Short story – It’s all cliche

Did i ever tell you about that one time i fell in love? No. Okay, well i guess that’s why you are here – To listen to me talk about how much of an insecure person i am, how long it took me to gain confidence because of my past experiences. That i finally met a guy who was my soul mate, the one i will marry – Who then turned out to be a complete and utter idiot and crushed my heart.
That i then reverted back to my old ways, no confidence and hit the gym hard getting rid of my emotions and that now i am some kind of cold heartless bitch, who is scared of falling in love but of course i do and try to deny that. Eventually giving in to accepting this new guy, that he is this time my real soulmate – But along this journey he still manages to crush my trust, and it’s a real dramatic story of events how much i had to fight for him because of this so called other woman – All leading to the last scenario.
Me giving him one last chance to save our love, that it leads to me leaving with a packed bag and jumping on the next plane out of here to somewhere hot, with a spa – Just incase i need to mend my heart, because this love of my mine might not show up.
Of course he does, he realises it at the last minute. Runs around frantically trying to find me. Ends up at the airport, he thinks he has missed me but i am still slowly boarding clutching on to that hope.
I am about to board my plane and i see him – I see my love sweating and breathing heavy because he did come for me. He tells me that he loves me and he’s sorry, we kiss in the middle of the airport. I miss my flight – Do you ever wonder what happens when we decide to turn around and not leave to another country? We don’t get a refund on those tickets, but of course in reality he decides to pack and come with me, so i change my ticket to a new flight booked with him.

What happens now? We go on holiday, drink lots and have a huge amount of sex. We day dream about our future together and make plans.
Six months down the line, reality kicks in and life is hard. We are different, busy, no time for eachother because of our jobs. We want similar things but then when we want the same, it’s at different times in our lives.
Oh this is when i mention we argue alot, its stressful we break up for a while.
I guess we are on a break, he sleeps with a girl and i date other guys and for a long time we don’t re-connect. Until its too late, by the time we realise we do love eachother – The relationship is no good, its damaged – We are both damaged.

We break up for good and for the rest of our lives we carry on. With other people, marrying and having kids. Saddened by the memories every now and again when i think of him and what could of been.
He’s the one that got away, my one true love but the universe doesn’t always see it like that.
Life is a bitch.

But i am hopeful we will meet again xo

 

Story by R. Pursell (This story is fictional) 

Untitled – story

We slowly grouped and boarded off the ship, bags on our shoulders and torches in our hands. The Aegis guards were built big and stiff – Nothing would be able to get past them i thought.
We were not welcomed by the colony leader, which relieved me a little bit. I wanted to feel emotionally prepared before i met the man that wants to destroy what is left of us in order to continue his Utopian dream. If only i knew more about the world before i was born, how could it of possibly come to this – Pictures of green country sides and bustling cities burned my imagination. I only know of my country, England but the island of Aegis was once known as the United States – It looks smaller than i remember being taught in our classes as kids but that is all we were allowed to know. I do remember a cabinet always locked, i once caught a glimpse of it. From what i saw, it was files and files that were to be hidden away. Anything marked yellow was okay, but red – God forbid if the teacher pulled out a file marked with red.
“They don’t need to know everything, stick with the plan.” words i often think about, and the look of fear in our teachers eyes. – Back then i never thought anything of it, perhaps they were protecting our innocent minds, a time in your live when you can be easily manipulated – Made to think that this world, living like this is normal. Once i met Chris a few years ago, i have never doubted my existence as much as i do now.

The cold air was nice, it felt fresh something we lacked. We spent seven days a week on the ship and even though we freely roamed the deck the air felt the same, it smelt the same – I often wonder exactly how man drops of water i have felt from the splash back of the sea when its rough.
This island smelt different, i think that’s why i like the air. You can tell we are somewhere new, its just a feeling you get when the ground and surroundings are different. I blame the eyes, what you see makes up for what you feel.

Chris walked closely behind me as if he were somehow protecting me without looking too overbearing, Will seemed to be lost in thought but somehow pretending to look amazed at the huge lighthouse placed right by us. No doubt we will be introduced by more guards and led somewhere to stay – As always if you are new face, you will get stares up and down, whispers maybe even sniggers. I would do the same if i saw myself in the eyes of these perfected humans. Us lot, coming off a huge old ship wearing beat up slacks and long sleeved jumpers and scruffy boots. The Aegis guards are pristine, neatly ironed uniforms with weapons across there backs. No ships on water for these guys, they fly ridiculous air crafts. I think we are the only colony that work away on the ships and i don’t mind it staying that way.

