A 290 word story written for the Daily Flash Fiction Challenge, 9/11/19.
We're always being told to dream. That gives us a focus, something to aspire to. Yet they never seem to come true, at least not for me.
I was growing despondent. I'd not even try to deny it. What was the point in building up hopes that were never, ever going to become fulfilled?
I wish I could remember who it was that came up with the suggestion. Perhaps it was a bodiless voice, one carried by the wind, that was somehow heard only by me.
The suggestion it made was a simple one. Write down my dreams, ensuring that there was only one on each piece of paper or card. Then select a tree and tie each piece to a different branch with string.
I'd be the first to admit that this seemed insane. Was I really going to believe that my wishes might then grow and flourish? I must have, for I'd spent hours ornately inscribing my wildest, most heartfelt dreams. I even added doodles. Go on, it's okay to laugh.
But you know what? Those dreams did seem to start coming together. All these things that had been so far out of reach now suddenly appeared to be at my finger-tips. I just had to reach out that bit further and then I'd be able to grab them.
For no apparent reason, my dreams, when they were almost attained, became nightmarish. All my goals turned themselves upside down or inside out. They withered, died, rotted away; leaving me more despondent than ever.
The fact that this coincided with Autumn, escaped my notice. At least it did until I heard that voice again, laughing taunting, making fun. "Fool," it said. "Next time, make sure you choose an evergreen."