Fizzy and Mixx
"Dad's home. What are we going to tell him?"
"We're not going to tell him anything, Fizz."
"He's going to notice the fucking dog is missing, Mixx. He's not an idiot."
"Yes, he is. Mom only married him for his hair and biceps..."
"Yeah, don't remind me. We'll tell him we haven't seen Bailey and just play dumb."
"That's easy for you; you've only got a 167 IQ. I'm going to have to put on the performance of a lifetime."
"Four points, Fizz. Four tiny fucking IQ points, and I was hopped up on Paracetamol..."
"Hey girls, what's up?"
"Hey Fizz! You guys still working on the project?"
"Yeah, Mixxy's just working out some bugs."
"Bugs? It's almost noon. I would have thought you two would be celebrating unlocking the mysteries of the space-time continuum by now."
"It's the... time-space continuum, Father."
"Yeah... that's what they call it in this universe. So, what is this thing, Mixx?"
"Right now, I don't know what it is."
"Well, what does it do?"
"That's not true. It does something, we're just not sure what."
"Well, what's is supposed to do?"
"It supposed to facilitate the diffusion of molecules across a selectively permeable membrane between areas of higher to lower concentration, Father."
"Ohhh... so it's a ray gun!"
"Yes, it's a ray gun."
"Nice. Where's Bailey?"
"I don't know. I haven't seen him. Have you seen him, Fizz?"
"Well, I certainly don't see him now."
"Maybe he's in the back yard."
"Maybe... it's weird, he always greets me at the door. I figured he must be up here with you guys helping with your work on your ray gun thing..."
"Don't touch that!"
"Mixx! Fizz! Hold onto me!"
"I've got you!"
"What? What the hell? What's wrong with my voice? Are you hearing this?"
"You sound like a chipmunk... hahahaha! I sound like a chipmunk!"
"Why don't I sound... ooookay, I sound like a chipmunk, too. What the heck is going on, Mixxy? What kind of molecular diffusion... selectably permable..."
"Selectively permeable... it doesn't matter! That's not what it was. You wouldn't understand it anyway."
"Sure I would. Molecular diffusion... and selectively permeable... membranes and the... the other..."
"That's osmosis! I just gave you the definition of osmosis so you'd leave us alone to work on accelerator!"
"Accelerator?! What does it accelerate? Where the hell are we, Mixx?"
"I don't know! Ask Fizz! She's the smart one!"
"Only by four points! I don't know where we are! Everything's all fuzzy and blurry and..."
"Okay, let's all just calm down."
"Fizz! Fizz! Sit! Fizz! Mixx!"
"Who the heck is that?"
"It came from over there. Look, some... thing's coming."
"Sit! Fizz! Mixx!"
"Holy mother of crap! It's Bailey!"
"Bailey! You're talking!"
"Bailey talking. Good boy."
"Holy crap, Mixx. You've transported us into a parallel universe where dogs can talk!"
"What do we do now, Mixx?"
"I don't friggin' know! There's a 500-word limit!"
Quest Failed Successfully
What had come first, I can not say for certain. Maybe the stillness of my heart beneath the pressure upon my chest. The prickling sensation down my spine, ringing each vertebrae like a tuning fork, was alarmingly present as well. I stirred against a deep paralysis undertaking me, as if I laid at the bottom of the deepest ocean. Crushed beneath a force I could not fully perceive.
“Wake up, idiot.” The voice was familiar in the way it revealed it’s age. An elderly voice, marked with raspy impatience. “I said get up, thrall!”
My gaze is greeted by an ancient man in a wide brimmed hat. By ancient, I don’t mean old. I mean he had to of been - leastwise - one hundred years young. His skin had the texture of beef jerky, two beady yellow eyes sunk within hallow sockets.
I propped myself up against the table, now discerning how my limbs had been sewn together. The color of life evacuated; my skin a deadened, grayish-blue tone. I open my mouth to speak, but only manage an unintelligible mumble.
“Not my best work,” he says, pulling a string on my wrist. My hand snapped back into place before I could notice it was falling off. “Deliver this package, thrall, and you may return to your eternal slumber.” There’s that word again. “Fail me, and I’ll curse you to walk this plane as an undead idiot, forever.”
