The coal black night was dismally cold and damp, and only a flicker of light illuminated the old dusty room.
Now you finish the story… No compty’s please! Let’s see what you got! 😉
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
Now you finish the story… No compty’s please! Let’s see what you got! 😉
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
At the age of 19, I enlisted in the Army. By the time I finally got shipped out, I was 20 years old and ready for the adventure of a lifetime. After finishing boot camp and AIT (Advanced Individual Training), I decided it was time to go back home and visit my parents. I’d like to say I was a bit smarter and wiser at that point, but as you’ll soon see, I was still really naïve.
I was fairly happy to be home again. It had been two years since my mother had dared me to leave, and of course, I had been all too eager to accept her offer. On this particular day, my parents left to go shopping and so I decided to tidy up a bit and surprise my mother like old times. I began cleaning and scrubbing the entire house from top to bottom, and when I was finished, I wondered if there was anything else I could do to improve the place.
I noticed a cinnamon scented spice broom over by the hearth and remembered that I had sent it to my mother for Christmas. I picked it up to see if it still smelled as good as I’d remembered, and was somewhat disappointed that the scent had mostly faded. Around the top of the broom handle, was a small tag; and I was happy to see that it actually provided directions for maintaining the cinnamon scent. After reading the directions over, I decided to give it a try.
The directions said to hold the broom over a pot of boiling water, in order for the steam to refresh the cinnamon smell. So without any worries at all, I proceeded to the kitchen to steam the broom. I was so excited, because I love the scent of cinnamon, and I knew my mother would be pleasantly surprised when she returned. I hadn’t counted on what would happen next.
It was the year 2117, and a brand new shiny city had been built in the middle of the rain forest. Strangely enough, there were hardly any trees left; just a few scattered vines growing haphazardly on some of the buildings. The Amazon River wound its way through the spacious city and man-made islands could be seen throughout. Streets were a thing of the past and boats and airplanes were too. Those who were mentally strong enough, could travel instantaneously through mind control. Others who lacked this ability, were at the mercy of those who could.
Most of the buildings sat atop wide pedestals and were sporadically spaced throughout the city. Some were shaped like huge cigars standing on end, while others were shaped like flying saucers atop narrower single columned structures. There were only a few ordinary looking buildings; and even those were all elevated off the ground. A maze of passageways existed underneath the crowded city. Vines crept and clung to the undersides of the buildings and the majority of the passages were dark and vacant.
Most people walked along netted bridges, which had been built high above the city. These bridges seemed to connect most of the buildings together, so that people never really had to set foot on the ground. The majority of people were very free with their bodies. Little clothing was worn and most of the people seemed intoxicated and grungy looking. There were quite a few structures built of woven bamboo. These places were used mainly by the lower class citizens. Many of the buildings did not even have rooftops, and were instead completely open to the elements. The upper class citizens were mostly found in the taller buildings; which were all constructed of polished metal.
In the heart of the city, was a large open pavilion; and the view from this vantage point was breathtaking. The pavilion was divided into sections by bamboo woven walls. Each separate area held feasting tables, which ran the length of the open rooms. The rooms were crowded and extra seats were nonexistent. Food was not available for purchase; instead, neon-colored alcoholic beverages were served in shot glasses. These colored concoctions littered the tables from one end to the next.
The rooms were filled with people, who appeared expressionless and incoherent. One woman even had her newborn baby lying in front of her on the table. The baby was malnourished and naked; untouched and unloved, with its umbilical cord still attached. One of the woman’s breasts, rested along the edge of the table. Allowing her baby to suckle while she proceeded to get wasted. A sign above her read “Viewer Discretion Advised.”
Written by, Michelle Cook
Based on a dream… dreamt on February 2, 2017.
