The darkness enveloped the room in an endless abyss, and two figures cowered in the corner. The first started to creep forward, silently like a cat prowling through darkness. Strange noises echoed throughout the room, strange noises that resembled a whining monster, and a shrieking ghost. One of the children’s name was Ava, and she carefully used the wall to pull herself off the floor. Something caught her wrist, and she cried out in terror, ripping her wrist away and stumbling backwards. As she peered into the darkness, a quiet voice sounded: “It’s just me! Where are you going?” The voice asked, speaking in a hushed tone. “I wanted to find a door” Ava whispered in reply, standing up with shaking limbs, “There has to be a door, there’s always a door”
Ava was met with no reply, and she continued to run her hands along the tough, cold wall, searching for anything that could resemble an escape. The strange noises rang out again, louder this time, shrill and piercing, a knife cutting through the air. Ava flinched away from the sound as if it would lash out and hurt her. Carefully, Ava continued to venture forward, and her hand scratched against something sharp and wooden. Drawing her hand back with a start, something trickled down her stinging hand. She called out in excitement. “Lissa! I found a door! We’re going to get out! We’re going to be okay!” she threw her head back, but couldn’t see the other girl, Clarissa, through the thick, suffocating, blanket that covered them. “But what if the doors locked?” Clarissa’s heavy footsteps tapped on the floor as she searched for her friend in the dark.
With fumbling fingers, Ava searched for a handle, her hand trembling uncontrollably. Finally, she discovered a cold, metal object and turned it. As the door clicked, the strange noises suddenly grew louder, a deafening, high pitched scream. Clarissa and Ava sank to the floor, covering their ringing ears, the noises continuing to get louder. A tormented wail, rocking the room like an earthquake rocking a house.
Clutching her head, Ava’s vision flickered, and she curled up. The pain in her head was intolerable, excruciating and she screamed and cried out in agony. The sweet release of oblivion came too slowly, and Ava’s head hit the floor with a thud, her tense, shaking muscles relaxing almost immediately as she lay in a peaceful sleep.
- - - - -
A sweet, harmonic melody danced in Ava’s head, and the soft floor beneath her covered her in a warm embrace, like a loved one’s arms. Ava turned her head, and saw Clarissa sitting beside her, smiling serenely and playing with a daisy. She tucked the daisy in her brown hair, and looked at Ava with wide, innocent eyes. “Finally, you’re awake!” Clarissa explained, and Ava sat up.
“Have I been asleep?” Ava blinked in confusion and looked around her. She lay in a field of laughing flowers, peaceful and tranquil. The glowing sun was a bright, cheerful light in the sky, welcoming all the birds and the bees and the butterflies.
A peaceful, graceful butterfly fluttered past Ava’s face, and she held out her hand. It had delicate wings, with bright colours that shone like jewels. The butterfly danced in the gentle breeze, like a stunning ballerina performing their most elegant dance. In silent admiration, Ava watched the butterfly disappear into the sapphire sky. Turning to her friend with a glimmering smile, Ava picked a flower and passed it to Clarissa, who smiled brightly at Ava. “It’s nice here” Ava murmured softly.
“I know” Clarissa looked up at the sky with sparkling eyes, watching the clouds drift through the sky in a thousand patterns. Ava noticed a bird, perched on the tree, it’s bright colours reflecting the light like a delicate glass statue. It stood like a king, decorated in a million colours with carefully shattered wings. Ava reached up to shake Clarissa’s shoulder and show her the bird, delighted by her exquisite surroundings.
Her hand slipped through Clarissa’s shoulder like a ghost, and Ava stilled in stunned surprise. Clarissa was still, silent. “Lissa” Ava whispered, voice shaking with a sudden terror. Slowly, the colour started to drain away from Clarissa’s figure, like an artist rubbing out their work, covering it in hidden grey. Ava watched in frozen fear, and the colour drained from Clarissa until she wasn’t even visible. “Lissa” Ava whispered again.
No one was there.
She was alone.
- - - - -
Ava awoke in a room with a bright, white light. There was a droning, high pitched noise, shrill and loud.
I remember shuddering violently, whether it was hot or cold. They said that when you shuddered, it meant someone was walking over your grave. I stand there now, watching people carelessly trample my grave, except now I'm not shuddering. They don't even know, no one but me and her knows that this is my grave. My final resting place.