He swings around to grab a small brown package, carefully wrapped in twine with a neat bow, and drops it in my hands. Wide eyed, I slowly come to the realization that I had been resurrected by some curmudgeonly necromancer. It wasn’t the dark robes that deceived him, but the hobbit hole he resided in, with skulls and bones of creatures both of known and unknown origins lining the walls, or hanging around like morbid decorations.
“Follow the Star of the Seducer until you reach Hag’s Hall,” he orders without any explanation of what the fuck any of that is. I try to question him, but my throat only produces a gurgling whine. “Not even an undead twat like you could miss it.” Actually, maybe he does understand me.
However, I wasn’t prepared for what this strange new world had to offer. As I wandered out along the path, I perceived sights beyond my imagination. Trees had grown as tall as skyscrapers, so massive they held unique ecosystems within their myriad of branches. Long waves of purple grass clamoring around a shimmering creek, spotted with colorful stones and glowing fungus along its shore. A two headed rabbit peeked from behind a flowering bush, studying me with nervous fervor.
I look at the package cradled in my arms, then again upon the dreamlike world beyond me. I toss it in the water without a second thought, uncaring of the curse now upon me, because I knew that in this place… anything was possible.
I’m not going back to sleep, asshole.
Beyond the Veil: A Journey into Enchantment
I was abruptly snatched from my everyday existence and hurled into a world beyond my wildest dreams in a burst of blinding light. As I touched down on strange ground in an illogical environment, the air erupted with electricity. I'd never seen colours like those in the sky, which shimmered in blues that turned into purples and greens that danced with gold. I took in the beauty that was in front of me as I stood there in wonder.
As I ventured forth, the enchanted whispers filled the air, drawing me deeper into a wondrous world. Towering trees with curving branches stood like ancient sentinels, their leaves rustling and murmuring forgotten tales.
Strange creatures materialized before me: graceful unicorns, their snowy fur leaving trails of stardust, and magnificent dragons, scales sparkling in the ethereal light. Filled with awe and curiosity, I pressed on.
As I made my way across unexplored territory, I came across a secret lake that glistened like a pool of sapphires. It's magically rippling surface reflected my trip and offered glimpses of what lay ahead. I plunged my hand into the water and experienced a rush of electricity. It was as if the lake sensed my courage and extended its blessings.
As the days moved into nights, I faced unforeseen difficulties that put my commitment to the test. There were terrifying mazes that twisted and turned, threatening to confuse me. But I persisted, putting my trust in my instincts and the courage that had gotten me this far. The creatures I had come across became my comrades, their knowledge and power enhancing mine.
Triumphs include solving a puzzle, crossing a bridge, and climbing a mountain. As I achieved each victory, I strengthened my resolve and showed myself capable. However, I also faced challenges and doubted my abilities. However, I maintained my resolve throughout such times by finding strength within myself.
The meetings I had and the difficulties I encountered left lessons permanently stamped into my being. I discovered that fear can be overcome and that we can look for the extraordinary in the mundane. I understood the strength of friendship and struggling relationships. Most importantly, I discovered that I possess a reservoir of unrealised potential just waiting to be released.
As my adventure ended, I was standing on the edge of a majestic waterfall, its waters flowing into a vast abyss. The wind enticed me to make the decisive plunge by whispering promises of the unexplored. I made that leap with a heart full of gratitude and a spirit fired up with new purpose.
I suddenly found myself back in familiar territory. However, I kept the enchantment of that extraordinary voyage with me. My heart was left with the images, sounds, and feelings of that mysterious place, igniting my imagination and serving as a constant reminder that everything is possible if we dare to dream.
Hearts and Minds
Home is the fantasy. The people where these men are from are the denizens of imagination; normal is the nearly forgotten dream.
Memories of home are smoke, and where there is smoke, there is a pyre.
It is oddly beautiful, in an apocalyptic sort of way.
If eyes are shut, the heat and smell can be mistaken for an open-pit barbeque. Long loins of pork or maybe even split half-hogs roasting over red coals, simmering and popping, can almost be pictured. This jungle, nearly familiar to men from the American South, is filled with things just different enough to remind an observer that they are most definitely strangers in a strange land.
