Across the Barrier, fantasy, On-going Stories, World Weavers

Across the Barrier Chapter Three

‘I don’t like you.’ Luna’s Father’s voice was deep and gravelly.

He was also tiny. Considering moments ago, he had an eye the size of a whole roundabout.

‘Nice to meet you too, sir?’

Metior frowns at me and turns away to the old lady mermaid elf and the large dark skinned man.

For his tiny frame, he had a lot of white hair puffing around his head like fried wire. Thin frame under a baggy dress like garment covered with dozens of pockets in different sizes.

We were inside what looked like a church, but instead of pews, there was large scientific looking equipment.

He walks towards the front of the building beckoning the misfit group we were to follow him.

At the front where an altar could have been was a round door on the floor. The door opens upwards but there is no ladder or secret passageway but a misty portal sparkling.

He jumps in without a word and the others follow. I stand there pondering what I have gotten myself. If being dead was really that bad for this hallucination was getting out of hand.

A knobbly hand pops out of the portal, making it transparent, and I could see the other side of it. There was an ordinary home with a table, chairs, carpets, a fridge and a regular looking kitchen stove, not a fire pit or run by water or glowing electricity.

The hand grabs my leg and pulls before I could hop into the portal.

In seconds I’m in a familiar world. I was in the dining room beside an open kitchen. The side of a staircase rose in front of the dining area, its side wall covered in paintings and photographs.

The large man was tinkering in the kitchen with the old lady helping out.

I found myself sitting on the floor under the dining table on top of a worn carpet looking at the wobbly knees of Luna’s father sitting on a dining chair.

‘If you would like to remain there and be fed scraps, I would be glad to do so.’

I crawl out from under the table, he points at the seat beside him.

‘Your name, boy?’ He picks up a tablet and begins scrolling through it.

‘I’m Ben Hart, Sir.’

‘Yes, I see that, a college graduate with a degree in business. No pursuit in life, I see.’

He was not exactly wrong; I had never really gotten to choose my life’s purpose. Simply followed my parent’s orders.

‘Dabbled in being a pilot. The irony. How long have you known Luna?’ his voice drops into a whisper at the point he mentions her name.

‘For nearly five years, we had been friends at work.’

‘Luna would never have worked in a corporate company, it would have bored her.’ He admonishes.

Which was right, she found it utterly dull and had begun a little trade on the side of her own creating jewellery from scraps. Hoping to quit from a large company that she thought only cared about profits.

‘She was, eventually creating an online Jewellery shop.’ I say, he nods his head but as he opens his mouth a girl’s voice interrupts him.

‘Well hello Metior, Darya, Kai and stranger; Good morning!’

The girl was Luna’s age, but she had a wild look to her while Luna looked docile and sweet.

I stand to introduce myself, ‘Hi, I’m Ben Hart.’ I stick my hand out, and she laughs. She pats my hand and walks past me to the kitchen.

Hello Ben, I’m Kera. You don’t look like from another world. What could Metior want with you?’

She plugs in the water kettle and begins heating up water. Takes out a cup from a cabinet and wiggles a mug my way. I nod my head.

‘Thank you, I never thought I would get to drink coffee again.’

Kera shuts the cabinet and gives me a shocked face, ‘Coffee? What’s coffee?’

I look at Metior, and he shakes his head, ignoring the situation and continues to read from his tablet more about my life or me with Luna, I’m unsure.

Kera laughs, ‘Just kidding, I’ve been to three or four worlds now. I am always glad to come home for some coffee. They don’t seem to have it anywhere there. Which is crazy, I know.’

‘Worlds?’

She squints at me then at Metior.

‘He is from across the Barrier, nowhere else.’ he mumbles.

Her eyes go round, ‘I see why he needs the coffee. If I died, I would need ten cups.’

She quickly mixes the instant coffee for both of us and sits beside me, passing me a cup.

‘Well, what was being dead like?’ She gets comfortable with her elbow on the table with her chin cupped in her hand.

