Archives October 2022

Wellington’s Place Apartments

[WP] You walk the same way to work every day, and you’re sure that building wasn’t there before.

Jim’s amulet was an enigma. He had worn it his whole life, and it had sparked a conversation with a coworker when it fell loose as he was tying his shoe. “It could be worth a lot of money,” his coworker suggested. He could never part with it, of course, but that didn’t stop him from being curious. The amulet had been in his family for generations. How long exactly—he wasn’t quite sure.

Like a horse to water, his curiosity led him to an online search once he was home. It was hard to find specific information no matter how he described the thing. The black sapphire in its center was promising though. It didn’t seem like they were used often, and his search eventually led him to occult corners of the web. Ready to call it quits, he finally came across a historical cataloging of trinkets believed to have various protection benefits, along with the trinket’s origin. His amulet was in the list and his brief feeling of success was quickly replaced with a growing anxiety. It was listed as an evil-ward, and its origins are voodoo.

Voodoo, he thought with a growing since of dread. Had his family been involved in some way? Why would his family keep passing down something related to voodoo? Maybe they just didn’t know. After all, they didn’t have the internet. Surely, that’s it. Yes. They just weren’t aware of its origins. He had taken it off and stored it in a box beside his computer.

The next morning, he’s walking his everyday route to work. His head is still reeling from the night before. With a suitcase in one hand, he’s looking down at the phone held in the other. He periodically leans or turns away from passersby, but the wiki on voodoo has him transfixed. A lot of the information refers to various protection rites, seeming like voodoo was more often used for doing good than it was for harm.

A horn blares as he’s about to step off the sidewalk. He looks up too find he’s at a corner that he doesn’t recognize. Had he gone to far? He looks back and then to the nearby street sign. No. His left turn isn’t for another couple of blocks. He looks over to the building in this corner lot. Where did that come from? He thinks back, trying to figure out what was supposed to be there. A parking lot. This is supposed to be a parking lot. He stops a passerby then gestures to the building. “Excuse me. Do you know what this is?”
“Of course, I do,” says the disgruntled man. “It’s the Wellington’s Place Apartments.”

“Has it been here long?”

“What, are you new or something? The place is a city landmark. Been here for decades.”

“Landmark? Why would an apartment building be a landmark?”

“They’ve got tours, see for yourself. That Wellington turned out to be a real nut job, killed a bunch of people, hid them in the foundation, the walls, that sort of thing…and that was just during construction. He kept killing residents too. Eventually, people caught on, but he hanged himself in there before they were able to take him away. The city cleaned it up, but no one lives there anymore. Eventually, they claimed it as a landmark and now do tours…which is what you’ll have to do if you want to know anything else. I’m running late for work.”

The man walks away, and Jim stares slack jawed as he absently reaches for an empty space on his chest.

Serial Updates

I recently applied some helpful critiques to my Redux Riding Hood story. I’ve revised the first 2 chapters over on Royal Road and have also added Chapter 3. I will likely update the 3rd chapter once I hear back from my proofreader.

I’ve also adjusted updated the story for Duality Dissonance. The first two scenes are on Royal Road and will be updated on a fairly regular basis.

Lastly, I plan to look into Scribble Hub this week. I’ve been reading up on it as a place to post stories and I may start posting my Serial-Publications there soon! I’m currently just waiting for some completed cover art for Redux Riding Hood. Once I get that, I may start using this new platform!

I’m looking forward to it! Will share the details when I have them.

Happy reading!


Sisyphus’ Legacy

Theme Thursday Challenge
Max Words: 500

After finishing his draft, Dan walks into his office, ready to set into his revision. He grabs a seat in his fancy chair and turns on his special writing light as he prepares to set into his task. The computer comes to life and he goes right to his manuscript, migrating it from his writing software into a more refined word processor. Once the word processor takes hold, his MS becomes infected with so many red squiggles that it looks as if his words are adrift in the Red Sea.