They are doomed to be strangers in their own land, too.
The smell of hardwoods is missing, instead, dried grasses and bamboo mix with just the slightest tinge of scorched hair.
The humidity of the place almost boils in a flaming embrace. Combined with fire, the air temperature is nearly enough to bake the men watching the inferno.
Thunder rolls in the clear skies overhead as winds from an artificial hurricane whip the fire, nearly beating it to death. A Huey helicopter touches down far enough away from the village to avoid damage to the machine, but close enough to not care about damage to onlookers.
The skids stay earthbound for less than two minutes, long enough to load aboard two men and most of a third.
As the steel dragonfly's roar fades, the flames rebound. Thatched roofs and woven walls turn to char and smoke, and with eyes wide open, the smell doesn't remind the men of backyards or Friday nights after a big game. They sit, war-weary and worn, atop their steel helmets. Silent tears stream down the face of the younger of the two, and a man only three years his senior but infinitely older puts one grimy arm around the lance-corporal's shoulders.
Five minutes in the future, the stripes on the older man's sleeves will matter again, but in this moment, they are two men in mourning.
When they finally return home, they don't remain friends. They are from separate worlds, and the shared experiences they have in what should be a tropical paradise are things they rarely speak on, but think of much.
Shadows of vague horror cross the faces of those who listen to what few stories are shared. Looks of thinly-veiled disgust from friends and family drive home a need for silence.
While they don't remain friends, the men do share some things in common.
Neither will ever enjoy campfires again. Nor will they eat barbeque, wear boots, or own anything even close to olive drab green.
A Hero’s Odyssey: Embracing the Extraordinary
I found myself standing on the precipice of a world unknown, a realm where dreams and imagination collided to form a tapestry of infinite possibilities. The air crackled with anticipation as I took my first step, my heart pounding with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I had been chosen as the protagonist of an extraordinary journey, a hero in a land where anything was possible.
As I ventured forth, the landscape shifted beneath my feet, transforming into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and breathtaking vistas. Towering mountains stretched towards the heavens, their majestic peaks piercing the clouds. Valleys of emerald green unfolded before me, teeming with lush foliage and sparkling streams that whispered secrets of ancient magic. The sky itself seemed alive, swirling with hues of violet and gold, adorned with stars that danced with ethereal grace.
Sounds unfamiliar and melodious filled my ears. The trill of unseen birds, their songs like enchanting melodies, echoed through the dense forests. Gentle whispers carried on the wind, their words cryptic yet filled with wisdom. The rustle of leaves and the soft padding of paws hinted at the presence of fantastical creatures hidden just beyond my sight.
Yet, this fantastical realm was not without its challenges. I traversed treacherous terrain, braving raging rivers and scaling treacherous cliffs. I faced mythical beasts with fangs that dripped with venom and claws that could rend the earth asunder. Each encounter tested my resolve and summoned hidden strength from within, reminding me of the hero I was meant to be.
Triumphs were woven into the fabric of my journey, moments of pure exhilaration and victory. I unraveled ancient riddles, unlocking long-forgotten treasures that held the power to shape destinies. I formed bonds with unlikely allies, united by a common purpose and a shared belief in the extraordinary. In each triumph, I discovered a deeper understanding of my own capabilities and the boundless potential that lay dormant within me.
But it was through the trials that I truly grew. I faced moments of doubt and uncertainty, forced to confront my own limitations and face the consequences of my choices. I stumbled and fell, my spirit bruised but never broken. It was in these moments that I learned the power of resilience, of standing tall in the face of adversity, and finding the strength to rise once more.
As my journey neared its end, I stood atop a mountaintop bathed in golden light. The lessons learned etched deep within my heart, forming a roadmap for the hero I had become. With a final sigh, I bid farewell to the fictional world that had become a part of me, forever etched in my memory. The journey had transformed me, shaping my character and igniting a fire within my soul. And as I returned to the familiar, I carried with me the triumphs, the trials, and the invaluable lessons learned along the way, ready to embrace the extraordinary that awaited me in the world I called home.
The first thing I figured out was that everything around was changing constantly. It looked like a regular hospital corridor, yet with bending walls, lamps of many different colors that blinked like broken pedestrian lights... and the absence of exit or entrance doors.
