Literature 5-12-2008

miniStories: “Wakey, Wakey” by Beth Mayer

"Wakey, Wakey" by Beth Mayer was selected to be a winner in the spring 2008 miniStories series by Crown/Three Rivers Press editor Lindsay Moore.


Wakey, Wakey

      Once, in a fever, I leave my white-eyelet bed and fly down the stairs to my mother in the yellow kitchen. “I flew down the stairs,” I tell her. She lays me down, places a cold cloth across my forehead, “fever dreams,” she says. She tells me not to be afraid. One can never be sure of these things. No one tells me I cannot possibly chart my dreams. No one tells me about lucid dreaming, one half-mind alert, dancing a lovely tango with the other half-mind. Not the slow, drugged, far away thought, hey, maybe I am dreaming. No, here the day-self, awake, says: “Yes! I am here (really!) and I can do anything I please, anything at all.” I can fight archetypal battles and win. A nightmare becomes a stage. My stage. Monsters are expendable characters. (From these battle-dreams, I wake up wet, spent, triumphant! And, always, a little lighter after banishing some monsters.) Sometimes, I fly close to home, content with the green, green of our backyard. Sometimes, I fly across the blue sea, over many lands, coming in close just to see the variety of the housing, the noisy, open-air marketplace, the people-so many people! and chickens and dogs. On special occasions, I fly out into the cold, among the stars and the whirling red and purple planets. What if you moved over, now, today? There really is no loyalty for the ground, once you fly.

About the author: Beth Mayer’s fiction and essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Sun Magazine, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Hamline University and recently completed her first collection of short stories. Beth creates and performs new fiction inspired by visual art with TalkingImageConnection, and currently teaches writing at Metropolitan State University.