The insurmountable volume of new information almost crushes him immediately. He runs his fingers through his hair and tries to process the amount of work ahead of him. He massages his face, shakes out his hands, and sets his mind on getting his words back on something more promising—like a snowy field or some other place without those annoying red lines. One step at a time, he tells himself. He starts on the first sentence then continues through the first paragraph, then he moves on to the second paragraph, and so on.

Hours pass. He finally finishes the first chapter and is mentally exhausted. He exhales and slouches deeper into his chair. He tries to feel some since of accomplishment over what he just achieved, but nothing comes as he just closes his eyes and rubs at his temples. He convinces himself that he deserves a break, so he mouses over to the save icon before shutting everything down. His mouse hovers over the silly floppy disk symbol, but the button doesn’t bolden to suggest he can interact with it. He clicks it and nothing happens. He tries clicking elsewhere to the same effect. He tries minimizing the window and still nothing. He starts to panic and sulk internally, muttering to himself, “no, no, no, no,” as he hits ctrl, alt, delete. He pulls up the task manager to find his program isn’t responding. “This can’t be happening,” he pleads as he runs his fingers through his hair and tugs at his hair. Suddenly, the computer locks up and powers down causing him to slam fists into the top of the desk, before shoving the desk’s contents off into the floor. He leans his face into his hands, on the verge of tears. “That didn’t just happen,” he says to no on in particular.

Suddenly, Dan walks into his office, ready to set into his revision. He plops into his fancy chair and turns on his special writing light as he prepares to take hold of his boulder once again. For the crime of not finishing his MS, Dan was forever condemned to revise his draft then have it crash, experiencing the loss of all progress only to have the moment restart so that he can do it all over again.

Colored Swords

[WP] As a kid you were found to be magicless and abandoned, having black mana rather than the element specific to colors of the other children being measured. One day a painter visits the orphanage to teach about colors and painting “mix red and blue, you get purple. If you mix everything, you get black.”

Fin sits on his bed, notebook in his lap and color pencils busy with their dance across the page. He’s wearing headphones, blocking out the world as he escapes into his sketching. Even as the other orphans cause a ruckus around the bunk-room, it doesn’t bother Fin as he continues existing in his other world.

He draws himself standing in the middle of the bunk-room and holding up a red paint brush. He’s holding like it’s a sword and he’s prepared to do battle. Thinking back to the mana colors that denoted types of magic, Fin always pictured himself having red mana, the color of emotion magic.

Across from him are two other orphans. One of the orphans wields a blue paint-sword, the color of motion magic. The other orphan has the green sword, the color of body magic. The three of them commence their battle. Swords clash and paint sails across the room in sweeping arcs as their battle royale unfolds. Fin gets lost in the battle. The colors intersect at places along the wall, forming what the art teacher had spoken of earlier that day. He colors quicker as the art teacher’s words try to invade his thoughts. He doesn’t want to hear the art teacher right now, so he creates more sweeping sword arcs and wall splatters to raise the battle to an epic scale.

Suddenly, the orphan’s real world antics cause something to hit Fin in the forehead, but he’s so engaged with his drawing that he absently brushes his forehead with the back of his hand, then continues filling in details on the intense color battle. He continues to detail the individual colors on the walls and the way the light reflects off each one. When his cassette player abruptly stops, reaching the end of the tape, he pauses to look over his work. He is awe struck by his level of detail, noticing subtle features he wouldn’t normally consider including.

Something on his hand catches his attention, and he glances over to find blue paint on the back of it. His eyebrows scrunch, then he looks up to see three orphans, each with a red, green, or blue paint sword. They are all looking around the room in shock as they try to process what they had just done to their bunk room. Fin quickly looks back to his page, then back up. His sketch is identical to the room except for one detail. There are bunks to each side of the sketch’s perspective, but there is an obvious blank spot in the bottom center of the page with only a foot-board ahead of this blank spot. The blank spot is the perspective of the photo—the perspective is the place he is currently sitting.

Nemesis Battle

[WP] A modern style suburb, complete with HOA and backyard cookouts, but set in a DnD style fantasy world.

