I literally have no idea where this idea came but I just got an idea to sort of dystopian/fantasy/sci-fi/romance novel? I just spent the better of two hours writing this so hope you enjoy.
I have no idea where this idea came from but I would LOVE some feedback. Maybe this can develop into something more.
I am lifted. Strong, sure hands lift me from under my shoulders. I am weak as a newborn.
I awoke mere moments ago dizzy and lungs aching as I coughed out dark, damning water. Who knew that the basic element, the thing we need, the thing we kill for could also hurt so much. It expelled from me so gratefully and dangerously that I shook as my cold, wet skin breached the water and I somehow found the strength to drag myself out of the water. As I lay there wishing I were dead, I heard what sounded like footsteps on soft sand.
Lifting my head in vain, I watched in inert horror as a group of men approached me.
For the history books, I would like to bravely say I made some effort. But that would be a bold face lie. All of my survival skills were drained from the shipwreck. I want to scream, flee, fight even but every ounce of energy I had left, disappeared as swiftly as the S.S Reliance was enveloped by the dark heart of the sea.
My body breaks out in violent shivers once we make contact and I can feel my body unconsciously curling up and leaning towards the man to steal his warmth. Like a leech, I latch onto the man.
It hurts; my body aches as if I just ran a marathon on three hours of sleep. They speak in a language I have never heard of but with the way my head is spinning, they could have been speaking perfect and articulate English and it would have been Greek to me.
He throws me over his shoulder. I remember watching action films and growling in frustration as the damsel in distress would be so helpless and be unable to break free from the villain’s clutches. The man’s muscles bunch and tighten around me. A sure, unbreakable cage that seems almost laughable because it would take a miracle for me to be able to clench my first.
I sway as the man walks towards the others. His footsteps are sure but almost silent in the sand yet I still bounce on his shoulders. My breath is knocked out of me each time I collide with his muscular back.
Exhausted, I find the strength to crane my neck and wish I never did.
I have always had this irrational fear of bugs. I think all children are taught to hate them. Their slimy bodies, the antennas, and way they twitch their tiny legs and arms, it has always made my stomach clench. So to see a group of giant beetle-like beings standing before me, I rapidly fight the urge to faint.
At least five feet tall, the men approach the beetles like I imagine you would to a horse you are about to mount. They must ride them like in the old days when knights rode horses to battle. Shiny, metallic shells appear hard as metal and are a fascinating dark blue with a shine of silver.
Despite their grotesque beauty, I somehow found the strength to try to escape from the man’s grip. I wig, I butt my forehead, and I put up such a pathetic show that the man did not even pause his step.
Hard hands on my waist, I gasp as another man takes me from the other man’s grip and begins to raise me on the nearest giant beetle.
“No!” My throat is scratchy and my word is almost unrecognizable but it is a victory for me because the man lifting me stops.
“Gomak!” The command is loud from behind me.
I turn my head, my hair heavy and drenched to the point where my neck creaks in strain as I turn it and I take a first look at my captors.
My God. It is like I have been transported to an intensely devoted movie set or a different world. No one has looked so…indigenous since WWWIII. The War involving major players like the USA, Russia, North Korea was hell-bent on destroying the natural world. Once thriving countries like Syria were decimated with an onslaught of bombs. Natural resources were ripped from natural wonders like the lush jungle of the Amazons and the heaven-touched pink skies of Sierra Leone to fuel the war. Indigenous people were exiled from their homes, homes they knew not what were precious metals and resources to fuel the governments greed. Such beautiful people with such heartbreaking differences, conserving their culture, the culture that bound them past blood, past language, past the cock’s early call, obliterated so swiftly and cruelly over such greed.
Teak brown skin like the Native Americans Christopher Columbus viciously devastated until their tongues lost the language, their blood no longer hummed with the lands, and their eyes broken and stained with eternal grief. Smooth and unblemished by makeup but covered in marking that look like a mix of paint and tattoos. The man who carried me eyes has the most striking pair of eyes I’ve ever seen. Purple eyes. Not like the dimmed violet or a dark blue so pure that if you catch it in the right lighting, you may see indigo, but honest-to-God purple. Purple like lilacs, like the first day of spring, like a field of waving lavender flowers. There is blue paint decorating his face. Two lines of paint on each side of his nose, a triangle over his forehead, and a row of dots under his lips.
Together, the visage of this man, who must, must appear like countless others of his people, is ultimately striking. His hair is shaven. A brush of white blonde hair covers his head and after catching my eyes, he takes the mask from underneath his arm and places it around his face.
The mask is to intimidate. A mask the color of dried blood. The design is to appear as a face, a demonic, hated face and combined with his purple eyes, I stop my fighting and freeze.
Nodding to the man behind me, I am once again lifted as my bottom touches the steel-like shell of the beetle. My whole body clenches in fear.
I am in trouble. There is no room for doubt. What do these men want with me?
Arms wrap behind me. Tightly. My breath whooshes out of me. I turn around to glare but my shoulders clench as I meet the masked face of the man with purple eyes.
Taking a quick glance, I notice that all of the other men are masked and perched on the giant beetles. Realizing that the man witb the purple eyes must be in charge, my assumption is confirmed when he yells out the word he said before.