I remember feeling the wind in my hair, and the ice on my skin. I don't feel any of that now, I can tell you why, if you like.
I am the unsettled ghost, who stands at her grave, watching time slip by. I'm dead now, I'll tell you why, if you like.
It was dark, the twilight had settled and I stood face to face with her. My hands were stained with blood, dark crimson and painfully ironic. I clutched a knife, the blade shone with red and it caught the light beautifully. But it wasn't beautiful, not really, none of it was as poetic as I wrote it. It was just red.
She stood opposite me, and she looked afraid. Her pale eyes glimmered with grim determination, and in her hand she held a gun, pointed directly at me. Quietly, she murmurs an apology, and I start to wonder why, but the noise of the gun breaks my thoughts.
It's quick, and loud, but I barely have the time to process it. There's a stinging pain, but I don't feel anything, it's just empty, bleak, silent.
As I fall into blissful oblivion, my eyes closing in the dark, I realise something. She was never the villian, unreasonable and unreadable. No, I realise, as my life fades away, she was not the villian, and I was not the hero, as I told it. Maybe one day you'll hear the story from her point of view and you'll realise. History is written by victors, and sometimes the lines between good and bad blur. I realise this, and perhaps you will to, one day. I was the villian in this story.
Far away, a kingdom lay hidden in the mountains. It was a kingdom shrouded in a dark cloak, hidden away from the light of the dim sun. Inside the castle stood a queen. Her eyes held the souls of a thousand sacrifices, a thousand dead ghosts that fluttered in her glassy grey eyes. Sometimes, she thought she could hear their laughter, dancing through the echoing halls. But no one was there.
No one was ever there.
The queen clutched the walls with bony hands, and as the stars haunted the sky they cast a light on the kingdom of bones. She gazed across the tombstones, engraved with a thousand names she knew. She knew all of them. She'd spend years carving a thousand names into her skin, engraving them into her mind. A thousand dead on her watch.
She swore to never forget the curse of their names.
Oh, how great the kingdom had been, favoured by the gods, the young gods who smiled upon her and her king with their divine stare. Her king with the gold crown. The arrogant king who was once kind, not so hardened by war, but with a heart made of gold, and silver skin and emerald eyes.
They loved him. He drank their approval like a man dying of thirst. How desperate he became, how reliant he became on the people's drug of approval. An addict high up in a castle with an arrogance that stemmed from his throne.
What good is a crown when it only succeeds in pain. The king with the golden crown. The arrogant king. The Queen with the burnt heart. The broken Queen.
When Gods fought a war civilisations were brought to rubble. Blood painted the white walls of the castle, the queen could still see the stains now. A dark crimson paint against the war battered marble. Some writers would call it beautiful, a stark contrast of purity and pain. Of innocence and war. The queen disagreed. That blood, it was never poetic, never beautiful. It was just blood. Just red.
The Queen with the burnt heart had trusted too many people, she had been reckless with her heart, and lost the cage she kept around it. She'd let the key be stolen.
Of course she'd been betrayed. Betrayal was engrained in human nature. A historic need to survive above all else, to protect one person, and one person only, themselves. Humans where such cruel creatures, amazing, but cruel.
The most stubborn creatures she'd encountered. Such interesting specimens. But they just couldn't be trusted, they stored away information in their petty brains and hunted you down later. That's the thing about telling people things , you can't close your heart again, you can't take it back.
Once they know, they can destroy you as soon as the tide turns.
Humans, they wrote fairytales. Stories of maidens saved by knights. Stories of dragons and gold. Stories of wolves and bears.
They ended in joy, in unity.
The queen looked out at her kingdom, drowned in fire and built on corpses. Fairytales, such a strange notion. Written to give hope. But what did hope do when you're cornered by your closest friends.
Real life was nothing like a fairytale. There was never a happy ending.
There are men Pure from soul Clean from heart Strong in faith Honest in love
They have feelings too. Maybe they are good in hiding them. I know some men, Who smile even when their demons are eating them from the inside. Even when pain is eroding their body. Even when they are broken. They keep those shattered pieces within their soul. It hurts them daily. Maybe they are really good at pretending.
Temporary or permanent. Their love is never ending. Their respect is eternal.
I find solace in words of such legends, who wear their scars as a sign of pride.