If Woody Allen ever had a double, it would have been Barry, the middle-aged sorcerer. He stands just inside his tented glass storm dorm in a bath robe and house slippers while drinking his cup of coffee. Every sip calls for a dice roll to the side of his view. The number comes up, calling on his dexterity of 2, then digitally adding modifiers and the outcome under the dice. Every so often, his -4 modifier reminds him of his life choices as he spills his coffee on his chin and curses under his breath. He wipes his mouth with already stained sleeve of the robe. “Don’t min-max your life,” his family and friends had said.

He adjusts his glasses and looks out through his door of concealment. The sprinklers are about to cut off so he’s waiting to do battle with his nemesis. His neighbor, across from him is retrieving a garbage can after descending his elevated drive. The Jones’ house is a two story monstrosity that sits on a small hill like a hat on a head. Barry shakes his head as he looks his neighbor’s way with a mixture of scorn and envy. Why have more cars than you do garage space? They’ve already got twice the garage as the rest of the neighborhood and it’s just the two of them there. Who needs five cars? Mr. Jones stops for a moment to look over as Barry’s sprinklers continue to do their deed. After he completes his condescending stare, he nods and takes the garbage back up the drive where he can continue to look down on everyone. Prick.

The sprinkler shuts off and Barry prepares himself for the dungeon run he’s about to undertake. He downs the rest of his coffee, then sets the cup aside. He glares at his nemesis and tries to psyche himself up for the battle. Why his wife paid for the instillation of an anti-tamper mailbox with a DC of 8, he’ll never know. He tightens the knot of his robe then hyperventilates briefly. He adjusts his glasses, sets his chin, then opens the door, and steps into the dungeon.

Ashes in Winter

[WP] All your life you’ve been told that fire will burn and hurt you. Imagine your surprise when you walk out of a house fire unscathed.

His eyes squeeze tighter and his eyebrows wrinkle at the increasing discomfort. He had drawn his body up into a ball but continues to brush at his check and ear because of an infrequent annoyance. His breath is visible with each exhale, yet he continues to sleep–to dream. As a child, his adopted parents always warned him about the dangers of fire. A fact they were so vehement about that they beat him during the few occasions they caught him getting too close. The torment eventually spilled into his dreams and continues to haunt him even after his parents are dead and gone.

His eyes shoot open as he experiences a fall sensation. He lands on the curve of his back then rolls through smoldering ash. He squeezes his eyes shut until the pain abates enough for him to notice his shiver. He looks out from the floor to see the snow fall, then sits up and crosses his arms for warmth. It doesn’t escape him that he’s now naked but he’s more concerned about the entire house having burned down around him, while he slept through it.

He moves a partial bed post with his foot as he looks over the still smoldering place in the floor. Another darkened area on the floor used to be storage for clean clothes but that’s no longer the case. Snow continues to fall around him, melting initially but slowly starting to cling to more of the fire’s debris. He looks around at the vast open fields that stretch away from him, in all directions. “Great,” he says as he rubs vigorously at his arms. “Turns out, my fear of fire doesn’t matter but knowing that doesn’t matter either considering I’m now going to freeze to death.”

Pair of Secrets

[WP] A demon disguises them self as a human, in the following years they meet their now roommate and become good friends. Four years later they take you to a private area to have a talk. What’s their secret? They’re actually an angel.

The drive is quiet but the same can’t be said about his mind. His thoughts are spiraling and chaotic. He hadn’t been this disoriented since before he lived as a human. “What’s going on with you, Bericho?” He checks his phone to see that it’s approaching midnight. The roads are lonely this side of town. The only activity here is from the fog that is filling the ditches and building at the base of passing hills. It occurs to him that there would be almost zero time to react to any kind of animal running from out of the fog. His mind continues to bounce between the possibility of this close encounter with animal kind and the cryptic phone call that he received from, Bericho.

“Hey Kip, could you meet me some place?”
“Ugh, I suppose. Why? What’s up?”
“The county fairgrounds. You know them, right?”
“Yes? —but the fair’s not in town, is it?”
“Just, come alone.” Dial tone.