“Males this way, females this way. It’s only temporary we need to get you clean, checked and have ID badges. You’ll be shown your dorms after. ”

I look at Christ with freight – “It’s okay” He said kissing my lips.
“I will see you soon” I grabbed his hand and he let mine go, what if i don’t see him again?

Untitled – story

We hid the message as discreetly as we could, if any one knew we had a secret we’d be forced to tell. Me and Chris did not want to get Will into trouble, the message was his and his alone. Whatever he chose to do or thought of it, was all on him – But we needed to stay by his side.
Before we could sit in silence some more and wonder, the captain made an announcement for us all to head to the front of the ship. I held Chris’s hand tightly, still scared of what we had just discovered.
As people clambered to the deck, we saw our team’s leader point ahead of us. In the distance was a huge watchtower, it was too far away to spot the detail but the rainbow lights that it shone were not hard to miss. It looked beautiful – This meant we were near, we were about to meet another colony. Only few of us got to meet, but we traded often with others – This time we were here for a job, a job that we knew nothing about. It was a regular thing to not know of your mission, this time the details were purposely kept secret from us.
It didn’t bother me, after this week was over we would travel back to camp and me, Chris and some of our friends would hire transport and head down south, a place  that had only just been cleared as safe. My ancestors lived in a place called London, we want to visit and learn more about where we came from. It might give us some answers because lately I have had such a bad feeling.

An hour later our ship slowly docked, Chris and I sat with Will. People began to rustle about and look out of the window at this colony we were approaching, whispers and excitement.
As I heard the name of the colony, I gripped Chris’s hand – “Did someone say Aegis?”
Chris looked at Will, his face turning white.

We had arrived at the place where the message to Will had come from. We were in danger.

Alena | Chapter one preview

Chapter one

 

The cold air hit Alena hard in the face, she tried to wiggle her mouth and smile, but it was numb and tight. Alena loved the winter; the cold air was refreshing, and it helped her in the mornings when she really needed to wake up and face the day. Cold air smacking her right in the face and eyes, making them water before she had even put any mascara on. That instant cool feeling hitting your lungs and breathing in the morning air. She never understood why the air was so different in the AM, you could smell everything from the dew-covered grass, to the damp moss covered stone slabs.   Alena found it more bracing when she made her fifteen-minute walk through the park to work, and the beautiful sunlight slowly seeped through the gaps between plants and trees. Birds would tweet as if they were also joining her and off to work themselves, or maybe they were leaving their nest to attend a morning coffee meeting at a local spot with other fellow birds – Who really knew how creatures and animals lived.
The night time though was a different story. The winter time in the dark was a lot more silent, especially by the time Alena finished work at five. A few dog walkers, the odd runner but people didn’t like the park at night, especially alone. Nature was much more enjoyable to spend time with, who wants to sit on a packed bus with sweaty, rude (most of the time) people? Let’s not forget the kids, screaming annoying kids or babies – It was her own therapy.

Not only was it beautiful, she felt safer walking through the park than the actual streets, it was as though the trees were somehow watching and protecting her and maybe even the night creatures that she could never see but always hear rustling around were guiding her home. Creating this little world allowed her to not think the worse, because sometimes just being in the dark itself causes our brain to create nightmares of their own.

This Friday night was particularly cold, mid-November really did start to show off its winter and what it was capable of. For some reason the colder the weather the more people obsessed over the idea of it almost being Christmas. But people were relieved to be leaving work, usually more appreciated on a Friday as they didn’t have to face the office for two days.  The relief for most though was purely excitement of getting drunk with each other in the pub not so far from the office building, a tradition that never seemed to die. For Alena, she never went unless it was the Christmas works do or a super special occasion, she never counted the birthdays of co-workers – None of them were her friends. It wasn’t a choice though to not have friends outside or even inside of work, in fact it was something that she wanted for many years now, for the past five years or so to be precise. The only real social interaction is either online with Facebook and other social media, or the small talk at work.
Her unlimited minutes and texts on her phone were a complete waste, as she has nobody to call or text. Quite some years went by and she never really gave it much thought as to why people just stopped being her friends, why the long text messages turned into small talk and then nothing at all. That even her ex friends all still spent time with each other but failed to include her.

