Did you ever have a dream spark a story? That’s what happened with my Apocalyptic science fiction story “Drink My Soul…Please.” I had a dream one night and the next morning three clear images stayed with me. One was a girl bending over an outdoor oven baking a cake and looking up to wave at a man in a toga on a hill with a cart and horse. The second was of a man in green fatigues stooping to come out of a hut with a curtain of nuts and bolts as a doorway. The final image was of a small, computer-like machine (back in the days of CRT monitors) sitting on a counter with the message “Engage?” blinking on it in green.
Those three images formed the basis of this story. The time is the future when bombs have destroyed most of the world as we know it. People have been reduced to making do–but the survivors are hardy and strong. The war is over after half a lifetime. And Daniscar Zenov is coming home at last. Elianora Vaire wonders if he will still remember her childhood declaration of love. This relationship is the heart of the story.
Science fiction is a genre I have read avidly since I was a kid. I grew up on Ray Bradbury, especially the short stories like Twice 22, and Andre Norton, with books like The Zero Stone and The Crystal Gryphon. It’s very difficult for me to write, however–I think it is the science aspect. I enjoy science, but I wouldn’t say I am good at it. I’ve only written a handful of science fiction stories, and this one was my most ambitious. There isn’t a lot of hard science in it, but the recreation of an Apocalyptic world was difficult in itself. What would remain? What would be destroyed
It’s not an easy story to read. There are issues involved that weren’t easy to write either. Sometimes an author needs to step out of their comfort zone and tackle the hard issues. I realize that some people might be triggered by the assault involved, but it was integral to the concepts of the story.