The Plan

[From Voice and Vision 2020: my initial piece]

They rehearsed every step with her till she knew them by heart.

Shortly after lunch, she strolled into the market and browsed the stalls. At exactly 2:23, she approached the designated vendor in the designated stall selling the specified doll. They haggled over the price – it had been agreed upon even before The Plan was activated, but bartering was essential for its success. Negotiations concluded, she handed over the money and took the doll.

She sauntered through the market, examining other items. She heard a commotion behind her, tromping footsteps, things knocked aside and broken, then angry voices shouting her name. Why were they calling her? How did they know her name? She turned to look. A bullet ricocheted off the pavement, too close for comfort. This was not part of The Plan!

Her pulse quickened. She searched for a place to hide, but the stalls were jammed together with no space between. She panicked and began to run. Five soldiers dressed in black appeared from between the stalls, pointing their high-powered assault rifles at her. “Stop!” they yelled. She was trapped. She clutched the doll to her chest and screamed.

And sat bolt upright in bed, clutching the blankets. Her heart pounded, her breath came in great gasping gulps of terror. It’s okay, it was just a dream, calm down, breathe, she told herself.

But what was she holding? It didn’t feel like blankets. She reached over and turned on the light.

And shrieked.

She was holding the doll.


“Everything’s OK” by Verone Solilo. (Acrylic on canvas)

Verone‘s response to “The Plan”:

This painting was done in response to an intriguing short story about a woman waking up from an adventurous, but frightening dream. It reminded me that the things that cause us anxieties, can often be remedied by showing ourselves the same kindness that we would show a small child, frightened by a nightmare. That inner child, who still retains his/her innocence, creativity and wonder toward life, sometimes needs a hug and some comforting words … “It’s Okay, it was just a dream, calm down, breathe.”

#VoiceAndVision2020 #CreativeCollaboration #VeroneSoliloArtist #MargaretGHanna #Fiction #948-ARTS

2 thoughts on “The Plan

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