Open To Interpretation – Speakeasy #155

Signs are there... but open to interpretation
Signs and people:  open to interpretation

“Without a word, she dropped to the ground.” I took a drink of iced tea. “Such a bizarre dream… I have no idea what it means.”

“A wooden cheetah climbed the tree?” Pam tilted her head to the side and scrunched her face.

“Yeah. She almost reached the wooden eagle, but then she just stopped, leaped from the trunk, and ran away lightning fast.”

She shook her head. “That is strange. Cheetahs don’t even climb trees.”

“Whatever. Maybe it was jaguar or a leopard. That’s not the point.”

“Oh yes, the point is you give up too soon.” She jabbed a ketchup-dipped fry in my direction.


“The leopard almost reached her goal and then turned tail. That, my friend, is you.”

“Maybe she decided she wasn’t hungry.”

“Doubt it. Leopards are hunters by instinct.”

“Maybe I’m the eagle.”

Pam laughed. “Nope. Eagles symbolize freedom. You’ve trapped yourself.”

“Maybe the leopard decided the bird wasn’t worth the effort,” I said.

“Or she was afraid of what would happen if she actually caught it.”

I rolled my eyes. “It was just a stupid dream. Can we talk about something else?”

“You’re either stressed about that job offer in Chicago or the lack of proposal from Ian- or both.”

“You got all that from a dream?”

Pam looked over the rim of her eyeglasses. “It makes more sense than the literal interpretation of wooden animals in a tree. The subconscious never rests and our conscious worries tend to manifest in our dreams. The way I see it–”

“Okay, okay. I am a little anxious. Just stop already.”

Pam smiled… her smug smile. I hated that one.

“I don’t think Ian will ever be ready to commit.” I picked the sesame seeds off my burger bun and dropped them into a pile on my plate. “I’m done wasting my time.”

“Then why not take the job in Chicago?”

“I like it here.”

“You like the safety of here.”

“Dang it, Pam! Stop analyzing me.” Her scrutiny always made me squirm, mostly because, as my best friend of fifteen years, she pegged me more than I planned to admit.

“Fine, but you really should find out why the leopard turned away.”

“Right. I’ll go to bed tonight and tune myself into the dream channel and pick up where it left off. Better yet, I’ll chase the wooden leopard down and ask her why she didn’t devour the eagle.”

“Funny,” Pam said in a sarcastic tone. Then she shrugged. “Maybe you should stay. That way, we can still discuss your deep-seeded insecurities over lunch.”

I sighed. “Chicago might not be so bad.”


This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly writing prompt.  The challenge this week is to write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is less- 438 words, to be exact) (1) using “Without a word, she dropped to the ground.” as the first sentence, AND (2) make some sort of reference to the photo prompt (which is posted on the Speakeasy site.)

The challenge is open to everyone, so if you want to play along, click the badge below to check out the guidelines.  Stories can be written and posted on your blog now, but we can’t add our link to Speakeasy until Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by!


57 thoughts on “Open To Interpretation – Speakeasy #155

  1. suzicate March 31, 2014 / 4:14 AM

    Wow, you took off in an interesting turn with this one, great job!

    • jannatwrites March 31, 2014 / 9:41 PM

      Thanks for reading, Suzicate! I’d hoped to come up with something ‘different’ 🙂

  2. Eric Alagan March 31, 2014 / 5:50 AM

    If dreams made full sense, they’ll be reality, I reckon.

    To be read like a book – that’s scary.

    • jannatwrites March 31, 2014 / 9:42 PM

      True enough, Eric! As they are, they give us something to puzzle over in our waking hours.

  3. Debbie March 31, 2014 / 6:52 AM

    Well written, Janna. I suppose most of us work through our dilemmas during our dream-states. Kind of interesting, though, the interpretations the “experts” come up with!

    • jannatwrites March 31, 2014 / 9:43 PM

      It’s been years, but I’ve had dreams that carried through my waking anxiety. Some interpretations are a bit wacky, but it can be entertaining. Thanks for reading, Debbie!

  4. nrhatch March 31, 2014 / 7:47 AM

    The hell with Ian . . . she needs to hang on to Pam ~ only our besties help us read between the lines.

    • jannatwrites March 31, 2014 / 9:43 PM

      Haha! I’d say that’s a good call, Nancy! Life’s too short 🙂

  5. Michael March 31, 2014 / 8:11 AM

    I think I need Pam to analyze some of my dreams; I’ve had some doozies. Nothing like a wooden cheetah in a tree, but still…

    • jannatwrites March 31, 2014 / 9:44 PM

      Haha, can’t say that I’ve had that one either, Michael! Pam would love to analyze your dreams. If she doesn’t know what they mean, she can make something up 🙂

  6. diannegray March 31, 2014 / 3:09 PM

    Brilliant, Janna! There is so much in this story. The dream analysis is excellent and I also have a ‘friend’ like Pam (love her most of the time, but she can be a right royal pain in the butt) 😀

    • jannatwrites March 31, 2014 / 9:46 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Dianne! I’m sorry you know a Pam. Too bad you can’t predetermine her ‘pain’ days and just avoid her then 🙂

      • diannegray March 31, 2014 / 9:57 PM

        Oh yes, I can only dream of that day 😉

  7. Carol Ann Hoel March 31, 2014 / 6:26 PM

    Great dialog, Janna. Keeps the reader wanting to know more. Blessings to you…

  8. Madhura April 1, 2014 / 5:17 AM

    Even I have a Pam.. and mine is worse! :-p I loved your story, fun to read! And interesting how the prompt was a dream to be analysed! 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2014 / 8:29 AM

      Oh, I’m so sorry, Madhura! Those types of people can be trying to endure 🙂

  9. ranu802 April 1, 2014 / 7:00 AM

    Nice story Janna,thank you.

