Centre of the Earth

I ran into the forest. The wind plays with the trees, tickling the leaves into falling. My feet squelch into the soft, wet mud as I run. In and out my foot goes, breathing into the earth. I can see the tree roots lingering just above the surface, probing.

I begin to dig. I’m digging until I get to China.

The deeper the hole is the more the roots groan out to the open air, missing the comfort and solace of the dense, compact earth, the damp coolness of the soil. The wind finds itself bouncing off all corners of this hole, looking for new friends to play with. The roots groan and retreat further back to other parts of the soil. I dig deeper and deeper until I reach the inner core of the earth.

There he is.

He sits on a plain, wooden stool staring into the centre. A looking glass of pure magma.

“You’re finally here”. He doesn’t bother to swivel around. He knows who I am.

“I’m trying to get to China”.

“You’re about half way there”.

“Oh? I suppose this is the centre of the earth”.

“Would you care to sit?” Another wooden stool materialises out of thin air beside him. He didn’t need to wait to hear my response. I sit beside the careworn old man.

“Look at this my son, before you continue your journey”.

I stared intently into the looking glass. Images began to appear. Simultaneously the past, present and future are all played out at once before me. The whole world and multiple others. People of many races and many species busy in their minds, in their lives. In under a minute I was exhausted, as if years had been torn off me.

“Have you had enough?”

“Yes, sir”.

“Be on your way, know that I am always looking out for you, son. Always” He said without looking at me. I felt it his hand on my shoulder.

I continued the dig. As I emerged the wind was nowhere to be found. The trees were quiet. I walked out of the forest in search of people.

Realm of the Dead

I found myself suddenly on a bridge. I stood there for just a moment. Taking in the atmosphere. I was standing on a bridge in the middle of a lake. The air tastes like early morning. I couldn’t see the end of the bridge, both ends were shrouded in fog. As I looked out to the lake I could see some large ripples appearing, moving fast towards me.

As the ripples came closer I could make out a large, shapely body beneath the water. The creature beneath the water suddenly launched its large body unto the rails, balancing precariously with its huge weight. It looked at me thoughtfully for one moment, came to a decision, then hopped onto the pavement right in front of me, shaking the bridge slightly.

“Tell me about yourself.” The creature bubbled, its flippers motioning as he spoke.

“I’m not sure there’s much to tell.”

“Nonsense” Its words gargled, forming foam from its mouth that slipped off its giant tusks.

“Am I dead.”

“Yes you are. Soon your heart will be weighed and judged.”

“Who are you then?”

“I guide the dead.” The huge creature posed it’s body upwards, stretching out its flippers.

“Why are you a walrus?”

“I don’t know. Why are you a human?”

“That’s actually a good point.”

“There you go.”

 

We watched the lake together. Time stood still. Does time even flow in a place like this? I heard a gargling of water come from the walrus as he began to speak again.

“So, who are you then?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Thirst (A Short, Short Story).

Chapter 1-

24/03/2061

Walked through the forest, the red light sliced through the pines, silhouettes were everywhere, standing around like shadows, shadows that come from the people from before. I found shelter in a small cave dumped my backpack and belongings on the floor and went to collect firewood. The forest is dry, the trees creak and moan for their roots to give way, begging the sky for water to fall, but no water will come.

I set my alarms surrounding the perimeter so that I have a chance to run when the ragged ones come. The thirst will be particularly strong these couple of months so I will not be taking any chances. I came across a deer that has only died very recently so it will be a feast tonight, its blood will hopefully slake my thirst for a little while longer until I make it to the river, back to my people.

 

Chapter 2-

25/03/2061

I am but a few days away from the river now. In the midst of my sleep I was awoken by an alarm but thankfully it was just a fallen tree. You can never be too sure though, so, while it was still dark, I grabbed my backpack and pegged it, unfortunately leaving all my traps. I ran and ran until the sun came to greet me. I fear the thirst is coming for me, I do not want to join the ragged ones like the others did. Today I walked a total of twenty miles according to the stars. I have covered much length. I believe that in another 15 miles I shall come across the river and my thirst shall be slaked and God shall be thanked.

