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Sooo – this is as far as I got. and I am stuck. again. sigh. why can’t I ever finish anything I start? I can’t get any inspiration. This is all forced writing. 

I knew she was a fairy as soon as I saw her. At first glance she looked just like a butterfly, dancing from flower to flower, with those big, beautiful, almost translucent wings, and tiny legs. The difference was the almost imperceptible trail of sparkling dust she left in her trail. As surely as I had not believed in fairies a few moments before, I knew she was real. Maybe the difference had come because I had just knelt in that garden begging God to show me that He hadn’t completely abandoned me, begging Someone up there, Anyone, to remind me why I was still living, and give me a purpose. Maybe that prayer, opening up my heart to possibilities, opened it up to the possibilities of other worlds for just a moment – and in that moment, she appeared.  I waited, breathless, silent, as she danced around the petals of the flowers, tiny shoes on her white legs, until she happened upon a petal near me. “Take me with you.” I whispered. Obviously startled, she turned and saw me. She didn’t flee, as I first expected, but stared at me, into my eyes, curiously. I, in turn, stared back. Her face, her body, was all perfectly formed, as though she were a small human, with wings. She seemed surprised that I had noticed her for what she was, but did not acknowledge my words. I wasn’t even certain she understood them.  I made the mistake of putting out my hand, and instantly she shook her head, turned, and flitted off out of sight. I didn’t try to follow her – I knew it would be of no use. But as of that moment, my life did take on a new purpose. Forgetting about my lost job, the wife who had betrayed me, and my former life, I threw myself into research of other worlds. I became obsessed with learning about faeries, dwarfs, dragons, witches, and, most importantly, how to reach other worlds. Most stories talked about accessing other worlds through a subconscious experience – while sleeping – or through a door of some sort – the hole Alice fell through, the wardrobe in Narnia. Those stories were rare, however – most of the time, fantasy creatures came over to visit us. It appeared they had much easier access to our world than we to theirs. My obsession frightened my friends, but I knew what I was doing – God had given me a glimpse into another world, and I was going to find it. That must be where I was supposed to be now. Then, a year from the day I saw that fairy, it happened. The door opened. I was in the same garden, again on my knees, this time just watching and waiting. I thought, perhaps, if it had happened at that time the year before, maybe it would again. And it did. She saw me first this time, for I suddenly heard a soft voice next to my ear. “You are waiting for me.” It was a statement, not a question, but I nodded anyway, afraid if I turned to look at her I would knock her off my shoulder. She flitted up into the air and came around to look into my face. “You have been chosen. Follow me.” Without a word, I followed her. She led me in the same direction she had gone before, toward a large oak tree.  Perhaps this was it – the door into another world. She stopped just beyond it, and motioned for me to stop as well. Then she lifted her tiny, beautiful face toward heaven “Send the warden, if You so desire.” Instantly, another beautiful woman appeared through a. This one my size. She had brunette hair, wavy, down to her waist, a crown upon her head, and wore a flowing white gown that shimmered. She held in her hand a scepter. “Good afternoon, Searcher.” She nodded at me, her intelligent face focused on my eyes. “You seek, I believe, access to our world.” “I do.” I swallowed hard before I was able to say the words. “I am Shamira, the warden of the door between our worlds. It is rare indeed that the Creator of both our worlds allows Humans into our world, but He has deemed that this is a journey you must experience.” She paused, so I nodded in acknowledgment, unsure what else to say. “I will warn you,” She continued, “This is an experience unlike any you know. “What you humans call supernatural or miracles here, we call magic in our world. There are creatures you have never seen, other than pictures in fairytales, and there are powers in our land you will not understand.” She stared into my eyes as though they were indeed the eyes to my soul. “You will face many challenges in trying to make it in a world like ours with no powers of your own. Are you willing to accept this challenge?” “I am.” I spoke the words more forcefully than I intended.  She sighed as though I had just accepted something I didn’t understand, and turned. “Then come. Follow close behind me.” She turned and started walking, I followed quickly, and paused with fearful surprise as she began melting into an invisible world; I instantly felt tiny hands pushing against me. “Hurry, hurry” my little fairy friend urged me. I followed her heeding, and stepped through the melding of worlds myself; one moment I was in my world, two more steps, I had walked into another world.

