It's time for another writing prompt from r/writingprompts. Enjoy.
He woke to a tickle on his face. Opening his eye just a slit, he found the cat’s big green eyes staring back at him.
“It’s early, bud,” he said as he rolled over. “Let me sleep a little bit more.”
The cat walked over him to the other side of the bed and tickled his face with his whiskers again.
“Ugh. Fine,” he groaned as he sat up and rubbed his eyes.
He whipped the covers off his legs and swung them over the edge of the mattress. He put his feet into a pair of slippers and wriggled into a hoodie, pulling it closed tightly around his torso. As he walked into the hallway, his body jolted with a quick shiver. He checked the thermostat on the way to the kitchen. Its small touch screen showed it set at 64 degrees and holding at 64 degrees. Must have just been a chill from getting out from under those warm covers.
Something about the screen caught his eye, though. Something that didn’t belong. Text scrolling along the bottom of the display. “Will.” Who’s Will? I am, duh. I must need coffee. Will chuckled to himself as more text scrolled along the bottom of the screen. “We are trying a new technique, Will. We don’t know where this message will end up-”
The cat meowed loudly as it rubbed against his leg.
“Alright,” Will said. “Impatience doesn’t look good on you, bub.”
Will continued to the kitchen and picked up the cat’s bowl. He pulled the cat food from the cupboard by his knees and scooped the dry kibble out with a measuring cup. The cat frenzied like he always did in the morning. Meowing and purring as he rubbed against Will’s legs in a figure-8.
“Chill, dude,” Will said. “I’m not making this for me.”
He set the bowl down and the cat immediately began his morning munch fest. Finally free of his captor, Will blinked the remaining sleep from his eyes and glanced around the kitchen. Coffee.
He flipped the switch on the pre-loaded coffee maker and turned on the TV while he waited. The small flat screen lit up with the news. Will never changed the kitchen TV because the news is the only thing he watched on it. The 30-something blonde newscaster was halfway through a story about a young boy raising a few hundred dollars for the wildfire relief effort in Australia.
Will’s eyes flicked to the stock info that scrolled along the bottom of the screen. He never played the stock market but lately, he had been thinking about it. Just watching stocks rise and fall was good enough for him in the meantime. Then the text changed.
“If you are reading this, you’ve been in a coma for 20 years. We are trying something new. We don’t know where this message will end up in your dream, but we hope we are getting through. Please wake up.”
That’s weird. Some poor guy is in a coma and they think he’s watching the news in his head. Then the beginning of the text came around again. “Will, if you are reading this-.”
I’m Will. He shook his head. It’s a common name. Must be someone else. Will yawned. So tired. Must be bedtime. He looked down. I’m already wearing my pajamas and have my slippers on. Will turned off the TV and walked out of the kitchen with the cat following at his feet.
Will shuffled down the hallway and into the bedroom. He kicked off the slippers and pulled the hoodie off. He crawled into bed and pulled the blanket over him. The cat curled up beside him. Will grabbed his phone from the nightstand and opened Reddit like he always did before bed. Tapping on r/writingprompts, he began his slow scroll through the posts of the day. He stopped on one with a bunch of upvotes.
“[WP] If you are reading this, you’ve been in a coma for 20 years. We are trying a new technique. We don’t know where this message will end up in your dream, but we hope we are getting through. Please wake up.”
That seems like an interesting writing prompt. I’ll have to read the responses in the morning.
Will put his phone back on the nightstand and rolled onto his side to pet the cat. His fur was so soft. Will always marveled at how well the cat maintained his coat. Then he thought that if he was a cat, his coat would probably be all mottled and disgusting. Will scratched under the cat’s collar and the cat stretched his neck out and closed his eyes.
“You’re diggin’ that,” Will said with a smile.
Then something caught Will’s eye. The cat’s tag was still hanging from the collar but it didn’t have his contact info on it. Instead, it had a block of tiny text squeezed onto the small aluminum plate. Will unbuckled the collar and rolled over to the lamp, holding the tag up to the light.
“If you are reading this, you’ve been in a coma for 20 years. We are trying a new technique. We don’t know where this message will end up in your dream, but we hope we are getting through. Please wake up.”
Will sat straight up. It’s me. They’re talking to me. Who? Doesn’t matter. Am I dreaming this?
“Am I dreaming this?” Will asked the cat.
“Yes,” the cat said.
Will threw himself out of bed and stood with his back flat against the wall, staring at his cat.
“Coffee,” the cat said.
“Coffee?” Will asked, but the cat said nothing more. Coffee.
Will lunged into the hallway without his hoodie or slippers and ran to the kitchen. A full pot waited in the coffee maker. He poured himself a cup and brought it to his mouth. The scalding liquid burned his lips and he coughed. Black coffee dribbled down his chin as he moved to the freezer. He swung the door open and dropped several ice cubes into his cup, sloshing hot coffee onto his hand.
Once the cubes had melted, Will gulped the lukewarm liquid. He emptied his cup and clenched his eyes shut. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.
“Wake up!” he yelled.
“Wake up!” someone else yelled.
Will opened his eyes to find himself in a bright room. His blurry vision struggled to make sense of it. Light blue paint on the walls. Several white boxes to his left and right. Machines. Will realized he lay in a hospital bed. He tried to move his arms, but his joints were stiff. They would not respond.
“Just stay still,” a female voice told him.
She sat at Will’s bedside, still a blur. Will tried to pick out her features but her blonde hair was all he knew for sure. Several more blurry figures rushed into the room. White coats, clipboards, name tags, security badges. Doctors. Nurses.
They congratulated each other, shaking hands and slapping backs. The blonde woman started crying with one hand over her mouth and another holding Will’s hand tightly. Her features sharpened and Will recognized her. The newscaster.
“Hello, dad,” she said in between sniffs.
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