The Silver Screen


The Silver Screen by Valerie Parente

My daydreams bloom from whatever prominent emotion I am feeling.

My daydreams seem to subconsciously and intuitively unravel themselves into ideal scenarios.
Like a movie the daydreams play out in a succession of mental frames on a cortical film reel. At best the mental fabrication distributes its duty between the two-track mind and I maintain my presence; above the absolute threshold I am in the audience and below the absolute threshold I am in the director’s chair. The dialogues between imaginary friends on the silver screen happen so instantaneously that the script’s origin teeters on the line between voluntary and involuntary awareness.

My daydreams are finalized by obsessive and repetitive hindsight.
When mentally reviewed these fantastic mental purges reveal subliminal truths. The loose reigns of control over the internal screenplays, regularly referred to as “imagination”, masquerade as intrusive images too appropriate and too satisfying to be resented.

– Valerie Parente (2-18-17)


The Keeper of Time

The Keeper of Time by Valerie Parente

Chronos jolted out of his sleep to what sounded like a crackling firework.

He knew exactly what he was about to see. Only seconds ago was his brain generating a bizarre dream that would predict the day to come. For the past few months, this had been the case- Chronos having precognitive dreams and experiencing a more potent version of déjà vu as the dreams unraveled in the following day’s reality- but Chronos didn’t dare tell anyone this secret. People would think he was a liar. Or worse, sick– only to be rendered incompetent and unfit to teach. He couldn’t afford that.

Chronos ripped off his sheets and hurried to the bedroom window where he saw a burst of silver sparkle amongst the long grass in his yard.

“I knew it,” he gasped between the windowpanes.

Not a second was spared as Chronos bolted out of his room. He didn’t even care to tiptoe out of courtesy not to wake his dying grandfather, the guardian who had given his life to raise Chronos into the mathematician he was today.

Chronos flung open the doors to his lot and ran onto the lawn, still in his boxers and T-shirt. The Canadian summer night was cold, but adrenaline made it near impossible for him to notice.

Determined to prove what he eerily dreamt about the night before, Chronos stumbled to the la femme creature in the middle of his yard. The humanoid born from the stars, whose lavender flesh was sprinkled with silver stardust, sat ever so patiently with her legs crossed.

You”, Chronos barely choked into the bitter 2:30 AM air, “I knew you were coming…”

As the glittery humanoid nodded the moonlight ignited the sparkle of her violet eyes.

“Something…” Chronos faltered on his words, hearing the insecurity fragment his distinct tone, “something strange has been happening to me… and… I think you know what it is.”

The humanoid’s glistening mouth stretched into a smile while her pupils dilated. “I do…”

“What is it?” the young man begged. He was just starting his long coveted career and nearly collapsed at the thought of losing grasp of his aspirations to these increasingly frequent paranormal occurrences of precognitive dreams.

“Chronos,” the celestial being addressed him knowingly. There was an old-friend-like quality in her demeanor that contradicted all Chronos assumed a stranger from the stars would possess. “Do not lose any more sleep than you already have by worrying. You were perfectly made.”

“Perfect?! Everything I thought I knew about the fundamental quantity of time has been tipped over on its head!” Chronos cried out. He wouldn’t have been so brash with this amicable being if he didn’t have such a heavy load of additional stress from playing caretaker to his grandfather, all the while grieving a man who had not yet crossed the threshold into death but was on an imminent way out.

“I know you’re scared, Chronos. But fear is often the result of misunderstanding. Time is a form of perception mankind has long misunderstood. You see with the eyes… You smell with your nose! You hear with your ears! You taste with your tongue! And you feel with your skin!” the female, equally silver-tongued as she was silver-skinned, gleamed in a raw and impassioned voice. All the while her eyes began to smile and brightened, invigorated by the very information she was verbally bestowing onto Chronos. “All sensory receptors, sensory nerves, sensory cells, work with your brain to manipulate a flux of external stimuli into the perceptions we call reality. Your conscious, your remarkable human conscious, has been immaculately designed to interpret life through sequential experiences which have come to form the illusion we understand yet understate as ‘time’?”

Chronos’s head felt light. Determined to come to terms with his worrisome dreaming tendencies, he hardened with assertion. “What are you saying?”

The humanoid took a deep inhale, trying to reel in her excitement, then exhaled. “To be impressed by an existence through the flow of time is the natural way of human beings. Time is no more than a sixth sense.”

Chrono’s throat tightened. He didn’t know what to say. So, naturally, the girl from the stars carried on in her passionate voice.

“You see Chronos, when you are overcome by an ethereal wave of déjà vu or when a precognitive dream merges with your slumber you are really experiencing a neurophysiologic glitch. An error in the programming of your brain! As I have said, you see with the eyes- but that perception makes an impression in that intricate brain! Recalling the future is as much a sensory impairment as blindness!”

This newfound information was too much for Chronos. It targeted a portion of his mind that he had never been honed before. Sure he was a mathematical genius whose was used to thinking in overdrive, but this talk of time concurrent with his anatomy was testing his mental capacity, not because it was intellectually revolutionary or mind-bending, but because it was personal.