 

***

 

I could instantly feel the change. I cannot quite describe it, but the atmosphere had a whole other dimension. You could feel that it was thick, as though you were walking through some invisible force every time you took a step.  Shamira turned to me. “This is where you start.” She pointed over to the west. “See the castle? Walk in that direction. Your tasks will come to you.” And with those words she disappeared as mysteriously as she had first appeared.  “This is for you to discover on your own.” The little fairy who had first summoned the warden bowed her head in my direction and then she, too, left me. Left on my own, I turned slowly in a circle. Although there was limited life that I could see, the land looked like a perfect world. To the east were fields of flowers, beyond it a forest, with a blazing sunset about to light the trees on fire. To the North was a vast ocean, with dolphins jumping in and out of the waves. Behind me, to the south, was a forest. I could hear the leaves rustling and the sound of small animals running around. Then, to the east, was the huge castle that Shamira had pointed out, surrounded by beautiful mountains with purple tops, the glow of the sunset casting a perfect luminosity on both mountains and castle. There were three paths. One to the East, one to the West, and one to the North. Obedient to the warden, I turned toward the East and began walking.

***

I walked probably an hour before I saw any form of life. 

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I decided to try to do a short story fantasy writing contest, due on June 30. This is as far as I have gotten. 😛 I am sure I will figure out where to go from here – eventually. 😛

 

The person who does not occasionally dream of leaving this world is non-existent. And very occasionally –rarely, really, but occasionally – we do happen upon those individuals who were, in fact, fortunate enough to have an out of this world experience. They are the individuals whom the world looks upon and calls loony, over-imaginative, crazy, and any other derogative term one might be able to conjure up. This is simply because the rest of us are angry that we were not selected to enter another world and we are stuck in our own reality. I used to be one of those rancid individuals who couldn’t handle the possibility of people escaping the boring reality of this world that I have to live in every day—before I met Geoffrey. Geoffrey is one of the selected ones. He has seen worlds beyond ours—beyond what I could have imagined had I written this as fiction—and he has returned, willingly, to our world, to tell his story. “Mary – Mary – will you tell my story for me?” He asked me a month ago. I laughed at him, but agreed to, for old times’ sake. There was no one better than me to write it anyway—being a renowned journalist. He is terrible at telling stories – not to mention spelling – , so I couldn’t imagine what would happen if he wrote it himself. When I began typing, I was skeptical of his words, but recorded and typed it as he requested.  By the end, by the time I wrote this prologue – I was a believer. And I daresay you will be too. This, then, is the story of a man who found the world we are all searching for – and chose to return to the world in which we were all placed. 

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Blue Sky

So, I found this “writing exercise”:

A plane crashes into the sea. Most of the passengers escape with inflatable lifeboats but they do not board them correctly. Your character ends up on a lifeboat that holds eight people but there are twelve people on it, and it’s sinking. Your character can either throw four people overboard and eight will survive or they will all die except your character, who will get rescued after the others drown. During the scene, the character should agonize over the decision and reveal his or her reasons for the choice that he or she makes.

And decided to go ahead and do it. Just wrote this in like half an hour – I know it is terrible writing, and all grammatically wrong (especially since I never write in first person), and I didn’t follow the prompt exactly, but I still feel like it was a good writing experience.

“We can’t all stay in the boat!” His voice was passionate with fear. My eyes stayed fixed on the wooden boards beneath my feet, afraid to look up– afraid if he saw my eyes he would choose me to be thrown off. Of the 12 people in the sinking lifeboat, I was not the only one who didn’t want to die.