  10. agjorgenson April 1, 2014 / 7:39 PM

    Dialogue here moves the story along nicely. Plus, the reader is really drawn in by the dream content: I can’t help but think of my own weird dreams, and weirder friends who think that they can make sense of everything amiss in my life or others’!

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2014 / 8:31 AM

      Sometimes it takes an outside view to make us see what should be apparent. That said, I don’t know if I’d like my friends to interpret my dreams. They might quit talking to me because I’m too strange 🙂 Thanks for reading, Allen!

  11. cshowers April 1, 2014 / 7:59 PM

    Personally, if I were her, I’d move to Chicago to avoid Pam’s psychoanalysis of her. Good job as always. 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2014 / 8:31 AM

      That might tip the scales for her, Cheryl. Thanks for reading 🙂

  12. Widdershins April 1, 2014 / 8:36 PM

    Reverse psychology! Works like a charm. 😀

  13. mbarkersimpson April 2, 2014 / 10:33 AM

    Nicely done. A natural conversation between two friends that jumped off the page. I could see them quite vividly. I enjoyed the symbolism and the fun way you incorporated the prompts.

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2014 / 11:21 PM

      Thanks so much, Mel! I’m glad it felt natural as you read it… I’d hoped it would come off that way 🙂

  14. stankmeaner April 2, 2014 / 11:21 AM

    some days, there is nothing more obnoxious than someone who sees right through all your bs 😉

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2014 / 11:23 PM

      Yep! On the wrong day, that’s grounds for ending a friendship 🙂 Thanks for reading, Stankmeaner!

  15. Mollie Claire April 2, 2014 / 4:04 PM

    I really enjoyed this one. It was like eavesdropping on a conversation; I could see the facial expressions and feel the annoyance hanging in the air.

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2014 / 11:24 PM

      Thanks for reading and sharing your reaction, Mollie Claire!

  16. Suzanne April 2, 2014 / 5:34 PM

    This is great, Janna! Your dialogue is fabulous – it moves the story along at a natural pace and tells us everything we need to know about the characters. Nicely done! 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2014 / 11:40 PM

      I’m glad you liked the dialogue, Suzanne! I appreciate you talking time to read and offer your thoughts on it.

  17. Renada Styles April 2, 2014 / 10:51 PM

    I like the take on the prompt- turning it into a dream. And they seem to make a quite a pair of friends, too.

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2014 / 11:41 PM

      Despite Pam’s analyzing, I get a sense they are good friends! Thanks for reading, Renada!

  18. Esther April 3, 2014 / 8:51 AM

    I love the image of a wooden leopard. That would make for an interesting dream to interpret. Pam’s analysis seems spot-on 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 3, 2014 / 9:31 PM

      Pam thinks so, at least 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, Esther!

  19. Quickstepp April 3, 2014 / 9:28 AM

    Dialogue is what you do best Janna! Strong piece. You got a chuckle out of me.

    • jannatwrites April 3, 2014 / 9:32 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the dialogue, Mel. Thanks 🙂

  20. zeudytigre April 3, 2014 / 9:35 AM

    I love the way you write, and the dialogue works so well in this. A very satisfying read 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 3, 2014 / 9:33 PM

      I appreciate your kind words, Zeudytigre! Thanks so much for reading!

  21. tinkerbelle96 April 3, 2014 / 10:28 AM

    Your stories always make me reflect on real life, because you present it how it is often,regular people with regular lives, hopes, frustrations…. yet you craft every word so beautifully, it makes the story extraordinary. Loved it 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 3, 2014 / 9:37 PM

      Wow, Tinkerbelle – your comment is so nice – thank you!! I’m glad you enjoyed my story. I really appreciate you taking time to read and share your reaction to it.

  22. atrm61 April 3, 2014 / 10:44 AM

    Always told you,your dialogues are amazing Janna-just see how this one kept moving the story in an interesting direction and I just loved the bit,”I’ll go to bed tonight and tune myself into the dream channel and pick up where it left off. Better yet, I’ll chase the wooden leopard down and ask her why she didn’t devour the eagle.”LOL! I found this a real cute take on the prompt-I could have never imagined it this way-fab!! 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 3, 2014 / 10:25 PM

      I’m glad you found the humor in it, Atreyee! That was such a strange photo prompt, I really didn’t know what else to do with it. Everyone else sure did, though!

  23. jstansfeld April 3, 2014 / 12:07 PM

    Great dialogue especially when the subject is such an unusual dream. I like the fact that this could really have happened and that I am left with the questions still hanging and awaiting answers.

    • jannatwrites April 3, 2014 / 10:26 PM

      Thanks, Jane! I’d hoped this conversation would come off as realistic, so I’m glad it rang true for you. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  24. EagleAye April 3, 2014 / 4:54 PM

    Haha! So cool. Everybody needs someone like Pam even though they can be annoying. If nothing else, they might drive us into that job in Chicago. Love the dialogue in this. This was a very enjoyable to read.

    • jannatwrites April 3, 2014 / 10:27 PM

      It’s possible the character may choose Chicago just for a break 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to read this, EagleAye!

  25. Imelda April 4, 2014 / 8:35 AM

    oh, friends. Your story is so real. 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 6, 2014 / 11:58 PM

      Thanks, Imelda! I’m happy to receive comments that it feels real!

  26. ranu802 April 4, 2014 / 9:38 AM

    Congratulations Janna.

    • jannatwrites April 6, 2014 / 11:58 PM

      Thanks so much, Ranu. I’m pleased it was received well enough to place at all!

  27. Silverleaf April 4, 2014 / 12:34 PM

    Wonderful dialogue! Amazing how a conversation between two friends can be so captivating.

    • jannatwrites April 6, 2014 / 11:59 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Silverleaf!

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