On-going Stories

Betwixt (Chapter I)

The cinema hall is dark.

In the far corners, it looks like the shadows were swirling up like tendrils of smoke. I’m not sure if I’m imagining it.

I could feel goosebumps on my arms.

I brush off the tingling feeling that something is about to happen.

Wallace, a close friend, sits beside me starts rubbing his arms.

’It’s getting cold real fast.’

The cinema screen begins to glitch. Dark silhouettes flash on the screen. They grow larger with each flash. In between the flashes, there are images of a city street.

jr-korpa-1462434-unsplash.jpg

With one last burst, the cinema falls into darkness.

’Wallace?’

I reach for his arm, but he’s gone. Just an empty seat beside me. The blood in my ears roars along with a buzzing sound. My throat feels itchy, but I can’t swallow.

I head for the exit, but I begin to rise off the floor. I grab for the seat, but my fingers slip off. I can feel my scream clawing to get out, burning my throat but my lips are shut tight.

cherry-laithang-312590-unsplash.jpg

I’m floating in the dark screaming inside my head. Then I hear someone shouting my name. The voice is getting louder trying to get to me. It sounds angry and hungry.

I curl up into a ball; whatever that was in the dark knows who I am.

Then all at once, it was quiet. A barren space of sound and entity. I move slightly to wrap my arms tighter, but my arms go through me.

I can feel something heading my way at a great speed. It was not a sound but a feeling of a heavy rumbling massive force reeling towards me.

Slowly I feel myself fading and disintegrating into the abyss. I could no longer feel, and I could not recall who I am.

In a sudden lurch, I was back.

‘Cassie? Are you ok?’

The sounds in the cinema crash down on me. I wince in pain and cover my ears. A piercing sound erupts in my head. I hold the armrest of my seat tightly fighting the pain. I fight the rise of bile in my throat.

‘I need to go home.’

’i’ll bring you.’

’What happened?’

You got so pale all of a sudden and passed out.’

’Oh. Did you?’ I look at him, but he did not look as haggard as I felt.

’Did I faint like a damsel in distress? No, I’m the one to save you.’

’In your dreams Wallace.’

Wallace calls a taxi and accompanies me home. ‘You sure you don’t want to see a doctor?’ he asks.

I drunkenly shake my head. “No, I’m fine. I think I need to sleep it off. Thanks, Wallace.’

He bows deeply, ‘For Lady Cassie, anything. Farewell, and be well!’ he says in a horrid fake British accent.

I can’t help but smile and wave goodbye like royalty.

I live on top of a shopping centre. An apartment I share with a few others.

I unlock my main door, and it was quiet. Thankfully. I had nothing against the other tenants but I prefer the silence.

My ears were still throbbing haunted by the piercing sound like my eardrums were being sliced to pieces.

ehud-neuhaus-145130-unsplash.jpg

The hallway smells like fried chicken and mould. It makes my stomach gurgle, still urging me to release the bile and acid.

I enter my square-like room and turn on my lights but it doesn’t work. I couldn’t see at all.

Not again please.

With the dim light, I pass the back of my closet. The post-its I stuck at the back of it brush my left arm.

In front of me, the bathroom door was open, lights were flickering from the inside. I take a peek inside slowly. All the candles inside are lit. I turn to the rest of my room and find the other candles are lit too. What was happening?

Everything else looks normal in the room. The bed against the back wall in the centre was messy. The blankets were scrunched up, half of it falling off the edge.

At the right side of the bed was my mini bookshelf under the window. The shelves looked ready to cave in.

The curtains rustle and I could smell a hint of seaweed in the air. Which was weird considering the sea was miles away.

I drop my bag on the floor by the bookshelf and open the curtains.

It doesn’t make sense.

I close my eyes and open them again to be sure. I see it still.

The next door condominium with its noisy pool was not there.

I’m somewhere else.

sebastian-staines-1405929-unsplash.jpg

I’m looking at a beautiful seashore. The moon was in the distance but more massive than I have ever seen. It was so large it made it look like day.

I slide the window wide open, and a blast of salty air hits me.

