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Freezing | Selfish | Shanghai

For the past forty years, I’ve been searching for the light – a radiant, almost blinding otherworldly light, that settled in the starry sky on a freezing Sunday night. I was nine when it appeared. It illuminated the moment I dashed into the cold outdoors – ignoring the hollering nurses on my tail – as I threw my gaze at the sky. With cheeks wet with tears – vision blurred in the concoction of anger and grief – I saw it. In my clouded and shattered world, it shone.

The light wasn’t man-made. It wasn’t the Christmas’ twinkling decorations, reflecting off the hospital’s glass panels. It wasn’t the glowing street lamps, nor the headlights of the passing cars. Those lights brightened the wintry evening, but were of no comfort to my broken heart. Except for the strange glow, reaching past the moon and the stars. It calmed my racing heart. It stopped the shaking of my hands. It cloaked me in overwhelming peace. And the impression it left, set me on a quest.

On the search for the brilliance of the unknown star, I ventured around the world. From the bustling city of Shanghai to the glass-like waters of Christchurch – I followed the trail of those before me. In my years of research, I’d learned I wasn’t alone – many others, from across the continents, have encountered it. So, I journeyed to where they all once stood – hoping to drown in the celestial radiance once more. But unfortunately, it has yet to shine.

The balcony where a man stood in Tokyo gave no view to the star. On camel back, along a Sahara desert trail – where a great gathering of incandescent bodies rested overhead – I didn’t catch its glimmer. Where, when, why, how – what was behind its appearance? I had no idea. I had countless questions, with no star to give me the answers. But the most unsettling of all – to those around me – wasn’t the star’s supposed existence. It was the reason for my obsession – why was I desperate to see it again?

It has come to a point where my pursuit seems selfish. It has consumed my thoughts, filled the pages of my many journals, and covered my bedroom wall. With years spent on this crusade, I’ve been told to stop – to live life like a normal human being. So perhaps it’s time I do so. Perhaps it’s time I live in the shadows of reality, embracing the hollow within. Perhaps, just like everyone else, I can embrace the turmoil of the world all by my self. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps so. But no. It’s not something I want to do. I won’t give up the light.

There’s an ethereal nature to light. The joy it brings when it brightens a tree in red, green, and yellow. The assurance it offers when it shines from the end of a dark tunnel. The warmth it produces in a deadened and cold room. The life it breathes to a broken and soulless place. Light comforts and secures. It gives sight – it gives hope. So, my dear Lector, don’t stop looking.

You’ve seen the light. And though you may not see it again, you know of the magic it holds. So don’t give up. Don’t let go of your belief. Because this world – this place we call home – is dark. It will always be dark – it will only get darker. And the only thing that can beat its darkness is light. So believe – believe and there’ll always be hope. Search and there’ll always be peace. Embrace and there’ll always be love.

Yours truly,
A Fellow Seeker Of Light

 

“He’s right,” I said, handing the delicate, moldy letter to my comrade.

“I don’t know – no one else has seen the light in centuries,” my comrade replied. “We don’t even know if this person ever found it.”

“We can’t give up. We’ve seen it.”

“We’ve seen a lot of lights this past few months.” My comrade gestured out the only window in the rented room.

Night had arrived in the foreign city. As day came to an end, its people rushed to the comforts of their homes. Vehicles streaked neon as they zoomed past. Buildings illuminated in gaudy colours. It was as bright as day, except for the darkness in the unknown below and the emptiness in the blackness above.

“Those are poor imitations of what we’ve seen,” I said.

“Imitations of what – reality?”

“Yes. What we’ve seen is real. We wouldn’t have found the letter if it isn’t.”

My comrade sighed. He retreated from the conversation and headed toward the bunk beds against the metallic wall.

“What time do we leave this godforsaken city?” my comrade asked, climbing onto the upper deck.

“Twelve noon.”

“Great. Wake me at eleven.”

“Eleven? I don’t want us to rush.”

“Rush?” My comrade chuckled. “We have plenty of time. I have a feeling… we’re going to be doing this for a while.”

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Freezing, selfish, and Shanghai were words given by Doreen. And since it’s the season of ‘lights’, I decided to steer the three words in that direction. Though, in all honesty, I didn’t see that ending coming.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. And… if you’d like to help plan for a new year of 3 Words 1 Story, head over here to leave 3 random words of your own.