Kip had never been a boy scout but after hearing their description, he started thinking of Bericho in that way. He was always straight forward, always prepared. Morally, he was like a Chuck Norris arrow. Most arrows bend around the arrow-rest when fired but that’s not what happens with a Chuck Norris arrow. When you let one of those go, the arrow-rest moves out of the way, and that’s who Bericho is. He didn’t do whatever this cryptic mess was. He’s a boyscout. If he wants to tell you something, he tells you. The end.

Kip pulls into the field to find Bericho’s truck still running and his lights shining across the field. He parks next to him, then follows the headlight beams to see a figure standing across the field. He leaves his car running as well, climbing out to see the figure not approach to meet him. He pulls his hood over his head, then wears his pockets for gloves as he begins his walk.

“Hey buddy,” Kip calls out. “Everything alright?”

Bericho is facing away and continues to look up at the stars. “Beautiful, aren’t they?”

Kip looks around to the open field, scanning out of habit. “What’s that?”

Bericho finally turns around as Kip approaches. “I missed you friend. I hope I didn’t cause you much trouble, bringing you out here?”

Kip shrugs. “It’s no problem, just unusual, you know?”

Bericho nods. “How long have we known each other?”

Kip bounces a bit and rustles his hands in his pockets as if to settle a chill and appears to contemplate.

1,358 days, if we’re being exact. “I guess it’s been about four years, right?”

Bericho nods. “About that but if we’re being exact, it would be 1,358 days.”

Kip’s eyes narrow. “Ok? That seems astute. Creepy, but astute…if it’s true, that is.”

“We’ve been friends a long time and for me, I’d say you are the best of my friends.”

“Thanks buddy. You’re alright too.”

Bericho smiles but it melts away as he becomes lost in his thoughts. He finally meets Kip’s eyes with the directness that Kip had come to expect from him. “What do you think about the afterlife, Kip?”

Kips takes another look around the field before answering. “Did we really have to come all the way out here for you to talk about that? We could have done that some place warmer, you know? Like maybe the dorm room we share?”

“Humor me.”

Kip shrugs again. “I don’t know man. I just don’t think about that sort of stuff. I leave that for other people to worry about. Me? I just try to focus on right now.”

“I think about it a lot—constantly actually. It’s always on my mind.”

“And that’s fine. That’s what being human is all about right? Each of us doing what we feel is right?”

“Human,” Bericho chuckles. “That’s my hang up Kip. You know, angels aren’t so different from humans, demons either for that matter. Books never seem to get those sorts of things right.” Kip begins squinting again, becoming more aware of Bericho’s every move. “Angels are actually identical to humans as long as their disembodied wings are ethereal and concealed. Their wings are actually weapons and remain invisible unless we…err they…the angels want them to be seen.”


Bericho sighs, drops his gaze and nods. Kip starts to glance around again as speckles of light start to move through the air on each side of them. These slivers then become like steadily shinning fireflies, moving around to cause streaks of light. As Kip watches, it’s as if the fireflies are moving across an invisible etch-a-sketch, painting a brilliant image while using light as a color. Eventually, four independent wings stretch twenty yards to each side of Bericho. The details of the feathers can’t be seen and there are tendrils of energy that writhe, weaving through the spaces concealed there.

Kip casually looks each direction with his fists still in his pockets. He doesn’t show a reaction but the creases within his clinched fist begin to glow an intense red. It’s Bericho’s turn to squint as he looks Kip up and down. “I always knew you to be accepting Kip, but this is a little too nonchalant, given the circumstances.”

“Tell me something,” Kip says.


“Do you have any powers of compulsion?”

Bericho nods. “Yes, but I’d never use them on you if that’s what you’re afraid of.”

Kip exhales, nodding. “I hate it when others mess with my mind. I just want to make my own decisions, you know? I’m no one’s puppet.”

“You know something of us, don’t you? Who—what are you?”

“Answer me something first. Why are you telling me this? Why now? Why at all?”

