by Christina Murphy
The moon spread a silver path along the ocean as he waited for the tide to bring in the wave of dreams. Tonight was to be the biggest assemblage yet in all the years he had stood by the sea and watched for the first signs along the horizon.
The broken dreams came in first, and he worked to gather up the pieces so that the brightest dreams would not get trapped in the wreckage. He was quick and deft at catching the pieces and stacking them in piles along the shore. The moonlight gave a bone-like quality to the piles and the chill in the air made him shiver.
She appeared at the top of the dunes as the brightest dreams began to glow in the water and ride the crest of the waves. Tonight there was a strong current, and the whitecaps broke into tiny stars that danced in the wind until their return to the sea. Her voice caressed the waves, inviting each dream forward. He moved swiftly, gathering up bundles of dreams alive with such energy that the shore and the sea became an intense golden light.
She came to the edge of the sea and embraced him. He placed the brightest dreams in her wings and handed her his dream, which she held gently as the sound of the surf became a long echo in the night. The moonlight opened a path, and his heart filled with loneliness as She flew into the heavens, streaks of starlight on her silver wings. He stood on the shore, watching, as She rose through the clouds and the sea was at rest once more.
Christina Murphy lives and writes in a 100 year-old house along the Ohio River. Her writing has been published in Modern Short Stories, Greensboro Review, Crescent Review, Descant, Bartelby Snopes, and Storyscape, among others, and has received an Editor’s Choice Award and Special Mention for a Pushcart Prize. She always appreciates hearing from readers and can be reached at email@example.com.
What do you think is the attraction of the fantasy genre?
Like many a good Freudian, I believe in the power of the subconscious mind, which interprets and experiences the world through images. Much like dreams, the fantasy genre, through its use of images and metaphors and its capacity for the visual, opens a way of experiencing the world that engages both the conscious and subconscious mind. The attraction—and the power—of the fantasy genre is its ability to reach the reader on multiple levels of awareness.