“Aiighk!” The group of men yells back.
The beetle beneath us suddenly jumps up as if set on fire. Screeching in shock, I hold on the man’s arms as the beetle appears to shake itself awake, the antennas shoot straight up, and then its entire body lurches forward.
Faster than I could have ever imagined, the thin but solid legs of the beetle breeze through the sand, the grit spraying in my face like pellets.
I try to simultaneously hold on to the man’s grip and spit out the sand but my efforts are futile. Giving up and letting the sand slap me in the face, I lay back in the man’s grip and pray that wherever they are taking me, there will be a bath.
< Before the crash>
I wonder what it was like to be on a ship that only traveled on water. In my history books, I learned of the great voyages that brought new discoveries, trade, and travesties like slavery.
The ship rides smoothly among the clouds. I reach up as we pass a fading nimbus; the cloud is weightless and wet in my hands.
We are passing by through the Atlantis now. Looking down, I can see the rippling waves, the water that was once almost stained by our own doing. Pollution had robbed us over millions of species of fish and wondrous mammals like the beloved whale and dolphin and the feared but mighty jaws of the finned sharks.
History does have a tendency to repeat itself and in all cases, whether war, feminine, or disease, it is always us humans who are the crux of the problem.
When will we learn from our errors, are we doomed as a race to repeat the cycle of loss and death?
From the beach, we pass through a thick jungle that reminds me of pictures of the Amazons. Curious beings poke their heads from behind fans of springy, dense trees. A lone, nonchalant wild cat watches us travel through from a high branch. My eyes clash with the predator’s yellow eyes and I acknowledge the intelligence behind them.
I’m not sure what time of day it is but judging by how high the sun is and the way my clothes have become to dry and harden from the sea salt and sand, I’m hoping we will get there before sunset.
I can smell water. Clean, fresh water not the seawater that has made permanent resident in my lungs. My guess is right when we do eventually run into waterfall. The crashing of the water is loud. The spray of the water is welcome as we go around the lip of the river. Reaching out, my sand-covered hand makes contact with the cool, wet water and I fight the urge to jump from the beetle’s back and plunge into the water.
At first, I am unsure where the beetle is taking us but after a moment, a gap, which reveals to be a cave, materializes. Feeling almost like an explorer who is about to encroach her on her first discovery, I hold my breath as we pass through the waterfall. The water is like light shower, drenching my hair once again and rinsing out the salt and sand until I can feel the gritty sand dripping down my back.
What lies beyond is so sudden and without human comprehension. There are no words, ancient or modern for me to properly convey the sight before me. A fairy tale, a fantasy, yes, that must be it, I must have walked into alternate universe because a sight so utterly breathtaking yet also surreal is before me and I cannot hold back the tears.
A grand open space, trees that appear to touch the sky, birds with feathers stained in vivid colors like cyan and purple and beyond the yawning splendor. Thick and humming with life, the smaller islands surrounding the city and layered with mountains touched with a brush of snow at apex. At further investigation, I notice that it is not snow, but a collection of fixtures and buildings strategically shaped into the face of mountains. The city itself looks unreal and so far away, especially since the obstacle of the flowing magma bisects them from the city outskirts. An ancient city, a lost city surrounded by rippling water, ice, and flowing magma.
I’ve never seen magma before I know the true destructive force of a volcano. I can smell the sulfur, the promise of death of heat.
As we approach the river of lava, I naively believe we would stop. As the beetle’s quick feet up the distance between them and the fiery element that will kill us at impact, I grip the man with purple eye’s arm. “We must stop!” I scream at the top of my lungs.
My movements become more hurried as the belch of the horrible heat wave burns my face. I turn in my seat now and try to grab at the man. “We must stop!” I shake as I scream at the man. I try to look past his mask but I am only welcomed with the same the direct, indifferent glare.
Screaming in frustration, I cry now. My shoulders shake as the sobs take me. How horrible of a fate to have tasted life, a new elixir, to be before a grand, untouched world and to be hurdled into a river of magma almost immediately.
I pray as the heat becomes unbearable and I shout “Amen” as the suddenly jumps and lands in the lava.
The beetle slides over the magma like water, like fresh-cut, springy grass.
I must look ridiculous with how wide and bugged out my eyes are. I look around, unconvinced that such a thing can ever happen. I must be dead already.
The men behind us seem bored. As if they have ridden atop a giant beetle before and that same beetle is walking over the lava as if it were casually strolling through the forest. The heat is still unbearable of course but as the city slowly but surely approaches,
I bite my lip and force myself to endure.
Something is waiting for me there, in that fantastical city. I am unsure what that something is but whether is a gift or a curse, it will change me fundamentally, logically, and emotionally.
Will I find love? Will I find solstice? Will Fate greet me or shame me?
The city is a current that remains consistent. There might be sudden lapse in the natural order of things, a hiccup, but like all things, it smoothens over as if never uttered.
Today, the current stalls as if time was frozen.
I have never seen such disorder, such chaos, and such excitement in my entire life. Yes, we laugh and cheer during grand celebrations, we weep when we must repent, but never has the air been charged with such zeal… such magic before.
I must know why.