‘Nothing. Just emptiness.’ She nods her head, ‘Sounds deep.’

‘Sort of, cause I could see deep see fishes on the other side of this glass barrier. That’s where I saw Darya as a mermaid elf.’

She laughs out loud, ‘Darya! How come he got to see you in your original form? So jealous, right now!’

Darya slams a wooden spoon on the pan, ‘you will see it one day little Kera, do not worry.’ Darya seemed to be making scrambled eggs while Kai was tossing some sausages in the air. For a mermaid elf and a giant, they were quite comfortable in the kitchen.

Kera shrugs admittedly, ‘I’m sure we will, I just can’t wait to go to Metior though.’ She sips her cup, missing the glance Darya sends to Kai and Metior whose eyes stopped for a second scanning the tablet.

Kera gets up and heads to the kitchen to grab something lost in thought.

Kera looks ordinary, long curly dark brown hair with almond sharp light brown eyes on an oval, round face with a button-like nose and small plump lips. She returns from the kitchen with a slice of brownie.

‘Would you like some? Got to live in the moment, you never know when they’ll suck you through a portal and into a world with nothing but cold raw rabbit meat from a hunt.’

That was a little specific.

Kera chuckles, enjoying my awkward discomfort.

‘Just kidding, but it could happen. It happened to Misty.’

A groan comes from the staircase. Large male feet appear slowly going down the steps. He was lanky, dressed in a crumpled white t-shirt and black pants.

‘Hello, Misty, how was your sleep?’ Kera asks sweetly.

The boy enters the dining room space with messy black hair streaked with silver. He had bright ocean green eyes that now stared daggers at Kera.

‘When will you stop calling me that?’ He growls.

He looked exhausted, he had stubble that could be days old and dark shadows under his eyes. His clothes looked slept in and dirty like he hasn’t changed in days.

‘Ben Hart, Mr Grouchy over there is Lucian also known to me as Misty. He’s a partner in crime of a sort.’

‘More experienced than you, but you act like a know it all.’ Lucian passes by without a glance my way to the kitchen and makes himself a cup of coffee.

‘I like being better.’ Kera says smugly sipping her own.

‘Still can’t transform though.’ Lucian smirks.

Kera rolls her eyes, ‘I’ve been to more places than you.’

‘Enough.’ Interrupts Metior, just as Darya and Kia place breakfast on the table.

Lucian slips into the seat opposite me next to Metior while Darya and Kia take up the remaining two places.

I realise that in this world Darya and Kai seem unable to read my mind. I smile for the first time feeling comforted.

We can all hear your thoughts. That was Kera in my head.

We’re just being polite and try to ignore it.

Try imagining a barrier of a sort covering your thoughts.

Like a bubble around you.

In my head, she sounds kinder and gentler, less loud, a little like Luna.

I create an impenetrable wall surrounding my mind, like the barrier I had fallen through.

Can you hear me now? 

There’s no answer.

‘Let us eat,’ began Metior.

Kera smiles at me, making Lucian frown a little.

‘We shall reunite Luna with Ben today. Once together, I shall finally bring you to Metior City. It is time you learn your prophecy’s.’

Kera glances at Lucian, I could sense something between them. An understanding.

Luna, we’re coming.

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Prose & Poetry

Sorrow Once Felt

If I had not met you

I would still be in a world

I built around me.

In darkness

in a castle

a tower

a moat

far from Civilisation.

A Civilisations I thought I had to fit in.

I bore my soul but hid my shadows.

I remember that place

where I scratched my walls

screaming but hiding.

I flaunted my pain

but it was not my pain alone

but the worlds.

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Prose & Poetry

Ocean of Silence

Oh, silence you are beautiful.

You are like a muted ocean crashing upon cliff walls

A heavy blanket that warm the coldness in my soul

Motionless energy that hums with life.

