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Vivid Dreams on a Park Bench: Flash Fiction by cam

Updated on March 2, 2017

Brad Pitt as Johnny Suede


There it is. My bed. Not a wrinkle in the bedspread, not even where it's neatly tucked under the edges of my extra fluffy pillows and swoops way up over the top. That always makes me think of Brad "What-were-you-thinking" Pitt's hairstyle in the flick, Johnny Suede. Whose idea was that, anyway? Wouldn't the pillows be just as comfortable lying on top of the bedspread? But I make it that way just because. Just because if I didn't, I'd be thinking about it all morning at work and would come home at lunch time just to tuck the damn pillows in like I should have done that morning.

It doesn't matter. I haven't gotten in that bed since –– when was it? Six weeks? Two months? I just stopped bothering. What's the point? I roll one way, then the other. I stare at the ceiling, at the walls, at my feet where they make two little tents under the blanket. I finally just made the bed one morning and never got back in it.


Sometimes I go for walks around the city. Daytime streets are owned by business people, panhandlers, buskers, street preachers. But at night, it's a whole different world. The first thing I learned is nobody talks.

That's how I found a way to actually catch a few winks. It's not much, but at least I can still function. I walk down to the city park at about three in the morning. It won't work before that, don't ask me why. I forgot to mention that on the way to the park, I have to either buy a newspaper, if there's one left in the machine, or I scrounge one out of a trash can on the way.

I lie down on this particular bench and cover my face with the newspaper. I'm out like a light. Believe me, I've given serious thought to dragging that old bench back to my apartment and putting the bed out on the curb for the vagrants. But I just stretch out and sleep for a solid two hours. It doesn't sound like much, but it's two hours of an absolute blackout. I've never slept that deeply in my life. The downside is the dreams. Vivid dreams. Usually, they involve the sound of something being dragged along the ground. A drag-and-stop, drag-and-stop sound. But still, I'm sleeping. I'll take the tradeoff.


Johnny Suede, "One of a Kind, Black Suede Shoes"

Author's Dig at Cultural Decline

So I was looking for a nice photo for the top of this story, a photo that would illustrate the bed-making technique I described. You know, where the bedspread is tucked under the edge of the pillows.

What I want to know is when did this cultural paradigm shift occur? Evidently when I was still drinking, because I don't remember the movement from tucking to not tucking. Could I find a good photo of the bedspread neatly tucked under the pillows? No! What's this world coming to?

The chief of police is telling people not to go out at night. For the last couple of months, some wacko has been wacking people and leaving the bodies in dumpsters. There's no rhyme or reason, but there is an M.O. The wack job always leaves a newspaper with the body. How does that work? Does he Kill the guy or gal, then stop off at an all night diner for coffee and a paper? If I keep going to that park, I might not wake up in a dumpster some morning, if you catch my meaning.

So I've just finished my walk to the park. I'm looking down at my bench, even though I've got a perfectly good bed a few blocks away in an apartment with two deadbolts on the door. I lie down and cover my face with the paper. Sleep is coming on like a stampede of uncounted sheep. Let'em go, who needs 'em?


Am I awake or dreaming? I can't tell. But there's that sound. Drag-and-stop, drag-and-stop.


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    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 6 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Paula and Shauna, I love it when a story comes out this way. I had a particular ending in mind, but in all the comments, I now see three possible endings. It might be said that with so much confusion, it is a poor ending, or that it is an ingenious ending. I'll leave it as an unsolved case for now. Thanks for having some fun with this one.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Sha......EEEK! What a genius you are! That's it! That's where this wacko gets the newspaper to leave with the body! Hey, should I be afraid of you, GF?? I did not think of did I miss it??

      Is Sha right, Chris?? or........aren't you telling?? LOL

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 6 months ago from Central Florida

      The question is: does the bench sleeper wake up with the newspaper still on his face? Or does the killer drag and stop, drag and stop to pick up the paper as he's dumping his latest victim?

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Chris...You truly are the master of flash fiction. I know something else for sure.....I should not have read this last thing just before going to bed!! But of course I am sleeping in my comfy bed....not on a park bench.

      This tale is a goosebump maker!! Chills up & down my spine. And good grief ! This guy provides his own newspaper for the wacko!

      Another great FLASH!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 6 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Lawrence, I am happy to hear that my intended goal has been achieved. chills are good. Thanks for visiting. I'll see you soon on the Coyote story.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 6 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Larry, thank you for visiting.

    • profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 6 months ago

      This one gave me the chills!

      Loved it

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 7 months ago from Oklahoma

      Very imaginative!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 7 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Thank you, rebelogilbert. It's good to have you visit my hubs.

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 7 months ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Excellent vivid mood.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 7 months ago from The Caribbean

      Sometimes I do the tuck, and I'd like to believe that other people do. Perhaps we have to take our own pictures. Anyway, you surely illustrated "vivid" as it is in your title, and then you leave us with that vivid sound. Good story-telling!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I bet I dream of that dragging sound tonight. Do people really still make their beds? Why?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This leaves me wondering how many more nights before the whacko strikes again? Flash fiction with a twist. I like that...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The Master of Flash Fiction strikes again!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 7 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      John, I found a few, but they were ugly. Even google ads had the pillows on top. Good to see you today.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 7 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Excellent flash fiction, Chris. I can't believe you couldn't find a photo of a bedspread tucked under the pillows. We always do that.