The last of the above circumstances made me feel awkward and ask myself how I got there. A thought ran through my mind: "what if those soft walls can open?" I touched the wall - and soon regretted it.
The corridor formed what looked like an outbranch. I stepped in, and it was the moment I realized that the floor there was also unstable... I fell... Long, long falling.
At the bottom of the soft-walled pit, there was some kind of grass (luckily, it was not nettle!). Perhaps, the lighting had changed while I was falling, because now I saw everything in cold blue-green shades.
A couple of flies flew past me. Apart from the initial feeling of surprise, I think it was the first time I saw living creatures in this strange world.
I stood up carefully and looked around. The bottom area seemed to have stretched and got bigger. I noticed a ladder haging from the ceiling. Yes, an opportunity!
Of course, I was climbing it very cautiously, thinking of a plan. Firstly, I needed to know what food or drinks I could find; secondly, if there were any hostile creatures; finally, most importantly: how to get back?
I got to eat in that world only once, and had better not. It was some kind of berries in an empty hall conquered by bushery. I ate one, and it was sweet. Some minutes after, I consumed the whole bush, only to find out that there were lots of big greasy worms on the lower leaves. I did my best not to vomit.
The last room was the most peculiar. When I stepped, or rather, fell into it, I saw it had both sides ceilings. Let me explain: the floor (or the side I was standing on) was the same as the ceiling with buzzing neon office lamps attached to it.
The final seconds of my being there were pure idiocy; for I suddenly escaping gravity of the "floor" and strong pulling force of the "ceiling". I bumped my head really hard against one of the lamps... and then I woke up in my bed.
You may take my story for a dream, but I actually found small pieces of glass thrown around my room - a kind used in lamps.
Days i’ve prayed in Oblivion
Holed up behind iron bars born from
Self-doubt and unending malaise
Strolling streets and swigging pisswater
from any Entity which offered
I was adrift in eternity, 12AM WAKE UP!
Four walls grow closer, apartment in
Center of Gaul Heights, wooden floor
Ant infested, roaches burrow behind blackened
Plaster panels, dogs and cats shedding to near
Baldness, fleas land on my ankle, masked by hairs
On my leg, ten or so cycle, irritation boils, sun
Blasts even when opaque shades infuse nuclear rays
Seven more fleas encroach- my leg a rash I cannot itch.
A/C fades in and out like a fever dream pushing me to
Some Form of Heaven in Hell, so I go an hour more, write
What comes to mind, beauty beyond isolation;
She calls, a woman, a girl, somewhere between the end of adolescence
And bloom of adulthood, hair an array of hues: she is but a guide.
Saw Samantha fade before Legion APCs and thudding Abrams
called out for her sorrow, pity of my unraveling days of twenty-something-hood
never did I fear forests echoing M4 rounds circling Autumn clouds
air abundant Aims deciphering winds, sights crossed and ready to report
another descendent slaughtered in twigs and timelines
Devil’s Den lifeline carries daughter forth, soldiers cut and chatter all suns laughter clouded,
winded by F-16s and thunderstorms, out in Oceanside tropics, lofty rural reprieve, sow hours
with future offspring, on sings weapons of revolutions, on oaks and pines travel with
keen brass munitions, artillery passionately crashes pulsing dirtied rivers, sip toxins
Acidic Hellfire venturing from every entity that was sprung from magma sun and
wavering bodies of azul, arctic eyes remain ahead, she runs and follows Old Regime
operatives trusting commands in faith to those she saw slaughtered in Oceans of Oblivion.
She found solace in spring and winter treks scolding Arkansan eras, days of her wanderlust and spiraling wars with twenty-something-hood oddly she cared for what would harm her, no wound could dive into the catacombs of Alexandria's Robespierre slaughter, father and mother soil of new arcadia, brothers cut to bone, flesh deciphered, dried, hung for
Danced with the devil in Eden, convened and pivoted to Afterlife, scrolled friend after
death, from hundredth floor he viewed his last glance of Historia, stole God’s breath
Drones and onlookers recorded every sorrow in his legs up to his pixel wept eyes, entities vanish
nothing new, just reruns