Slowly Chronos pieced together this other-worldly being’s words. “So what you are telling me is… I- I am not gifted…” he concluded as he felt the boiling hot tears pool into his vision. “… I am sick.”

“No Chronos,” In one fluid motion the celestial girl rose from her cross-legged position and stood before him. She cupped Chronos’s quivering mandible in her warm hands. Her violet irises softened as her pupils sharpened onto the vulnerable human being before her. “You are deeply blessed! All that has, is, and will occur in this realm can be tuned into with a particular combination of brainpower that you miraculously possess! All that is existential in mankind and the universe itself is accessible to your brain.” The fresh essence of awe in the humanoid’s voice, as if she was also discovering this incredible phenomena for the first time, eased Chronos into a serene state.

Valerie Parente (12-4-16)

My Heart Thaws

My Heart Thaws by Valerie Parente

“You know that mysterious feeling when you smell a certain scent and that scent elicits specific memories?”


“I’m feeling overwhelmed by a sort of time warp… a time warp beseeched by what I can best describe as an ethereal scent. I’m not talking an autumn aroma that invokes nostalgic memories or a specific stench that reminds you of traumatic experiences. I’m not talking a succession of frames streaming like fluid through your memory banks or distinguishable snippets flickering like consecutive flashbacks rolling through a film reel. I’m not talking mechanical reminiscing as a product of some psychological disposition or resurfacing scars brought forth from intensive therapy. I’m not even talking about a scent that hones your mind! I’m talking about the most inexplicable, indescribable, kind of scent that hones your heart… this otherworldly kind of scent that leaves your present perceptions disconnectedly attending to the world but shifts your reactions into intensely reliving the past! I’m talking nine years ago! I’m talking feelings of innocent attraction and distinct anger and vivid hopes and crazy dreams that were all alive and kicking nine Goddamn years ago! Feelings right before the mental breakdowns that broke my mentality and froze my heart! Nine fucking years of letting the cruel and cold mental disorders numb out the feelings in my heart that hurt so bad! And I forgot how much it stung nine years ago before my reality became a shadow tagging behind a haze of obsessive compulsive disorder and eating disorders. But today that haze is clearing! Today the sun is warm and I can feel it shining down and thawing my heart! And my recovering heart is warping back to a time when crushing made me high and love was totally blind! When somebody made a choice that hurt and something better could have worked! And all this heart ache violently tugging at my core is making me realize that maybe, just maybe, I blessedly became mentally ill! I numbed out my feelings as a means of survival, because to become mentally ill was to stunt my emotional development! To stunt the instrument of my emotions was to freeze time on my heart! To put my heart on hold! And maybe icing out the world behind a distorted icy lens was my way of preserving my heart right before it had the chance to break in half! But I am feeling, and I am alive, and I am okay, and I am better than ever. I am feeling it all now.”


– Valerie Parente (9-28-16)

Her Bright Pink Shoes

Her Bright Pink Shoes by Valerie Parente

He kept his hood on and hands lodged in the cotton confines of his pockets while maintaining a catatonic stare on the young woman’s feet. Her bright pink shoes were glaringly vibrant against the damp asphalt of the parking lot.
Sick and tired of his optical deviation away from her emotive eyes and onto her pointed toes, the impassioned girl crouched to the pavement and forced herself into his vision. “You,” his good friend affirmed, and the boy didn’t look away, “You are constantly shuffling between pain and fear. When you’re depressed, you don’t care about yourself at all. And when you’re anxious, you care so damn much about your own well-being that you worry yourself sick.”
“Why are you telling me this?” he retaliated through clenched teeth, hoping the aggression in his tone would hide his true desperation for an answer.
“Because!” having captured his full attention she leaped up and stood tall at five feet, “At some point you are going to realize that there is more to you than pain and fear,” she declared, “And you know what? That’s going to confuse the crap outta you. Because you’re not gonna know what to do with yourself.”
And in a fraction of a second, her bright pink shoes scurried away and she was gone.
And he… he didn’t know what to do with himself.

her bright pink shoes

– Valerie Parente (6-22-16)


Daydreams Are Shadows

Daydream CastleDaydreams are shadows. They linger. They follow. To exist, a glimmer of hope has to shine down in order to cast a sincere outline whose unique shape derives from that which occupies space in reality. They are projections captured between all we are made up of and a guiding light above. No matter how much we may want to reach out and physically touch them, they will always remain intangible entities that can only be felt with the imagination we each have.

– Valerie Parente (6-18-16)

The Masterpiece Tragedy of Marionette

Marionette shines in the spotlight.

“You are a superstar, young lady!”

“I am no more than a puppet attached to the make-believe! These ideal scenarios! These insurmountable expectations! These flashing images of perfection! My imagination pulls the strings!”

“But you are at the center of the stage!”

“I am tied back by the theatre of an overactive imagination!”

With a razor in hand Marionette breaks free and collapses, for she never properly learned how to keep her feet on the ground.

The Masterpiece Tragedy of Marionette

– Valerie Parente (6-7-16)