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Vivid Dreams on a Park Bench: Flash Fiction by cam

Updated on March 02, 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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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 weeks ago from Oklahoma

      Very imaginative!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 3 weeks ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

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

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 3 weeks ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Excellent vivid mood.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 weeks 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 3 weeks 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 3 weeks 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 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      The Master of Flash Fiction strikes again!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 3 weeks ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      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 3 weeks 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.

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