Voices

This short story was inspired by Fictions in Flashes flash fiction, which I liked very much – thank you very much!

SAM_1770

I was on my motorbike, going at illegal speeds.

I was not wearing a helmet, and the wind whipped at my hair, pressing curious fingers against my cheeks and neck, all the while screaming in my ears. I did not understand their language, though it might have been forebodingly.

Cars whipped by in a senseless blur, their shapes undefined and their sounds inaudible. Sometimes I imagined shouts, but then reality did not allow me to dwell on that observation.

I was moving forward, and they were staying behind. I was flying, and they no longer existed.

In fact, I knew where I was going.

 

() () ()

 

The voices told me truths too hard to contemplate. They were in my ears and told me stories that I found too incredible to believe. However, their incessant recollections started to burn into my mind, scorched its way into my very being, which only left me with one choice: believe. I no longer knew what truth was. I no longer knew who my friends were – even family became strangers. The voices told me that it did not matter. They told me that I was the one with my mask ripped off, that I was beginning to understand the world for what it was. They told me that now I could see through walls, and that nothing was going to hinder me anymore.

I believed them. They told me what I must do.

 

() () ()

 

I turned onto an inclining junction that veered to the right. Road signs blurred. Honks became but an easily ignored hindrance nagging at the back of my mind, which frankly could not absorb and analyze any new information. The motorbike underneath me powerful and hungry, eating at the road with shrill delight: it buckled as its tyres held traction and began to climb the unfinished road.

At the end of a long curve, the road ended with a 170-foot drop to the ground.

My heart escalated as I increased speed.

The voices were back, and shrieked against the wails of the wind urging me to slow down.

I ignored it and found solace in the voices instead. Their guidance urged me to approach the end of the road with open eyes, and embrace what is to come next.

Just as I reached the end, a memory burst into bloom, and had me smile. 

I went off the road.

I laughed aloud when I started to soar. The wings of thought took flight, and I soared across the heavens. The bike, unfortunately, exploded upon impact with the ground below. The heat pushed me up, the wind pushed me to the side, and I floated over the highway, much to the surprise of the motorists staring at me with their mouths agape. I was happy, and I shouted at them to hear the voices, let them in and believe whatever they have to say.

The wind of change is upon us.

 

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She Is On The Other Side Of The Door

Draper-Lamia

Something woke me.

The moon was out and bright, pressing its lunar glow against the curtains along with the gentle push of the wind filtering through the window. Beyond that, the skeletal shadows of tree limbs scratched against the cloth with soundless intent.

I heard a rhythmic dripping sound as the remnants of the storm that raged during the night splashed against the concrete that ran parallel to the house.

I looked at the clock that stood on my nightstand, the glowing dials running about the clock face as if in a hurry, throwing disproportionate eidolons scattering across my room.

My heart started with a stutter.

I sat up and watched the shadows on the curtains curl and scratch, curl and scratch.

A loud boom reverberated through the entire room as the door that lead into the hallway almost gave way to a sudden blow practised upon it, and I whipped around to face it. A wailing scream caught off the walls and concentrated on me, making me clasp my hands over my ears.

I got off the bed, screaming; the instinctual part of me trying to outdo the noise. The wail stopped. I took my hands off my ears, listening to hear any sound underneath the silence, waiting for the obvious pregnancy to explode a second time.

The silence stretched, evolved and became something akin to a living being, listening as intently as I did, watching me from all around.

Having had enough of this nonsense, I rushed to the door; not even contemplating what it was that had struck the enormous blow. However, just as I was about to turn the knob, a scratchy voice called my name.

A chill ran through my entire body and made me stop.

John. The shortened version of Jonathan – a nickname I have not heard for twenty years.

A twenty-year-old memory unravelled itself in my mind and the chill became an icy grip of sheer horror.  

She made me freeze in front of the door as I became aware of a presence silently waiting on the other side.

