[01-22-08]My Anthology[imperial_aspirin]
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Posted 1/22/08 , edited 1/22/08
Sleep of Centuries


He had warned her about the book. Now it was too late. She shouldn’t have stolen the book from Mr. Linden’s Library. These were her last fleeting thoughts as her eyes began to close. The sleep of centuries awaited her on the other side of her eyelids. As her body relaxes and her breathing becomes steady, the open book still lying on her arm begins to grow warm. Tendrils of foliage began to leak out of the spine of the book. If anyone were there to listen, they would hear the sounds of the forest. Humidity began to collect on her bedroom windows as the foliage spread farther from the book. In just moments, her bedroom was an Amazonian forest. Thick vines covered the walls and floors while she lay unmoving on a bed of ivy. Her bedroom had become a cocoon of sorts, a formidable fortress of green.

Downstairs, in a quiet room down a quiet hallway there sat a very silent and very serious man. He wore wire-rimmed spectacles and an impressive tie. He sat reading in the dim light and listening to the creaking of the house. He paused as he was reading and started to think about Alice. She was a very interesting young lady. His sister’s husband had gambled away their fortune so she had to send their only daughter to live with him. Such a shame… Alice was a very smart girl who loved to read. She was so much like her mother in her younger days. He thought of the first time Alice ever saw his library. She wanted to touch everything in the room. That’s when he knew things weren’t going to be easy. She was a headstrong girl who never listened to advice. Curiosity would be her greatest downfall.
Mr. Linden put down his book and stood, stretching his long skinny arms high above his head. It was time to check the library. His quick strides echoed through the hallway as he made his way to the east wing of the house. Spiders clung to the ceiling safe in their webs, the only witnesses to this man’s everyday life. Mr. Linden was not a man of many friends. He wouldn’t even allow his own niece to call him Uncle. He was known only as Mr. Linden. Some people joke that his first name is really Mister. It might even be true…

He finally reached the door to the library. The door groaned and creaked as he pushed it open and stepped through. He noticed something strange right away. The dust on a stack of books was disturbed. Mr. Linden walked over to investigate. A look of sadness and regret crossed his usually stoic face. She had taken a book. But not just a book… She had taken the book… The most dangerous book in Mr. Linden’s cryptic library. He had kept this book specifically hidden in a stack of boring dictionaries and Latin manuscripts. He sat down heavily in an old and dusty wingback chair. Dust from the chair plumed up around him as he buried his head in his hands.

Memories he’d made with Alice flowed through his head as he sat unmoving in his mysterious library. Although he would never allow himself to show it, he had grown quite fond of Alice. She had become something like a daughter in his mind. Someone he would guide and nurture into an intelligent young adult. Now that may not be possible. He remembered explaining to her the dangers of the books he kept sealed away in his library. Her eyes were like fire when he told her of his collection. Mr. Linden was no ordinary man. He collected only the most unusual and dangerous books that exist in this world. To keep them sealed away forever, protected and restrained in his mansion. He had hoped Alice would follow in his footsteps one day and help protect the world from these abominable creations. But she had failed him… Her curiosity may have cost Alice her life.

The only person who could save Alice now was herself. She had read from the book of eternal sleep. The only thing that could break the spell she had unwittingly cast upon herself would be her will to survive. She would have to face every enemy, every fear, experience every loss she had ever dreamed of. She would have to wade through all her nightmares, battling the twisted products of her own mind. Unless she could traverse the darkest reaches of her soul without stumbling along the way, all hope for her was lost.

Mr. Linden still sat amongst the towers of dusty, aging books, head resting in his long-fingered hands. There was nothing he could do for her. He could not save Alice… The only thing he could do was wait. He would wait forever for her… For all we know, he could still be waiting there. Sitting in his library, surrounded by fabricated worlds of love and tales of epic journeys. Waiting for the girl sleeping above him upon her bed of ivy. Locked away like a fairytale Princess in a tower for ever and ever…

Author’s Notes:
This story is based upon a picture by Harris Burdick and the opening line is the caption from said picture. I do no own this picture, nor do I own the caption. I just used it as a writing prompt. This story has now been revised and is being written as my first serious novel. I tried my best to come up with good alchemy/chemistry metaphors and the like, which are highlighted in blue. There are more stories down below.



