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There is so little time. Morpheas leaves her footprints in miles of black sand, boat long abandoned. Three of her ribs are broken; an illusion hides her ruined face. She carries her baby. Between pained breaths, she asks him what kind of person he is. He tells her tales of cowboys, rocket ships and finger paint.

Her body begins to fail. An explanation, an apology, a plea for forgiveness—she has practiced this goodbye many times. But faced with him, she only thinks of one thing:

"I love you."

She hopes it is enough.

Ambulance lights glitter on the jagged teeth of broken windows. A police cordon surrounds the diminishing husk of a primordial nightmare, buried in the remains of 33rd street.

It is a place she tries to forget but visits often in dreams.

"None of this is real, you know." Her husband slouches, hands in his pockets. They wait behind police tape. "You've been deluding yourself. I think it helps you cope."

Here he is neither devil nor a saint, just the truth. She hates it. "He was—is—real. I have to find a way back to him. I saved him—"

"—And you'll keep on saving him, in a million terrible worlds. It doesn't mean anything. He's gone. He never was. You gotta wake up."

Her world shatters; the fragments melt like wax. Tears roll down her cheek as she offers her husband a heartbroken smile.

"I know. But I can dream, can't I?"
My Round 2 for the Quarter Millennium Challenge.

This is draft number three. I think I'm getting to a point where I'm happy with it, but expect a few changes here and there. Similarly, if you have any suggestions, please let me know! I really need all of the help I can get.

That said, given that I might not proceed to the next round, I wanted to give Morpheas some closure. I hope it answers some questions—not all of them, but a few. The next installment, if I'm lucky enough to proceed, will finish tying things up.

I really like Morpheas. I think I have plans for her.

Word Count: 246 according to Open Office.
Prompt Used: Metamorphosis 1, by Philip Glass. Really, how could I not use it? I hope my use of the theme is evident.

Round 0
Round 1
Round 2
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thelittlemissus Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This entry made me so sad, and also reminded me of Ludo's "Morning in May" more than a little!

I wouldn't know where to begin giving you advise, you already deliver so well in imagery and emotion. I want to see more of her journey, even though it's a terrible, heart-breaking one.
marie-berry Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I won't lie, the whole arc is inspired by Ludo's Broken Bride. I find the idea of someone willing to change reality to save somebody really compelling, you know? :]

Awwww, thank you so much!! :D I don't think this snippet was nearly as strong as the last one, so it's really nice to hear that. Is Morpheas a sympathetic character to you? I ask this because a lot of my competitors have spent a lot of time talking about feelings and history and relationships and I ... have not done that so much in her stories, opting to give Morpheas physical problems to react to. Is it clear (at least sort of) what has happened? I also ask this because I did not want to COMPLETELY resolve what's going on, but give some closure in case I'm eliminated. (Rebel-Sikes, my competitor, is an amazing writer!)
thelittlemissus Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I KNEW it! I was getting that vibe pretty hard, but only just felt it strongly enough in this last entry to speak up. :) Oh gosh, you aren't kidding! It's an awesome (in the original sense of the word) concept!

You're very welcome! I think breaking it up into two scenes may have hurt the flow, but it was a necessary evil for what you were going for. I believe you have spent a LOT of time discussing relationships! In fact, the whole thing has really been revolving around her relationship/bond with her baby and the struggle to save him, over and over. Additionally, though you haven't blatantly discussed feelings, these have been very emotive pieces. Worry not! :D
marie-berry Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh good! Then things are reading correctly, then. I felt like I was being a bit too vague when writing this but Sei'ne told me that anyone who gave it a good read-through would understand. There's a lot of hints throughout the three vignettes to help readers put the pieces together.

That said, he also said breaking it up into two parts hurt the flow of the story. I'll see if I can find a way to better bridge the stories before the deadline.
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