“Ten. . . Nine . . . Eight . . .”

Helena sits strapped into the bullet-shaped seat, eager with anticipation. She has planned this trip since she was seventeen and Sam laughingly walked out on her without a backward glance, only a devil-may-care toss of his hand and the casually flung words, “I’ll see you in my dreams.”

Sam had gone into AI programming on Mars, Helena into dream research on Earth. Now it is 2065 and Dream Flights has become a reality. Her own company is not only making her a millionaire, but also is allowing Helena to finally fulfill her dream.

Helena laughs at this turn of phrase. After experimenting first with her pets, then with her friends, Helena is now able to control not only what she dreams (that adaptation came about in 2042 and is now quite commonplace) she can also pick and choose who joins her in her dreams. Even better, she places herself in other people’s dreams. At first, she just brings her cat, Mags, into her dreams, then her best friend Chrystal. Helena’s greatest accomplishment is when she and Mags both enter Chrystal’s dreams without Chrystal’s prior knowledge.

“Seven . . .Six . . . Five . . .”

And now, the piece de resistance. Helena has calculated exactly where on Mars Sam will be at 8:00 tonight. At that moment, Helena will enter Sam’s dream, showing him without doubt that they belong together. She will enter his dream and he will re-enter her life. His being 140 million miles away is no hindrance to her plan.

The viewport beside Helena’s head fills with plumes of exhaust from the engines. She can barely make out the shape of another capsule miles above her, coming down fast.

“Four . . .Three . . .Two . . .”

The oncoming capsule is close enough now that she can see an artistic “Helena” painted on the capsule’s side. Helena gasps.

“One! Blast off!”

As Helena’s capsule leaves its pad, she sees the other capsule landing in her vacated space, Sam’s face beaming from its viewport.

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    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    11 days ago

    Really interesting and unique story of controlling dreams. I was anticipating Helena entering Sam’s dreams and was shocked when the two rockets passed each other in opposite directions, Susan, you just have to write the next part! Your title was so literal!

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    10 days ago

    I absolutely loved this, Susan, such a unique story. I love science fiction anyway and the developments that can be made with AI, even though there is a lot of negativity around it at the moment. I love the twist at the end, though I can imagine your protagonist’s heart sinking a little if she saw the face peering out of the viewport. Nicely done.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    9 days ago

    Susan, your story is intriguing. I am looking forward to part 2. Well done. 

    Julie Harris
    Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
    9 days ago

    What a great story, Susan! Such a great combination of science fiction and fascination with dreams. Like Helena, I have somewhat mastered the art of lucid dreaming, where I can change the outcome of dreams while I’m sleeping. Lucid dreaming is in fact much like writing flash fiction! Unlike Helena, I have yet to insert myself into someone else’s dreams! What a novel idea!! I’ll work on it …

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