I once had a dream which felt so real and intense it reminded me of the 3rd-century Chinese Philosopher Chuang Chou, who dreamed:
I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou.
When Chou awoke and came to himself, he no longer knew whether he had dreamed he was a butterfly or whether he was now a butterfly dreaming he was a man!
When I woke from my dream, I didn’t think I was a butterfly. But I was confused as to where I was and whether what I had dreamed had really happened. Was it a memory? Or was it just a dream?
And from the dream, I wrote “Her”, part fiction, part reality, mostly surreal.
The story was a tad short for even a short story, so it sat around in my “writing ideas” folder until I was asked to review a collection of microfiction, Loopholes by Susan McCreery for Writing NSW. And in doing so, I realised this was the perfect genre classification for my story!
Twenty-five years on, I dusted it off and published “Her” on the Tall And True writers’ website.
I was thirty-years-old when I wrote the piece, and I’m now in my mid-fifties. But reading it today, I still recall the intensity of the dream and the confusion of waking from it. Just as well I didn’t dream I was a butterfly!
Please read “Her” and let me know what you think of my dream inspired microfiction.
© 2017 Robert Fairhead
N.B. You might also be interested in this microfiction blog post, Mona Lisa Smile (February 2018).
Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of a middle-aged dad and dog owner. Robert Fairhead is writer and editor at Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers. His book reviews and other writing have appeared in various print and online media. And he has published two collections of short stories, Both Sides of the Story (2020) and Twelve Furious Months (2021).