The journey chapter 1&2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
I’ve desperately been trying to find a way to escape lately. Leave it all behind, detach myself from my world, my life, and simply go off on a journey. Many people go off on journeys. Some do so intellectually through books and studies, others spiritually; travelling within themselves to their very cores. There is also the physical journey, which is the one that really allows you escape. But I have come to the conclusion that I cannot ever really detach myself fully. Not yet. My journey will have to wait. Instead, I propose that you take the chance. Come, leave all you hold dear, and embark on your journey.

Submitted: October 16, 2012

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Submitted: October 16, 2012

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A A A


 

The Journey

  I’ve desperately been trying to find a way to escape lately. Leave it all behind, detach myself from my world, my life, and simply go off on a journey. Many people go off on journeys. Some do so intellectually through books and studies, others spiritually; travelling within themselves to their very cores. There is also the physical journey, which is the one that really allows you escape. But I have come to the conclusion that I cannot ever really detach myself fully. Not yet. My journey will have to wait. Instead, I propose that you take the chance. Come, leave all you hold dear, and embark on your journey.

Chapter one: the beginning.

  The world feels as though it has shifted right under your feet. You feel the ground pull away from under yourself and topple over. You shut your eyes and brace yourself for the fall, yet it never comes. As your tense muscles begin to relax, you notice there is a certain pressure on your back, and the air is suddenly so hot that in burns your very skin. You open your eyes only to be blinded by a searing white light, blazing from light years away and yet it seems as though you only have to reach out to touch its flaming surface. You tentatively sit up, shielding your eyes with your hand, and notice that the back of your arm feels hot and rough. You lean back on your other hand for support as you inspect your sand covered arm, and realize that you are in fact sitting in sand. A lot of sand. By now your vision has adjusted to how bright the sun is and you realized why the air is so hot, and the sun so violent. You are sitting alone on a sand dune, surrounded by sand banks, which overlook a sand sea. A gentle wind blows, bringing with it sand and dryness. You get up and dust yourself off, and you notice your clothes have changed. The once fashionable outfit you put on this morning has been replaced by more desert appropriate garments, including a hooded cloak, which you still look fabulous in. You notice a satchel lying beside your silhouette in the sand and decide to look through it. It is old and made of leather, and has obviously been out in the desert for a long time. Its only content is a scarf, which you put on along with your hood in order to protect yourself from the sun. You also decide to throw on the satchel seeing as how it might come in handy. Determined and having nothing else to do, you make your way up the nearest sand hill and look out over the desert.

  The view is breathtaking. You find yourself faced not by a sea of sand, but an ocean of forgotten ruins. The temple is gigantic, most of its walls and spirals crumbling, the main body half buried in sand. But you can see that at its very center is a sort of amphitheatre that caves in below all the other structures and that, which, from where you stand, seems to be free of sand. Intrigued and at the same time sceptic of this ancient heaven from the sand, you make your way down you sand dune and towards the city of fallen guardians, ancient walls build for protection and amazement now lying broken and abandoned. You try to carefully slide down the mountain of sand but to no avail. Your feet slip and you are hurl down, half rolling half sliding down the rest of the way. By the time you reach the bottom of the dune you are covered in sand and your clothes are all messed up. You straighten out and brush off most of the sand, and notice an object in the sand where you had concluded your decent.  The object must have been in your cloak and the fall dislodged it, and you bend down to inspect it further. It is a strange compass; the arrows stay where they are and the outer rim moves when you do. Also, upon further inspection, it seems like some of the images around the compass move on their own, like that one red dot that is getting closer and closer to the center of the compass. The dot has almost reached the arrow at the center of the compass when you hear a strange hissing sound and look up.