It was the beginning of a new day. The sun was barely peeking over the hills to the East and the birds were starting to chirp their morning wake-up songs. Prince William was starting to stir as the rays of sunlight trickled through the small window in his stone-walled room. William had never been fond of mornings and would have rather liked to stay in bed all day if he could. Unfortunately, he knew that of all days, today was not the day to sleep in. William had a million things to do to prepare for the ball and as much as he hated leaving his nice warm bed, he knew that he must. Today just had to be the day! He could feel it in his bones! Poor William had been searching for months for a young maiden to marry, but unfortunately he had not yet met a single one of them that had held much interest for him. Most were too talkative, which William hated most of all and the others were just plain boring or extremely unintelligent. William just knew today would be different. He couldn’t put his finger on how or why he knew, but he had a gut instinct that today of all days, he would finally meet his fair maiden.
Out in the courtyard, there was an overwhelming sense of urgency as people scurried about readying the castle for the evening events. It wasn’t every day that a grand ball was planned, so as to invite every young maiden in the entire kingdom, and there was so much work that still had to be done. William watched from his balcony over the expanse of the castle grounds and seem mesmerized by the servants as they scattered about like ants searching for food. He knew that he really should get down there himself and help keep everyone working in an orderly fashion. William was tired though, not just because he had been searching for so long for a young woman to marry, but also because he had settled into a daily rut and he knew that there had to be more to life than what he was already doing. Day in and day out, his life never seemed to change. He wanted more out of life and couldn’t even begin to wonder how to change his current situation. Being a prince wasn’t easy after all. People expected so much out of a prince and it was only on rare occasion that he was given any freedom at all to do what he pleased.
As the day dragged on, Prince William grew more and more eager for the events of the evening to begin. William spent the majority of his day giving orders and trying to keep things peaceful. After hours of delegating, and helping his father King Phillip; William escaped to the stables where his horse Dewdrop was kept. William’s horse originally belonged to his mother, Queen Gwendolyn. She had long since given up riding horses and Dewdrop was no exception. Dewdrop had a very sweet and gentle disposition and was named for his dewdrop shaped mark on his muzzle. William enjoyed spending time with his horse, it was the only time of day when he could just be himself and he didn’t have to live up to the expectations of those around him.
After a quick ride with Dewdrop, William headed back towards the castle to dress for the evening. As soon as he made his way to his bedroom, he found his royal attire laying neatly on his bed. He called for his servant to help him bathe and dress for the evening. After taking the proper time to ensure he looked his best, he made his way to the ballroom where his father and mother were waiting for him. His parents were seated next to each other on a balcony overlooking the grand ballroom. William figured they wanted to watch the festivities from afar so as not to interfere with William and his many female guests.
One by one, the women began to arrive. At first, William began to have his doubts as the women came through the guarded entryway. Most were fairly pretty, but none really caught his eye. The majority seemed to be ladies that he had already met and some were even family members. And then… he saw her, the most beautiful girl that he had ever laid eyes on! She was wearing a gorgeous blue ball gown that shimmered like water on a starry moon night. Her eyes were a beautiful brown that held innocence and virtue. Her hair was the color of salted caramel and her mouth reminded William of a tiny red rosebud. She curtsied ever so politely and seemed a bit unsure of herself. Oh but she was a delight to the visual senses!
William decided that it was time for him to leave his parent’s side and make his way down to the ballroom floor. There he was introduced to Cordelia, as she called herself. She was even more beautiful up close and William wasted no time asking her to dance. The evening flew by as they whirled away the night. William instincts kicked into full gear, and he knew without a doubt that this was the girl for him. The problem was, he knew nothing about her. He didn’t know what her status was and knew that in order for her to be even considered a future bride to be, she had to have some sort of royal blood running through her veins. She didn’t look to be a commoner and he desperately hoped that he wasn’t falling in love with a women that he could never marry.
As the night continued on, they looked as if they had known each other for years. William held Cordelia close as they danced. They seemed a match made in heaven. Then, as the clock struck midnight, Cordelia shrieked in fright! William had never seen such a look of terror on a young girls face before. She looked as if she had seen death. Just as William was about to try to console her, Cordelia fled from the ballroom and ran down the castle steps to her awaiting carriage. William tried his best to keep up with her, but it was useless. There were too many people running around in fright, alarmed by the sight of a girl shrieking in terror. William managed to get past the armed entryway just in time to watch Cordelia gather her skirts, jump into her awaiting carriage, and escape into the blackened night. He looked down in defeat and noticed something glinting on the stairs. A tiny glass slipper lay only a few feet away from where he was standing. The last remnant of his true love.
