In order to practice creative writing before tackling the gigantic task of writing a full-blown book, I’ve decided to work on some short stories every once in a while to keep the creative juices flowing. So I’ve joined Wattpad and have uploaded my first story to it: a sort of thriller/horror that mixes Ancient Egyptian mythology with modern day life (in a manner of speaking). As this will be my first completed short story to be published on Wattpad, I figured I may as wells share it here as well. If you’re already a Wattpad user, you can follow this link to go straight to the story! Here is the opening chapter:
Chapter 1: A Day to Remember
The somewhat slow and staggered manner in which I am walking may lead some to believe that I’m drunk, perhaps returning from happy hour during a lunch break. While this may not miss the mark by much, in truth my head is simply lost in the clouds or away with the fairies…perhaps away with the fairies in the clouds. Long story short: I’m lost in a day dream or at least what feels like a day dream. Was I remembering something? Perhaps something I was supposed to do today…well, whatever it was it’s gone: Hardly surprising given the circumstances. I can practically still taste and smell last night’s alcohol and the pounding sensation in my brain was the familiar signal from my body to say that drinking too much alcohol has consequences, the thumping headache being just one of many. Me and my significant other, Riley had attended our friend Nick’s birthday party and had agreed that neither of us would drink. Evidently her willpower trumps mine…which is hardly surprising. My own 28th birthday had only been a few weeks earlier but due to our current financial situation (especially with my pay being cut for my job at the bank) we decided to skip throwing a big bash and simply relax a little. We spent most of the time walking our dog, Sam. She was still young and was my birthday present to myself only three years earlier. The uniqueness of having one blue eye and one brown eye had immediately ruled out the possibility of me choosing any other puppy from the litter of Border Collies, all of whom were black and white…apart from one brown oddball.
The path I’m following begins to gently slope down towards the dock which just so happens to be the destination I’m heading to. I’m walking next to what appears to be a recently cobbled road. Each brick seems perfectly situated and I can’t begin to imagine how long it must have taken to complete. The midday sun is blaring down with incredible heat and the scene would be one of complete and utter beauty, were it not for the distant wails of an ambulance siren…perhaps more than one, screeching away in the distance. Moments like this always have to have at least one flaw. A faint but cold wind blows and despite being so weak that even the lightest leaves don’t budge, I can hear the distant sounds of someone talking. I can’t make out the words but it doesn’t really matter anyway. I take a moment to stand still and appreciate just how beautiful this place is. As I look around at all the open land by the side of the lake, I can’t help but feel like I’m experiencing something completely new, almost as if I’d never seen this sight in my entire life. I take a moment to try and recall why I’m going to the docks in the first place…what I do know is that there will be a boat leaving soon and that I should be on it. I hadn’t even been sure where to get the boat from but the voice of the man who gave me directions is still ringing loudly in my mind. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was alone, I’d swear he was standing right beside me.
As I begin to continue my walk down the path, I admire the massive lake and it’s deep blue glow which despite being a darker blue than the sky, also seems to give off a hint of green. The sheer size of the lake was in itself remarkable and was it not for the stone lighthouse signalling the existence of land on the horizon you couldn’t be blamed for thinking that this was actually the sea. The one giveaway was the lack of tides. Although, there did appear to be a gradual flow of the water which moved much slower yet more erratically than any river I’d seen. Perhaps the inflow of water from further along the bank is the cause of this effect. The somewhat empty field to my left is suddenly home to a large stone slab. The yellowish colour of what appears to be sandstone bared the burden of what is a larger, thinner stone slab with chiselled writing. The untarnished and perfectly intact stone suggests that this was a recent addition to the otherwise empty field and where it not for the sand which appears to have found its way this far up the hill, I would perhaps guess that it was put here only yesterday. I used my hand like a brush in order to sweep the travelled sand off the text as if uncovering a buried artefact.
“O people of the earth, men and women born and made of the elements, but with the spirit of the Divine within you, rise from your sleep of ignorance! Be sober and thoughtful. Realize that your home is not on the earth but in the Light. Why have you delivered yourselves unto death, having power to partake of immortality?”
Various symbols and pictures (none of which seem to represent a larger meaning, at least not as far as I can tell) surround the text itself. Riley was always the brains of our pairing, if she was here now I’m sure she’d be able to come up with some deeper understanding of this random nonsense. I can’t help but imagine that some pompous rich man perhaps believed they were more intelligent and insightful that they actually were and simply paid money to have this slab put here. Regardless, the day is getting on and there are surely bigger fish to fry than reading slabs.
