March 2022 SOLC–Day 1: An Odd Experience

March 2022 SOLC–Day 1
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“Ugh, those bathrooms were disgusting,” I thought, pushing the door closed behind me. I wanted to mention it to someone in the nearby offices, but I was in a hurry to catch up with my family. While in the bathroom, I’d heard the announcement that closing time was approaching. I knew my group was already wending their way back through the enclosed exhibits toward the exit on a lower floor.

I looked around, crossed the vestibule and headed quickly to the exhibit doors. I couldn’t believe how quickly it had cleared out.

How far ahead were they anyway?

I reached for my purse before remembering, once again, that I’d lost my cell phone earlier. It was amazing how cut off I felt without it. Already I was dreading the hoops I’d have to jump through to replace it. 

Ahead of me a uniformed man held the door open.

I smiled and thanked him, entered the main part of the building and then walked a few steps down the path. 

Wait, what!?

I stopped in my tracks. The way ahead of me was half-lit, the plants and trees more suggested than visible, the exhibits dark and half covered.

I turned and stepped back toward the man.

He was firmly closing the door between us.

“Wait!” I said, “Can’t I go out the door by the offices instead?”

He shook his head, continuing to pull the door shut.

“But it’s dark, and I’m really not sure I remember how to get through,” I pleaded.

I couldn’t hear him through the thick pane of glass, but I could see his face. Grim, determined. Unrelenting. An exaggerated circle of “NO” on his lips.

Wow. This is ridiculous!

I turned back to look ahead of me, shaking my head. I couldn’t decide if I was more angry or nervous. The path lead down a steady slope. What earlier had been a clear walkway was now half covered with tarps. The light was dim and seemed to be fading. Shadows were multiplying.

Wait! What kind of animals had I seen on the way through? Were any of them roaming?

Nervous quickly won out over angry, and was fast ceding to scared. I pushed myself to reverse my earlier route in my mind. The route to come seemed darker and more sinister by the moment.

How was I going to find my way?

My memory of the journey up the path faded as I struggled to envision the twists and turns.

Where was that pond? Were the stairs before or after that? Why couldn’t I remember?!

I could feel my anxiety mounting, poking icy fingers along my spine.

Well, I don’t have a choice, I guess. I just need to start going. This is so strange! Oh, but look on the bright side, at least I’ll get a slice out of it. 

I took a tentative step forward, reminding myself to pay close attention as I walked, to look for moments and details that might spark up a story.

I took another firmer step forward…

and then I woke up.

It was this morning, first morning of the March challenge, and I’d fallen asleep wondering what I would write about today.

It’s not quite what I imagined! But hey, at least I got a slice out of it.

36 thoughts on “March 2022 SOLC–Day 1: An Odd Experience

  1. Twisty dreamscape story …
    🙂
    Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aggiekesler says:

    “This is so strange! Oh, but look on the bright side, at least I’ll get a slice out of it.” haha…what a perfect line!

    I totally thought this was happening in real life. You had me on the edge of my seat!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was scared for you – at first I thought you were going to get locked in the exhibit and something was going to come alive or get loose. I’m glad you are safely awake now. I wanted to throat punch the guard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are a talented mystery writer. You masterfully do what writers do – show, not tell! Separated due to using a bathroom, no cell phone, the unhelpful guard, the darkness. As the reader, you had me on your adventure. At the end, I was relived to discover it was all a dream! I’m looking forward to reading your slices this month. Thanks for shaing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Sally! I was relieved to wake up as well and had to laugh when I knew instantly what I’d be writing this morning. It was pretty much what happened in my dream. I just had to scribe it and sculpt it a bit.

      Like

  5. terierrol says:

    I was so happy to find out it was only a dream – and inspiration for a slice! I have been trying to remember my dreams, subject for another post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I had so many odd dreams last night. I write every morning and that’s the only way I can hold onto dreams. Otherwise they just drift away. I’ll be keeping an eye out for your dream post!

      Like

  6. humbleswede says:

    I think it was the O of the No on the guard’s face that tipped me off to the dream. I loved the mysterious way this started and the building anxiety. I had wildly anxious dreams last night too. Apparently there’s some stress in this writing challenge thing. Either we’ll relax or we’ll have lots of writing material. Have a great month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      This was one of many dreams. I’m not sure if the stress was related to the challenge or a number of other factors I could point to. Either way, one slice done! 🙂 That’s something to celebrate!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I wrote about a recurring dream today! After a decade of having it pop up a few times a year, I finally decided to research its significance! I hope this does not visit you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maggie says:

    What a fun slice! I was very intrigued about how this was going to play out. Happy first day of slicing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. maryleehahn says:

    You had me going right up until the moment you woke up!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wow. That was anxiety provoking, much like my own crazy dream last night. Full moon??? Cheryl

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Debbie Lynn says:

    Oh my gosh…you had me hooked-sharing your fear and anger with the security guard. So glad this was a dream AND a good story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. amyilene says:

    I love the voice in your writing!! This was engaging and pulled me in immediately. Looking forward to spending the month with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Leigh Anne Eck says:

    I love how you mixed your thinking with the action and the suspense you built. Aren’t dreams funny. I always wonder where in the world they come from. Great way to capture a slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dreams are weird! How much stock do you put in them? As a fellow writer, I am glad you got a Slice out of it? And tell me about your Wordling? I wasn’t a fan of todays Indian/Pakistani currency word! Please, I hope you have done Wordle and I’m not giving it away! It’s 930P on the East Coast. You teachers have got to be in bed. Especially hardworking, caring teachers. I’m pretty confident you have done Wordle this March 1! If not, I am sooooo sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. mbnorrbom says:

    This really pulled me in. I so enjoyed your descriptions – and the twist! I love the moments in dreams where you have a serious or logical thought…while being in a ridiculous situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Or how something utterly ridiculous is just accepted–like of course there’s a llama who lives in my living room in this house that is clearly my childhood home even though it looks totally different and has no roof! lol

      Like

  16. kd0602 says:

    Love that metaphor of the uncertainty of finding your way into this writing–it is a twisty, slippery slope. Love the dreamscape slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Amanda Potts says:

    Love this – I was really nervous with you! And then… well, here we are. What a fun start to this month – and hey, if you get stuck on a dark twisty path, reach out & I’ll hold your hand.

    Liked by 1 person

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