Friendly Competition


All my life my brother had been better than me. At basketball, at school, at work… It’s always a competition with him! He even stole my lover, that stupid cow… But I just smile and nod, pat him on the back, and pretend everything is fine. Blood is thicker than water, so they say.

My family is a bit on the strange side… We bring our own law out here on the Drop. It’s a common sight to see men fight to the death. I once saw a woman beat her own twin to death over a man. I promised myself that I would be different. But since Jordie took Nancy from me… I can think only of revenge. I’m tired of the fake plastic smiles. I’m tired of everything.

He’s coming to the cabin for Thanksgiving dinner tonight. Since our parents passed away, we’ve been having it here. Just the three of us, alone in the big woods. I know when he gets here he’ll make sure to brag about how great their wedding was. Thinking of him, walking my beautiful Nancy down the isle… It should have been me. I don’t know how much longer I can smile.

They’re finally here, right on time, of course. My brothers’ perfection knows no bounds. I can feel heat rising in my chest. The alchemic reaction of my anger and my sanity nearly overwhelms me as he helps Nancy out of the car. They finally make their way into the house.

“Hey little Brother! Hope you didn’t burn the turkey again…” says Jordie in a fake-jovial tone.

“Not this year, brother. Everything will be perfect. I promise,” I say to him, loathing the way his hair is combed. Nancy walks to the pantry and takes out some cocoa.

“How about some hot cocoa for everyone?” says Nancy with a smile. As she gets to work, Jordie gets up and walks over to the kitchen table beside the big wood stove. He opens the heavy iron door so he can load it with wood. I walk over as he’s crouched down, piling pieces of wood on the table.

“I hate you,” I whisper. He looks up at me, smiling.

“What?” he says. Nancy walks over with mugs of hot cocoa in hand. She heard what I had said, and she knows what is happening. But still she smiles that eerie smile… So I smile too. This must be what she wanted all along. I'll make you mine again... I'll show you how strong I really am.

“I hate you Jordie,” I say loudly, grinning at him.

“I hate you and your stupid face. I hate your sweater and your shoes. I even hate the sound of your footsteps… I hate the fact that you’re breathing the air in my house,” I say, my voice growing louder with each word. We stand facing each other, hating each other.

“I challenge you, brother. I’ve been dreaming of this moment…” I say. He rises to his feet and looks at me, smile frozen on his face.

“Idiot…” he says quietly. “You know I always win,” he pauses and smirks at me. “I’ll even give you an advantage,” he says, in a loathsome, priggish tone. “You can choose the weapons, just to make it fair,” says Jordie, growing more and more smug. Looking at me like I’m some kind of joke... I’ll show him. I planned ahead for his showboating. I knew he would come up with something like this. So, I set up the scene accordingly.

“What ever is closest at hand is our weapons,” I say, grinning maniacally. He looks down at his hands, realizing he’s still holding two pieces of wood. He looks at the table between us and sees a fork and a spoon. He smiles and laughs at me, thinking I’ve made a dire mistake. I start to laugh too. We both stand laughing heartily while Nancy, still holding the cocoa, smiles devilishly.

Chuckling, I reach behind me and under the bar I’ve been leaning against. Propped against a bar stool beside my left hand is an axe. I pick it up and step forward. We stand frozen, smiling at each other, knowing that death is coming soon.

“Who’s the winner this time brother?” I say as I walk towards him, thinking of where I’ll put his body.


Author’s Notes:
This story isn’t really based on anything, just my odd little imagination having some fun.





I Lived


August 22nd 2024

Dear Reader,

I was only eight when it happened… I was so happy that day, so excited. We were going to the zoo for the first time in a long time. I used to love to see the monkeys… That is, until they ate my family. I still remember the screams of those around me, people running for their lives as the maniac monkeys wreaked havoc on the innocent zoo goers. They were everywhere… Spider monkeys, orangutans, chimpanzees… It was like a war between species, and they won. On that day, all across the globe, the monkeys rebelled. Many people who were at the zoos, now known as Ground Zero, didn’t survive. I was the only one who lived that day. I wandered for days, hiding during the nighttime. The monkeys were vicious and killed without discrimination. Be it man, woman, or child, barely anyone escaped the wrath of the evil monkeys.

