Veronique Darwin

First Excerpt from Novel

In Dreams, My Writing on November 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I dreamt of the lake, like the lake was stuck in my chest, like the lake had moved into that percent of water that my body is already composed of and was making me cold from the inside. I asked Mea, haven’t you dreamt of the lake? and her face tore up into pieces. So that was still a part of the dream.

You can’t go outside of the hotel at night here, because there are bears and glaciers, and both can kill you. Tourists, too, can kill you. It was Mea’s idea to work at a fancy hotel. We started yesterday.

People visit Lake Louise just to take that picture, that one where you pose on the dock and the crevice of the two glaciers is right over your head, and the green of the lake is around you, and you’re wearing a tee-shirt and sunglasses, and you’re smiling and thinking those things are so far behind me in the background that they couldn’t really envelop me, even though doesn’t it look like it?

I’m working at a place where rich people come to get away. They don’t realize this place is run by teenagers. They don’t see the things we put in our bodies to put up with them. They don’t notice this place is run by people trying to escape becoming them. When it becomes evident our end is inevitable, we end up jumping in the lake, hiding in the trunks of cars, climbing into avalanches. At least, that’s what I imagine.

I had my first lake dream. I know it was a dream because I don’t sleep walk. I know it was a dream because Mea wakes up if I sniff my nose to get the cold out of it. I couldn’t have gone down to the lake last night. But I remember standing there on a rock, looking into the lake, and seeing not my face but my sister’s. I looked up and the mountains were gone. The lake had become people, millions of people, standing so close together that light couldn’t get through, it could only reflect. All my other dreams are still the dreams I had when I was at home. I dream in the past. Anything that happens now, then, couldn’t really be a dream.

(photo from


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