The Fictitious Pen

Letting my mind speak for itself.

Stuck in the Desert

JTNP
Image Credits to Peter B.

The temperature was scorching hot. The temperature was well above a hundred. There was no other human life form nearby nor was there a town anywhere nearby to be found. I’ve been walking for the past few hours ever since jumping out the burning helicopter. Somehow, my life was spared from the fall. Surrounding my current position was nothing but sand and cacti. Now I knew what it was like to be stuck in the desert like those people in the movies. Parts of my skin was suffering from sunburn and skin rash. I was sweating like a pig on an oven. Slowly, I put one foot forward and then the next one. I didn’t bother looking back for there was nothing to be found but sand and cacti. Hopefully I find decent shelter by nightfall before the coyotes are out at night. Hopefully I don’t come across any poisonous snakes, rattlesnakes especially. The backpack I carried on my back had no medical supplies of any kind, and I just finished my last drop of water and rations. Right now, all I can do is rely on whatever cacti I come across and drink their liquid. The more I traveled, the more rocks began to show up. My frown became a smile, then a laughter came out of my mouth. I sense that I am close to civilization, or at least a small town or abandoned ghost town for me to take shelter for the night. I continued moving forward and hoped for the best.

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The House in the Fog


Image Credits to Naike Tyler.

In the middle of nowhere, far away from civilization lies an abandoned house in the fog. It was not ordinary house nor was it any different from any other house, but one thing’s for sure, it can only be found during the night. In the morning, if one were to try and seek for that house, one would ultimately fail to do so. They would only find an empty plot of land.

People, especially lost hikers, who accidentally finds the house usually either stays there for the night or just take a look at it from the outside and walks away. Those who stay there for the night usually end up missing and never to be seen again. As for those who walked away, they either got really lucky and found their way back or they are stuck wandering the forest in circles for eternity. One thing’s for sure, it is not the place one would want to stumble upon. One might say the place is haunted, another might say is cursed, but I say it’s both. I was one of the lucky few who made it out of the forest, while my friends and comrades have failed to do so.

The house was two stories high, made of brick and stone, but mainly stone. It was surrounded by a few petrified trees. There was not a single sign of life, except the mysterious shadowy figure that appears to be human-like inside the house. One thing’s for sure, it is not human or rather is no longer a human. The temperature there was well below the 60s (Fahrenheit) and I was shivering in the cold with every breath forming a cloud of smoke. It seemed time would freeze over and remain still so that morning will never come. Just by being near the place is already dangerous. So the next time you visit a forest, and fog starts appearing, turn back, and run. Run as if your life was on the line.

2. The Spiral Staircase – The Door

After I opened the secret door, it revealed a sturdy metal door. This time, it had the word CAUTION in big black and yellow colored letters labeled across it. I wondered what could be behind the door. Then, I noticed at the bottom, in very small font, it said:

“In case of nuclear warfare, zombie apocalypse, and/or the apocalypse takes place, use the thing inside to survive and arm yourselves for what’s to come.”

Beneath it, showed

Do not open this door if not necessary unless it’s for maintenance. The gold key is also required to open what’s behind this door. Guard it with your life.

Just then, I felt someone’s breath hitting my neck. I nervously and cautiously turned around. My grandparents had caught me. I told them this isn’t what it seemed like. Luckily for me, they were the nicest grandparents in the world, so they understood and instead of expecting a punishment, they asked “so do you want to know what’s behind this door?” I nodded with excitement.

“Do you promise to keep this a secret between us three and no one else? That also goes for your parents.”

I raised my hand and replied, “Yes, I do and I swear my life on it.”

“Good.”

I was then prompted to insert the gold key into the door and turn 90 degrees counterclockwise, then 180 degrees clockwise, then the tricky 45 degrees counterclockwise, and finally, pulling it out in exactly 10 seconds otherwise the traps down here will activate, killing us all without delay.

I hesitated and swallowed my anxiousness and nervousness. My hands grew sweaty. My life, no, our lives were at stake once I insert the key. I started to have second thoughts. What if it fails? What will happen? What kinds of traps did my grandparents set up in here anyways? Will it be painful?

Without knowing, my hand moved on its own and inserted the key into the slot. I freaked out. Here goes nothing. I turned the key according to the instructions I received: 90 degrees counter, 180 degrees….. finally, the 10 seconds remained. 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… zero! Without hesitation, I pulled out the key with my eyes shut. It felt as if time had stopped. Suddenly, mechanical noises were audible behind the door. Smoke began to leak out of the door, and finally it opened up revealing nothing but darkness.

My grandparents both went in and turned on the lights. One by one, the lights lit up from closest to farthest. I was speechless and my jaw dropped. It was something I would never have imagined my grandparents owned.

To be continued…

Daily Prompt: A Bird, A Plane, You!