It had started out as an ordinary day. Cold, but beautiful. The sky was a beautiful blue. I had taken an early morning flight – one of those 6 AM flights everyone takes, but nobody likes. There wasn’t much to do in the airport but watch people. It was just close enough to boarding time to not have time to pull out a book, but still a long enough wait to be slightly annoying. Across the row of seats was a family – a real young girl to have four kids. She must have started very young to already have that many – or had them by different dads. All four kids were screaming, in spite of the dad’s efforts to keep them quiet. I knew with my luck I would be placed right next to them in the plane. Then there was the pretty girl sitting next to the window, headphones on and looking so out of it, I wasn’t sure she would hear them when they told us to board the plane. I was never lucky enough to sit next to a pretty girl. Speaking of boarding, there it was. “Zones A and B.” Came out over the loudspeaker. I got up and stood in line. Usually, if you stood near the back of the line, the ticket person didn’t stop you even if you weren’t in zone A or B. And if they did, then all you had to do was tell them you were with the person who had just gone through. It worked every time. I didn’t pretend to be an especially moral person. My mom had often mourned to my dad, wondering how she had managed to raise a son who didn’t see anything wrong with stealing something or lying to get what he wanted. Me, I just figured it was due me. I had worked hard enough in my 23 years – been raised poor, helped dad on the farm – and just because I didn’t have enough money to keep up with everyone who’d been born luckier than me, didn’t mean I didn’t deserve it. I figured so long as I never did anything bad enough to go to prison, I would be all right when it came time to face, as my mom put it, “the wrath of God.” But anyway. All that was earlier today. Now all those little things, those small memories seemed like a decade ago.

The last remnants of the plane were sinking out of sight even as fat dude tried to convince some of us to get out of the boat.  I glanced around – careful not to let my eyes go up to a level he could register – there were bodies everywhere. Only half the flight had even survived – most of them were thrashing and screaming in the water, which I could only presume was freezing cold, and then there were the lucky 12 of us who’d gotten on the only life raft that had actually been deployed properly.

“Why don’t you get off, if you are so concerned about our safety?” the pretty girl I had noticed earlier had a temper. But her voice had what seemed to be her desired effect – the fat dude who’d been spouting that the boat was only meant for 8 people sat back down. As if on cue, I saw the water slowly but steadily rising around the edge of the boat.

“Hey – it’s going down!” “It’s sinking!” “Someone do something!” A flurry of panicked voices rose as everyone noticed the same thing I just had.

“Four of you have to get off!” The young mom screamed at everyone else as she hugged her four kids around her. The dad was floating nearby – already dead. I felt a stab of guilt at having survived as I glanced over at him, and saw one of his kids trying to reach out to him before the mom pulled her back.

“I have a family” “I have an elderly mom.” “I am the president of my company!” A flurry of excuses came out of the more verbose victims, while the rest of us cowered in fear of being noticed.

The fat man got up again. “I told you so! Four of you get out!”

“You get out!” another man stood up, his rage almost equivalent to his fear. A vibrant argument broke out over whether or not to just throw people out. It made sense – sacrifice four and save eight – but no one wanted to die.

Suddenly, everything seemed to go into slow motion, as I glanced down again and saw the water rising more rapidly. It’d probably overtake us in about 30 seconds. All of us would die. My eyes scanned the surface of the water. It must be below freezing. It was cold enough in the boat – and all the thrashing, screaming people who had not made it to the boat were no longer moving.

Fear paralyzed my mind and seemed to stop my heart from beating. It became incredibly hard to breathe as I had a sudden realization. 23 years of my life had passed without making much of an influence on anyone. Nor had I expected it to. But this was different. Despite the lack of beating in my heart, my mind had a sudden clarity—I couldn’t, like the men currently arguing, choose to throw someone out – choose to end their life. I had never had such a strong moral conviction as this one, near the end of my life, as I now knew it to be. But nor could I play a part in letting all 12 people die.  I couldn’t decide for any of them. I could only decide for myself.

I stood up and looked directly at the fat guy who, I noticed, was about to shove someone else in. I looked him directly in the eyes and said the only thing I ever in my life knew for sure was absolutely right.

“Ending someone else’s life is not your choice to make.”

And without allowing myself to think further, I jumped off the boat. I do not know if anyone followed me. Everything is still in slow motion. I can see the sky – still a beautiful blue – and the sun – so bright for a day so cold. And I can feel the water. It is coming through my clothes, piercing my skin – I don’t know how to swim. But I knew I didn’t know how to swim when I jumped in. In spite of the freezing cold, I know I made the right decision. I only hope someone else makes the right decision too. The water is closing above me – I can no longer breathe – and I give the blue sky one last look.

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