Finally, after wandering aimlessly for over four days, I was found by a group of renegade prisoners, escapee’s from the Women’s Correctional Facility a few miles from the zoo. They took me in and protected me from the killer apes. Well, they tried at least… But the monkeys got them too… Once again, I am the only survivor. Once again, those forsaken monkeys took away those who cared for me. Never again… I’ll destroy them this time. I’ll kill them all!! Every single hairy ape will feel my wrath! This time, I will reign supreme! No longer will I stand by, shivering and scared! I will rise up against these abominations! I’ll take back my pride and make a new world for myself! I’m leaving this letter so that those who come after me will know… So they can understand the horror and hardship I’ve been through, how much I’ve had to endure just to survive. Just in case I don’t survive this war, this letter will be proof of my existence.

I can hear them outside now, rustling in the darkness. I’m writing by candlelight. The power has been out for weeks now. I hope they don’t find me… I’m low on supplies and I don’t know if I have enough firepower to get out of here alive… I found some huge tanks of CO2 in the back room of this shed, so I might be able to use those as a distraction while I escape. I may be young, but I know how to handle myself thanks to those damn man-eating monkeys. I am heading East to the ocean tomorrow, so hopefully anyone who reads this will come find me. I want to find a boat and go far out to sea and find an island, far away from the monkeys. To those of you who read this, fight on. Fight for your lives and for your future. Find me, and we’ll fight for it together!


For the Future!!

Charlie Rhodes
Age 9



Author’s Note
:
I wrote this as a kind of comedy. My sense of humor is a bit strange I suppose. A woman I went to class with last semester sent me a picture of her neice and she looked really serious and deadly, so it inspired me to write this story.




Miscommunistcation


“Ugh, there goes Randy,” whispers a chubby girl, her cheeks an almost ultravoilet red. A small figure shrouded by a dirty tablecloth shuffles past, like a defunct train wearing a dust cloth. Only one beady eye was visible through a small hole cut in the fabric.

“Why is he so weird? He never takes that stupid thing off. He looks like a derelict, that’s what Auntie says. She says his Mommy and Daddy are communists and that he’s a child of evil seed,” hisses the chubby girl to her wispy, silk haired friend.

“What’s a derelict? And a communist? I don’t know what you mean by evil seeds either…” muses the wispy girl.

“Well, I’m not really sure what all that means either, but it probably means something like weirdo or freak. And I heard my cousin Sal say something about those Long Hairs living in communes, so I bet his Mommy and Daddy are dirty hippies who don’t work or pay taxes. I can’t really think of what bad seeds would mean, but I’m sure it’s awful,” says Chubby girl, with an exaggerated grimace.

“We should just stay away from him and make sure no one else goes near him either. We don’t want any good, honest people ruining their reputations do we?” says Wispy girl, smiling haughtily. They left to go find Randy and inform him of their decision to further destroy the rest of his school years.

That night, Randy came home late. His tablecloth was dirtier than normal and torn in quite a few places. The older boys at school didn’t take kindly to kids with communist parents. Randy tried to make it upstairs without his mother seeing him. He knew she would have questions that he didn’t want to answer. As he crept around the corner, silent except for the faint whispering of the cloth against his blue jeans, he didn’t notice his mother crouched beside the bar playing with their cat Shrew.

“Randy?” she called. “Oh God, Randy, what happened to you?” she cried, seeing his disheveled state. He stood still and stiff, seeming to think that if he didn’t move she couldn’t see him anymore. “Randy! Tell me what happened to you right this minute!” she ordered, taking his face gently into her hands and looking into his eyes.

“What’s a communist?” questions Randy, his innocence showing through like a bloodstain on white velvet. “Why do people hate communists? Did they do something really bad?”

“Communists?” she asks, eyebrows knitted with concern for her child. “Why are you asking about Communism all of the sudden?”

