Weird Fiction Monday: A Vignette

It’s time for Weird Fiction Monday, when I post stories that I’ve written — both new and old — for the entertainment (hopefully) of my readers!  As always, I note that I haven’t done extensive editing of the tales here, so don’t be surprised to find the writing a little rough.

This is actually not a complete story, but rather a small vignette that is part of a larger story that I’m working on.  I thought it stood alone well enough to post it here.

She had the dream again that night.  It came to her distressingly often, at least twice a month, and always followed the same course.

She was in an underground chamber, in the sewers of the city.  She could tell this because the only light in the room came from a barred sewer grate through which sunlight streamed.  Regularly, she could see the shadows of carriages passing by, and she could hear the sounds of gentlemen out for a stroll with their ladies, engaging in jovial banter.  The street above her was filled with life, a stark contrast to the dark desolate room she was enclosed in.

She was trapped.  She was a being of stone, massive in form, with no eyes or mouth; she could still see, somehow, with the flawed logic of a dream.  She rested on her hands and knees, and her lower legs and hands were fused to the rough stone of the floor.  Her hands were, in fact, crudely-hewn cubes whose boundaries blended seamlessly into the chamber.

She tried to struggle against her imprisonment, fighting to free her arms and her legs, or even to take a breath. Her actions were futile, however, and her muscles worked helplessly against the bonds that encased her.

This was where the dream usually ended: her terror growing to an unbearable level until, at last, she awoke breathless and in a panic, her heart racing.

But this time it was different.

Instead of feeling terror, she felt anger well up inside her.  She redoubled her efforts to free herself, and strained hard against the bonds holding her arms to the floor.

With a crack, the cube that was her right hand broke free.

All at once, her right arm was free to move, as living stone, and she thrust it hard back against the ground.  The force caused the cube of her left hand to become liberated as well.  With a fierce joy, she raised her stone torso up and savagely struck her legs with her block fists, and her legs broke free.

Now exhilarated, she rose to her feet, the first time ever in her dream, only to find herself brought up short by the low ceiling.  With a sudden fury, she began to pound against the obstruction, landing terrific blows that reverberated through the small room and shook it to its foundations.  As she pounded, the ceiling buckled upwards, and at the same time the blocks on her fists shivered and crumbled away, revealing clenched hands of stone.

She pounded harder and harder, and at last the ceiling broke, letting the daylight in from above.  She eagerly pulled at the opening, widening it for herself.  As she lifted her titanic form up into the street, the gentlefolk going about their daily business turned and fled in all directions.

At last, she opened her mouth, shattering the stone that had frozen it, and let out a roar that was of rage and passion and freedom and, above all else, exultation.

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