Bericho turns away from Kip, but the wings don’t turn with him, remaining stationary as Bericho looks back up to the stars. “After we graduate, I’m going back. I’d always hated having to be dishonest with my classmates but with you, it was always the worst. Lying to my best friend time and time again, it’s been a growing burden, one that I couldn’t bear to carry back into Heaven. So, I needed you to know.”

Kip snorts, then laughs. Bericho turns back to look at him and Kip begins to laugh even harder. Kip raises a hand to wave off Bericho concern while wiping at his eye with the other. “We’re some pair, you know? Who’d have thought?” He shakes his head and continues to smile. “I wanted to be sure my feelings were my own, but I know I needn’t have worried.” Bericho arches his eyebrow then Kip’s hood starts to billow as a red light intensifies within its recesses. An unfelt wind seems to buffet Kip’s clothes while a slow crack of red creeps across the air above him. A greatsword then falls from the crack, driving into the ground behind Kip as cracks of magma splinter away from its earth sheathe. The blade is three feet across, and the visible portion of the weapon is still 2.5 times Kip’s height.

Bericho smiles and shakes his head. “I guess this make us enemies Kip.”

“Looks that way bud.” A moment later, Kip’s infernal powers fade and blow away as dark smoke. “You’re still leaving at the end of the year?”

Bericho’s wings burst into thousands of glowing insects, winding away from one another, then vanishing. “Yeah.”

“I plan to stick around, do some living, you know?”

“And if you’re still here for Armageddon?”

“I’ll stay the hell away from you, that’s for sure.”

Bericho laughs then. “I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t want to fight me either.”

“It’s not like that,” Kip says, extending his hand. “You know what I mean.”

Bericho looks at the hand only a moment then reaches to clasp it. “Yeah, I couldn’t fight you either. Thanks Kip.”

“Yeah, yeah. Just don’t fire up the waterworks on me. I’m going to head back to the dorm. Don’t be out too late, yeah? I hear demons can be found out this way, so you best be careful.”

The two turn their backs to one another, showing a trust only ever found on the same side of battle fields. Kip walks back to his truck with thoughts no calmer than they were on the drive here. He silently curses, realizing that Bericho just gave him another reason to dread Armageddon.

Shadows in Rain

[WP] Your friend learns they are the chosen one. As they slowly lose their humanity and agency, it dawns on you that their destiny was actually bestowed upon them by an unknowable Lovecraftian horror.

Rain falls as the sky’s crocodile tears mix with his own, his face turned up towards the black, featureless void. So are we too to become just mere tears in the rain, he wonders. He lowers his gaze, resting it on the second story window above him. The light in her window is out, the time being well beyond a reasonable time for wakefulness, and yet, he could not himself, sleep, his heart so swelled as it was.
We didn’t deserve this but then again, who would? Who are they to decide? What gives them the right? His gaze falls again as his hands curl into fists. The rain continues to thrash against his long coat, erupting on his shoulders as the rain drops collide with a coat so saturated, it too is like standing water. Ripples reverberate around the coat as if it were a contorted surface of a pond.

“We’d always been best friends Callie, but I hoped it would be more…someday. I dreamed of this, one day being outside your window, but I had pictured sunshine and a boombox held over my head.” The stolen future infuriates him causing the water of his coat to slowly pool as it’s pushed out of the fabric. “Just look at us now. You and your life’s journey, your pilgrimage, just to become a living sacrifice. And then there’s me, chosen by the same assholes to project you until the appointed time. To keep you from harm until…you’re useful. To see what isn’t supposed to be seen. A watcher, just watching unless their plans start to run afoul.” He laughs then. “What a joke. It’s all just a bad joke.”

He turns walking back to the street as thunder growls in the distance. When his foot descends to the asphalt, the water separates, making way for his steps. The rain no longer strikes him, instead, colliding and trailing away from some invisible barrier. A blade of shadow extends from his hand and shadowy smoke peels out from under his coat as his stride lengthens, his pace quickening. I can’t…I won’t allow them to take you. They can’t have you!

