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Issue number ten




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Diamonds are Forever by Paul S Moss

(For Zorry)


I had a very worrying dream last night. It was the most mediocre bunch of bungled imagery I could possibly have constructed. I’m worried I am turning into a dry sponge. The very fact that it was a dream is a cliché in itself, so fat it was with dripping drabness.


In the dream I was trying to escape Time itself in the formulaic setting of a bank robbery. My whole mind suffered under those sad, dingy, dire curtains ragged around the stage of melodrama. Even the title of my dream was obese with platitude. Diamonds are Forever was what it called itself. Straight out of a 007 carnival of nonsense. I suppose it might have been worse. It could have called itself Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. There were no girls in it though, which in itself is worrying. The fact it gave itself a title just about sums it up. A brief description:


I am in a bank apparently involved in some sort of money transaction. Or, possibly the people I am with are taking care of the business at hand and I am just along for the ride. The people I am with are predictably distorted cardboard representations of people that really exist in real life. They might have been my brother and his wife; they might have been some ridiculous look-alikes from a Hollywood movie--Bonnie and Clyde types. The young woman was certainly wearing a feather boa and the not-so-young man (heroes were always not-so-young in those old pictures) was wearing what might have been a plaid suit, or a woolen jacket.


The young woman is in one part of the bank, we are in the other. We are waiting behind a man in a line for a teller. The whole place has the gaudiness of a 1920s hotel, possibly an American replica of a Parisian hotel.


We didn’t seem to be planning to rob the place at this time.


Time was ticking by mercilessly.


My subconscious, at about this point in the dream, was constricting and felt heavy on my pillow. I was asleep, but my conscious was suffocatingly trying to get to the surface and stop this charade. Failure.


Someone, something, it might have even been the teller himself, suddenly stopped Time.


I think this might have been where my conscious mind was struggling to get free and bring me back to the surface of my bed. It was certainly its best chance, its best attempt. Failure.


Time stopped around us. You know the scenario:  everyone frozen around us in their present actions. We the only ones moving, the rest paused in mid-action. Some with legs raised in mid-step, others open-mouthed in mid-sentence. Need I go on? We were unsurprisingly surprised and at a loss what to do. Then someone, something, possibly the teller himself, whispered the words, “Diamonds are forever." This we interpreted as a sign to rob the place whilst everyone else was in suspended animation. This must have crossed our minds a few seconds earlier because I remember myself, or someone else, saying, “What do we do now? We can’t, we really shouldn’t rob the place.” That’s when we were told that those diamonds are forever.


Coincidentally, as always happens in these situations, the whole clientele of the bank now seemed to be wearing diamonds of one sort or another. All mounted on their bodies in different ways. The man in the line in front of us, for example, was wearing a diamond bracelet that looked absolutely ridiculous on him. He was also wearing other accessories of an equally ridiculous nature.


The someone, something faceless voice that might have been the teller wordlessly hinted that we had little time before Time began again. We began to collect all this diamond paraphernalia from the bodies frozen around us. I even took a jacket from someone, which might have been the fatal mistake. I remember one big blue diamond that seemed to be attached to or in the possession of the teller. I failed to take this. Another fatal mistake. Time shortly began again and suddenly a cry went up as someone noticed his jacket had seemingly disappeared into thin air. It was inexplicable that no one seemed to notice I had the jacket in question, even though I was trying incompetently to stuff it into a bank robber’s type hold all. The security guard was completely mystified and didn’t even leave his bulletproof glass cage. He was middle-aged and overweight and far from attractive, so he could be excused.


We inconspicuously left the bank.


All the while it was running through my head what a ridiculous non-event had taken place. Even the diamonds we had heisted seemed somehow worthless.


As you see it was a pointless dream. The very worst kind. Now, if we had tinkered with Time it might have been at least an acceptable cliché. We might have realized that Time travel was actually nothing to do with traveling backwards and forwards, but arresting Time. What you might do in those timeless moments is a thought indeed. Think of all the things you could get done while all the world was frozen. Would we be the only ones? Or might there be others who were unlocked from the march of time. We might start our own commune of timeless beings. New words would inevitably spring into the dictionaries. For example, sex with the dead is necrophilia, but sex with those frozen in time, what would that be? Not that I am advocating it, but it was bound to happen, considering the essential curiosity and perversity of human inclinations.


That blue diamond seemed to be the key. If we had taken that…? It might have been the on/off button for the space-time continuum. At least that would have created a story with a modicum of novelty. Instead I took that blasted jacket which woke me up at 5.25am with a bad case of stomach acid.



Paul S Moss has been an English teacher for ten years, mostly in Eastern Europe and for the last two years in Shanghai, China. He writes poetry, plays and short stories; he has also had a number of journalistic pieces published in various newspapers in England, Bulgaria and China. Another story of his will be appearing in Buzzwords in October.

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