Original Works

Ink | Carpet | Donkey

The joke was always on me. From Pharaoh’s scroll and the labyrinth beneath the royal palace, to my quest by the Silk Road and the expedition into space, I was a fool. But for you to understand why, I must start at the very beginning—the time when I learned I could live forever.

It was a time before yours—a time when people spoke different tongues, when the oceans were too great to traverse, when there were more gods than there were men, and when I was but an orphan child in a house made of clay. I cannot remember who my parents were—their faces have long faded from my memory. But what I can remember—my only recollection from that time—was the day he stormed into my home. He didn’t come to pillage. He had a different mission. The towering burly man, with a brown cloth hiding half of his face from recognition, pinned me to the ground. He lifted a glistening dagger above his head. And with a narrowed gaze, he drove the blade into my chest.

Just like him, I thought my short life was over. With a searing pain in my chest, I awaited my last breath. But as my blood saturated my tunic—the warmth ushering me into the afterlife—the pain abated. And shortly after my killer retreated, believing he had succeeded, I inhaled a new breath without a scar from the event. I was alive. I didn’t die. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. And when more like him came after me, I knew I was indestructible.

I was neither a man nor a god. The ancient scroll, gifted to me by Tutankhamun, accounted only of the deities in the sky. The ink made no mention of a creature like myself, dwelling between the heavens and the earth. For a century, I believed that I had descended from above. But the more I learned, the more I was certain—a god had more power than immortality. A god couldn’t feel pain, fear, or rejection. And it was only in the millennium after, when I finally accepted my lack of an identity, that I journeyed north.

During my years of study, I came upon the tale of a beast that roamed the labyrinth beneath the Palace of Knossos—a beast with knowledge of the universe that should you slay, you would gain its abundant wisdom. Hoping to uncover my origin, I crossed the Mediterranean Sea. I had a plan involving a donkey as a distraction and a sword as a weapon. Alas, I was centuries too late. There was no beast but a hollow of a labyrinth beneath a fallen structure claimed by disaster. However, all hope was not lost—or so it seemed, in a time as such.

In the rubble of what was once a grand and complex architectural beauty, I found an etched map on a broken stone tablet—a route that connected to the east—that led to a world of ancient magic. It ran parallel to the common route for traders except that it wasn’t for the common man. And when I found it, I was reassured of my uncommon descent. But what I truly am was still a mystery.

It was on the path by the Silk Road, where the human traders journeyed through the celestial world unaware, that I sought for the legendary carpet. Fei Long, a dragon I met as I neared the east end, said the carpet was capable of bringing me anywhere—even through the very fabric of time that connected me to this world. And so I spent five centuries, questioning ethereal creatures and bargaining with superlunary beasts, in hopes of acquiring the carpet. But when mankind no longer found use of the road, so did the mystical world. And when there was no path left to traverse, my quest came to an end.

You see, the joke was always on me—a life whose sole purpose was to find purpose. Yet strangely, despite the many years without an answer, I kept scouring the earth. Even in light of extinction—the death of humanity—I continued on my search. Though, I wouldn’t have died if I lingered. I could have been a god—claiming the identity I’ve always wanted. Alas, as coincidental as my encounters in the past, I found myself on the last shuttle to space. Despite knowing, deep down in my being—perhaps a ‘soul’—that my answer wouldn’t be amongst the stars, I looked once more. Ah, a fool I was and a fool I am… for never once looking within.


Ink, carpet, and donkey were words given by Chrystin on Facebook

I wasn’t sure what to write for these words as they weren’t easy ones to work together, but since April 1st was a few days ago, I thought ‘something along the lines of a joke and a fool’ might be a good story. So this is it—not what I was expecting for sure!

Now, it’s your turn! Write a story of your own with the three words given. And if you have three words you’d like to challenge me with, leave it in the comments below!

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2019 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

Time | Books | Ink

timebooksink

The fireplace crackled – a scent of oak wood in the air – dipping the reading chamber in the amber of its flames, as the world darkened. The clouds outside groaned in the gathering of grey, and in a matter of minutes, the first of its countless raindrops fell. The time was now.

