When I Close My Eyes: original short story


When I close my eyes

I’m a rockstar. With a guitar in both hands. Held like it’s an extension of my own body. I strut and jive across the stage. Shake my shaggy hair and give the microphone a well deserved snog. The crowd cling for my feet, their eyes willing me to recognise them and wink at them. I raise an arm. One, two, one, two, three, four…

When I close my eyes…

I’m an Olympic runner. I’m wearing my country’s colours. I’m running so fast I’m almost flying. People are squealing. Both in the stands and in front of television screens and on TV catch up days afterwards. I kiss my gold medal and give a nod which becomes a national icon. Of peace. And ends civil wars everywhere.

When I close my eyes…

I’m a famous scientist. Giving an interview on BBC news. Talking about how I discovered my amazing discovery that changed the whole world. How I was in my lab, looking at some molecule under my super high-tech microscope when some dirt from my eyebrows fell on the little plate thing. And bam. I discovered it! The ultimate alternative fuel source. Ohh yeahhhh.

When I close my eyes

I’m a ballet dancer. Gliding around the hall. I am weightlessly floating. A single spotlight highlights the warmth of my skin. Crowds upon crowds of people marvel at the beautiful and elegant way I move. My toes twitter across the stage and the crowds gasps and whoops.

When I close my eyes

I’m in an office. Tap tap tapping on a keyboard. I daydream through the window for a moment before feeling overcome with inspiration. And then I manically run around, sending emails, picking up phones, interrupting meetings, giving presentations. Before I know it, I’m the CEO of a massive corporation and my photo is in Trillionaire Weekly.

When I open my eyes

My hands are white from dryness. I can smell the sewers from across the street. My bum in numb from sitting on the cold hard stone. People walk past me. With their guitars. And their running shoes. And their glasses. And their stockings. And their suits. Their eyes slide down at me and back up again in an instance.

When I close my eyes

They see me. All the people that I wanted to be. They see me huddled in a pile of grey clothes. Wishing their lucky stars they aren’t me.

I’d ask for spare change but my throat’s too dry.




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