Krystal's WorldK. Weikel / Fantasy
By K. Weikel
Copyright © 2016 by K. Weikel
To the ten-year-old that wrote this, thank you for having an imagination and helping me keep it, unlike several people now a-days. Thank you for keeping me different.
To my parents, thank you for all the encouragement over the years. It’s helped me blossom into who I am today.
To my fourth grade English teacher, thank you for boosting my confidence about my writing. Without you, I’d have probably given up long ago.
And thank you, God, for giving me a way with words early in my life. I hope I can use them to tilt the world some day.
I was running down my street, my bare feet slapping the gravel hard. A monster was chasing me.
I ran on and on along a road that never seemed to end. The grass had burrs all in them and I had to run into them to dodge the cars parked on the side of the street, not to mention the ones headed down the gravel in my way, and I would have to dart into their thorns and pricks and back. I’d had no time to grab my shoes.
My eyes caught a sign that made me skid to a stop. My feet have left trails of blood on the hot road. It said:
WELCOME TO THE END OF ALL ROADS
A howl crackled in the distance.
Actually, three loud ones.
I spun and saw the mythical creature clawing the ground as it ran and all three of its ravenous heads faced toward me. I turned to run but stopped short to find there was a thousand foot drop at my toes. That hadn’t been there before.
The water was churning and smashing against the step rocks on the sides and I felt my heart leap into my throat as I let out a gasp and began to sway from the height.
Suddenly, something floated up from the lip of the cliff. I’d seen it before, but only in my dreams.
It was the figure of a man with an old face, wrinkly and shaggy. He was tall and skinny, with a long black tattered cloak around his body. His fingers were skinny and seemed frail, and looked as if they had been put to rest for years.
Because they had.
“Hexinoide,” I gasped, fear making my bones tingle.
“Precisely,” he spoke from his cold, grey lips. “Step over the edge with me, Krystal…”
“No. No, what do you want with me?” My voice cracked as I began to shake. “You’ve tortured me enough by taking control of my dreams!”
He smiled, his gash-like mouth sending shudders up my spine. “I want your life!”
His yellow teeth were revealed from behind his death-riddled lips and I screamed. I needed to get away.
I turned around—and came face-to-face with the monster that had been chasing me. It’s a mystery to me how no one else saw him, he was huge.
A three-headed monster he was. He was very tall and long, and around each collared-neck danced several snakes. Another one jutted out from its spine, creating its deadly tail.
I pushed past my terror and sprinted straight past its three snapping jaws, past the snake-of-a-tail, and kept running, somehow. I’d made it alive past the beast. I give a small victorious smile as my blonde hair sticks to the sweat dripping down my forehead and neck. Now I’d have to outlast the two of them, and that wasn’t going to be easy.
To top it all off, I came to a fork in the road. Awestricken, I realize that the road I stand on seemed as if every road led to each other and stopped at one point. I stopped, gazing at the roads, and then remembered myself.
“Which one is home?”
I lock my eyes on the middle road, hoping my gut instinct is right. I didn’t look back as I ran, my feet burning and bleeding. I hoped they wouldn’t follow me, Hexinoide and Cerberus.
I fainted from exhaustion somewhere outside and woke up in my bed. How did I get here?
I scanned my room, looking for some explanation. What I didn’t expect though, was the dark figure that looked like a shadow hovering beside my door. I sat upright and my side cramped up painfully.
“Ohhh,” I moaned.
The shadow moved, darting through the doorway and out into the hall. Ignoring my pain, I ran quietly out of my door, following it. I tiptoed past my twin sister’s room and quietly down the stairs.
I jumped. I was only halfway down and the stairs all ready made a sound. So much for sneaking up on whatever that was.
I sprinted down the last bit of stairs and watched as the shadow disappeared into a cereal box, the pantry door swung wide open.
I ran over to her room and flung open the door, shouting, “Mom?!”
But her room was empty. I searched the whole area, not even her bathroom had a sign of life.
I staggered back out into the kitchen, unsure of what’s happening this morning. Am I dreaming again? And yesterday, with the road, was that a dream too? It’s getting harder and harder for me to tell reality from my imagination.
Quietly, I grabbed the cereal box and brought it down to eye-level, my stomach grumbling. I shook it. It’s full. I don’t know if the shadow is still inside of it and if it being in there is an illusion of the object’s weight, or if we really do have a box full of Lucky Charms.
I take a deep breath and get down a bowl and went back over to the counter. Craziness is a notion tugging at the edge of my mind, and just to be sure this is real, or not real, I begin to pour the cereal into the glass bowl.
Only one marshmallow falls from the bag inside.
My stomach growled, but my mind was elsewhere.
“Ooooh,” I breathed, my rapid beating heart drawing my voice from my vocal chords.
The black figure came out of the box and hovered above the counter. It had no face, no eyes… but somehow it spoke as it rose to the ceiling.
“Get out, or it will get you too!”
The shrieking voice made me cover my ears. Maybe this isn’t a dream.
It flew to the stairway again and I followed, determined to not let it get away. I wanted to know what it was and why it was here. And if yesterday was real or if it was a story made up from my subconscious as I slept.
The figure darted into my room and hid under my bed in the shadows. I creep forward.
My stomach growled once again, almost aching.
“Ohhh,” I complained.
The shadow flew out once again, barely brushing me, my skin tingling with pain where it had touched. I grimace and stand up after it, the being dashing into my sister’s room.
I peered into the doorway and saw my sister sleeping in her bed, completely at ease with her wonderful dreams. She never had nightmares, not like I did. I’d be jealous if I didn’t love her so much.
The figure slithered from under her bed and hovered above her, holding out its hand. I started to creep nearer. I didn’t know what I could do to help, but maybe if I could pin it down, maybe I could get some answers and save my sister from whatever he was getting ready to do on her.
Its hand raised higher and I inched closer. Once I was close enough, I stuck my own hand out to the figure to try and grip it and tug it down, but my fingers went right through and didn’t stop until my wrist was covered in the transparent blackness. The figure screamed out in pain and I gasped, my fingers starting to itch wildly. My sister opened her eyes and shouted.
My hand was bleeding now. I tried to pull my hand out of the figure, who’s body seemed to heave, but the being grabbed hold of my wrist and held on, an awful grin from its no-face slithering across its face and it laughed, it’s foul breath striking my nose.
As I stared at it, it seemed to transform into something more… pretty. The smell faded away and the smile seemed calming. It was almost peaceful.
My mom had barged into the room and ran over. She tugged at my arm and slowly things began to come back to me. The figure floated out the window and disappeared into the daylight, darting between shadows faster than the eye can keep track of.
“Are you okay?” She asked. Rivers were flowing down her cheeks. “Never touch those things… ever again!”
When I walked into the kitchen, I was able to pour a bowl of cereal, finally, and let the milk raise the pieces. But suddenly, the milk stopped pouring.
My stomach stopped in mid-growl.
In shock, I cautiously let go of the milk jug, only to find it frozen in place, as if time had stopped all around me. Why is today so strange?
The clock stopped ticking.
I glance back at the jug as it stands completely still, floating in mid-air. Not really floating, though, more like it’s stagnant where I’d let go of it.