As I approach the docks, I see a queue of people lining up near a small wooden boat. It wasn’t quite as small as a rowing boat but certainly wasn’t much bigger. Even the smallest rippled in the water made it rock like nothing more than a piece of rotting driftwood. I glance around with the strong assumption that there must be a larger boat nearby or perhaps coming into dock…with nothing else in sight, I can only conclude that this must be the one I need to get…but where does it go? When did I randomly decide to get on mystery vessels with strangers? Thoughts come and go but none seem to answer any of my self-reflective questioning. Curiosity leads me to join the queue with the others as I watch them get on the boat one by one. Most of them appear to be middle aged apart from a younger woman who is sitting at the very front of the boat. She’s wearing what I could only describe as rags with her baby wrapped up in much of the same. I begin to walk around the queue of people in order to take a closer look, to see what sort of person would raise a child in such poor conditions. The bobbing up and down of the boat (if you can call it that) gave the pair an appearance that was almost statuesque, as if they were frozen eternally in the very position they were currently sitting. Without making my actions too obvious, I manage to catch a glimpse of what appears to be a blonde haired boy, perhaps only a few weeks old but still looking frail and fragile.
“Wait in the line in order to board the boat” a deep and intimidating voice bellowed from behind me…or maybe to the side of me. I could feel chills spread through my entire body and suddenly I begin to feel like the frozen one. Is my heart even beating? Am I shaking? These feelings vanish as suddenly as they appeared as if a veil is ripped off me and so I decide that in order to keep the peace I better head to the back of the line. As I walk past the other passengers, I notice that they all look miserable. Some of them even look pale. Are they scared? They seem to have enlarged pupils and the iris is barely visible at all…if it’s even still there. What sort of boat ride is this? Doubts begin to run through my mind and as I reach my spot in the queue, I notice an elderly woman is standing there. She isn’t like the rest…I mean she isn’t happy but she is the only one that has made eye contact with me thus far and her pupils appear to be of a fairly normal size. Now that I think about it, her eyes are somewhat fixed on me. Should I look away? Should I talk to her? Maybe she knows me and I’ve simply forgotten her face. Her eyes are squinting a little now and her body seems to be trembling slightly. The more I stare into her dark, beady eyes, the more I convince myself that I can see bloodshot forming across the greyish tones of what would usually be the whites of the eyes. Her trembling hand slowly lifts into the air revealing a glistening wedding ring which seems to be the only colour on her that isn’t monochromatic. As one finger points in my direction I take a quick look behind me in the hopes that there was something else she may be pointing at.
As the stark reality that this small, elderly and insanely intimidating woman was pointing at me and me alone, I decided that I did indeed recognise her from somewhere. I had a moment where I lost myself in thought as I try desperately to place her when she opens her mouth to speak. What comes out are not words, but rather a bizarre and terrifying screech. The noise is how you would imagine someone who had lost their voice attempting to scream: that harsh noise that you can only imagine is tearing flesh off the inside of the person’s throat and is painful to even attempt. It wasn’t the volume that was sending my heart into overdrive and my brain into panic mode…it was the attempt to speak and the anger and shock on her face at the realisation that she was unable to do so. Her other hand was grasping tightly around her throat as if she were trying to patch a hole or puncture. Just as the initial shock was beginning to leave my body, words begin to form from the rough and animalistic noise that was leaving her mouth. This mumbling turned into slightly coherent words until with one final attempt she manages to form the sentence: “there is no escaping a heavy heart…and yours will be heavy indeed!” A rather strange message but the desperation she had to share it with me was alarming enough.
If I had still been considering getting on that boat, this would have been enough to sway the decision. I turned around to walk away which is when I noticed that all the people in the queue had also turned around and were now staring at me. I don’t think it is remotely possible for their blank, emotionless faces to be any more chilling. How can faces appear so featureless? It was as if they were all wearing masks with their true emotions hidden away underneath. Part of me wanted to run, another was fixated on these strange characters and why they were behaving in such a peculiar manner…another, smaller part of me wanted to dive into water in the hopes that these strange occurrences were nothing more than a nightmare. I turn around and walk away, not daring to look back to see if I was still the subject of their attention or not…although I got the feeling that their unblinking eyes were fixed on me still. I quicken my pace just in the off chance that they decided to follow me. My destination was unclear but what was clear was that voice in my mind that is seemingly repeating its message about the boat and the queue.
If you enjoyed the first chapter and would like to see where the story goes, just follow this link to find the full story on Wattpad!
Thanks for reading! Do you have any feedback on either chapter 1 or the story as a whole? Let me know down below!
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