Once again, ’tis time for Snippets of a Story! I haven’t gotten much writing done this past week thanks to being sick, but over the past few weeks I’ve been able to get some done anyway (though much of it is handwriting, so you won’t get to see that). These ones are longer than usual, but I hope you enjoy them anyway!
I feel a hand on my face and flinch. She is looking at me, her brown eyes leaking. Crying. “What-” She takes a breath. “What’s your name?”
I’m so shocked by the touch of XXSpoilers, sweetieXXX that I almost forget to answer. “Mir.”
“Mir.” She nods and seems very calm. And then she is crying harder and hugging me, so fragile and small. I wrap my arms around her, holding her together.
And I cry, too.
Pepper said nothing for several minutes, until the first damp twig gave in and allowed itself to catch. She watched the small orange flam struggle along the length of it, blackening the brown bark. “Did you see anything?”
Joshua shook his head. “No.”
Pepper re-situated herself and looked at the darkening sky. “That’s a good thing, isn’t it?”
Neither of them said what they both knew. The only reason there was no one around was because they had gone on ahead, while there was still time.
“Do you think it’ll snow tonight?” Pepper asked.
“I don’t know.”
“It smells like snow.”
“It might not.”
A few more sticks caught on fire, and the flame grew higher, licking the cooling air.
“Josh…” Pepper’s breath caught and she hesitated.
He looked up. “What?”
“Do you think…do you think we should have stayed behind? Waited for spring back at the house?”
“It doesn’t matter. It’s too late now.”
– a writing contest which I FORGOTTOENTERONTHECORRECTDATE so oh well.
She walked down the aisle and nothing – no curve of furniture, no shadow or gleam of light escaped her camera lens. Halfway down the aisle she paused. Everything was so…clean. She wondered if a janitor trekked to the church and cleaned it on a regular basis.
Her feet took her with slow, reverent steps up to the altar. She tilted her head; a mirror had been set on the altar, its gilded silver edges framing her face. It was not overly large or particularly small; maybe two feet tall, a foot and a half wide.
“What,” she mused aloud, “is a mirror doing in the sanctuary?” She lifted her camera, stepped to the side, and snapped a picture of it. As she looked at the glass surface, an idea came to her head.
Lisa slung her camera strap around her neck and lifted the mirror, gripping the edges with as much care as possible. She took it outside and squinted at the sky. The sun was beginning to fade, but it was a good three hours until dark. She looked down at the mirror.
“I’ll just camp here for the night, then.” She took her backpack off and set it on the ground. As she pulled the tent out, the paper-thin voice blew through her mind. Be careful, deary, it’s haunted!
She cast a thorough look around her; at the polished gates leading into the well-tended graveyard, at the autumnal trees and the gargoyles perched on the four corners of the tallest tower. “There’s nothing haunted about this place,” she said to the dark air. “Nothing.”
– I’ll Be There, a short story WIP
It was certainly a beautiful door, but it stood only a foot high. She grasped the tiny knob with the tips of her fingers and tried to turn it, without much hope.
It turned halfway and the door pushed out.
Alice gasped in surprise and pushed it open the rest of the way. The scent of flowers and rain washed over her and beyond the door, a forest. Tree roots spread across the ground as if they would purposefully try to trip anyone who walked over them, and their wood seemed grayer than brown. Leaves curled from their branches, blue and green, some almost a rusty red.
The harsh shriek of a bird made her close the door again with a slam – or at least, it would have been a slam if it were a proper door. She straightened, her hands trembling just enough to make her clasp them tightly.
“It seems fitting that the only door that will open is ten sizes too small and leads somewhere barbaric,” she said with an indignant sniff.
Once, when she was very young and small, Alice had fallen from a tree. This sensation was very much like that one, but it did not seem to be ending. She had never fallen so far and so fast.
In fact, she had stopped screaming almost three minutes ago, after her breath gave out and she realized that she was going to die when she landed no matter how much breath she expended on the way down.
If I ever stop falling, that is, she added to herself, trying to turn her head so that her hair, blowing wildly about her, would stop stinging her face. “I wonder if I’m dreaming,” she asked aloud, surrounded by a tunnel of wind that rushed past her like a tornado. “Because if this were real, then I shouldn’t be able to hear my own voice as I’m falling through the air like this.”
She fell for several more long moments before she added “Then again, if this isn’t a dream and I am simply hallucinating, then that must mean that I am actually locked up in an asylum somewhere, like father said.”
“I wonder if this is punishment from God for dreaming that Rupert kissed me last night?”
“On the other hand, that doesn’t seem very fair of Him, seeing as how one cannot control their own dreams, so I suppose that isn’t it.”
“I’m sorry for shouting at you yesterday, mother. I hope you’ll forgive me. And I’m sorry for hiding your box of Cuban cigars last week, father; it was very childish of me.”
“I wonder if, when I finally land, I will break into a thousand pieces like a broken mirror or simply splatter like an egg?”
“This is the longest hole. I will probably end up on the other side of the earth and fall out through a volcano somewhere.”
Just as she had decided to give up ever reaching the bottom, she landed.
“He did mention that you’re a nuisance and he wishes he could get rid of you.”
I sighed. “I wish I could get rid of him, too.”
“I’m surprised you haven’t killed each other by now. Haven’t you travelled together for almost a week?”
I held up my fingers. “Eight days. We’ve come pretty close to killing each other, I’ll tell you that. The only reason we haven’t is the whole ‘strength in numbers,’ ‘two is better than one’ thing.”
One of her carefully shaped eyebrows raised a fraction. “Is that the only reason?”
She was giving me a strange look, so I asked “What?”
“Nothing.” Topaz tilted her head, one looped braid sliding over her shoulder. “It’s just…” Her smile held something other than kindness; a little bit sad. “Once you know Cayne, he can be hard to forget.”
“If I needed money, I’d sell my memories of him,” I answered, but I knew I had waited too long. She had seen right through me, and I didn’t really like feeling transparent.
– Unforget scribblings