It’s time for this week’s Song Title Challenge.
Write a short piece of fiction, around 300 words, using the song title as your story title but don’t listen to the song. You can pick your own genre or use the one suggested to me. Remember to link back to this post so I can find yours.
This week’s song is Number 9 Dream by John Lennon and was suggested by Matthew Wright. He gave the genre as “surreal”, so Sci-Fi it is. This one turned out longer than usual, but I’ve already cut two hundred words from the first draft so I’m leaving it as it is.
Number 9 Dream
“Welcome to the Dream Palace, Minister Patel,” said Dr Klinefeldt as the door closed. “Please, have a seat.”
“Thank you,” said Patel. The office was bare, clinical, just like reception. He shifted in his seat. “Actually, I think this was a mistake.” He moved to get up. “Please forget I came.”
“Minister, a moment.” He perched on the edge of the chair, ready to bolt. The doctor smiled. “I understand your hesitation, but believe me when I say this will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. I see you’ve ordered the number 9 dream.” Her smile widened. “It’s one of our favourites.”
“But if anyone should find out. My position…I can’t be known to…”
“I can assure you of complete confidentiality. The two of us are the only people who know your choice. Not even the technician supervising your dream will know.”
He wanted to get up and leave and forget this place existed. But he had to know what it felt like. “Okay,” he said.
“Excellent. Please sign here.” She pushed a form over the desk and he initialled it without reading. “Greta will take you from here.”
A technician appeared through a door he hadn’t noticed before and he followed her along a corridor lined with identical doors. He could only imagine what was going on behind each of them.
They entered one and Greta gestured him to a chair. The foam moulded around his body and the back reclined to a comfortable angle. Greta attached electrodes to his temples and slid a visor over his face. “Are you comfortable, sir?” He realised her voice was coming through headphones attached to the visor.
“Yes, thank you,” he said. His throat felt dry.
“Please select the model of your choice.”
A row of pictures scrolled past him. They all seemed so wonderful. But then he saw her, and his heart jumped in his chest. He made his selection.
“Thank you, sir. The neural link-up can be a little jarring. I suggest you close your eyes while I initiate the dream.”
For several seconds nothing happened.
“When does it start?” he said. No one answered.
He smelled leather. He shifted in his seat and it creaked under him. He opened his eyes.
It seemed so real. He licked his lips and reached out a hand.
The engine roared to life and the acrid scent of exhaust filled his nostrils. He pressed down on the accelerator and the Mustang shuddered beneath him. As Minister of Energy much of career had revolved around getting the last cars on Earth decommissioned and like most people he had never been in one.
He floored it and whooped as the tyres shrieked against the asphalt.
Copyright © 2014 Herman Kok