I can’t help but marvel at the wonders of this place. The forest I can feel is almost talking to me. Maybe it seeks my witness to its last dying words. I can almost hear its whispers. I feel sorry for the trees and the roots, there is not much that I can do for them but listen while they cry their leaves off in sorrow.

Tonight I sleep rough out in the open. I am nervous, I have no fire or smoke to ward off the ragged ones, they are always there, I can tell they’re following.  I pray they do not find me, I am so close.

 

Chapter 3-

26/03/2061

I barely slept the night from before. I kept hearing voices; it woke me again and again. I could have sworn I saw their eyes watching me in the night.

It seems I have made a miscalculation. I have followed the stars and God’s signs but I must have interpreted them wrong as I have not come across my river. Everything here is barren. There are no trees or roots, no animals, no wind. Just silence. Deafening silence. I don’t know what is worse, the noise of the forest, or the silence of the plain. I can hear my heart beat so clearly.

 

Chapter 4-

28/03/2061

I was not able to write last night as I had fought strongly with my thirst. My tongue was leaping from my mouth and my belly enlarged. Luckily I was led by God to a small pool of water. The stars shone in it so I knew that it was clean to drink. Truly this was not by chance. I know that with more faith and endurance I will reach the river and be with my people once again. The river is our only chance to rebuild truly. Tonight I sleep in the trees away from the ground. I hear distorted voices again, surely it is them. Their howling and mourning is keeping me up.

 

Chapter 5-

29/03/2061

Today was a rough day. My feet are bleeding from sores, my shoulders ache like I carry the weight of the world with me. What I carry will rejuvenate our people once again. My mission is almost complete, we will have fresh hope. I have found the path, I shall be back to the river, to my people, tomorrow evening.

 

Chapter 6-

30/03/2061

My people have turned, the thirst took hold, and the river has run dry. They are nought but hollow shells of themselves. Their veins run dry and minds have forgotten God and themselves. The ones that refused, remaining faithful are strewn across this place. Our walls have crumbled by their fists, our house reduced to ruin. I do not know what to do. My weight is so heavy, my tongue hangs loose, I feel my limbs seize up. To write right now is such a pain I cannot describe. Whoever finds these journals, whatever finds these journals. Please preserve it as a testament to our struggle. It seems God did not find me worthy to slake our thirsts. In my backpack you will find hope, you will find salvation. You will find the answer to all your problems. Unfortunately, I was gone too long. I wish you luck traveller.

 

END.

 

(Hey there, Jack here. Lately I’ve been attempting to write longer stories alongside the usual short strands of poetry. I’m trying to find the right flow to storytelling and writing fiction. Any criticism, comments or tips would be much appreciated! I definitely want to give all this more of a go, it’s great fun. Hope you enjoyed, if you made it this far, haha.)

Conversation with a Crow

The view from the moutain oversees the valley stretching out below. A great blue stream running into a sea of green. The path I took was long, my feet have blisters but it was worth this view. The air feels cleared, my lungs feel stronger. Even the clouds here seem pleased to see me. It’s from here I can let my thoughts run wild, with every ragged breath I take, every forced step I make to climb higher and higher, my thoughts become less pained.

There is a bird that has joined me here in my sacred place. A crow without friends or family. I think we could understand eachother so long as he doesn’t fly away from me. Birds are nervous, untrusting creatures. Understandably. Humans are just as nervous and more untrusting. But being larger gives us confidence.

The crow cocks his head sideways to check my advances, calculating inside that pea-sized brain of his. Am I a threat? Or friend? I sit within three feet of the crow on a stone and begin a conversation with it.

“Crow, are you lonely? You are all by yourself. I am lonely, I haven’t seen any of my kind for months.” “I have not seen any of my kind neither, human. Maybe we are the last of our species?” “For all we know we could be, crow.”