Lost in a lucid dream, she stirs, unaware of the sleep she sleeps. The darkness beyond the mirror swirls in anticipation.
Outside, trees rustle a surprise, raining dying leaves upon the frozen ground as if desperate to please. Never has a season died so beautiful a death. But this is always her season; life never moves on.
The girl imagines sitting by her window and watching the snow. She loves snowflakes, how they taste the ground. Yet, she knows it a mirror and not a window at all, and still, she sleeps.
Written for Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge Today’s prompt was Scream.
There were divisions. Some might have termed them fractures. Everyone wanted everything, and no one wanted to pay. The silence of society’s splintering echoed a dire nothingness. I liked the quiet.
The flyers flew with wings for arms. The walkers walked on exaggerated legs. Some swam, like the almost-fish they were. A few even rolled. I glided.
Everyone ignored me, and I ignored them, as they left in their ships of steel and stardust. No one remained. That’s when I realised I was already dead, and even then, hadn’t a clue as to how long. I got the better deal.
A cool, languid wind eased itself down the mountainside, unhurried in its quest to reach the shaded valley floor. I felt it like a child its mother’s breath.
Rocks peppered the cliff face in sheer defiance of the laws of physics. They clung on for dear life. Silly rocks, I thought. We’re not meant to resist.
Up above the clouds lay a cerulean blanket so unruffled as to rival the placid sea we crawled from that eventful bygone day. A sparkling, citrine sun warmed my cheeks. The wind had gone. I missed it. Perhaps that’s why I jumped? Perhaps, not.
The darkness came as a swathe of night, flanked by fire and flood. All fled before it except for one small boy.
Chaos abounded. People wrestled over petty goods, tore with fingernails and teeth. Yet, only when the darkness touched them did reality bite, fleeing terrified into either the flames or the abyssal waters. Soon, only the boy remained.
The Devil came for him with genuine intrigue plastered across his jester features. “You survived. How?”
The boy looked him straight in his goat-like eyes. “I can’t swim, and I’m warm already.”
“Ah,” cooed the Devil. “The innocence of youth.”
Incandescent whirls of bliss, colour, and light swept past. All that was bright in the world pulsed one last hurrah. All that was golden vanished.
Silence. Not a heartbeat. The languid cool of Forever stole across my soul. I stood small before infinity. Forwards or back?
Choice remained. My choice. The choice. But which?
When lost in purgatory, one remembers not what was decided, nor when, only that it was.
I stepped into another world, another place, another time, and grinned. Perhaps one more ruination? I’ll make this the last.
Like Hell! But how else does one qualify eternity’s destruction.
The Earth does not spin, nor does it travel around a burning sun: The Earth falls. I know this better than most.
It’s a slow descent through time and space, one that drags our spiralling universe down, like two children holding hands on a helter-skelter. One without the other is just an object, but two, and the scene has purpose.
I do not wish to fall, yet, I am. We all are. The collective has no choice in the matter. This is the way of things. Still, I wish with all my heart that I wasn’t first down the slide.
They demanded them unbuilt for the sake of humanity. I deemed this an unnecessary reaction to an unfortunate event. After all, the explosion was an accident. They set a date.
The smallest squealed. The largest roared. Some fled as best they might; it was never fast enough. Others huddled like cogs in a watch, ticking down the moments till death.
When the guards went to collect them, they’d gone. In their place was a giant clock; it ticked backwards. The populace fled, whilst I remained. That’s when they reappeared, laughing. I laughed, too. Stupid humans! Far easier than killing them.
Her ears were bigger than her head. She wasn’t ugly, though, far from it. Her enormous, round eyes, accentuated by whiplash lashes most women would’ve killed for, drew you to her and held your view.
There were years in those eyes, generations of wisdom. They deflected from her abnormal feet and rough skin. The latter was an eyesore, as if she’d never exfoliated or moisturised. As for her nose, well… better left unsaid.
I loved Nellie more than words. I looked forward to seeing her, even if it was an annual event. Every kid did. The circus was a treat.
Disasters happen, my grandfather claimed. This was in the years long before his own. He’d wag his finger and frown like a grumpy goat, and I’d laugh and giggle regardless. Take it seriously, he’d mutter. You’ll thank me one day, he’d say. Of course, I didn’t, couldn’t, not when everything seemed so far away.
Now, as disaster looms and I struggle to raise my head, my own grandchildren filtering around me like ground coffee a percolator, I wish I had. It’s not so I’d know, but so I’d know what to say.
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