 

I lay in silence but the thumping

of my sleepy heart;

Awaiting for a new dawn of deeds

to be done and made.

New dreams to be wrung,

Grateful I am for I breathe!

 

Though I have a heavy mind

I think, and I feel the people within arms reach.

Melancholy they may be

Raged at some point of the day

Brightened at some way

Life is lived I say.

 

Silence,

I am thankful for the peace you give me

When a day is done

And a part of the world is asleep.

 

You are the kindness I seek

In a world wrought with noise.

You are the darkness I yearn

When brightness seems too bleak

My Friend, to whom I will always speak.

 

Photo by Shifaaz shamoon on Unsplash

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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

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fantasy, On-going Stories, Short Story, World Weavers

The Rainbow Tree

Long ago there was a village in the deepest heart of a forest. Villagers lived in wooden homes shaped like cubes rising from the earth to the inner sanctum of the treetops. They painted their houses in bright oranges and pinks, or any bright colour they could create. They did not camouflage themselves with the forest but stood out like a splash of rainbow paint against a sea of green.

There was one little boy that did not like his village. He would slip away into the forest whenever he could.

He liked to visit a particular group of trees, untouched by paint, ordinary and simple. Browns and greens a comfort from the wildness of his community.

One day while sitting at the roots of a large tree the boy heard noises deeper in the forest. It sounded like a massive fire. He looked up at the sky but saw no smoke but the same vibrant red and blue hue of the clouds.

The boy worried it may spread to his village, followed the sound and found himself soon in a clearing.

An old man covered in multiple strips of cloth in different colours was dancing and chanting.

In his hand, he held a bright green crystal stone held above his head.  Lightening cracked out of it, and wherever the lightning hit, bursts of colours began to spread.

The boy panicked, “Stop stop stop! You are destroying the trees!” the boy yelled.

The old man stopped and looked at the boy with his beady eyes.

“Destroying? What do you mean you silly boy?” he asked.

Anger flared in the boy. He could feel it boiling to the tips of his ears. His fist clenched he marched up to the old man who was no taller than him.

“I like the trees to remain brown and green. If you like colours go visit my village!” He growled.

The old man laughed and gave the boy his magic stone. “Here, why don’t you try, you might like it.”

The little boy was surprised, he took the stone but was unsure what to do with it; he looked up into the sky and saw the same clouds passing by.

“I wish there were no colours in the sky.” He murmured.

The old man quickly snatched the stone from the boy’s hands, but it was too late.

The clouds in the sky grew white and dull, the colours trickling down into the corners of the world, disappearing like paint down a river.

“Now the sky will be forever white and dull.” The old man stated sadly.

The boy fell to the ground and cried, “Please don’t hurt my family. I didn’t know that was going to happen!” He sobbed, but the old man shook his head.

“I can return the colours in the sky but they can only appear in the morning, and just before night, once something is removed with colour and life, it takes more than a wish to fix it again. Great magic comes with a mighty price and yours was a big demand.”

The boy lost in his tears did not see the old man leave, when he realized how quiet it became he looked around and found no old man but the green stone.

The boy suddenly grew excited and mischievous, jumping up and down and shouting into the woods that he had the stone. Maybe he could make a few small changes at his village he thought.

He ran home and hid in his parent’s house and looked out the window. The streets of his village were below, and it ran with rivers of colourful sand. In the trees, the homes were decorated with bright flowers in every shade.

At the sight of it all he groaned, but he had a way to fix it.

“I wish for the paint on the houses to disappear.” He wished.

In an instant, every house in the village suddenly became grey. Shouts rang from every tree and the boy laughed crouching under the window.

His mother appears worried that something had happened to him, but he shook his head.

“I am ok. The colours are gone. I like it, don’t you mother?” He asked.

The mother shook her head, “My boy, you must understand that the colours are more than just colours. It is the sign of life that flows through our village.”

However, the boy was not listening and was scrutinizing the stone he held ignoring her. He was lost in his head full of naughty ideas.