Like it was an entity of its own, it gushes into my room tossing around the mess that was already my room — swirling all around blowing out some of my candles.

Sticking my head out, I look down expecting to see the dark alley that’s supposed to be there, but there was nothing but waves of sand ready to fall in through the window.

I quickly rush to my door. I slam it open expecting the smell of fried chicken, but there was only more sand slipping into my room and around my feet.

I like this better.

’Whatever this is, whoever is doing this mental shit on me. I prefer it, no more shadows and dark, scary emptiness please.’

I get no reply.

It’s different this time, whatever this strange teleportation was. A dream, an illusion. My dizziness was gone, and there was no sign of the dark slithery shadows.

meng-ji-102492-unsplash.jpg

I walk out into the desert. The sand stretches out further into the distance.

There was a white glow in the sky a mile away. It looks like a city.

The sky was deep and endless. From the day-like glow of the moon setting in the ocean, a merge of colours meets halfway to a million specks of stars that seem to be dancing in place. I catch a few shooting stars some blazing across in blues and reds.

Screenshot 2019-04-24 at 1.13.12 AM.png

I pinch my self, and it hurts.

A wind blows in from the ocean rustling my clothes; I look down and realise I’m suddenly wearing a thick long white dress with ribbons sewn across my chest down the sleeves of my arms to leave short tendrils hanging at the ends.

mantas-hesthaven-242735-unsplash.jpg

I can’t help but laugh at all this madness. Adrenaline flowed through my body and with the high I twirled.

No one was watching. I was alone in a beautiful Neverland. What was I to do? Cry my eyes out or live it up?

Barefoot I go to the water’s edge. There were plenty of beautiful shells and a vast array of colourful stones. It was like a giant chest of jewels were dumped onto the shore, and the waves have been dragging it into the ocean.

I enter the warm, clear water; I can see my toes. There was something under my foot that fades in and out with the light.

It looks like moonlight made substantial.

I pick it up; it was clear as glass with a cloudy core, and at different angles, it glows in different colours.

At one moment it was an emerald stone, in another it was a ruby, and it changes continuously. It was mesmerising.

I feel my senses calm down as the gentle waves rock me gently. My fatigue starts slipping back, adrenaline leaving my system.

I head back up to dry land and find a large ruby red blanket spread out on the dry sand with temptingly soft pillows.

I chuckle to myself, I’d be worried, but it’s not like I can just fly back home.

I step into it and curl up into a ball. I stop fighting my weariness and keeping my eyes open.

In the last flickers of my lashes, I catch a man’s silhouette walking towards me. Instead of fear, I feel a calmness overtake me. Happiness like meeting someone I haven’t seen for so long.

I wake up to a car’s backfire. The noise of the horns and racing motorcycles outside my window easing me back into reality. I open my eyes to see the galaxy stickers on my ceiling.

It was all a dream after all. I sit up and look around; sadly, everything looks the same. An ordinary girl in a regular room in an ordinary world. I slip off the bed to stretch, and the moonstone falls and thuds on the floor. It was then I notice there is sand all over my carpet.

austin-ban-14522-unsplash.jpg

‘Oh donkeys.’

  • End of Betwixt Chapter I (Find out what happens next week to ordinary Cassie. Every Thursday, Betwixt!)
Standard
fantasy, Short Story

Forever a Twinkle

The wheels of the plane screech as it bounces against the ground. Voices grow hushed while some reach higher pitches. The fight against gravity becomes intense. There I sit by the window feeling my heart leap at each bound. While fear or nonchalance spreads through the passengers, I grow excited. I was on my way home.

The plane takes its final leap and rises high. Below, the city lights are a cobweb of glowing orbs all holding different secrets, stories and dreams. Mine no longer theirs to find.

On the ground, a few look up and see a rising plane soaring through the sky. A single window blinking brightly.

Looking away from the openness outside my window I move my attention to the human, her name was Kara. She had an abusive husband, but as she walks down the plane’s aisle, she beams at everyone but hiding under powder was a bruise on her chin.