This might be the core reason why she was so miserable and unhappy. It’s even worse when you can’t share your sad soul with best friends or a partner. The few good years she had in high school seemed to be irrelevant, as she thought her friends were going to be for life – Even though back then, they were a real bunch of bitches when they wanted to be. Even Alena regrets being friends with them in high school as she was often felt influenced to be a cold-hearted cow. But as they got older from the age of eighteen and upwards they all seemed pretty cool young adults. Many laughs, memories and drunken nights were always going to be remembered.
Alena also never really had many boyfriends either, she rarely chased the men like her friends did. Even on nights out, when she tried to flirt or even kiss a guy it was because he was too drunk to probably really see her, and the alcohol turned her into an overly confident loud mess.

It was sad what she thought of herself, after hours of styling her hair to look nice and applying makeup her reflection to her would look good, but immediately shattered when she realised nobody looked at her or even paid her a compliment. It was always her friends who were the gorgeous ones that turned heads, but she often thought she was too and just as good if not better sometimes without feeling a tad egotistical, better.  Her maturity back then was not like the rest, she acted older and had her head screwed on – But someone had to be like that.  Even one-night stands were not her thing, which was something else that seemed to be a trend, maybe that was one thing she should have done? Sleep with more men, but Alena refused to be that girl.
Her friends often thought she was too funny or too sarcastic and loud, and men saw her more as one of the guys but with huge boobs – Something else she’s had to deal with. Comments, compliments, stares are all things she has had to get used to since high school because of how developed she was. This didn’t make her feel confident, it made her shy and ashamed. Alena would do everything in her power to make sure even a lounge t shirt didn’t show any cleavage and because of being blessed in that region this did often attract the wrong guys, who did only see her as an object willing to offer them that something they could get at a brothel.

What was so bad about Alena, that nobody wanted to be friends with her? – She always wore her heart on her sleeve when it came to her friends, always willing to help, lend money or just be that last resort when they had nobody else. Every time she fell for it, even when they made her feel sad and often forgot to include her. Alena was honest when needed to be, and she liked to believe all of the thing she did were what made a good friend, but her entire life she found herself always forgotten.

She had a hunger for a new adventure but that was just a dream now and she if hadn’t spent all these years feeling sad or in such a dark cold place then Alena would probably have been to most of her bucket list countries. She also wanted to meet new people and make new friends, like the tv show Friends or Sex and The City. This thought made her smile, but they were all things that made her cry because they didn’t exist.
Alena couldn’t really remember when someone made her laugh, or even a time she smiled at all, she tried to think of when she last dated someone. Did even any of the men she walked past every day or worked with see her as anyone? Did they even think she was pretty? Over the years admittedly she had let herself go a bit, wearing tons of makeup turned into a light look, often none most of the time. Even at twenty-seven she couldn’t shake off getting break outs and her hair, long naturally wavy dark brown with tints of all sorts when the sun would shine, was now a shoulder length bob which she never wore down, always in a bun or half assed pony tail and used dry shampoo on a regular basis. Her need to look good and make herself feel good was lost, it didn’t exist. Because she either thought herself to look stupid and trying too hard if she did make the effort, and nobody would notice her anyway. To who was she impressing because doing it for herself seemed a waste of energy and product. She now accepted her pale face, and big brown eyes to be her identity. She even wore her glasses more than she needed to, because it covered her eyes and hoped that it would make people not look at her – Alena thought she looked like a creature without them, her eyes felt naked since she stopped wearing eyeliner and eyeshadow. Her thoughts reverted back to a time in high school when she loved wearing mascara and lots of black eye liner on her water line and would be teased for it. Then, she remembered sometime at nineteen, a guy she spoke to in a chat room for loners like herself said she had huge scary bug eyes. If she wasn’t being bullied for being fat, it was she looked like a bug.  Boys were even mean to her in high school. Alena never knew why, she was friendly with everyone and with growing up going into the big school, friends were important. Nobody liked to be that kid that sat on a bench alone during play time or stayed glued to the teachers. Whilst her ‘friends’ seemed to of had better experiences at school, she prefers to keep hers locked up and forgotten about.