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

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

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

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Posted by on December 14, 2017 in Original Works

 

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3 Words 1 Story (Season 3)

I started the 3 Words 1 Story challenge in 2016, writing a total of 10 stories from the random words you provided. This year, I continued with the challenge – I’ve written 11 stories so far, and I plan to end the year with a final piece in December. Knowing how much the writing challenge has helped me – in my creativity and skill – I intend to go for a third season. But before I enter the new year, I require your assistance.

Truthfully, there’s no fun or challenge when I give myself a writing prompt. In fact, it defeats the purpose of the writing challenge. So while I plan for a new year of blogging and storytelling, I’m rallying you – in this rather random and boring blog post – to leave a collection of three random words in the comment section below.

Here are some prompts to help you choose three random words:

1. What did you eat for dinner?
2. Look up the synonym of a common adjective.
3. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
4. A word you heard that you’re too lazy to Google for its definition.
5. What is one thing you’d hate to receive as a gift?
6. An obscure word you found while flipping through the dictionary.
7. The first thing you see when you look to your left.
8. A place where you can be yourself.
9. How are you feeling today?

Do you have three words in mind? Leave a comment! No, leave two comments! Or, if you’re feeling it, answer all nine questions and leave three comments! I thank you in advance for your helpful and totally ‘random’ words. Hopefully, with your assistance, there’ll be enough comments to choose 12 sets of words before 2018 begins. Then, we can run this challenge together in the coming year. That would be way more fun, don’t you think? So let’s do this!

If you’d like to read the stories in the 3 Words 1 Story challenge, you can visit its dedicated blog page. But if you prefer a ‘book’ format, head over to Wattpad – the 2016 stories were published as a collection, and the 2017 collection will be released once the final story is written.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2017 in Others

 

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Nightmare | Lantern | Murder

The three-headed monstrosity, with emerald green scales, wide bat-like wings, thick murderous whipping tail, and six pairs of black beady eyes, rose from its slumber. It shattered the still night – bursting through the glistening waters into the starry canvas above. Screeching in fury, it lowered its gaze at the sailing party that boldly awakened it.

“What do we do?”

“Cast the invisibility spell!”

“What? We didn’t summon it to hide.”

Beep, beep, beep.

“Use the lightning spell!”

Beep, beep, beep.

“Whose is that?” I asked.

Beep, beep, beep.

“It’s mine. Sorry guys, we have to end the game.”

“You gotta be kidding me.”

“I’m sorry. You know how my parents are like.”

I peered out the window of our wooden treehouse. The night was young – families still roamed the streets – with boisterous excitement in the air.

“The kids are still out. And your house is ten feet away,” I stated.

“It’s late. And I don’t want to die.”

“Your house is just there,” I repeated.

“I have to go.” He maneuvered past me – careful not to knock over our game pieces – toward the rope ladder. “I’ll see you guys at school, alright,” he added. And with that, he left.

“Buzzkill,” I murmured, rising to my feet.

The twins followed suit and we grudgingly descended, what we called, our ‘Adventure Fort’.

“See you guys on Monday,” I said, jogging to my bicycle.

“See you,” the twins replied in unison. “And don’t let the Jack-O-Lantern get you!” the twins added, cycling off in the opposite direction.

The murder had ruined a promising weekend. And honestly, I couldn’t understand the paranoia. People died all the time. Crazy people existed. To me, the commotion was exaggerated. Whether it was the Jack-O-Lantern or the Serial Santa, learning about another death by another killer was plain old news. I didn’t gasp, question, or cry. I was nonchalant – never a victim, but so was the majority. It baffled me that half the town wanted to cancel the weekend.

As I sped down the street, where parents ushered their children for their final ‘trick-or-treat’, I decided to ring a few doorbells. Knowing my parents didn’t mind if I stayed out late, I cycled into one, then two, and then three more driveways until my backpack brimmed with treats. After which, I headed home – it was almost midnight and my street had gone to bed.

That night, I expected nothing out of the ordinary. Strolling into my house, I shuffled straight to the dining room and emptied the contents of my backpack on the table. But it was then, I heard a noise. It was a series of thuds, alike a banging on the wall – muffled and periodic. It didn’t come from above, but below.

“Dad?” I called.