Books stacked in a great many variation of height stood in the centre of the chamber. Surrounding the castle of stories were five gold, crimson armchairs. And the ones found seated on those thrones, from as young as seven to as aged as seventy, called themselves Lectors.

Lectors chose to read when the warmth of fire met the cold of water, for their magic only surfaced when such opposing elements collide. With a book on their laps, they recited the words of a tale from the pages bound long ago. And at each spoken word, their magic came to life. As though they’d uttered a spell, the settled ink peeled themselves from the patchy parchments and rose into the air. They drifted in the draft-less chamber toward the tower of books. And they gathered upon the invitation of magic – magic that only came from the lips of the Lectors.

“How powerful is this magic?” you ask. “What do these gathered words do?”

They move. They create. They open.

Outside of the cages of their paperback prison, they beat to the rhythm of the soul. They bring forth the power to feel. In a world overwhelmed with shrewd emotions, deprived of the yearning breeze of solitude, these inked manifestations bring life – life that only comes from within the soul of its reader. Emotions that existed in the realm of unconsciousness, buried by one’s wakening moments, can breathe new life. These words move and stir the hardened heart to feel again.

But beyond the invisible yet tangible force, is its power to bring into being the imaginations of the mind. The stories constructed on paper, churn the bubbling cauldron, brewing a potion to escape reality. This potion feeds the mind a world not of the present. It builds a comforting environment for when the darkness grows unbearable. However, such magic is a double-edged sword and denying its strength is for the foolish.

Moving and creating are undeniably great feats of such magic. But the greatest feat of all is its ability to open doors to the universe unknown. For as the Lectors read from the spell bounding pages, the gathering words swirled into an orb of vibrant light. Piercing through the gaps of the inked alphabets, a portal within the strings of unintelligible words brought the universe to earth. But to shatter the shell of such magic was too soon. There were more to be read.

One book after another, the Lectors vocalised the tales. As the rain pattered against the tall, glass-paneled windows, the magic in motion grew. The ball of light expanded its reach across the chamber in immense power, tempting to explode with every addition. And when the last word of the last book left the lips of the youngest Lector, it finally did. The bounded magic caved within itself before ripping free from its wrappings. It released a wave of Tuscan sun, snuffing the flames in the fireplace. And as it did, the reading chamber plummeted into darkness. The cold and unwelcoming silence reigned at the end of a story, forcing the Lectors to linger in their presence until the sun arrived. Shining past the departure of the darkened clouds, light eventually returned and magic was gone.

The words once gathered in the creation of great magic rewrote themselves in the pages they called home. They would remain within their bindings until five new Lectors chose to read them again. Their magic will stay docile until their stories are unearthed once more. And when that time will arrive, no one knows.

Many Lectors have come and gone. Unfortunately, as the world orbits into the future, the heirs to this magic dwindle by the day. Despite the calling to move, create, and open, many have chose to ignore. Many have lost sight of the allure of such magic. And many have pretended ignorant to the tugging of its power. How then can this world survive without this magnificent force? How can society live without the strength, hope, and power this magic embodies?

It is upon the shoulders of the remaining Lectors to raise and pass this gift to the next generation. For magic cannot survive the evolution of men without a vessel. And if there’s one thing we all should know, is that every being homes this magic. Every being is a Lector. Every being can make time stop and breathe life into scribbles of ink. Every being can uncover this secret. Why? Because every being is called to be a reader.

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Time, books, and ink, were words given by monkeyeverythingblog. Let me start by saying I’m a hypocrite. Here I am writing a story about reading, when the book by my bedside hasn’t been touched in a month. Yes, I’m ashamed of myself. So as much as this story was written to encourage others, it serves as a reminder that I should never stop reading. There is magic in books. And such magic cannot be forgotten.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. I’ve said this one too many times, and I’ll say it again: give this a shot!

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2016 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)