His intent known, lightning streaks overhead and betrays the pretense of a featureless sky. Beyond the horizon, the lightning flash illuminates a colossal thing of shadow and cosmic intentions. With his weapon in tow and the water passing around, he is a rock defying the current of all things. The lightning strikes again and he glares at the creature. I’m coming for you.

Dead Drive

[WP] You’re scouting the apocalyptic ruins when you happen upon something strange. A couple you knew before they were zombies, who were on the brink of divorce at the time, having what appears to be an argument, just with typical zombie moaning. How much of them is still inside?

The cattle drive is just like all the previous ones, grueling and boring until it isn’t. A pack of wolves run into the heard, scattering them. A rider draws his six shooter to defend them but his horse is spooked and begins to turn away, causing him to lose his hat to the wind in the process. He yanks at the harness, driving his spurs deeper, finally getting the horse oriented back in the right direction.

Several wolves have singled out and leaped onto the back of a cow, driving it to the ground. The rider hesitates, realizing that wolves don’t hunt that way. He pulls back the hammer, then drops it as a plume of smoke peels away. The wolf is jolted by the impact but otherwise continues to gnaw at the cow’s backside. Several more shots follow, and the single wolf finally goes down as the others continue their task.

The rider looks around more gunfire rings out around him. A moment later and the wolves leave the cow as they chase down another cow. The rider dismounts and begins reloading his pistol as he walks over to the dead cow. He looks it over. Its eyes are white and very little blood comes from its wounds, the result of a still heart most like. He holsters his sidearm and walks over to the dead wolf. It smells awful and its fur is matted with something other than fresh blood. A closer inspection reveals its gums pulled away from its teeth and wounds that seem much older than his gunshots.

A mulling sound has him spin and draw his weapon again. He backs away as the cow rocks and tries to regain its feet. After trying and failing multiple times, it seeming to extend its neck to him, he notices that one of the wolves managed to ravage its leg so it cannot stand. He draws the hammer back as he approaches it again. It reaches towards him, and he hears a clicking sound as its teeth chomp together in his direction. His nose wrinkles as he squeezes the trigger, shooting it in the head. It falls still immediately.
Some other riders gallop over to meet up with him. The horses nay and try to pull away as they draw closer. “John,” one of them hollers. “You didn’t get injured did you?”

John pauses to look himself over. “Nah. I seem to be alright.” He turns and raises his hand over his eyes. “I seem to have lost my hat and horse though. Any chance we can round up the heard again before nightfall?”

The rider climbs down and passes his reins to another. He walks up to John as he pulls off his gloves and looks down at the cow. He shakes his head. “We’re calling it John. I think those wolves were infected with that new strain of rabies we’ve been hearing about out west. If you get infected, not even death can cure you. You just keep moving and trying to attack every living thing around you. Me and some of the other boys are heading back to get our own ranches in order. I suggest you do the same.”

John nods. “Any chance, I could get one of you to round up horse? I should have an extra hat in my saddle bag.

“One of the boys is already on it. Just hope those carriers didn’t turn their attention on it.”

A short time later, another rider arrives with John’s horse in tow. “Much obliged partner.”

The rider nods. “A group of us are sticking together as far as the Lancaster Ranch. You’re welcome to join us up until we go our separate ways from there.”

“I reckon I will,” John replies. “Obliged again.” He pets the neck of his horse, it seeming much calmer now. “Easy girl,” he whispers. He gets into his bag to retrieve his other hat. He then replenishes the ammo on his belt and ensures his rifle is fully loaded. He finally climbs back on and nods to the other rider.

The group of them travel at a brisk pace, finally separating at the agreed upon location. John decides to continue into town to acquire more ammo should this strain of rabies turns out to require more ammunition than he typically keeps on hand. Purchasing the extra ammo is going to hurt considering he wasn’t able to collect on this last job but he would need to avoid getting infected if he intended to complete any more drives.