So in the daily prompt, I was asked to choose one of the three superpowers and to explain why: ability to speak and understand any language, ability to time travel, ability to make any two people agree with each other. My superpower would simply be the ability of time travel. Why not one of the other two? The ability of speaking and understanding any languages is useless to me since I don’t travel and do not possess the will nor desire to speak and understand any language. Next, to be honest, was my original choice, the ability to make any two people agree with each other; however, it wasn’t until later that I soon realized there’s a flaw in this ability. As I would like to refer back to the option, it stated “to make any two people…” Now, notice the word “any”, which is probably safe to assume the user being one of the two people is a possible scenario. It is also a double edged sword. Sure, it could be beneficial to the user if he or she wants something to be agreed upon that the other person can do or has, but this is also where the flaw comes in. Again, the ability is to make any two people agree with each other. That means that it’s safe to assume that the beholder of this amazing ability might have to agree with the opponent. The result might not be as great as what was intended, but it will do. Also, I chose time travel because that way, I can guide my past self onto a path of a higher success rate of reaching my goals. In addition, hoping that I won’t accidentally touch my past self causing my existence to go poof.

Now that I’ve told you, my readers, my thoughts, I would love to hear yours, so feel free to leave a comment of which one you would choose. You don’t have to explain it like I did.

References
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/daily-prompt-power/

1. The Spiral Staircase – The Golden Key

Snake
Image Credits to klickertrigger

My parents decided to go on a honeymoon last weekend, so I was dropped off at my father’s side of the family’s grandparents place. It was quiet, boring, and dull. They didn’t have any game systems nor a computer. I was about to lose my sanity until I decided to roam the house at random, killing time and hoping the weekend would pass by already. “Oh how I miss my wonderful toys and games back at home already! Spare me of this agony!” I would shout at random intervals on the top of my lungs, only to get a reply¬† of “Now now Richard, indoor voices please.”

After exploring the house a bit, which was in fact a decently big house, I decided to pretend to be a treasure hunter like Indiana Jones, and search for hidden treasure around the house. Whoosh! I would slide across the wooden floorboards in my socks, while pretending to flick a invisible whip in the air. Then, I accidentally slipped and crashed into the bookcase in my grandparents room. Suddenly, a book fell over and a piece of paper fell out of it.

“He who inserts this golden key into the right slot shall unlock the secret to this house.”

In the same page the message fell out, was a empty slot occupied by a golden key. “Wowwww!” I went. As I started to fantasize more and more about what secrets this house might contain, I decided to take the three items, and began inserting the key to every door in the house, but unfortunately, none of them accepted the golden key. After a failed attempt in finding the slot, I returned to the bookcase where I found the key at. I sat down and sighed in misery. Then, I noticed something odd about the bookcase. I then realized that there was a golden key slot right behind the slot where the book fell from. Immediately, I revived from my depression, inserted the key into the wall, and turned. Click! Whatever it was connected to, somewhat was unlocked. Soon, the bookcase started to slide to the left, and the wall behind it began to move, which revealed a secret spiral stairway that leads underground.

“Woahhhh!” I said with wide open eyes and excitement. I walked onto the first step and looked down the center. The stairway twisted and turned going all the way down, almost as if it were a never ending pathway to hell. The temperature in the stairway was cold. I went out to make sure the coast was clear, then went back in and began the long journey down the stairway. Step by step, slowly descending, I looked down. As the distance began to shrink between me and the bottom of the floor. I grew more and more impatient so I began to walk faster and faster and faster and finally, I reached the bottom. There was a old fashioned wooden door with a gold key port. I hesitated and imagined what interesting things were behind the door, but at the same time, I also thought of what horrors could also possibly be behind it. I then decided that I’ve known too much, and it’s too late to turn back, it’s either now or never I thought. With a deep breath, I inserted the key, twisted it, and pulled open the door.

To be continued…

2. The Kingdom Beyond the Ridge – The Old Stone Bridge

PASSAGE TO ANOTHER WORLD - EXPLORE
Image Credits to Dave (snaps11).

My house was located in the countryside near a forest. The forest was somewhat green and luscious. It was usually quiet with the exceptions of birds chirping every now and then. One day, I decided to explore the forest despite the villagers warning. They claimed that the forest contained evil spirits, and those who enter were never to be seen again. I thought it was a silly tale passed down for  generations to keep kids from getting lost and causing more trouble, because we recently experienced a harsh drought. I wanted to see the truth for myself and my sense of adventure was bursting with excitement and curiosity. And so, on a cloudy day, I decided to sneak into the forest prepared, of course, with food and a survival kit should anything happen to me. Without further hesitation, I marched into the entrance of the forest, which just so happens to be right next to the dried up river that provides the village its water.

The path was nice and smooth at first, but gradually became more and more difficult to travel on. Pretty soon, I was lost. Being a positive person, I didn’t fret and kept walking forward. Eventually, I arrived at a beautiful scenery which contained a huge waterfall with water falling. Although, the speed at which the water fell wasn’t at all as fast as one would expect it to be, so it was hardly loud enough to pierce through the forest to echo out to the village. Then I realized, this was the source of the water, and that there was a huge tree that fell over from a huge storm, which blocked the river’s flow. I tried to push it out of the way, but it wouldn’t budge. I thought, I’ll inform the villagers of the tree, and all will be good again. And so, I continued to walk deeper into the forest after a good rest.

