So, here it is… Part 3/5 is finally out. I’m excited and as I get closer to the end, I jump for joy. As before, this is unedited so hold your horses, Grammar Nazis. I’m being anarchistic today, enjoy the freedom and read on.
“Do you know where this road leads to… emmm… Pricilla?” Cassandra shook her head, slowly trying to make sense of everything. A tall tree, a dystopian-looking city and a strange night sky held together by a living canopy. “Have we been abducted?”
“Abducted?” Pricilla looked away, retracing her steps to where she came from. “As in, taken by some unknown organization?”
“I mean aliens.”
“Nahhhhhh… This feels more like a dream.”
“Come to think of it, it does. I can see colors; that’s something far-fetched.”
“I can walk…”
Both girls looked on ahead, at the majestic tree. They knew there was only one place they could go, and that was the tree. Slowly, walking on opposite ends of the road, they quietly mumbled to each other. The closer they got to the tree, the more vibrant its details became. Beautiful fluorescent vine-like markings decorated the trunk of the tree, dotted with runes and leave patterns that became as bright as the stars in the sky. The trunk must have been atleast four blocks wide, probably twenty-eight to thirty two houses in length, and as tall as any skyscraper they’ve ever seen.
The base of the trunk was surrounded by a crystalline lake, dotted with tiny flying fireflies zooming to and fro, from the surface of the water. The tree’s roots pierced its crystalline veil, popping out of nowhere, and plunging back in. On the edge of the lake, there was a soft sandy beach, probably around ten yards in length, or a hell of a lot of footsteps from the coarse soil. Large rectangular stone structures rose from the white, sandy surface. Pricilla touched the surface of the structures with the tip of her fingers, much to Cassandra’s dismay.
From time to time, tiny rays of golden light would fall on the surface of the water, reflecting upwards to the sky. As it hit the leaves on the overlaying branches, a tiny glow would emanate from the inflicted leaf – like the birth of a new star. Cassandra walked over to the edge of the sand, there were no waves. She placed one of her feet on the water; it was warm. Warm like a soothing, soul-resting bath on a cold, Christmas Eve; this was something she’d do every year with her ex-lover.
Pricilla wandered off to see the other statues, examining them well. She knew they’d make perfect portraits on a fine canvas. There were runes etched on its smooth, marble-like surface. There was a drawing that repeated over and over along the inscriptions: an oval surrounded by twelve bird wings and a halo over its head. She was scared, it felt ominous.
“Pricilla! I’ve found a boat!” Cassandra shouted.
Pricilla ran over to her. The boat was not tied to anything. “Was it here when we came?” Pricilla commented. The lack of waves couldn’t have possibly made the boat drift over to the shore.
“Do you suppose someone wants us to get on the boat?” Cassandra tied her hair in a bun. “Like an invitation?”
“Yeah, I get the feeling we are not alone.”
The got on the boat, as Cassandra clumsily pushed it off the shore. It slowly drifted, as if controlled by an external force. Pricilla lay on the edge of the boat, touching the water’s crystalline surface. It created ripples that extended exponentially and soon vanished. She commented on the strange image she had seen. Cassandra would stare into the sky and wonder what was going on. Someone must have dragged them into the place, but that someone might not be what they expected it to be.
“Do you believe in God, Cassandra?” Pricilla asked.
“No, I do not. I’m an atheist, and a good one at that.” Cassandra replied.
“I believe in God, but, sometimes I wish I did not. If he really was looking after me, then shit wouldn’t happen to me. Life looks so unfair from its surface but that’s only a reflection of how cruel it all sums up to be.”
“I don’t think that someone else can control every aspect of your life. You make decisions and if they go bad, then it’s your fault, ain’t it? You have to take responsibility.” Pricilla turned around, facing the sky, her long hair fell on the water. “The sky is awake.”
“More like, the sky is alive.” Cassandra gazed that the tiny golden stars, twinkling, and changing colors – like miniature prisms held by invisible strings of golden light.
The boat hit a land mass, as the two girls awakened from their deep trance. Pricilla fell off the boat, falling face-first into the water. Gasping for air, she kneeled on the shore. Cassandra quickly got up, gazing at her soaked companion. Offering Pricilla a hand, she took off her jacket and gave it to her. Removing her wet clothes, she put on the jacket. Walking side by side, they finally made it to the center-most island: the base of the tree.
“What do you think we should do?” Pricilla asked, they hoped something magical might happen. “It feels so ominous.”
“I was hoping for a massive magical head or something.” Cassandra commented. “You know, something Wizard of Oz-ish.”
“Well, I guess we’re not in Kansas anymore…” They both giggled.
The runes began to shine as a voice whispered, “Come…” The girls stopped in their tracks. Cassandra held Pricilla closer to her. Pricilla, not wanting to be the girl who dies first in every horror movie, grabbed a hold of Cassandra’s hand.
“You know, in most horror movies… There is a girl who dies first.” Pricilla whispered. “It’s usually the half-naked one.”
“It might be God. What if he’s calling us?” Cassandra commented.
“Then, I’m in no way dressed properly to meet the creator of everything.”
“You do have a jacket on.”
Pricilla glared at Cassandra, “That doesn’t make me feel safe. I’m jail-bait.”
Words appeared on the trunk of the tree.
He who dwells upon fleshy soil,
Baptized in thine heavenly oil,
Bow and toil;
Frail, show thine reverence.
“Mother told me to never talk to strangers.” Pricilla whispered.
“Could you stop whispering? It’s kind of annoying…” Cassandra sighed. “It’s a riddle, I guess.”
“It’s not a riddle. It’s telling us to bow before it.”
“How do you know?”
“I study these sorts of things. Art and literature… I’m a fan of Mark Twain and Shakespeare.”
“So, you’re a nut-job…”
“An educated nut-job, thank you very much.”
As they both bowed, their faces staring at their sand covered feet, a voice called to them.
“My little children, I have heard your cries.”
Echoes of voices surged through the trunk’s tiny cracks. The water rippled. It was their voices, and the people around them. They could hear their comments, their thoughts and above all – they could hear each other’s thoughts. Their lives were far from perfect.
“I hold a chalice, where I pour my blood to give to thee. Bring me that which you would give to obtain that which you desire.”
A small wooden chalice appeared before them. A strong, scented liquid filled the cup as it began to shine. Cassandra looked at Pricilla. Pricilla was baffled. What could they give to obtain what they wanted? Money for talent? Blood for happiness?
“I want to be free… and to be free, I need to walk.” Pricilla commented, looking at Cassandra.
“I want to be normal. To see colors.” Cassandra replied.
“It’s asking to give up something to gain something… I’d give anything…”
“Then, let’s try this: I’ll cut a strand of my hair and place it in the liquid and you can give something similar and place it in the chalice.”
“I’ll pour some blood and with that, we’ve given up something, right?”
As Pricilla cut a strand of her hair, she placed it in the red liquid. It dissolved on contact. Cassandra pricked her finger and poured three drops of blood. They both grabbed the chalice and gave it a sip. The taste was unique. It smelled like rotting flesh but tasted as a high class wine, bittersweet with a slight grape-like tinge to it.
“I am nothing but a womb of desires and hopes. Now, go my children. Be happy, dance in the protection of the On-High.”
Cassandra woke-up in a cold sweat. Covered from head to toe, she looked around. Everything was the same except for one thing: she couldn’t move her legs.