Saturday, January 04, 2014

Story on East of the Web

'Falling', my story which was shortlisted and Highly Commended in the Sean O'Faolain competition, can now be read online at East of the Web. It's another of my less conventional stories: it deliberately plays on the 'and then she woke and it was all a dream' convention, turning it on its head and exploring the notion of the unreliability of consciousness. When I posted about East of the Web recently and the story's acceptance, I forgot to mention that one great thing about East of the Web is that they allow comments on the stories, which I don't think many online magazines do. It's a two-edged sword, of course: it's really great to get the reactions of general readers to your work, but also you need a thick skin: a couple of the commenters so far don't think much of 'Falling' at all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Then one year I made the wrong decision.

I searched up short stories to analyse for a high school assignment and "Falling" really POPPED out at me. I am supposed to read two short stories about identity. In my opinion "Falling" truly does explore how unreliable our consciousness is and how easily we can manipulate ourselves to believe that dreams are real.

I don't think I'll ever find out whether the main character was dreaming or not but it adds to the whole uncertain tone reinforced in the ending of the story. Is she truly there or is she dreaming?

I am a girl that remembers almost all my dreams. I own multiple dream diaries from 2012, 2013 and the current year we are in. In these dream diaries I have written entries of what I dream about. Now that there's loads of technology about sometimes I get lazy and write about my dreams on my IPhone 4s. I currently have written 27 entries on my IPhone but that's not important.

Usually my dreams are just an array of events but never random. Sometimes I know I am dreaming and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I believe I have woken up but I actually haven't. I tend to 'wake' up in my dreams and when I was younger I'd often dream about waking up and getting ready for school but then I'd really wake up and redo the whole morning school routine.

Unlike "Falling" however and dreams... I experienced something that made me to believe that my life itself was in fact a dream. I could go into the details of how I over-dosed on synthetic weed
-HOW everything slowed down
-HOW I 'regurgitated' everything I ate
-HOW I laid on the grass continuously hearing the same words over and over and over and over and over again like a broken record
-HOW I continuously felt like I was dying over and over and over and over again and screaming because it felt real every single time. I was trapped in an arena of death with no weapon to defend myself with
-HOW I watched myself screaming in agony because I saw the essence of my life get stuck in a foreign country and I knew that I was going to die any second which doesn't make sense but nothing does when your in that state
-HOW I saw colourful stripes suspended in the air
-HOW I had barely had any memory of who the people staring down at me were
-HOW my memory was slowly being pieced together with every painful scream and strange static vision
-HOW I said things and did things that I'd never do in my right mind
-HOW I was in intensive care unit and was treated almost immediately


-HOW my life felt so distorted and puzzling that it didn't feel real. That life it self felt like a dream.

-BUT I'd rather not

I will never forget what happened in those mere couple of hours but at least it will warn me of future decisions I make in life.

I guess that I am fascinated by the short story "Falling" because I can relate to it. The main characters consciousness was so uncertain and unreliable plus she continuously kept on getting hurt one way or another. She couldn't escape her accidents and I couldn't escape the smothering feeling of death.

You can either believe that this is all true or you can believe otherwise. Maybe you could believe in what your consciousness tells you.

to anyone who read this
don't do drugs
I'm out