Charli Mills Prompt this week
June 22, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves a dream. This action could have happened while awake, such as daydreaming, or make up a dream when asleep. Go where the prompt leads as it could be a nightmare or just fond memories or ambition.
Dreams. Hmm, I have a job holding on to dreams. I’m told we all have them, they are essential to our psychological well being but I rarely if ever remember any details of mine. And in truth I am not really a dreamer. A bit too grounded, I think.
Occasionally dreams come true though. Saturday night I went to see a band I loved as a teenager, one that was sneered at by my contemporaries and, being the soft centred sort, I hide my enjoyment of their work. I saw them, in fact, on 15th June 1976, in that sultry hot summer at the end of my first year at University. The exams were over, I was going out, albeit briefly with a sweet girl from south Wales who came with me and shared my enjoyment of a great night.
Bristol’s Colston Hall, back then, was a touch shabby, a sort of lost grandeur but it was the place to be that night. One memory, of many stands out still. A moment of what seemed hush, but was probably just nascent tinnitus, the stage, not dark but spookily shadowed and then a single piercing spotlight picking out the one figure, a violinist hitting those famous notes that start Beethoven’s Fifth, amplified so it bounced off the ceiling and walls.
Many have sneered at the song, an elaborate if unique cover version of a Chuck Berry hit but it was what drew me to the band in the first place when it charted in 1973.
It’s not the band’s most famous hit, it probably isn’t even in the top ten, maybe twenty of their large songbook. This might be many people’s preference.
So as the concert developed and switched across many wonderful songs I suspected it wasn’t going to be played.
The band left the stage, the cliched precursor to the encore. I stood, the Textiliste joined me. And as I held up my phone to take a picture those famous chords played. I caught a video of it. It’s not the greatest quality but it took me right back, 41 years, goddammit, to another even warmer night. A funny little link, difficult to hold onto until a prompt comes to help remember it.
Much like a dream.
And for the flash, Mary and her half-brother Rupert (from whom she was estranged until after their father’s death) are being quizzed by Penny about their dreams.
I May Be A Dreamer
Rupert steepled his fingers. ‘My dreams? Goodness.’
Penny sat at her uncle’s feet, rocking her baby sister.
Mary shared a grin with her half-brother. ‘Mine were cliched. Ballerina, show jumper.’
Penny waited. Finally, Rupert said, ‘I didn’t know it then, but finding you. A family.’
‘You had your mum.’
‘Oh and I was happy but now, well, it’s better.’
Penny frowned. ‘Does that count as a dream? I mean, looking back?’
‘A retrospective dream? What do you think Mary?’
‘Why not? Especially if it comes true.’
Penny smiled. ‘We’ll make it a thing. Our thing.’
‘Yes, a family thing.’
If you want to catch up with Mary and Rupert and understand their difficult reconciliation, check back here…