  There, not so far in front of you, you can see the sand moving, shifting, rising and snaking its way towards you. You take a step to the side and the anomaly follows your movement. The dot is almost upon the arrow, and the anomaly is just as close to you. That’s when the worm jumps out, its jaw wide open revealing a tunnel of razor teeth all ready to tear you to shreds. Panic sets in and you can’t move, your legs are stiff and even though the beast is letting out a roar that can only be compared to the sound of a metal object going through a blender, all you can hear is the beating of your own heart. And it keeps beating faster and faster, harder and harder against your chest. It beats so hard now that it might as well burst out of your rib cage for doing so would cause less pain. The monster’s  front teeth barely catch your face as your fall down, your legs giving out from too much heat and stress. You stay there on the ground only for a second, before you realize the worm will come back for more. This time your body obeys you when you plead it to run, and despite the intolerable heat you manage to make your way inside the ancient city. But so does the worm. No matter how much you run you can always hear it behind you, see the sand rise over its disgusting body. You decide to throw it off by turning a sharp corner. You find yourself faced with another worm, this one at least trice the size of the first one, feeding on the carcase of yet another monstrous worm. It’s almost too much for you to bear, and yet you manage to keep running. You run right past the slimy titan, looking ahead and ignore its giant murderous presence. And you make it. A couple of meters you look back, hearing violent screeching coming from where you came. The predator that was chasing you seems to not have been as lucky as you were trying to get past its enormous cousin, and the two of them are now about to face off. You decide it best to not stay any longer than you should, and to keep an eye on your compass.

  You find that the compass also shows you a green dot, which you realize stands for the amphitheatre. At least now you definitely know where to go. The old ruins don’t offer too many more surprises, unless you count the numerous wonders hidden behind every crumbling wall. The further in you travel, the cooler the air seems to be, and the sun becomes almost pleasant on your skin. Eventually you feel the ground being solid again and not soft, scorching sand. You follow the road you have stumbled upon farther down this forgotten city of a temple until you reach a fountain. It’s quite a normal fountain, made of stone and with fish carved in it spewing out cascades of water. Although something is strange about it you can’t seem to figure out what it is. Then it hits you. The fish are spewing water. The fountain still works! You rush to it and greedily drink, quenching a thirst you never realized you had. Once satisfied you pull away slowly, staring at how the drops of water sparkle as they fall into what looks like a never ending supply of fresh water. Something else reflects the sun into your eyes and you are surprised to find a glass vial sitting on the fountain, waiting for you to fill it. You carefully reach for the vial, and are reassured when nothing happens after you’ve moved it. After the episode with the worms and the compass, you can never be too sure. You fill the vial with the fountain’s water and seal it shut, placing it carefully into your satchel for future use. You notice you don’t hear the trickling of water anymore. In fact, you don’t hear anything at all anymore! You look around alarmed, and see that the fountain has stopped working, and that the basin is filled with sand. An eerie wind blows and you decide it best to keep moving.

Chapter 2: The Amphitheatre.

  The sun is starting to set as you near the amphitheatre, and yet the world around you is not getting any colder. After a while the temperature in the city seemed to have leveled out, and the sun was just the same as it would have been if you were simply taking a stroll on the beach. You have not encountered any more worms, although you know they are out there. You can see the red dots moving about on your compass. You also see the green dot getting much closer, and you can see by how the walls are more sturdy here that your target is close. Also you see less and less sand and more and more floor. The pattern is a strange floral one, and you believe the tiles might have been blue once, and the pattern a golden yellow. The structure looks more like a giant castle now then a broken city and you even found a vase a while back. Now, as you see you are approaching a set of double doors, you stumble on a book. You fall (you really need better balancing skills), and turn to see that the book itself has barely even moved. You decide to go take a look, and crouch down beside the book. You try to move it but it simply won’t budge! Instead, you decide to open it. It is not a book. The reason it wouldn’t move is because it is a part of the floor, a once concealed hiding place. Inside is the hilt of a blade, a magnificent thing all silver (or white gold?) with a few coloured gems gleaming here and there. As you pull out the sword you notice its blade has been shattered, and that the once powerful steel now nothing but a rusty knife. You put the sword inside your satchel with the vial and continue to the double doors. They are quite impressive, big oak doors covered in a golden paint, with beautiful stained glass windows. You push on the doors and they open just like new.

  The amphitheatre is amazing to say the least. You gasp, mesmerized by how the stone benches stayed intact for all these years, how not a spec of sand got in either. The style is a mixture of stone, tapestry and gold painted wood. You walk down the stone steps, which are covered by a single blue carpet with two small golden strips running parallel to each other on either side of the carpet. At the bottom the carpet goes up a few steps to a circular platform, and the carpet goes through the entire spectrum of colour as it climbs these last steps to then cover the whole circular stage by one great red carpet lined by the two parallel gold lines. The setting sun falls upon you like stage lights, and you stand in the center of the circle for a moment and take it all in. The blade in your bag starts to hum, startling you. You remove it from the satchel, and the blade suddenly stops.