The thudding stopped. I shrugged it off and returned to separating my treats. The night was still for five minutes. Then, I heard another sound. This time, it didn’t come from below. As though something heavy was being dragged, my curiosity spurred my feet into action.

“Mum?”

I strode to the back of the house. Arriving in the kitchen, I fumbled for the light switch. But just before I made the flip, I caught sight of a figure in my backyard through a window.

The figure donned a red check shirt beneath a blue denim jumper. With a large pumpkin head resting on its shoulders, it hovered over a lifeless creature. Inching closer for a better look, the dead creature’s form came into view. It wasn’t a large animal, as I’d previously assumed – it was a person.

I gasped – hands cupped over my mouth. I didn’t know what to do. Should I run, hide, or call the police? Was the dead person one of my parents? No, it was merely a trick – an elaborate trick my father occasionally played on me. But, I hesitated. I didn’t dare to face the figure outside.

Backing away from the darkness, the kitchen lights flicked on. I jumped startled and spun toward the doorway. My heart pounded in my chest, as I stared at the person before me.

“You’re home early,” my mother said.

“It’s… it’s midnight,” I replied. Then snapping my head toward the window, I said, “There was someone outside.” Gesturing at the now vacant backyard, I stuttered, “I-I-it-it looked like the Jack-O. It wasn’t you, was it?”

“No,” my mother replied.

“We need to call the police,” I said. But just as I headed for the phone, my father stepped into my path. “Dad! Someone’s outside. You have to call the police.”

“There’s no one outside,” my father said. “I just came from outside.”

“So it was you?” I asked. Then gazing at him from head to toe, I noticed his brown-stained shoes and sweat-covered shirt. “What… what were you dragging?”

“Happy Halloween!” my father replied, with a childish grin. “I got you, didn’t I?”

“That was a trick?” I frowned – it was a horrible trick with no pay off. “But-”

“It’s late,” my mother interrupted. “You should go to bed.”

Before I could respond, my mother led me to my room. She didn’t answer any of my questions. And it became obvious. As the clocked ticked into the night, I laid still and awake in my feathered bed. I couldn’t sleep – not with the haunting sound of dragging bodies below. How many were there? I didn’t want to know. All I hoped for was day to arrive – the end of this nightmare. That’s right, it was simply a nightmare – a figment of my imagination, just like my three-headed dragon.

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Nightmare, lantern, and murder were words given by Kurotsuba. You might have noticed I drew inspiration from Stranger Things and the classic Goosebumps stories. As I didn’t have much time to work on this piece, I just went with the theme of the season. Hopefully, it isn’t too weak of a tale from being rushed.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. The real challenge is writing out of theme. I wish I had more time to do so, but perhaps you could give it a go.

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

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

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

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2017 in Original Works

 

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Bottle | Page | Mindful

My story began many years ago, when my people fled from civilization. They boarded great single-masted ships with a hundred oars, rowing themselves to an island I called home. As part of the nescient youth, I didn’t know the reason for their departure. The real cause of history skewed through generations, with many echoing old wives’ tales. However, I did know one thing. Constantly reminded by my mother and grandmothers, I knew to never leave the island.

The island was a beautiful place. We had lush greens, tall shady trees, and peachy beaches. The surrounding prodigious ocean unveiled the sun in the morning, shimmered at noon, and mirrored the universe by night. Our kingdom was magnificent, with wooden walls bound by flowering vines. It stretched across a valley and reached toward the peak of Gloria – the tallest of the three mounts. I loved the island and the sun-kissed people. It was home – a perfect abode. So, I embraced my ignorance. I wasn’t mindful of the past, until I found a glass bottle at the north beach.

I was on my return from a night’s work at sea. The sky was in its traditional hue of grey, gracefully transitioning to blue upon day’s arrival. Hauling my catch, I passed the bedrock by the narrow, sanded pathway leading toward the kingdom. It was there I found a corked, clear glass bottle secured in a crevice. Inside was a crisps, rolled piece of parchment. Mildly curious, I yanked the bottle free and carried on with my day.

As a fisher, my days often ended a couple of hours past noon. I would usually retreat to my wooden house – absent of my family, as their day had only just begun – to sleep till the moon clocked in. That evening however, I decided to stay up past my bedtime. Uncorking the bottle and retrieving the parchment within, I was alike a child eager for an adventure. But to my dismay, there was no treasure map. The parchment was merely a page, seemingly torn from an old diary. And though the writing was in my language, it was nonsensical. There was no message – nothing about it worth my initial excitement. Did someone lodge the bottle in the bedrock as a joke? If it was gifted from across the sea, did a child toss it in a game of make belief? Those were my thoughts.

