As part of my participation in My 500 words, I am posting what I write each day.
I rarely rely on dreams to inspire me for stories to write, at least not my own. I have created a few stories from Prajna’s dreams, hers are awesome and she tells them in a way that inspires me. But earlier this year I woke up with an idea. It actually may not have been a dream. Rather, the idea was with me like a leg cramp first thing in the morning. But I was finally prepared and I wrote down what I had. It went something like this:
Two figures are struggling to make their way up a mountain during a ferocious blizzard. One of them finally stops, unable to go on any further. The second one tries to stay, but is implored to go on, and finally he does. After more perilous traveling, he finally arrives at his destination. It’s really there. He goes to the door of the mountain fortress and someone comes out to him. They try to bring him in, but he refuses. Instead, he hands over what he has, and they take the child from him. Further urging to come in to the fortress, get warm, rest, are ignored. He must go back for who he left. He turns and disappears back into the storm and is never seen again.
After I wrote that down, I was intrigued and grateful. Here was the start of a story. Here, perhaps could be my next November novel. So I did what I usually do, I went to work. I mean I literally went to work. My job is custodial and maintenance. I work alone most of the time setting and breaking down rooms and cleaning buildings. I listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks all the time while working and I turn ideas over in my head. I thought about the idea I had written down. Who the people were didn’t seem as important as where they arrived. What was it?
I don’t know where I came up with the idea for holograms. I don’t usually like technology playing a big role in my stories. I think I actually had the idea of this child, a little girl, being dropped off at a fortress that had once been populated with people. Whenever someone died, and left their personality programmed in the databanks of a great computer. Eventually everyone died. There was nothing there but holograms. And this is where the child was dropped off.
I don’t know the order that things happened after that. But I was speculating about what would happen if people had the technology to build a prison that had no guards, only holograms. Holograms couldn’t be overpowered or bribed. It would be a humane alternative to solitary confinement. What if the powers that be remembered a fortress populated by what they thought were only holograms, and they decided to turn it into a prison for enemies of the state?
The ideas started to bounce around in my head like moths on a porch light. But there was still a lot of thinking and planning to do, much of it I haven’t done yet.
Then, last night, another idea came to me.