Falling Through (Flash Fiction)

It was Thursday evening when Bob fell through the thin veil we call reality. He was sitting in his chair reading, as he usually did, and simply fell through the fabric and frame and into the book in his hand. He became the violent knight he was reading about, pounding the hooves of his black stead across burning fields of wheat while his army raped and murdered anything that moved. He was the children that lost their families and friends. He felt the fire torch his skin. The horror and sick delight of it all flowed through him, and Bob lived every moment in every way that came across the page. The chaotic joy and cruel torment continued until he let out a soft moan, to which his wife became concerned and gave him a soft shake on the shoulder. He snapped back into his body and looked at her with shocked tears forming in his eyes.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

But Bob didn’t answer. He hurried quickly away, brushed his teeth, and wrapped himself in familiar covers. The exhaustion of the experience drove him into a deep sleep, and while he slept, he had vivid dreams.

In his dream, he lived a lifetime. He shot from a womb in confused terror. He was coddled and raised and taught several languages and how to eat food in the proper way. He grew up in a small village not far from Paris, France. He met a girl, a beautiful girl, whose smile was enchanting and words so enticing. He fell for her quickly and they soon fell into each other. Children came into their lives with an unexpected suddenness, but together they embraced the rapid change. They had several more, by accident and by choice, and together they grew old in a small house full of family, friends, and love. Bob was killed from this dream by an unfortunate car accident.

When he died, he awoke in his old bed. He sat and he sighed and tried to recollect, but the only thing he saw was the smile of that beautiful girl with enchanting lips. As he readied for work, he remembered her talking, but he couldn’t remember what she said.

As he drove in the early morning rush, his audio book swept him away once again. He became the small climbing group attempting to brave the heights of the Himalayas for the first time. He felt the altitude sickness fill into his lungs and swim in his mind. He felt the rocks scrape his skin and the weight of his pack. He knew the apprehension of the team leader and suffered the first death. All of these things continued until a car honked at him for sitting at a green light.

When he got to work he sat with a blank stare at his desk. The phone rang, but he didn’t answer. His secretary asked if he was feeling ill, but he honestly couldn’t say. There was a sexual harassment poster on the wall across from him, and he relived that moment all day. He felt that poor woman’s suffering.

Bob continued to fall through the layers of reality. Every exposition of fiction took him in. Every night was a dream of multiple years. He dreams the words that come across this digital page. As you live, he dreams your life.

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