We ate from the mouths of beasts. ran On fire. from Which the creatures of the sea have not birth. nothing We did meant anything. tangible They said it was. but Not without illusion. the Sky was more real than dreams. fear More elusive than hope. of Those who were ignorant. change Came for mankind.

We found the nest in the west. couldn’t See the light beyond. embrace The hidden jewels within. unity Of the people – we Found our treasure. secluded However, were the many souls. ourselves Beings of detached nature. from Then till now. the Creature ruled. world Was his.

We couldn’t grasps our freedom. didn’t Find the star. believe They kept saying. in Time the creature would free us. acceptance Of fate was reality. so Loss and lost and lose. we Died a many years. indoctrinated Through the imaginations of the truth. our Eyes can no longer see. young And fearless in obscurity.

We cannot live anymore. must Is only a word. arise From darkness is no man’s call. now A broken race without spirit. Leave no one ever said. the Ravings of madness in those words. ways Of the past is the future. of Many, many more. discrimination Is faith. and Acceptance is weakness. learn Not from the creature. to Live is not in light. love, Love, love only the night.

For two days, I left the page crumpled at the corner of my room. Then on the third day, I picked it up. I planned to toss it among the logs, set ablaze in the chilly weather. But before I did, I read it once more. And upon that read, I noticed something odd. The writing remained senseless – a poor attempt at a poetic adventure – but so was the structure. I was no writer, let alone poet, but I was educated. Calling out the repeated errors, I unintentionally uncovered the message in the bottle. It was a message I’ve heard before – a message that costed a young farmer his head.

That very night itself, I returned to the north beach. Along with my fishing nets, I brought the page – nestled in its glass home. I couldn’t share the truth, but I could pass it on. Perhaps another would find it in the bedrock. Perhaps more would uncover history. Perhaps then, we could change the future. But before such a time arrived, I was going to search. There was more to the farmer’s declaration. And I knew, I could never leave the island – not until I’ve read the entire book.

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Bottle, page, and mindful were words given by Vela June. There’s some ‘reading between the lines’ for this one, so do share what you’ve discovered – I hope this story isn’t as nonsensical as the message in the bottle.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. Also, to complete this year’s 3 Words 1 Story collection, I need two more sets of random words. I know, throwing the oddest collection of words into a comment can be quite a challenge. But don’t think too hard – just leave whatever comes to mind. Thank you in advance!

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

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

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

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2017 in Original Works

 

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Office | Crush | Fail

My mother always said, “Beware of broken memories.” It was a strange thing to say to a child. And growing up, I assumed the warning came from a place of hurt – my father left when I was twelve, and my brother died at birth. But oddly enough, my mother never uttered those words to my sister. It was for me, only for me, she often insisted.

After my mother’s death, I left the countryside for the city. My hometown was the embodiment of broken memories. But little did I know, moving into the world beyond was where my mother’s words proved true. It started a year after I settled down, on a regular day at the office, when talk of the new manager reached my desk.

“I looked him up – he’s listed in the world’s top ten most eligible bachelors,” Kristen said.

“Someone has a crush… again,” Will stated.

Instead of frowning, as she usually did, Kristen nodded with a grin. “I call dibs. Don’t steal him,” she said to me.

“He’s all yours,” I replied. I wasn’t interested in relationships. After witnessing my mother’s heartbreak, I was sold on embracing my singlehood.

“Aw, I was looking forward to a fight,” Will said.

“Shut it, Will. I have enough competition as it is,” Kristen snapped. “He’s just too… I can’t even… ah…” Kristen clasped her phone at her chest in a moment of daydream.

Shaking his head, Will leaned toward me. “Have you seen this guy?”

“Well, Kristen showed me a picture. He kinda looks like someone I know.”

“Who?” Kristen asked.

“I’m not sure. He just looks… familiar – like I’ve seen him before.”

“Please don’t tell me he’s a movie star,” Will said.

“I don’t know – maybe?”

“He’s a movie star?” Kristen gasped. Without hesitation, she tapped away at her phone.

“Look what you’ve done.” Will sighed.

“Sorry.”

