Short story: Lucid Dreaming

At hourly intervals for two weeks Finlay had pinched his wrist until a purple bruise flowered there. But it wasn’t until his nightshifts finished and he tried to get back into a normal sleep pattern that it worked.

As soon as the dream started he knew it was different – the colours more vivid, the surfaces shinier, the edges of the buildings drawn in neon. And the people stared at him too, as if he was in the wrong dream. Finlay pinched his wrist – painless.

His only decision now was who to look for first.


This piece of writing was inspired by the picture prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Friday Fictioneers 100 word (or so) group.

I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in.

33 thoughts on “Short story: Lucid Dreaming

  1. Totally fascinating. I had to look up lucid dreaming and realised I do this quite often. It’s a great take on the prompt, reflecting the slightly glassy aspect of the photo. I’m not certain who he’s looking for, though I’m glad it’s not me… 🙂


    • I’d love to find out more – how much control do you have in your dreams? I’ve been trying, but not managed yet. And I don’t know who he’s looking for either, but I suspect that it won’t turn out well for them.


  2. Mysterious Finlay… Does pinching his wrist hourly for two weeks awaken or startle him from his lucid dreams? Or it is remind him it’s time to search for his prey. I agree with Sandra…not sure who he’s looking for, but glad it’s not me. Nice work.


    • Pinching yourself regularly when you’re awake is meant to help with making you aware of the fact that you are dreaming – you’re supposed to remember to pinch yourself in your dream (because you do it regularly) and the fact that you feel no pain indicates to you that it is a dream. I’m glad you enjoyed it Lora, thanks for your comments.


  3. What an interesting piece! It’s the perfect first 100 words for a longer story that lets us in on the who, what, when, where and why of Finlay’s life. The last sentence makes me think perhaps something not so good is going on…but you’ve left it open to go anywhere.


  4. My immediate take was (since he couldn’t feel the pinch) he was in another diminsion, possibly heaven–and would be looking for someone who had went on before him? Am I totally off base?


    • Not too far off Russell – he’s in a lucid dream – one where you can control what you do. I’m not sure who he’s looking for him, so it could certainly be someone who’s dead. Thanks for commenting.


    • Thanks Rochelle. I do really like both those movies, and Inception is about a kind of lucid dreaming – so I’m pleased my piece conjured up that for you. Thanks for providing the picture. Can I put in a request for another wedding one that we can use as the prompt next week??


  5. Really well-done piece that has an Inception quality, as Rochelle says. Does he look for former lovers, a current unrequited lover, deceased parents, current people he’d like to strike back at? The choices are endless….

    I always leap in the air and try to fly. Half the time I crash (painlessly) and the other half I wake up so disappointed it wasn’t real.


  6. I didn’t know that much about it, but I’d heard about flying.

    By learning to dream with lucidity, we are blending
    our waking self and dreaming self identities in a way that will enrich the experience
    of both. To become lucid this fashion, you must recognize that you’re dreaming when.


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