As you look up from the blade in your hand, you find yourself not in the amphitheatre but standing on a lone red platform, surround by water. The water is extremely shallow; it is like a carpet itself. You can see a stone floor when you lean over and look through the clear, thin layer of water. You catch your reflection and see your garments are all clean now, their colour restored and intricate designs clear and bright. There is the slow hum of a cello playing the same key in the air. At first it is soft and you wonder if you might not be hearing things. That’s when the music starts. It isn’t your usual music show either. Out there in the water, a cello slowly rises to the surface and then stands erect in the water, sending a single wave out in a ring. As the wave nears you, the cello gets louder and louder, but not unpleasantly. Next a violin springs up from behind you, and a piano on your left. The symphony starts slowly, a few notes being hit and sent through the water at regular intervals. But then the notes get faster and more complex, and the air around you resonates music and mystical sounds. The song is a peaceful one, just like the still waters that surround. The orchestra plays on and more instruments jump to the surface. You can’t help but get hooked into the music and pretty soon find yourself waving your sword around like if you were the master of ceremony, leading the music while letting yourself be led by it. More instruments join in and the waves get bigger, faster! The whole thing gets frantic you basically are moving the water and the music, the once small waves now mini tsunamis slamming against your red podium, splashing out and crashing like the notes that clash and mix all around you. The sound reaches its climax and the water reaches back all the way, revealing the stone floor completely, preparing itself for one final wave! But the music stops, the only sound left is produced by your panting and the sword in your hand that has begun to hum again. The waves are still drawn back, waiting for their command to burst forth and send you away. You see the outline of a door behind the water and make your way towards it. The floor is completely dry despite the water that had been brushing against it for who knows how long. You make it to the door, and test your hand through the water. It passes without problem, and the sword hums and shakes more the ever. You pull open the door.

  Behind it are the deserted streets of the temple’s remains, the ruins from where you came. And right in front of you it the titan worm. It charges at you, bursting through the wall of water. You dodge to your right, the sword you hold giving you extra courage. It’s humming has reached a pinnacle now, and the sword starts to glow. Its light becomes as hot and blinding as the desert sun, and then stops. You know hold a gleaming blade of silver and pure majestic steel. The worm comes at you again, but this time you’re ready. You roll to the side and stab it as it hurls itself past you. The blade passes through the worm’s thick skin and it shrieks. The colossal beast turns to face you, and simply stares. You prepare yourself for another assault when you notice the wound you left in its side is already healing. In a matter of seconds the worm is perfectly fine once again, and coming back for more. It charges, its full weight applied into one massive charge. You decide to use a different approach, and run head first towards the worm. Its razor jaw is getting closer, and you don’t think you can make it. But you have to make it. You move over at the last second and plant your blade from one end of the worm to the next. You slice through the worm with ferocity and look back, satisfied as the beast falls to the ground. You feels warm liquid on your side and noticed you’ve been hit by its odd teeth sticking out from all over its face. But nonetheless you have won. But the worm still breathes. You look on in horror as the monster begins to regenerate from the gash all along its side. You have to act fast. You run full speed towards the worm, but the worm knows. It crawls away from you, and the chase starts. But you don’t have time. You can’t risk another face to face. The worm turns a sharp left and dashes towards podium, and you know you won’t catch up in time. You look around and realized the waves are still just waiting to be called down all around you. In a desperate attempt, you hold you sword like if you were guiding the music and the tides once more, and call off the waves. The walls of water that had been in place crash down around the podium, hitting you and bringing you at incredible speed towards the worm. It is almost all healed, and lets out a roar of defiance at you as you ride the waves in a last resort all out strike. Your blade passes right through the worms head and begins to glow again. It burns in your hands, but from its shrieks you guess it burn even worst inside the worms head. Your enemy is consumed in an all-powerful light, and then disappears along with your sword. You stand, catching your breath, the waves crashing frantically around you. Music picks up once more, and the waves crash against the podium one last time, obstructing all view and covering up the red carpet. And then the water reseeds, and you are no longer in the strange water room. You are in a ballroom; the music you hear comes from people playing none magical instruments. The space around you is quickly being filled with dancing couples, and you reach for your compass. It is time to go on with the journey.


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