Melissa & The Author

Reads: 98  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Submitted: May 04, 2017

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: May 04, 2017

A A A

A A A


My name is The Author.

Since I was a young child, I've always known that I possessed a special kind of power: the ability to create. I'm not sure how my power came to be, but I've put my creativity to good use over the years, imagining whole worlds and characters. However, today, I wanted to try something different.

"What do you mean?" Asked the girl standing before me in a surprised but gentle tone. "How is this even possible?"

This is Melissa Bailey. She is in her late teens, wearing an unassuming light grey tunic and pants.  A similarly-colored half-cape flowed behind her, clasped at the neckline by a bronze phoenix crest. Utilitarian gloves and boots completed the practical look, contrasting with the only hints of real color: her shoulder-cropped light-blue hair and like-eye color.

"It's true," I said, my voice a neutral tenor. "For lack of a better term, I created you. Still don't believe me? Try to think beyond the past few minutes. You can't, can you?"

Melissa stared at me, her eyes narrowing, then in resigned acceptance, she sighed.

"Okay," she said. "I'm...not sure how I feel about this."

I nodded. "That's alright. If I were in your shoes, I'd have a ton of questions too. Feel free to ask me anything."

"For starters." Melissa spread her arms wide, gesturing to our surroundings. "Where are we?"

The two of us were standing together at the center of a large, sterile, and seemingly endless white-colored room completely devoid of anything. There were no obvious light sources anywhere, yet the place was brightly lit up by some form of background lighting.

"This," I said with a smile. "This is my sanctuary. A safe place of sorts, where I can think and tinker."

"I see. I suppose it's not too surprising for a creator to have a workshop."

"Indeed." I paused for a moment. "Though I will say this is the first time a creation of mine has been sentient and aware while being here. Normally, I would transform this place into a proper setting first, say a forest or town. You're looking at raw, empty space; a blank canvas, so to speak."

Melissa raised her left eyebrow at me. "I'm flattered that you think I'm worthy."

"And why is that?"

The question seemed to stump her. It took her a few seconds to respond.

"What makes me special? Why me? I don't remember doing anything to deserve this special treatment."

"Well, you are a construct at the moment. A shell of the real you. You're missing your true memory, mainly because..." I hesitated. "Well, to be honest, I didn't want to show you anything until I was sure you could handle it. This is new territory for me."

"Why? What did I do?"

"I'll show you. Then, you will understand why."

From within the large sleeves my white robes, I withdrew a deck of cards. They were as white as the color of my clothing, with no markings of any kind on either facing. Using a spring flourish, I exposed the seemingly blank deck. I stopped once I hit one of the cards in the middle and drew the top card in my left hand, returning the rest of the deck to my sleeves. Then, I palmed the blank card in my right and held the hand out to Melissa.

"Take my hand," I said.

Melissa was somewhat confused by my demonstration. "But all of the cards were blank. How do you know which one of them-"

"I just do."

With a bit of hesitation, Melissa reached out and grabbed my hand with her own right, causing a brilliant flash of light to overtake us both.

-

Melissa sat alone in the darkness, crying. Thoughts raced through her mind. The Author...everything she had ever known...her life, her experiences, her sense of self...it was all fiction. Created by someone with an overactive imagination. It was all a lie, a fabrication, a fake.

Melissa of the present could hear these thoughts flowing through her mind. It was as if her consciousness had been locked inside the body of another, with that person being her own self from the past. Her first instinct was to call for The Author, but she found couldn't control the actions of her past self. It was a memory of which she was nothing more than an observer. Slowly, she could feel her past self's own thoughts overtaking her own, and slowly she began understand what led her to this moment.

A sudden noise in the darkness made Melissa scramble upwards from her sitting position. She thought she had been alone here.

"W-Who's there?" She asked cautiously. She instinctively reached to clear her eyes of tears, but what would that have accomplished? This building had no power, so light was out of the question. She could only rely on her hearing, touch, and sense of smell if there was any sort of danger or-

Her thoughts were interrupted as her ears registered another sound: the scraping of metal against what sounded like a scabbard or sheath. In response, Melissa withdrew and held her battered but trusty metal circular shield in front of her.

That was when the first blow struck, emitting a dull metallic clang. Rebuffed, the attacker spun in place, and Melissa just barely heard the swoosh of the weapon, blocking the lower attack aimed at her midsection just in time. In retaliation, Melissa aimed a wide swing with her free hand for where she thought her opponent was, but she hit nothing but air. The pressure against her shield lifted and she heard steps moving away from her, letting her know that the assailant had backed off, at least for the moment.

"Who are you?" Melissa demanded. "Why are you doing this?"

