Recently my writers’ group was challenged to come up with ideas for a short story around the theme of “dreams”. It’s always difficult to keep to a strict word count.
This one was 350 words. How did I do?
George felt himself perspiring under the hot lights.
“What’s the crowd like tonight?” he asked Jenny, as she dusted his forehead with powder.
Jenny made a face. “I was making up tonight’s contestant earlier and she asked me to make her beautiful. I can’t perform miracles my dear, I told her.”
A roar came from the audience behind the curtain.
“Tell us your dream! Tell us your dream! Tell us your dream!”
The show’s theme music began. George stepped forward as the curtains parted.
“Good evening folks. Welcome to Tell Us Your Dream. Tonight we’re going to make someone’s dream come true. Who’s it gonna be?”
The arc lights swept over the studio audience, many of whom were standing and waving their arms in the air.
The music pulsed louder and louder and then stopped as the cameras zoomed in on a bespectacled middle aged woman.
A disembodied voice yelled, “Audrey Fisher from Luton. Tell us your dream!”
Audrey’s face lit up as eager arms propelled her forwards and up on to the stage.
There was an uproar from the audience who were all on their feet.
“Tell us your dream!”
George smiled at Audrey. She was a plain old thing, he thought. A trifle nervous, but that was to be expected.
The music pulsed again. And then fell silent.
George smiled. “Welcome Audrey to Tell Us Your Dream.”
“You know the format. You tell us your deepest hopes, desires and wishes and the Dream Team here will help make them come true. Now don’t be shy.”
“Well George,” responded Audrey, not at all shyly. “I’ve had a secret passion for a long time now. Someone I really fancy. I know that if he only had the chance to meet me, to spend the night with me that he would realise that I am the one for him.”
“OOOH!” shrieked the audience. “Audrey! Audrey! Audrey!”
George turned to the audience. “You know we have no prior vetting of dreams. We never know what’s going to come up or who is going to come up on to the stage.” Then, turning to Audrey he said, “Now tell us more about this chap of yours.”
“Well George,” volunteered Audrey, “he’s not conventionally good looking but he‘s got something. That certain je ne sais quoi.”
“OOOOOH!” screamed the audience not understanding a word.
“Tell us your dream! Tell us your dream!”
“After the break,” George announced, “we’re going to let you in on the lucky chap’s name. Back in a mo!”
“Audience please don’t leave your seats!” someone shouted. “The show will be starting again in three minutes.”
Jenny came back on stage to dust George’s shiny, sweaty head. And whispered something in his ear.
George continued to smile at the audience but he turned pale.
“That’s crazy,” he murmured. “I’ve been set up. It’s just not possible. I can’t do it.”
Audrey looked up at him and smiled adoringly.
“Are you ready George to make my dreams come true?”
© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems