Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Dreams by Doug Harcourt

This entry came seventh in our ultra-short story competition earlier this year. The judges’ comments included "a real story", "well written", "touching", and "nice style".

Robbie was eleven, fat and lonely. Jibes, bullying and disapproval were his constant companions. Life for him in Hastings was not a beach. So, he escaped to wild places, particularly to the shaded banks of the Old Roar Gill. Here, he would sit, daydreaming, believing himself the only person in the world, silently wishing it could be so. Often he fantasised over Emma, a girl from his class and pretty as a picture. This day, he followed the path to where a small waterfall splashed onto the rocky stream bed. As he approached, he was startled to see a slight figure by the water. She turned and Robbie blushed. It was Emma. She smiled and he tried to speak, but was struck dumb. Remembering previous fantasies, he blushed deeper.
Hi Robbie, she said, lifting a hand, Ive been waiting. We cant miss the parade.
Robbie, still tongue-tied, lifted his own hand.
And woke up.
For a moment, he lay still, the memory of the dream remaining strong. Then tears filled his eyes and the injustice of the world to small, fat boys threatened to overwhelm him. But many mornings were like this and he survived.
He breakfasted alone, his mood sombre. The doorbell rang and he walked ponderously to see who visited on this Bank Holiday Monday.
He opened the door and there stood Emma.
Hi Robbie, she said shyly. "Do you want to come to the parade with me?"
Robbie grinned, hope rising.

Could dreams really come true?

NEXT MONTH
The Only Explanation
by Tom Bartlett

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