To my relief, our conversation ended shortly after – after Kristen confirmed he wasn’t a movie star. But it was to Will’s dismay, as we were interrupted by the man of the hour. He strode onto our floor in an iron-pressed suit, tailored for his swimmer’s physique. As he greeted everyone with a friendly smile, I could almost hear Kristen’s heart beating out of her chest. Indeed, he was an attractive man. Yet there I was, trying to recall where I’d seen him. And the more I racked my brain, the stronger enmity there was.

“He’s perfect,” Kristen whispered, nudging me for affirmation. Unfortunately, I could only offer a shrug. I couldn’t pretend to adore him, when I had a strange urge to flee. It seemed silly to have such a notion. But, my instincts have saved me before. And I couldn’t ignore its prompt, especially in the presence of – what I concluded as – evil.

That day, after lunch, I began my search for a new job. It was an irrational move – I was well aware of how I looked with my reasoning. But I had to. I just had to. And by the time everyone started departing for home, I had a list of potential companies. Not wanting to waste another day, I stayed back to file my applications. And it was then, my craziness proved my sanity.

“You’ve seen me before, haven’t you,” he said.

I jumped in my seat. There he was, standing across my desk – how did I not hear him? His voice was deep and emotionless. And in fear, I refused to meet his gaze.

“No,” I replied, as I rose to my feet. Hastily, I packed my belongings – ready to retreat.

“Don’t lie. I’m not a fan of liars,” he stated.

“I’m not lying,” I said. Then snatching my bag, I gave a shallow nod and stalked toward the exit.

“I know of you,” he added. He paced alongside my quick steps, but absent were the clicking of his shoes on the wooden floor. “I remember – my memory has yet to fail me.”

“Sorry, but I don’t remember you,” I replied. “Goodnight.”

“Very well. I hope to see your resignation tomorrow,” he said.

I was ten feet away from the elevator, but I halted in my steps. Was that a threat, or did he know? Alike a prey falling for a predator’s trap, I asked, “What?”

“Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and yet which are; that some people see things that others cannot?”

“I don’t…”

His words resonated perturbation. I needed to leave – I wanted to – but instead, I turned to meet his placid mien. And in that moment, I remembered. It wasn’t a complete memory, but I knew where I’d seen him. His words, quoted from a book inspired by his very existence, now etched itself in my memory. And no matter how hard I tried to forget, I knew who he was.

“It’s better to forget,” he said.

“I don’t… d-don’t know what you’re talking about,” I managed to utter.

“Good.” He smiled.

As I stood frozen, he strolled past me and called for the elevator. Upon its arriving ding, he gestured for me to enter. As though I was under a spell, I obediently did as he commanded. And when the doors closed, I didn’t question a thing. I knew, that soon enough, that night would be a broken memory. He would become a figment of doubted history. And as long as I didn’t see him again, I could move forward… safe from a past I cannot remember – safe from a memory that wasn’t even mine.

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Office, crush, and fail were words given by Rico/Pat. I’ve sleep on this set for weeks – wondering how to approach it. And since I didn’t want to write a cliche, as these words naturally suggested, I tried to pull off a twist. I can only hope you didn’t see it coming.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. Oh, and since I have no more words – seriously, I’ve used them all up – please send me more! Please leave 3 random words in the comment section below. I’d really appreciate it!

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

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

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

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Original Works

 

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Cuckoo | Eldritch | Serendipity

“I learned a new word today – eldritch,” I said.

“What’s that – German?” he replied, with eyes glued to the mobile device in his hand.

“No, it means sinister.”

“Oh. In German?”

“No, in English.”

“Well, it sounds German to me.”

“What do you know?” I retorted. He shrugged.

He didn’t spare me a glance, as his fingers tapped on the screen deploying troops around an enemy camp.

“You’re supposed to company me, not play your silly game,” I stated.

“Read your book or something – learn more words,” he simply replied.

“Why are you even here?” I muttered. He shrugged again.

Grunting, I reached for Homer’s opus. It wasn’t my first read – I’d completed the acclaimed author’s oeuvre a week after my arrival. But in the wake of my disease, the book now sat fragile by my bedside table. And soon enough, its spine would give way – just like mine.

“I need a new book,” I stated, as I carefully pried the cover open.

“Same book?” he asked.

“Same.”

“I’ll tell the others.”