At the dawn of a new day, William began his search. He traveled far and wide to find Cordelia, for he knew that she was the one for him. He had his footman try the glass slipper on every maiden in the whole land, but none could fit the shoe. Just as William was about to give up hope of ever finding his true love, his carriage stopped in front of a tiny cottage almost hidden from sight because of the thick ivy that covered most of the house. There were trees on all sides of the property and a lazy coon hound rested in the shade.
As soon as William stepped foot onto the dusty road, two young woman came running out to greet him. They were the ugliest two young ladies that he had ever set eyes on, and he was sure he need not even bother to try the slipper here. However, William was a fair man and knew it wouldn’t be right to leave and not let these two young women try the best they could to fit the slipper. After trying the slipper on both unfair maidens, Prince William was resigned to the fact that he would probably not find the girl of his dreams here and knew that he must move on.
Just as William was about to leave, a small quiet voice called from the entry way of the cottage and said, “Please sir, may I try the slipper on?” The other young girls laughed when they heard the request and looked as if they almost pitied the girl. In an instant, William recognized the woman calling from the doorway. There she was! Cordelia, as beautiful as ever! But in clothes made of rags? How could this be? This could not be his Cordelia, or could it? He strode over to the woman as quickly as he could and tried the slipper on her small dainty foot. The slipper was a perfect match, indeed it was his Cordelia! From that moment on, Prince William made up his mind that no matter what, this woman would be his and nothing was going to stand in his way. In an instant, he whisked Cordelia into his arms and covered her in a million kisses. It was dead silent as the others looked on. Nobody dared even breathe at the sight of the prince kissing a small servant girl. Prince William didn’t care what the rest of the world thought at that moment. He knew exactly what he was doing. He had finally found his match made in heaven and that was all that mattered.
Written by, Michelle Cook
Even though I’d had an early start, I was restless and eager to get to where I was headed. My mind was preoccupied with venturous thoughts and little did I know that my carefree attitude would soon lead to my demise. The drive was relaxing and gave me time to think about what it would be like when I finally got to my destination. These feelings of excitement left me giddy and it was with great anticipation that I drove onward in my quest for adventure.
After a quick stop, I was refreshed and ready to drive the last remaining distance. Once back on the highway, I became briefly flustered, forgetting which way I needed to go. Just as the thought crossed my mind, I passed an alternate highway on my left and wondered if I had just missed my turn.
Panic stricken, I looked into my rear-view mirror and watched the road to the left quickly disappear from view. Remembering that I had seen an exit to the right coming up ahead, I shifted my eyes to the front and began to slide over to the right lane to head for the exit. I suddenly realized that the road was now two lanes instead of three, and the lane I was trying to slide into had suddenly disappeared.
Panicked once again, I veered to the left to avoid the ditch that I was headed for. The sudden swerve left me facing oncoming traffic and after realizing my mistake, I pulled the steering wheel to the left in hopes of avoiding a collision.
Now in a tail spin, the velocity forced me back against my seat. The spinning continued and left the car moving closer and closer to the concrete barrier that now separated the highway. The car skidded towards the barrier faster and faster. The force thrust me against the driver’s side door and at that moment I knew that my life was over.
I thought of my family and how I would never get to see them again; never say goodbye… I thought even if I did make it, I would surely be battered and broken beyond repair. The impact hit with tremendous force and I felt as if I were suffocating. The world became pitch black in that moment. A heaviness engulfed my entire body and I couldn’t move. I didn’t feel any pain, but felt as if I had been buried alive.
I continued to breathe, but the breath was not my own. I felt as if I needed to open my eyes. I needed to awaken and wanted so badly to be able to speak. I had a strong will and desire to break free of whatever constrained me. Even with this overwhelming desire, I couldn’t make my body do what it asked. My chest grew heavier, more constricted. The weight of a thousand bricks was surely upon me and still my chest rose in breath, but no breath did I take. I was frightened by the darkness that I couldn’t escape. Lost in a world that was neither here nor there. Surely this couldn’t be death… or could it?