The mother sighed, “Come, my boy, you will help repaint our house, perhaps with some work you will see.”

The boy helped repaint, but as soon as he got back by the window, he giggled and made a similar wish to remove the colours. Everyone including his parents repainted their homes again.

Stubborn and mischievous, the boy made his final wish.

“I wish for all the colours in the village to disappear!” and in an instant, a strong wind gushed through the village blowing all the colours away turning into to dust. People screamed, and children began to cry.

The boy did not understand why anyone would scream; they would paint it all over again anyway. He looked out the window and noticed splotches of darkness scattered all over the village.

In the trees, on the ground, shadows began to form, blacker than black. They came up from under the trees and in the corners of homes. They were swirling up into elongated figures, but instead of hands and feet, they had claws. They had no faces but a swirling vortex of grey. They were sucking the colours from a villagers skin. His people began running for their lives into the forest. Screams tortured the air, and the sky darkened as a rumbling sound echoed through the village.

The boy quickly sunk back into his house under his window and held the stone.

“I wish for the colours to come back!” He screamed repeatedly but the boy knew it would not work.

He quickly ran out of his house heading for the forest calling for the old man.

It was as he was running that he could feel the shadow creatures coming after him in the forest. They must have heard him or finished all his people.

He had nowhere to go; he didn’t know where he was running. He could feel his lungs burning in his chest, but it felt like it was his heart was going to explode.

The creatures ravaged the trees as they moved towards the boy, killing people or anything in their way and sucking out all colours with greed.

The little boy soon lost the monsters, but he had gone too far into the forest.

He then heard a familiar crackling sound, and soon enough he found the old man.

The little boy rushed to the old man and pulled at his bright garments. He threw the green stone at the old man’s feet. He had never been so happy to see colours as he did at that moment.

He begged the old man to help him, recounting what happened.

The old man’s face reddened, brighter than the red in his robes.

“You silly blinded fool, you had the stone of wishes!”

The boy suddenly felt foolish. He could save his people!

“So I can wish away those creatures chasing me away?” he asked the old man. “Or turn back time?” he continued as he took the stone out of his pockets.

The old man looked into the distance and shook his head. He sighed.

“It is too late. The creatures you have seen now have the Akamari from your people and the forest. When they consume such energies, they become of this world.”

The boy felt his heart turn cold with dread.

The boy screamed in a fury, “You shouldn’t have given me the stone, now you have killed my people!”

The old man stood up suddenly and began to walk away.

“Where are you going?! You must help me!” the boy shouted.

The old man turned and squinted at the boy. There was a wicked glint in his eyes.

“You should have been careful with the magic of the stone. It has killed kingdoms across Elodare.” He growled, “but since I am kind, I ask you this, would you do anything, sacrifice anything for your people’s safety?” The old man asked.

“Like what?” The boy asked suspiciously.

“It can be anything boy, your soul, your body, anything! Would you be able to let it go to save your people?” the old man asked again.

He walked back to the boy, moving so close they were nose to nose. The boy could smell the old man’s foul breath.

“Well?” the old man whispered treacherously.

The boy knew what he had to do, but he didn’t want to do it. It wasn’t his fault. Now that he truly looked at the old man, he seemed to feel like he was part of the darkness he had seen.

The boy sighed; all he had wanted was some peace from the colours.

“You made me do this you disgusting, evil old man. Why?” he sobbed dejectedly.

The old man shrugged and walked away, playing with the stone in his hand.

He turned and leered at the boy with his mad eyes glinting.

“Time will tell boy, so? I need your answer.” He says.

The boy sighs in defeat, knowing what he had to do, “I would do anything.” He answered, and it was true he could feel it in his heart. He loved his mother, his father and the people of his village. It was his home.

It was also the right thing to do. He had stolen the colours and played with magic that was surely forbidden. The evil shadow creatures had to be stopped. If he had to lose a limb, a nose or an ear he would do it.