“Great – that’s the only thing you’re good for,” I said. As his habitual response, he shrugged once more.

He was immune to my unkind observations – he simply didn’t care. In fact, he didn’t want to be here. He clocked in once a week out of obligation. And I wish, oh how I wish, I could shoo him away – sparing us both the agony. Unfortunately, neither of us had a say. It was the vote of the majority to keep me company. The others thought it was fair to share the burden – the burden of my existence. So, there he was, scheduled to linger by my side all day.

“When’s the doctor coming?” he asked. “I’m supposed to report back.”

“Soon. But the doctor isn’t going to tell you anything,” I replied.

My doctor was a gentle, middle-aged woman, who’d yet to disclose the diagnosis of my illness. I, myself, wasn’t even made privy. And truthfully, I didn’t want to know. Still, it was funny how the others insisted on knowing. Everyday they would attempt to unearth the truth, and everyday they would fail.

“Nevertheless, I have to try. The others will ask if I did,” he said.

“Then put your phone down – she’s here,” I replied.

On schedule, in white robes pressed creaseless, my doctor strolled into my room. She wore a pleasant smile – one I’m certain was genuine. Seeing as she’d arrived, my Thursday companion shoved his phone into his pocket.

“What were you playing?” my doctor asked.

“Some game,” he replied.

“What’s it called? I’d like to give it a go,” she said.

“You won’t like it.”

“How would you know? I like games.”

“So you’ve said, one too many times.”

“Don’t be rude,” I snapped. And he shrugged.

My doctor merely held her smile, as she took a seat to my right – across from him. I was glad she sat across the others. I didn’t want them to hurt her. Among them all, she was the only person who cared beyond her own intentions.

“So, how are you today?” she asked.

“I learned a new word.”

“What word?”

“Eldritch. And apparently, it isn’t German.”

“No, it’s not.” She chuckled. “I learned a new word too – serendipity.”

“You didn’t know the word ‘serendipity’?”

“I did, but not its meaning. Do you know what it means?”

“I guess – I’m not sure.”

“It defines as finding something pleasant by chance. Have you found something pleasant by chance?”

“No.”

“Would you like to find something pleasant by chance?

“The diagnosis.”

“You know I cannot tell you that.” My doctor leaned forward with an apologetic gaze.

“Why not?”

“Because the truth is scary.”

“I’m not a child, doctor.”

“But Jane is a child.”

My doctor had a point – some truths weren’t for children. Who could guess the cause of nondisclosure was Jane? Perhaps she was why we weren’t told all these years.

“Jane wouldn’t need to know.”

“Do you think she won’t find out?”

“We won’t tell her.”

“But what if the others slip up?”

“Do you plan to keep it from us forever?”

“No, I don’t. Let me speak to Jane first, and then we can move forward.”

That day wasn’t the first day my doctor asked for Jane. Unfortunately, Jane wasn’t assigned a day. My doctor never spoke to Jane, because the wide-eyed, bubbly girl, never visited me. The others claimed she was too young – that it would upset her to see me bedridden. Yet, my doctor thought otherwise.

“You can’t speak to Jane.”

“Jane is the key to recovery. You shouldn’t keep her away.”

“Jane is a child. She cannot do anything.”

“You underestimate her.”

“You don’t know Jane.”

“Tick tock, tick tock,” my doctor said.

“Huh?”

“I’m a little cuckoo clock,” she continued.

It sounded like a tease. Strangely, there was a familiarity that came with the seemingly random phrase.

“Tick tock, tick tock,” my doctor added.

“What-”

“Now I’m chiming one o’clock.”

“I don’t…”

“Cuckoo.”

As though it was a spell, my world plummeted into darkness. Someone flipped the switch in my universe – it was the rhyme. The nursery rhyme. Still, not all my senses were lost – I could hear them… for the first time.

“Doctor?”

“Yes, Jane.”

“Tell me the truth,” Jane said.

“Do you think you’re ready?” my doctor asked, in a loving, motherly manner.

“Yes. But you have to hurry.”

“Why?”

“The others don’t know I’m out.”
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Cuckoo, eldritch, and serendipity were words given by The Shameful Narcissist. As someone who’s often curious about split/multiple personality disorder, those three words were an immediate prompt. So forgive me if this one is a little dark.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. Please refrain from taking my route – it would be a bigger challenge to craft an uplifting tale. And, if you have 3 words you’d like me to string into a story, be sure to leave them in the comment section below!

