The Bear by Cameron Brtnik (based on my girlfriend's dream 3/22/18) I had a dream, twas more like a 'mare I had a dream I was chased by a bear This big brown bear was chasing me It chased me until I ran up a tree I was safe there, at least for now There's no way in hell that I'm coming down Then the bear whipped out its claws Five sharp knives on large white paws It bared its fangs like sharpened blades And shook the tree until it gave Right then I jumped and made escape I looked behind me and saw its shape That's when the fear and dread arrived Don't think I'll make it out alive I ran and ran like rabbit game Inside my fears I had to tame I couldn't tell what's dream or real I thought I'd be the bear's next meal Frantic, panic, sweat and tears All my doubts, anxiety, fears Would I escape? I wasn't sure Next thing that happened was a blur I fell and stumbled, tried to reach high My heart was pounding, I felt it cry I tried to wake up, cried and moaned No one to wake me, all alone The bear bit down upon my head I let him eat me, sure I was dead Then suddenly, everything was fine No more fear, it was a sign From then on when the bear gave chase I stood my ground, stared face to face ….. Now don’t you see, I am the bear The one being chased, the one that's scared But now I can control it, see And tame the bear that lives in me
Is it the will of a lion that fortifies us with bravery? Or do humans infuse the animal with heart? I have peered into his center, an adventurer with a penchant for poetics, peeling layers, shedding skins, existing in the of, novelty: lustrous & rich with shifts in perspective & prospect, his eyes speak out melodies; of dreams transcending body; contained by the knowledge in sensuality, mind leans toward, a vivid endorsement for connection
The Bear by Virginia Kyriakopoulos
Based on my nightmare 3/22/2018 There is a brown bear living inside my head, the weight of its might sends my muscles into flight, a terror as terrestrial as the animal seizes all activity, I am running, no other part of me exists, just fear to make it out, one piece of flesh, I am just a piece coalesced in an aim to move up up up the tree where the trunk meets the branches, where the leaves kiss the wood, there far above the terrors of the forest, fear drips, mist hanging on to the veins of the foliage clinging on from the great storm, that sent the bear charging, like a ghost from the past...
a Critique by Virginia Kyriakopoulos
No WiFi is packed with metaphors, depth of tone, and feeling. The unkempt, ignored, sullied and covered up ( with air freshener,) room in a no-name hotel reflects the inner state of the protagonist, also nameless. He places himself in an environment that is barely alive, which reads also as soulless, like the town itself. But, unlike the children whose uninhibited playing is admired and coveted by the protagonist, what the reader here can glean is a connection, and therefore not soulless since the relationship suggests a genuine exchange; learning from the kids and admiring their authenticity. The other brief relationship presented in the story is the one with the voice. Is it a hallucination? Perhaps as the man doesn’t want to say out loud that he’s crazy, but is willing to utter the word when he’s scared. Fear of being crazy is brought to the surface when the environment suggests something crazy is happening.
The vodka is another relationship we see unfolding; this is the relationship the man has with the bottle, suggesting the one he has with himself is one of sedation. The recognition that the vodka serves only a temporary creative outlet reinforces the man’s sanity as this thought is rooted in rationality. The other thoughts of insanity are merely extensions of his fear. The blend of self awareness and a creepy, mysterious, unidentified voice or noise is an effective way of depicting drunkenness. The man’s desire to, yet fear of, connect to this ghostly voice ends on a positive tone. The words, “Thank you,” are an expression given in acknowledgment of some good done, and the lucky number eight both express that positivity. This is what the story is all about: The man’s desire for acknowledgment! I think the air conditioner serves as a symbol for that; As the man postulates that, “Even flies don’t appreciate persistent efforts, we see its efforts go unthanked. That the story ends with the voice giving thanks is full of validation, connection and hope.
Critique by Virginia Kyriakopoulos 5.03.18 – Virginia is a freelance writer, poet, and literary critic
Read the original short story here: Short Story – No Wifi by Cameron Brtnik