The old man smiled, “Not so silly a boy then eh?”

The old man suddenly opened an invisible door.

The boy looked panicked, “You said you would help my people, where are you going?”

The old man shrugged, “It is done. Go home boy.”

“How do I know you’re not just going to leave me here to the monsters?”

The old man shrugged, “You don’t.” Then the old man was gone.

The boy listened and heard no sound, not a single scream. His people could all be dead, but he had hope. He ran to his people.

He passed by his group of favourite trees and noticed they had turned entirely grey. The shadow creatures had stolen their life.

As he reached his village, everything seemed normal. The colourful houses were back, the vibrant array of sand on the streets and his people with paint all over their faces.

It was like nothing had happened. Only his favourite group of trees remained as a reminder of his horrid deeds.

He went home and spent time with his family, for the first time happy to see colours everywhere, even in his food.

He slept that night with a smile on his face and planned to visit his trees and for the first time, to paint them with some colours.

The next morning, the boy woke up to the everyday sounds of the other children playing downstairs on the streets. He could hear the voice of his mother singing in the kitchen and his father building something outside by the tree bridges.

He opened his eyes and screamed his lungs out in panic. All he could see was darkness and a mirage of colours shifting whichever way he turned.

He could no longer see.

He felt around him and sensed everything was there. He was not dreaming.

It then dawned on him; the deal he made with the old man. The old man had taken his eyes.

The boy cried curled up in his bed. While in the forest, his group of favourite trees was noticeably different.

They had every colour the boy had ever seen snaking across its bark and branches in thin like threads. The leaves of the trees were in different colours too. The oddest of all was at the middle each tree’s bark; there was a black swirl that looked like an eye.

Photo by Lily Adamczyk’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

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dreams, Short Story

Arcade You Not, Arcade You

I never imagined I would ever wonder what the lips of another girl would taste or feel like. However, at that moment when our eyes met, I felt the strangest discomfort. I think you felt it too. We did not dare look at each other again. Our transaction became the bridge. Our fingers touched and I felt guilty. I had a boyfriend. I took the receipt and quickly rushed away. I had to get away as fast as possible. I mean what was this feeling?

I had 60 dollars to pass time in that arcade. I’m sure I could survive that. You at that counter, I just had to avoid you right?

I threw some balls but that heavy bursting feeling in my chest kept expanding. My head lost in the clouds. I missed most of my shots. Then I felt you looking, I turned and there you were looking away. Why was it so hard to love someone in this time? Why must I love only one?

I looked away, feeling like a deflating balloon. I had someone who loved me so deeply and with his whole heart who would never hurt me but here I was mesmerized with dreams of lips, not his. Hands on me that weren’t his and I falling deep into the eyes that were not his.

I did try to brush the dreams away but as soon as I returned to earth you were suddenly beside me. Fixing the machine just next door. I could feel your existence just steps away. Hearts racing, eyes avoiding our guilty pleasure.

You know I have someone, you saw him once before, he brought me to this world of the arcade. I loved the old games and the new. There was something about the old merging with the new that felt comforting, that there was hope.

A million miles away we ride with friends getting lost in the wilderness. My hair blown around me by the wind and your arms are around my waist pulling me down, back into our seat. I fall onto your lap and you wrap your arms around me. Nuzzling my ears like no one was watching. I catch sight of our guy friends grinning like buffoons on the mirror reflection. I roll my eyes and snuggle deeper into your chest, comforted by your warmth and smell.

We stop at the top of a hill, we run down like wild spirits falling then rolling on top of each other laughing like maniacs. You look down at me, heat rising between us as our bodies mould into each other. Your lips inch closer to mine, as my hand rises up your waist while yours slide under my shirt. I feel myself stop breathing as your breathing increases. I close my eyes waiting to feel your lips.

The crash of the arcade machine jolts me back to reality. I’m down to my last throw and did not realize. Why do I feel so afraid?

Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

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