Riding into town is a bit off putting so he stops on the outskirts of town. No one is really moving around the town which is odd. It’s the only town around for over thirty miles so it’s typically buzzing with activity. He only sees the two people standing outside the Sheriff’s station, seeming to argue about something. Several horses are tied to hitching post outside of the saloon, but their reins are all drawn tight as they all lay on the ground. Aside from the arguing couple, the only other activity comes from the tumble weed that crosses the street, disappearing between buildings.

He pushes into town, feeling that he may need that ammo more than he originally believed. He approaches the couple outside of the station, then hears their teeth clacking together as they face one another. He then realizes he recognizes them as the Winchester couple. He knew they were prone to arguing and thought they were having some sort of passive aggressive stare off but then he also recognizes the symptoms of the rabies strain. He wonders if some part of them is still in there somewhere but quickly dismisses it as habits they had established from arguing so frequently.

He dismounts and ties his horse to a post before approaching any further. He draws his firearm and then a backup. He pulls back each hammer and aims at each of their heads. The sequential blasts hit them at a near identical time and they collapse into one another. John looks around as he holsters the backup pistol. He unties the horse again and leads the horse inside the station as he keeps the other pistol at the ready.

Tables and chairs are knocked aside, and a corpse is laid in the middle of the floor, its head a canoe as a V shaped splatter stretches out across the floor. Another corpse is against a wall with a similar stain behind its slouched form. The horse follows along without much fuss, so he releases its reigns to pull a shotgun from a rack. He holsters it in his saddlebag before scavenging ammo and pistols from the corpses. He finishes up, then leads his horse back towards the door, making his way to the general store. He steps out onto the station’s porch, then immediately backs into the doorway once again. The streets have come alive, now something closer to what he was originally expecting, only it’s not the signs of life he had anticipated.

Journey to Atlantis

Theme Thursday Challenge

Max Words: 500

She opens her eyes, seeing a great white belly above her. A whale maybe? She then becomes aware of the water all around her and sits up as if to gasp for air. But there is no gasp as she continues to breath normally. Looking around, she finds herself in an aquatic wonderland. She scoops up a small round rock from beside her and climbs to her feet. Is this Atlantis? How did I get here?

She scoots her feet across the sea floor while the round rocks kick up like the plastic spheres in a children’s ball pit. An aquatic tree is close by, and she continues over to view it. She reaches for it then does a double take. WTF? Is this plastic?

She is startled to notice a figure next to her, a goldfish giving her the side eye. “Sebastian?” she asks. Suddenly, there is an earthquake. She spreads her stance, throws out her hand for balance and crouches. She flicks her head back for the full Black Widow effect, causing her to notice the large Levi logo and a jean pocket with a bandana hanging out of it. Dad? The lighting shifts and she looks up to see a partially submerged shirt in the top of her aquarium. The logo on the shirt is distorted but she knows the symbol well enough to recognize her mom’s college branding. She looks back towards the bandana as a pair of legs leap and lock around the hips of the Levis.

She covers her eyes with both hands. “Oh God, oh God, oh God. This is not happening.” Something brushes her, and she chances a look to find the fish next to her. “Hey, don’t get any ideas pal.” She turns back to the activity outside the tank then back to Sebastian. She squints at him. “Are you watching that, you pervy fish…wait, you’re not Sebastian.”

Her world then blurs as her reality is yanked away from her before her experience slams into a toddler. She is in her father’s arms, while wearing floaties on her own. She splashes at the pool’s surface. “I think we have a swimmer,” her father says, before her world blurs anew. Next, she cries on her bed as So Below performs Fear in her headphones. “Yeah it’s no fair,” she hears as she stares across the room. “Got me running in my place,” as she glares at the second-place medal. Again, her perspective leaps. She lands in her lane, in a pool. Her goggles are down, hand over hand and counting until —nothing. It all goes black. She then sits up, to a spray of water over her face before rolling to her side and curling into a ball. Coughing ensues as a bloody towel is pulled away from her head and replaced with another. Her gaze is cast across a pool but then shifts, under her own power, to the first-place medal pressed into her palm.