Today I’m taking part in Rachael Ritchey’s Blog Battle.
No it isn’t some kind of martial arts challenge it’s a fun writing battle.
Here’s the link to Rachael’s blog to find out more: http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/
The Week 18 Theme is Dream – this prompt appeals to me so much.
Where would we be if we didn’t dream? A very sad bunch of people I reckon. Sometimes dreams can help us escape from painful realities.
Here’s the rules of the battle:
Date to Post: Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
1.1000 words max
2.fictional tale (or true if you really want)
3.PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
4.Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
5.Go for the entertainment value!
6.Post your story by Tuesday 11:59 PM PST
7.Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
Each winner will receive an awesome #BlogBattle Winner Badge to display with their winning story on their webpage.
Here’s my entry for the #Blog Battle.
It’s an excerpt from my manuscript, I hope you enjoy:
Amelina couldn’t sleep. The stagnant air in the house felt like a tourniquet tightening around her neck choking her. Opening the windows made no difference whatsoever, feeling anxious; a sensation of dread overcame her. She felt as if she was tiptoeing on a floor of delicate eggshells. Strange voices and a laboured breathing came grumbling from the walls of the house, speaking in whispered unison, “Cursed house, Dreadful misfortune.”
Amelina slipped away from the cursed house into a dream. In her dream the pathway lay deserted, not a soul was about. The very dead of night beckoned. An eerie silence magnified every rustle, and quadrupled every whisper, in the breeze. The gentle sound of trickling water did much to sooth Amelina’s disturbed senses, but she had this strange feeling that someone was following her. Yet when she looked over her shoulder no one seemed to be there. No footprints, no churned up earth. Nothing. She tried to walk faster but her steps kept lagging behind, like a broken jigsaw piece, moving forward and back on a predetermined journey.
The whispering winds grew louder, and louder, until she forced herself to turn round to confront her growing fear. The shadow of an invisible man followed close behind her. Disconcerted, she tried to run, but stumbled as if this shadow’s long limbs were tripping her up. Just when she couldn’t take another step further, the howling winds stopped and the shadow vanished.
With the shadow’s departure, the deep rooted sadness within her soul began to gradually vanish. She breathed in the liberating air, and walked as if this was a path she had taken many times before, but her expressionless face, glassy eyes and outstretched arms suggested that she was in some sort of a trance.
A strange creature appeared his body and features were held together with rotten, matted mud, skin and bones. He said nothing. His presence didn’t frighten Amelina; on the contrary her serene face gave the impression that she was staring at a glowing candle light.
The creature stood motionless. He pointed at the ground.
A tremor shook Amelina’s body, her teeth chattered and her ears rang with the sound of earth cracking below her feet. It seemed as if the whole world was tilting on its axis, and the only way out was via a slide with a beginning but no visible end. As soon as she put a tentative step onto the slide, it was over. No time for fear. Every emotion had compressed into seconds. It had been the ultimate adrenalin rush, blood pounding, heart ripping, ears splitting, and stomach churning.
She came crashing off the slide and landed onto a sparkling stone floor, instead of hurting her it cushioned her landing, like a silky feather down quilt. No longer afraid of the shadows, she felt welcomed.
What a magnificent sight. Crystals on the walls of the buried cottage lit up in a myriad of welcoming shades, purple Amethyst, white Quartz, red Jade, blue Topaz, each colour announcing her long overdue welcome. Then as if this was not enough, lights twinkled and burst forth from each crystal in a jubilant display, a veritable firework extravaganza. Amelina sparkled from head to toe, light bounced off the walls of the stone cottage, finding a resting place on her face. She willed this spectacle to carry on, and on, but the glowing display began to taper off. In fact the colours became darker, glimmers of the crystals’ bright lights darkened to a menacing black and then lightened to a grey, washed out colour before turning a muddy brown. She could feel the skin on her face pucker, an orange peel texture stripped of all moisture, her body began to shiver and shake.
In desperation she lifted her head and looked up. All she could see before her was the strange creature; he stood some distance above on the open ground waiting. Waiting for what? To bury or help her? He held a rope ladder of skin and bones, which he began to lever down. She grimaced, but reached out and latched on to it. The creature hoisted her out effortlessly. They stood side by side for a moment. No time remained for them to exchange any words. The ground beneath Amelina’s feet shuddered, and cracked, she stepped back just in time. The creature was sucked into the depths of the earth, extending his arm in warning as he fell. The Cottage grew a distant memory swallowed in its entirety, each stone, pillar, and column buried. The further away it was, the smaller the Cottage had become, until it became no more than a tiny speck of inconsequential dust. An unnatural silence visited the abandoned ground in which the Cottage had been hidden. The mound of unsettled earth closed. The Creature and the Cottage were gone. No signs remained that they had ever been there.
Her body shifted a fraction as she stirred. She opened her eyes. Amelina’s heart fluttered like a caged bird. Then a brooding sense of darkness enveloped her, this blackness settled in her mood, taking centre stage in her thoughts. She sighed, a resigned note of melancholy. The disappointment was tangible. She couldn’t believe this strange episode could be so cruel, a dream that had teased her but had felt so real. She shrunk back down into her sheets, collapsing into life’s bittersweet reality.
Bye for now, time for dreaming…
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.
Words good or bad, are my very own!
So happy to read more about Amelina and what an eerie dream, full of tension, fear, sadness. Cracking atmosphere. I was carried away by the story and it’s so well written. More another time?? By the way, love the name. Any history behind it?
Thank you Annika. Especially for saying it’s so well written, that gives me confidence to continue! Yes, I hope to post some more another time, maybe if the blog battle writing challenges have prompts that fit in with some aspects of the story. No history behind the name, Amelina just liked it.
That’s quite a dream Amelina had! A ladder made of skin and bones, that’s very creative; and I liked all the crystals.
Thank you so much. it’s wonderful to get positive feedback. 🙂
That’s a scary dream – your imagination rocks! 🙂
Thanks glad you found it an entertaining dream…..
Beautiful descriptions, Marje! I love the dream moved from one place to another so effortlessly. Curious about the WIP! :0
Thank Rachael glad you enjoyed. 🙂
I know how that feels…life’s bittersweet reality! I loved this dream sequence. The descriptions were gripping, the flow dragged me right along with the story. Thanks for sharing. I thoroughly enjoyed it 😀
Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
It’s my pleasure 🙂
Wow…just like a dream, you are left wondering “What happened and what does it mean?” Sometimes there is an answer, sometimes not. I don’t know why the ladder of skin and bone, its imagery won’t shake from my imagination, but it hasn’t 😉 Great job!