The Ascent, a short story in the form of a dream.

Benjamin Pritchard,


I had a dream last night that stuck out in mind mind. I got up this morning, and quickly typed it out. It can serve as a short story, of the kind I have been inspired to write by my Dad, who is also an author.

The dream took place in some sort of twisted, fake reality, with a Hotel California type vibe to it. (“You can check out any time you like, But you can never leave.” ) It was like inside a grotesque Las Vegas casino, an entirely artificial environment with flashing lights and pyrotechnics, where smug Rich men sat on pedestals, while being entertained by the spectacle and attended to by servants.

I was talking to somebody about where the exit was, and I was getting more and more lost, moving from one artificial environment to the next… Some people were trying to help me find the exit, and they were seemingly eager to help. They were discussing it among themselves, but nobody really knew where the actual exit was. Then one of the people who worked there started bothering me, saying I needed some kind of wrist band to be in this area.

At that time, I saw a crack in the facade, and just jumped through it. It led to the actual outdoors, and I was outside in the sunlight! I remember I was tired, and sort of annoyed because I knew I still had a long trek ahead of me to where I was going. But it was more of an annoyance than anything, because I knew I was strong and could make it. So I just slogged onward.

Soon I found myself ascending a staircase, and it became increasingly steep, with the steps narrowing. Eventually it was almost completely vertical, making like a V shape, with vary narrow slat-like steps.

At the very top, you had to use the strength of your arms to forcibly drag yourself over the top. It was very difficult, but I managed to hoisst myself over. Once you made it, there was saftey of the other side. Having ascended the staircase, you were able to sit in comfort and rest after the hard climb.

But as I sat there and surveyed the steep steps I had just ascended, I started noticing all the other people making the same climb… And some of them were having trouble getting over. The one man in particular I remember from the dream, and he was sort of old and frail. Then all at once his body started to PANIC, completely losing hope of actually making it over. I saw how he was leaning back precariously, screaming and flailing his arms about.

Then I realized he was making a big disturbance around him, causing others to also start to panic. I could see how he was close to falling backwards, and I saw how it was going to cause many below him to also fall as he tumbled backwards onto them.

The dream then ended abruptly and I woke up.

But as I lay there awake, the memory was in my mind still of the climatic final moment. It was the moment when me and the other people who had made it over just started grabbing the flailing-armed people, and forcibly dragging them over with us.