Timelines
The atmosphere was somewhat spare, a faint shade of amber in the sky, and the not-so-secret currency was hate. The more human wickedness, the greater the reward. She wished only to be kind, so much so that her mysterious discomfort became chronic. She yearned for a gentler life, a vague field blooming with something fragrant, a sanctuary where nothing was known of evil. In the shadow of an altar, a shaman would cast a tutoring glance at all who were brave enough to gather. Love is all you need, the shaman would say, but when she woke, she was still here, and the Beatles were on the radio. She shook off the dream’s mysterious swindle as hate filled her screens. There were no fields anywhere for miles and miles.
Donna Vorreyer is the author of To Everything There Is (2020), Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (2016) and A House of Many Windows (2013), all from Sundress Publications. She lives in the Chicago suburbs where she hosts the monthly online reading series A Hundred Pitchers of Honey.