"Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awoke, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man."
When I woke from my dream, I didn't think I was a butterfly. But I was confused as to where I was and whether what I had dreamed had really happened. Was it a memory? Or was it just a dream?
And from the dream, I wrote "Her", part fiction, part reality, mostly surreal.
The story was a tad short for even a short story, so it sat around in my "writing ideas" folder until I was asked to review a collection of microfiction, Loopholes by Susan McCreery for Writing NSW. And in doing so, I realised this was the perfect genre classification for my story!
Twenty-five years on, I dusted it off and published "Her" on Tall And True.
I was thirty when I wrote the piece, and I'm now in my mid-fifties. But reading it today, I still recall the intensity of the dream and the confusion of waking from it. Just as well, I didn't dream I was a butterfly!
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Tall And True is an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers.
Please read "Her" and let me know what you think of my microfiction dream.
© 2018 Robert Fairhead
A middle-aged dad and dog owner, Robert Fairhead is an editor and writer at Tall And True, and blogs on his eponymous website, RobertFairhead.com.
His favourite pastimes include reading and writing, walking his dog, and watching Aussie Rules Football with his son. He is also a part-time dog trainer and runs classes at his local dog training club and through Robert's Responsible Dog Training.
Robert has worked as an electrician, a computer programmer, and a sales and marketing consultant, and he is the principal copywriter at Rocher Communications.
His book reviews and writing on dogs have appeared in newspapers and online. And in 2020, he published a collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story.
Robert has also enjoyed a one-night stand as a stand-up comic.