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3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

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

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Original Works

 

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Guitar | Bittersweet | Condescending

Bittersweet – the kind I like.

“Have a piece. It’ll calm the nerves,” she said, gently pushing the box of chocolates toward me.

I hesitated. The thin pieces, wrapped in translucent plastic, inclined along the grooves of the package. I doubted it calmed the nerves, but chocolate was a luxury these days. Still, I hesitated.

“No thank you,” I replied.

“Are you worried?” she asked. “Don’t worry. We’ll be there with you.”

She gracefully strode to my side – her long, white robe trailing behind her. Hands clasped together by her waist, she gave a pleasant smile. Unfortunately, it was devoid of my needed assurance. Yes, they would all be there – the elders, as they call themselves. But these people, with their glorified title, would be standing behind me – far from any range of fire.

“I know,” I merely replied.

“Nobody will harm you,” she added. “Remember, you’re the chosen one – the son of man. You speak the truth, and the people will listen.”

Such blasphemy. How did this happen?

All I wanted was to live. And there I was, about to give the last speech of my life. I knew the odds. In this so-called revolution, there were those who’d give their lives to save the world. Some would shed their blood to protect mine, while others would shed theirs to have mine. But I wasn’t one of them – not on the ruling end, and never on the opposition. I merely sought to preserve my life. Being the chosen one was supposed to save me – at least, that was what he said.

“You have the mark. Do you know what this means?” he asked.

“It’s a scar. I fell off my bike when I was a kid.”

“Nobody’s going to ask you how you got it. They just want to believe you exist. And you do.”

“So what, you think I should be the chosen one?”

“Hell yeah. Do you actually think you’ll survive this? When they start cutting the population, you’ll be the first to go – just saying. You have no talent, you’ve not held a job for more than a month, and you’re empty, up there,” he said, poking my head.

He was my friend, yes – a friend who was, more often than not, condescending. And as his friend, I was immune to his candid vocabulary. Sadly, little can be said about others. If only he kept his mouth shut, he would still be alive.

“Imagine what you’ll have as the chosen one. They’ll put you up in a mansion. Feed you food you cannot afford, even before all this. And you know what, I’m sure if you ask them for anything, they’ll give it to you,” he added.

“And what if they find out I’m not the chosen one? What then?”

“You die. But you’re going to die anyway,” he joked.

I thought he joked. I thought he joked about everything, until they came knocking on my door.

The day after our chat, he left in the early morning, claiming he needed to fix his guitar. I didn’t find it odd. He’d been practicing Chopin’s Marche Funebre for days – I thought it natural for the instrument to finally give way. Little did I know, he’d went ahead with a plan we never discussed.

“They’re here!” he announced, hurrying to let the devil in.

I wasn’t a religious person, but I knew to not give the devil a foothold. Instantly, as those black-suited men entered my safe haven, a wave of dread swept over me. And since then, I’ve tried to stay positive. I’ve tried to survive.

When they put me through a physical exam – scrutinizing the scar on my heel – I hoped to be excused as not-the-chosen-one. I hoped they’d see how ridiculous it was to make such vague claims about the saviour. Alas, nothing went as I imagined.

When they provided me a tutor – teaching me their crooked doctrine – I prayed they would see my incompetence. I prayed someone else would declare himself God and take my place. Alas, no one had a friend as brazen as I did.

When they prepared me to be their leader – bribing me with the splendor of my supposed calling – I wished it was all a dream. I wished to wake in my dingy bedroom, free from their unyielding grasp. Alas, reality was a harsh wake-up call.

Now at the fringe of death, made to declare my own sovereignty – of which I, myself, didn’t believe in – I wanted to live. I wanted to run. Alas, I was ushered out the door, into the velvet carpeted hallway, and up a stage set before an audience. They weren’t all friendly – I could see it in their eyes. And as I cleared my throat before the single microphone, I attempted one last time to survive.

“Please,” I said. “Help me.”

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Guitar, bittersweet, and condescending were words given by lielabigail, allowing me to write another open-ended story. Don’t you just love this kind of fiction? I joke. But I won’t lie, making readers question the end makes writing so much more fun.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. Also, if you could give me more sets of words below, we can save the world. I cannot do this writing challenge without you. So please… help me.

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

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

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

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2017 in Original Works

 

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