 

Alena approached the entrance to park, relieved that she was finally away from the busy town centre and cars impatiently trying to beat the traffic rush hour. It was five minutes past five, it was already dark and extremely cold which was not usually out of the ordinary, but tonight the air had such a sharp bitterness to it.
Her walk would take around fifteen minutes and every day she tried to beat that time to and from work, but for some reason no matter how much she rushed herself it seemed to take longer. She didn’t care though; this park was her little adventure place, her own little world where she could get lost in thought and use her surroundings to create little stories.
The trees on the left-hand side were the working-class trees with a kind nature and friendlier approach, the right side were the upper class rich busy bodies with such perfect form. It was harder to see them in the pitch black, the only light seeping around the park were tiny specs of car lights from the streets but the further she walked the smaller the lights looked and within minutes, Alena was in the middle of the park where everything was silent and pitch black.
Her eyes managed to adjust to the sudden darkness, and she saw the outlines of trees, bushes and the odd grey stone bench. Fog slowly began to appear and thicken, it soon became near impossible to see anything around her – It was odd, she never felt the park to be so quiet. Alena could usually feel the atmosphere, or the presence of something that lived in the park, perhaps a hedgehog family somewhere scurrying back home to sit and eat around the fire place in their little home, but tonight was as though nothing else existed but her and this black space. No waft of air and no noise of the floor as her winter boots scraped the frozen dirt path she walked on, which in the summer make crunchy sounds as you would step on little stones mixed in with the dusty light brown dirt.
The temperature was dropping, and the cold became even more bitter as if flecks of ice were been flicked against her skin, she had never felt so cold. She wanted to speed up her walk, but the fog grew even more thicker which became impossible to see forward and her mind was no longer thinking of the cute nature stories this park had helped her create, but a worry in case she walked the wrong way as the park went on for miles around her – And she might end up in a ditch.
Alena took a deep breath but being cautious of her steps, and for the first time ever the dark was creating all of those unwanted scary thoughts – She felt scared and she didn’t know why.
She began to sing to herself, a Backstreet boys song something cheesy to keep her mind happy but her senses began to feel as though she wasn’t alone. Her anxiety levels were rising, and she was trying so hard to not to fall into that trap of being scared of the dark – What was the dark? ‘Nothing other than the earth rotating, it’s okay’ – She thought to herself.
A few minutes later, heart sank with relief and warm feelings raced around her body as she heard small leaves or something rustling. The animals had come out to make her feel safe, perhaps they were off to the pub as well –  But the crunching of frozen leaves and a warm blow of breath against her cheek caused her to stop dead still in the pitch-black park, the darkest it had ever been.
‘Hello?’ she called out, her throat dry and lips freezing cold. It’s all in my head she thought, and slowly proceeded to walk. It was no longer a casual walk home, it became a goal to get the hell out of the park and into some where well lit. All these years of walking home at night, peacefully without being disturbed had now drastically changed, which was not good for her anxiety and sometimes paranoid mind. All the films she had watched of people being creeped out by walking alone in the dark that caused havoc in our minds she once laughed at, now she fully understood the fictional feelings.

More rustles and crackling of frozen twigs were making themselves known, and the feeling of an actual presence began to worry Alena, it really did feel as though someone was following her – It wasn’t a late Halloween trick someone wanted to play, or some silly teenagers feeling brave to taunt a grown woman, something or someone was following her. Alena began to quicken her walk, if she really wanted to get home should she not be running for her life? But she realised that whoever seemed to be tagging along with her was mimicking her pace. Rustling and quick steps surrounded her left side, then swished quickly in an instant to her right as if it were a ghost, perhaps it was.  Alena caught a black figure from the corner of her eye moving again from left to right, almost teasing her or perhaps they were luring her into a trap. What could possible move that fast, is her mind making it up?
Alena walked and thought, she wanted to convince herself of this as some mystical woodland creature who liked to play in the dark and not someone who might attack her. It was extremely hard to think, it was freezing, and the cold was reaching inside of her gloves. Her ears began to hurt, as her beanie didn’t quite cover her ears fully and every time she pulled it down, because of her hair being tied up it caused the beanie to slip up. The last time she felt this cold was waiting for a taxi home after doing a huge food shop, unfortunately taxis were delayed, and traffic was rammed due to an accident earlier that day. The whole town was at standstill, and she waited two hours out in the cold. Alena tried to move about to keep warm, but it felt near impossible to move, it was as though the ice-cold air had frozen her bones, and when she tried to walk her body was stiff and achy.
This was how her bones were feeling now, even though she was already moving.