She was about to perform the manoeuvres that remind the humans in case of an emergency.  I take no heed. However, I think of how I would love for a final taste of a cup of coffee.

With some help from Tabitha, a human I befriended from down on earth I was able to purchase this ticket after working a few months at a café. That was when I had the first taste of the coffee.

They came in many different styles and flavours. I loved my coffee black with a few tablespoons of cream and sugar. Deliciously sweet, although Tabitha found it disgusting. It was best consumed with a cake of a sort off course.

I had been introduced to many different types of delicacies, but my favourite was a chewy square block of soft brownie. It was divine, and I had sneaked one aboard. The last piece baked by Tabitha. She had laughed and called me cute at my first bite. She was a colourful soul. One I enjoyed the company of.

She had found me walking the streets in barely any clothes, she had just finished work and had no energy to be taking in a “Drunk psycho” as she had called me. However, her heart was full of guilt so taking me under her wing was her way to make herself feel better.

It was all-new for me, the strange sounds, the way humans spoke but I learnt enough to adapt quickly. Tabitha happened to have lost a roommate and helped me find a job which helped her pay the rent.

Being with humans is very different on earth compared to my usual viewpoint. It was painful but beautiful. I shudder as I recall my time below.

It was hard to be human but…every moment was magic. Every second we laughed the bond solidified. When she cried, I found myself crying randomly a mile away at work dripping tears in someone else’s coffee. When she got her dream promotion, the joy in her was brimming in me. Bursting out by sending me skipping home although my feet were weary.

I soon learnt with every scent of light; there was a shadow. A balance in the universe.

In her oblivious joy and many years of hard work she soon discovers too late that she has a sickness that was beyond healing. Her time had come.

Looking back out the window, the clouds drift past, I could begin to see the other stars sparkling in reach. My heart leaps, and tears slip down my cheeks.

“Excuse me, would you like anything to drink?” says the stewardess politely.

I quickly wipe the tears away and turn to smile at her.

“Yes please, I would love a cup of coffee Kara.”

“Sure, no problem,” says Kara looking at me oddly, “How did you know my name?” she asks. I laugh and scratch my head forgetting again about my bad habit of saying people’s names when not introduced. Then I see her name tag.

“Nametag!” I say, and Kara laughs as she hands me the cup of coffee. “Yes, of course, any sugar and cream?”

I nod my head. As she places the cup of cream and a packet of sugar on my table, I could see outside through the window the world beginning to change.

The sky turns from light pastel blue to a dark midnight hue, and the stars come alive. They begin to form a ring, and as the massive metal bird flies through it, passengers halt in the middle of their actions. Time has frozen.

Passengers with cups halfway up to their lips, couples secretly kissing in the shadows frozen in their embrace, while some frozen in time digging their nose.

Symbols begin to form on every forehead, each symbol glowing, representing a part of them that was part of my home. A piece of the skies and stars the remnant of them that was always searching for something.

Each symbol, if I touched it, would render them to speak their deepest secret, and with each utter of their secret they would be free, but it was not their time.

I took the last sip of my coffee and spoke my secret.

“I of the midnight blue sky, the star in the corner of the universe between earth and sky, protector of wishes and dreams. Fallen but now risen.”

Light begins to seep out my skin, and I explode into a vortex of light, free from my restraints and willingly fall into the embrace of the night.

On the seat beside me, Tabitha’s figure wakes from a dream. She calls out my name as I turn into a bright silhouette.

She stares at me amazed, but I could sense her fear.

“Are you sure you want to know your secret Tabitha?” I ask her barely a murmur in the silence between time and space.

Tabitha sits up and nods, “I want to be free.”

I gently touch the symbol on her forehead.

“I Tabitha Dawn Green, the soul of a hundred and thirty-two lives has reached her end of returns. To become the guardian of the star in the corner of the universe between earth and sky, protector of wishes and dreams.”

Tabitha disintegrates into a cloud of shimmering dust. Swirling around me, giving me an embrace.

The plane flies on, two passengers less and no one to know. Forgotten but never lost and forever a twinkle.

 

Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

Standard