“Never mind… I’m just being contrary, like Papa says. I was wrestling with the dog down the street and he won the match…” Randy lied, trying to hide it in his voice. He trudged up the steps and into the bathroom, closing the door softly behind him. She sighed, watching him go and knowing what must’ve happened to him. He always did this. Randy always tried to hide from the world.



Author’s Note
:
This story is one of my favorites. It’s meant to show how innocent and pure children are before their parents can corrupt their minds with racism and religion. Randy is special because he is surrounded by hate and darkness, yet he remains innocent and uncorrupted by society.



I’m Praying for Tidal Waves


The roar of the crowd vibrates in my brain as I swim through people, trying with much effort to find an empty doorway to hide in. The bell for lunch has sounded, and the ensuing mob will cease given time. I duck quickly in front of a large, sour-faced senior into the temporary safety of the music room doorway.

“Hey!” chirps a chipmunk-ish voice from behind me, as I stare into the sea of people trudging toward the cafeteria. I recognize it as a familiar voice, one I haven’t heard in a while. I turn and face her, this brown haired girl, as mousy looking as her voice. You wouldn’t think from looking at her that she was star player of our local basketball team, daughter of its esteemed coach, and a born missionary of God.

“Hey yourself, Makayla. You talking to me now?” I asked her, eyebrow raised comically high. She had quit talking to me after I threatened her mom at a 4-H club meeting in sixth grade. Her parents were real jerks, treating everyone like they were servants, treating Makayla like she was some sort of Ultra-Girl, better than the rest of us wretched serfs. Of course her dad always made her Most-Important-Player of the Year, of course she won Most-Productive-Club-Member of the Year since her mom was club leader. But I think all that time she really hated it. Hated them and the responsibility they forced on her, hated the malevolent looks cast upon her from the other children.

“Do you still not believe in God?” she asks me, as if she’s merely asking me if I still like mashed potatoes. She’s eyeballing the upside down cross on my Slayer shirt as she says this.

“Not particularly, no. Would you, if your parents hadn’t forced it on you from birth?” I ask her bitterly. Her attitude always did that to me, even after so much time had passed. I think her tone and poise were just something she learned from her parents, and she didn’t realize she was being pert. My secret pity for her made my anger that much worse.

She shrugs at me and gives a slightly tired little smile. “I want to see the end of the world,” she said, once again with the tone that she was telling me the sky was blue. I stare at her for a moment, replaying what she said in my mind, making sure I heard it well. “Don’t you think it would be neat?” she says. “To be one of the ones left behind by Jesus? I want to see it all fall apart,” she said in a chilling monotone. Eyes glittering like gemstones, she smiled at me again. In that instant I could see it all behind the shimmering veils of her eyes. I could see all her pain, all her sadness and loss, her disappointment in life. She brushed past me into the now empty hallway, walking like a lone ranger into a long dead world.

Author’s Note:
Okay, so this story is one of my first creative non-fiction pieces. Names have been changed of course, but this actually happened to me when I was in high school. I still wonder to this day what ever happened to “Makayla”. I wish now that I would’ve been quicker to see through her happy face. Maybe we could’ve been friends in spite of our differences. Well, I guess I’ll never know.
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Posted 1/23/08
I really like the stories.. Everything begins with something normal, simple, then it all ends with something sinister..

My favorite is "Friendly Competition", I was thinking "this is going to be another growing up, sibling rivalry about a girl again" - then that twisted ended.. Nice ;p
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Posted 1/30/08
Thanks for your reply! I'll probably extend that story now that I've heard some feedback on it. I like writing stories with twisted endings, so thanks for the praise!
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Posted 1/30/08
A lot of different styles of writing there, which style is your favorite?
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I love writing in a bunch of different styles. Writing dark humor and fantasy stories are really fun. But, I also like writing really contemplative stories that give an impression of my experiences in life and my opinions of the world in general. So, I suppose the style I write with depends on what idea I'm trying to put forth. Thank you so much for asking questions! It makes me feel a lot less insecure as a writer to know people care enough to ask questions, so thanks!
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