She tried to remain calm and kept the same pace, not letting them know that she was scared, it seemed a rational tactic but mostly to keep her sanity. ‘Please let it be my mind playing tricks’ she thought. Maybe a fox will jump out at any minute now and make her laugh at herself for being so pathetic, but her mind making it to be much more – Was this her life now, creating stories and fictional situations to make her feel a little bit better, though Alena couldn’t help but sense that whoever was following her, was not a figure of her imagination.
A little giggle let out and echoed the park, Alena’s heart raced she almost felt something pop into her throat and slide back down, now she understood the saying ‘my heart was in my mouth.’
She quickened her pace – Screw remaining calm she thought, and as her walk sped up so did the black figure.
What was going on? Her eyes wandered around her – Trying to get sense of her surroundings, she realised that the park was not your typical night time black where outlines of things were easy to spot. It was a black she could only imagine it to be of the bottom of a never-ending ditch. Which made her feel as though her surroundings were not quite right. The more she ran and panicked, Alena had begun to feel claustrophobic as though she had entered a tiny room painted black – No trees were to be seen, and the fog was invisible as if it were never there. She was panicking, her heart racing with fear put an enormous pressure against her chest it was unbearable, her walk had now turned into a run. ‘Keep going, just keep going’ she breathlessly whispered, not seeing her cool breath surround her face in a little cloud.
Her fear and anxiety grew, and her heart felt as if were to pop out, the pain and strain in her chest was uncomfortable – Was she having a heart attack? No, you’re being stupid she thought.
The quicker she ran, the more of a blur the park became, and within minutes what felt like forever her run would come to an end. The black figure swiftly moves and giggles behind her, but she managed to focus on the main goal and just before her legs were about to buckle with fear a flickering ball of light appeared ahead – She was almost out of the park.

Yes, yes, yes, she excitedly spoke out, never in her life had she had to run like that and her legs feeling like jelly were a mixture of adrenaline and being unhealthy. The closer she got to the light the slower she paced herself and eventually became face to face with the ball of light.
Alena bent over trying to get back her breath, breathing in through her nose and out with her mouth – Always something she remembered every time she had a panic attack. As her heart beat slowed down and she familiarised herself with the parks surroundings, she realised the ball of light wasn’t a street lamp – She wasn’t out of the park, and everything around her remained completely pitch black but this odd flickering light was right in front of her floating. It replicated the warm ambience of being in her living room with the fire on and candles lit. Which was her sanctuary of peace and comfort, but this light just floated in mid-air aligned with the height of her eyes, it was pretty, and Alena must have stood staring at it for a few minutes or so – It calmed her, she felt relaxed.

She snapped out of her trance and approached the light more closely, squinting as it became too bright for her eyes, what were those tiny little specs she could see? It almost looked like thousands of tiny pixels creating one huge ball of light, it almost mimicked the shape of the sun. It was nothing she had ever seen before, she touched it with her finger it tickled her fingertip making her let out a little squeak and within flash thousands of fireflies dispersed around her creating a circle, moving slowly around her. They were warm and as she closed her eyes, it almost felt as if she was at home sitting by the fire. She stretched out her arms to embrace whatever it was, and then just like that they disappeared – They didn’t fly away like a flock of birds, they just vanished as though someone had turned them off like a light.

Everything around her started to look how it should be, she saw trees and bushes. Alena had noticed her cool breath and the fog was once again hovering in the air. Alena really couldn’t understand what was happening but sighed with relief as she saw the entrance of the park, she had almost forgotten about the black figure that was following her and realised that whoever it was had stopped and she no longer felt this unusual presence. Alena composed herself, feeling oddly warm again and began to walk the last few meters out of the park, happy that she could see the street lit up and old Victorian houses in the street near by – This would mean only five more minutes and she would be in her own street, opening the front door and basking in the heat as the central heating timer would have successfully done its job and heated up the house a few hours before.