No, it was more than just being aware. I could see her clearly – a haggard old woman with skin as white and translucent as soapy water, her hair falling from her head in clotted strands, her dress black and rotten. She was softly pressing her hand against the door as she placed an old, weathered face with black holes for eyes right next to it, listening intently, her lips pulled into a smile that said she found what she was looking for. The hand that touched the door gently stroked it, as if lovingly, as if this door would give way to the best prize she has ever received in her rotten life.

She listened to my breathing.

She listened to my heartbeat now as fast as that of an overexerted horse.

Mother had been right that night, all those many years ago. Mother had been right all along. She told me if a kid does not behave, the Lamia will come and get him, and gobble him up.

I could see the Lamia’s mouth stretch into an enormous circle, her gums grey and putrid, and her tongue as red as the congealed blood that pushed through my veins. I could see the door bulge inward under the gentle pressure of her skeletal hand, rotting as it gives.

She did not die that night. How can she? She is forever.

She always collects.

DP: New Wrinkles – An Odyssey

You wake up one day and realize you’re ten years older than you were the previous night. Beyond the initial shock, how does this development change your life plans?

Copy of SAM_0598

Life is full of twists and turns. At some instances it seem like you’re going nowhere fast, and the next you’re off on a great adventure.

Yesterday an earthquake happened, and today I am ten years older. Something is happening. Something big. I made my way to the window, the memory of the quake enlivened by a tingling sensation throughout my body, as if the aftershock got absorbed inside of me.

I was excited when it first happened, to say the least. And disappointed when it ended. It left me dissatisfied, as if I expected more. I wanted a profound change.

It’s uncommon for South Africans to experience an earthquake. It had to mean something. However, it ended, leaving me empty. On top of that, I am suddenly ten years older.

I tried to listen if I could hear the usual sounds from the kitchen as mum and dad went about their morning rituals. All was quiet. Not even a bird was chirping.

A bright, piercing light suddenly appeared in the middle of my room, dangling from the ceiling like a chandelier, although there was none. I backed into the wall, shaded my eyes from the glare, and groped for anything I could use to fight if that should become a necessity. I found the club my dad got me for my thirteenth birthday.

The light faded and died, and revealed a small, clothed being floating in the air. I swung the club towards it as fast as I could, but the tip only went through it. It opened it’s eyes – yellow, glowing orbs – looking at me disapprovingly.

“I could kill you right this second if you haven’t been chosen, young one,” it said, its English perfectly formed, though its mouth could as well have been a beak. “We don’t have much time. I suggest you drop that dangerous weapon and come with me.”

“Go with you? Are you out of your mind? I don’t even know what you are,” I screamed. Although going with it might result in the profound change I wanted, my basic instincts proved to make me set up arms. “What are you doing in my room? What is happening?”

“Why do I always have to burden myself with you petty humans? I am Zeel, and I serve as the escort to accompany the chosen one to make haste for battle. The situation is as follows: Because the universe consists of innumerable dimensions, one warrior of each dimension is chosen to aid the others when war has sprung. When the portal to your dimension opens, it is signified by an earthquake, like the one you felt yesterday. We can’t explain why it happens; it just does.”

“Are you telling me that every time an earthquake happens, the chosen one gets escorted away? All of these years of reported travesty caused by quakes and this is the truth? Why me? I mean, I am fourteen years old. Look . . . oh. No, I’ve aged. Have you anything to do with this?”

“Yes. The warriors aren’t chosen by random means. The universe itself chooses a suitable candidate, and seemed to have fancied you this time round. Of course, since you were too young to join in battle, the universe aged you to an appropriate age as to ensure unlocking all of your capabilities, such as muscle strength.”

“Wha- What about my parents? Will they be okay?”

“They will never see you again . . . unfortunately. Let us go, young one, time is stretching thin. Perhaps,” sigh “for my sake, this change will age your mind, as well, and stop these incessant questions.”

“Hey, no fair . . .”