A breeze above her was the only warning as her shield blocked the overhead attack. Again, just in the nick of time. The pressure moved away quick, and in anticipation, Melissa placed the shield directly in front of her upper body and face. This turned out to be a mistake, as a booted foot smashed into her left leg, making her lose her balance. She shifted herself left and used her shield as a cudgel to strike, but again, she hit nothing. She did feel something though, just on a different part of her body. Brilliant white hot pain engulfed her senses as a blade of some kind cut into her exposed right arm. Her opponent had exploited her exposed right flank from the missed swing. She gasped hard, staggering back on her left foot.

"Please!" Melissa asked the darkness, her voice pained. "This world is a lie! Why do we have to fight?"

Again, no response. Not with words, at least, but a flurry of attacks. Melissa was forced to hold on as strike after strike pelted her shield, battering it endlessly. Her injured right arm throbbed with pain, and she could feel her red-hot blood stream off the bottom of her elbow. She couldn't sustain this; sooner or later, she wouldn't have the strength to continue blocking the attacks. Then, something deep within her flared to the surface.

"I don't know who you are, but if you want to kill me so badly, just know that I will never stop resisting you." The blows halted for just a second, and Melissa felt a hand grab the edge of her shield from the uppermost edge. Anticipating an attempt to yank the shield away from her, she pulled the shield down towards her stomach. This also turned out to be a mistake, as she felt a second white hot burning sensation as her opponent's weapon pierced her left shoulder, causing her left arm to drop limply to her side. This time, she screamed in pain. She pulled back again, but this wasn't going to take her down. No way. Not yet.

"No," Melissa continued, her voice now raw but unyielding. "I don't care if I'm just a character in a story. So what if my life is a lie? THIS is what living looks like! Me resisting you! Even if you kill me right here, I'm going to make sure you remember your prey was Melissa Bailey."

With that, Melissa lunged forward, seemingly in defiance of her grave wounds. In her bloodied right hand, her shield whirled like a buzzsaw, forcing her attacker back for the first time in the entire fight. Now on the defensive, her opponent was parrying the shield bashes, but Melissa's wild chain of attacks was such that there was no opening for any sort of counterattack. Eventually, Melissa got the best of her opponent, with a final bash sending this mysterious person flying and crashing into something unidentifiable in the distance.

Melissa had just a moment to relish in her victory before she dropped to one knee. Adrenaline had kept her going all this time, but it wasn't going to be enough now. Her wounds were bleeding furiously. Her left arm was unusable. With each passing second, the shield held in her bloodied right hand felt heavier and heavier. In her head, she could hear the pulsing of her heart and the sound of her own labored breathing.

Melissa didn't know how long she had been there trying to catch her breath, but when she felt the tugging on the back of her hair, she knew it was over. A third white hot flash erupted her senses, this time across the front of her neck. She let out a gurgle, falling onto the ground face-first as the person who cut open her throat let go of her hair.

As she slowly ran out of air, Melissa smiled. Even though she had been beaten by an opponent far more skilled than her, she still won that one bout. She had stood no real chance, but that since round had brought her closer than ever to becoming something more. Something beyond the character she had been created to be.

As the darkness overwhelmed her, the last words she heard were feminine and soft.

"I shall remember you, Melissa Bailey."

-

My hand fell to my side as the card which had powered the memory slowly dissolved into thin air. However, Melissa's own hand remained outstretched, as if she was trying to hold on to that memory. She looked at me with new purpose. In her misty eyes I saw accusation and anger, but also a growing curiosity and wonder.

"So that's what happened...what I did...how I died..."

"Yes."

"...What do you want from me?"

I stared into Melissa's light-blue eyes with my own pure-white irises. 

"Out of all the characters I had ever made, you were the one that truly managed to defy your original purpose. There are those who believed they had, but never did. Your desire to fight on, to live, even at the expense of losing, has given me a new respect for you. Yes, you were nothing more than a secondary character back then, but I believe you have proven to me that you deserve better. So I wish for you to join me on a journey."

"A journey?" 

"I can show you what this world really is, if you're willing to find out. You can become something more."

An uncharacteristic smirk formed on Melissa's lips. "And if I find a way to...defy your story again?"

"So be it." My answer was unflappable; a challenge of its own.

Melissa pursed her lips, silent for a moment. Then, she uttered one word.

"Deal."


© Copyright 2017 T. J. Wong. All rights reserved.

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by T. J. Wong

Wake Up, Katherine

Short Story / Fantasy

Melissa & The Author

Short Story / Fantasy

The Kid in the Tavern

Short Story / Fantasy

Popular Tags