January was an inspiring month for science fiction writers. This is one of several responses to the Create picture challenge. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed writing and discussing them.
Dream a Little Dream of Me
Urgla woke with a start. She tried to remember where she was, and what had happened. She looked around. Where was she? Her surroundings reminded her of her uncle's laboratory. There was a lot of blinking steel. An extractor hood hung over something that looked like a modern variant of a Bunsen burner. There was an incubator below a microwave oven. A bottle of some unknown liquid sat next to the burner. This was mysterious. Everything looked so sterile. How had she got here? Was the content of the bottle the result of some experiment? Slowly, she approached the block of steel. Her head ached and she was thirsty. She spotted the tap and went to splash some water in her face. There was no cup, so she caught some water in her hands and drank.
Ah, that was better. She went to a corner and sat down on the tiled floor. Slowly, her memory came back. She was Urgla, from the Koll planet. A beautiful planet, with mountains, creeks, and colourful arcs. You could only see the arcs after sundown. The whole planet was covered by them then. They were the result of people across the planet talking to each other through the magnetophones. The magnetic currents were so strong that you could actually see them. It was better than fireworks.
However, some people were very susceptible to those currents, and she was one of them. It hadn't always been like that – or if it had, she couldn't remember. The first time she noticed was shortly after her rites of passage. Something had changed then. She had started to dream. Not any ordinary dream of a great career as a scientist, like her uncle was, or of being rich and famous. No, she had dreamed of a man. Now, that wouldn't have been remarkable, had it not been for the fact that this man was so strange. He didn't resemble anybody or anything she had ever seen before. She couldn't even swear that it was a man, but she thought he had to be. A large head surrounded by bushy hair, a low front, and impressive teeth. And below his chin, his body was blue.
She had been so fascinated, that she had decided to go and search for him. She had no idea what she would do if she actually found him, but she would cross that bridge if she came to it. She had hired a spaceship. It looked like a roast chicken – which was another oddity: she didn't even know what a chicken was, but she knew that this was exactly what the spaceship looked like. Directly after the start, she had taken to the cabin and and listened to the tune that was stuck in her head: Dream a little dream of me. It was a soothing tune, and it eased her way into the artificial sleep which she would only wake from once she had arrived wherever it was she was going.
Suddenly, the ground was shaking, and a distant noise made her head swim. The air smelled burnt, too.
You ugly, useless little thing! How dare you stand here daydreaming! Look what you've done!
She looked around. Where was she? A strange man who looked exactly like the man from her dreams was shaking her violently and yelling at her.
You let the chicken burn! Milady will be furious.
She didn't know where the laboratory had gone. In front of her was a huge open fire, and in her hand she held a metal stick. From a place deep within her mind she caught the word: "poker". Slowly, she turned around and poked the embers. Something exploded, and she saw the most spectacular light effects she had ever seen. Her surroundings faded, and she felt like being in free fall. How very strange this all was. She didn't know where she was, or when she was. She tried to remember. From somewhere, she heard a tune: "Dream a little dream of me". It sounded strangely familiar.