As she stepped out of the park, Alena looked behind her not forgetting what had just happened, how could she? – She saw the ball of light reappear, it flickered and once again disappeared. This moment, this walk home really was not something to forget, and she couldn’t help but call herself crazy and think that she had experienced a magical moment of some kind – That this ball of light saved her from whoever was following her home. Something strange happened, and for the rest of the walk every thought she had about it left her feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

 

This is me

The point of this is to really understand why I’m in the dark, why i spend every minute of everyday looking over my shoulders of the black clouds that cast over me as i live among the people of this planet – The people that see me as invisible, the ones that would never know i were to stand behind them unless my warm breath grazed the skin. The very same people that once made me smile, the ones who would smile back, but now they walk with the rest, ignoring me and my life.

Each storm does not follow by white clouds and fresh blue skies, nor rays of sun beaming to show the defeat of the grey monsters that roar above. – Every storm becomes darker, thicker, wiser and every time it pulls me into this whirling black vortex of misery it’s harder for me to hold on, because of strength and because of power.

My fingers are cold, dry and cannot grasp the air any more. My reflection is blurry, lost somewhere inside of the glass i am trying to break, the glass that separates me and my mind from the existence of what really is – But why can nobody see me? The glass is clear, it’s clean, the only prints are my finger tips as i try to reach out for a hand to match up against mine, a hand to reassure me that i am here, that i am safe.

The next turning i take i see the water, water that hydrates me no matter the temperature. But it’s rising, i can swim and maybe i can swim free? But the storm is back, its not letting me move the waves are harsh and thrashing my face – I try to gasp for air, but each wave does not give me a break to breathe. Gargling the water, the hydrating water but i am not thirsty i don’t want to swallow – I have no choice, i swallow and my arms are weak i float down and i cannot see around or below it is still dark.
I lay at the bottom, my eyes closing i am tired so so tired, nobody knows i am here and nobody will ever realise i am gone. It’s too late to change things, this is who i am and i won’t allow it to be the reason why i am invisible. I am good person.
My eyes close, i let go – I could sleep for a while.

A fish, or something that is supposed to live under water stops me from falling into a deep sleep, one that i might not wake up from. But i cannot breath, i swallowed how am i still at the bottom.
This white fat fish with feathery fins makes his presence known by flicking his back end on my nose. What does it want? I am not food.
I try to sit up from the bottom of the water, my arms heavy and it’s hard to move, almost slow motion. It swims around me in circles and my eyes cannot keep up, its annoying. My patience is small but it’s too quick for me to catch. It swims away, up and up and up until it is gone. A fish noticed me, am i a fish too?
I look up my eyes adjusting, its still dark but i can make out where i crashed down from – A small light flickering, almost bobbing up and down. This could finally be the sunshine after the storm.

The fish comes back, antagonizing little shit, it seems to be directing me to the top. I shake my head, bubbles surround me. Is this what it is like under water, could i be a mermaid.
My body begins to shake, it is not me but the ground rumbling it’s fierce and the water is disturbed, the fish looks frightened. He swims around me frantically and as the ground rumbles more it swims off up to the  top – The storm is back, its here to take me, forever.

I use what energy i have to move and try to swim, which is something i have never been good at. I breast stroke with all my might, each movement becoming harder. It’s pulling me down – But the light is so close.
The fish appears to swim in front of me, out of nowhere its back. It’s guiding me and my eyes focus on his feathery fins and tail, majestic almost angel like. I can see black shadows moving within the light, please storm do not make it dark. You cannot take everything from me, you cannot drown me – You have everything else but i want to be here i want to fight for my worth.

Something dark enters the water and the ground rumbles harder, i turn to look down and an explosion of water races up towards my body – Bubbles so big it would swallow you hole. The fish swims towards the explosion with might and courage, a tiny soul trying to make a difference in this dark world.
I try to swim for him but it’s too late, he has gone, it has consumed him. What’s left for me to do is to reach up to the light, swim, go – GO!

All is dark – All is black – All is gone. 

I wake up, a bed so white and lights so bright. Machines beeping and wires attached to my body. My eyes open fully, i see people so many people – A man, with white hair and all white clothing.

The fish, he saved me… I am not invisible.

 

 

 

Written by Rebecca Pursell