Finally, I arrived at a location where a stone bridge was laid out before me, and at the center, was a small tree stump. I thought it to be very odd, whoever made this definitely wasn’t in the right mind to leave the remaining tree stump as is. The thing that caught my attention was that the bridge seemed to lead deep into the forest, except the trees which grew in front of it formed a impenetrable wall. A chill went down my spine. My senses told me that I shouldn’t cross it, but my curiosity and sense of adventure was too great to hold me back now. Step-by-step, I walked closer and closer to the bridge. As soon as I my feet touched the edge of the bridge, a mysterious ripple of light seemed to glow in the center of the air. I freaked out for a moment and I thought I was seeing things. “Impossible” I chuckled nervously while shaking my head in denial. “T-There’s no such thing as ghosts. That’s just a silly idea! Ah-ha hahahaha ha.” Due to my ignorance and sense of adventure, I took a huge step forward, and suddenly, all my surroundings immediately blurred out and in front of my was pitch black. I looked back, and saw the forest quickly fading away. Then, I turned around again, and this time, I found myself in a forest again. Except, it looked a lot different than what I saw in front of me from before. The tree leaves were dark green and filled with life. The stone bridge that I saw was no longer worn out, and there was actually water flowing through it. Not only that, the trees that once formed a huge wall to block access through the other side of the bridge was no longer there, except, only this time, it was behind me.

To be continued…

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2. The Kingdom Beyond the Ridge – The Old Stone Bridge by Eric Liang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/snaps11/10944291764/.

The Place I Call Home

Maison du Brem
Image Credits to Rene.

It was rundown. It was always cold because there was no heater. The ceiling was worn out. Pieces of paint either hung loosely or they’ve given up and fell to the ground to join their fallen comrades. The only pieces of furniture in the room are four, no six chairs, a table, and a lamp. The place was rundown. The place was not nice. The place was a wreck. The place was somewhat cold and empty. Compared to the houses that surrounds it, nice and big with chimneys on top with heaters built in, this place is an eyesore to those who walk by it. The place is rundown, but it is the place that I call “home.”

It may not be the greatest place to live in, it maybe not be the best, but at least I had a place to return to that I can call “home.” It shielded me from the rain. It shielded me from many things. It protected me from the outside world. It is the place in which I call home. It is the place where I can return, eat at, sleep at, and wake up at. It is the place where I live, and it is the only place where I can go. The rundown room in which is not the greatest of places to be at is but yet the best place to live at, and that is my home. Not on the streets, not in the wilderness, not in the alleyways, but in here, in this rundown room of mine in which I can call, “my home”.

Creative Commons License
The Place I Call Home by Eric Liang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://thefictitiouspen.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/the-place-i-call-home/.

1. The Kingdom Beyond the Ridge – The Knight and the Message

Morning at The Great Ridge
Image Credits to Paul M. Robinson

It was starting to become morning. I’ve been walking for 3 hours nonstop after I had fled from the enemy’s castle. I finally arrived at the great ridge that divides the enemy territory from the kingdom in which I serve. Just about a mile’s more worth of walking, and I’ll be safe from the hands of the enemies. I dare not look back because the enemy might be right behind me, ready to attack. I continued to walk. The night clouds began to fade away as the sun rose from behind the ridge where my kingdom lies. I was almost out of breath, but my life was at stake. I have to deliver this important message to my king. The enemy kingdom was planning a large scale surprise attack on the midnight of winter, which is two weeks from today.

Slowly, I struggled to walk the remaining mile. I was exhausted, tired, breathing heavily, and barely conscious. At one point, I fell on my knees, wanting to give up, but couldn’t. The importance of this message was too crucial, too great of a weight to give up on. And so, with all my remaining strength, I kept walking. Pretty soon, the gentle rays of the morning sun covered the entire landscape, and behind me, were the dark clouds that remained from the night. As the distance between me and friendly territory gradually decreased, my heart slowly filled with joy and the more I fell due to the lack of strength to continue on. The only thing that is keeping me going now is my loyalty, honor, and pride as a knight for my king, King Eldenberg.

Soon, I heard a faint war cry from behind. I began to panic as I heard the enemy troops from behind closing in on me. I kept quiet, and continued on, this time trying to run, but failed to do so. The main entrance to the grand city was just about a quarter mile ahead, and surely, I will be saved. By now, I have lost all strength to walk, and I fell on my knees. I crawled. I tried my best to ignore the pain that covered my entire aching body. Without warning, I suddenly felt a sharp and stinging pain on the calf of my left leg. An arrow pierced through my flesh. I wanted to scream, but couldn’t. All I could do was to keep crawling if I wanted to live. Luckily, I was surrounded by some semi-tall grass so I was safe from a direct hit for the meantime. Now at this point, you might be wondering, why is such a knight without any armor? Because I had lost my horse during my infiltration into the enemy castle, and in order to successfully escape, I had to lighten my load. The chances of surviving are a lot higher without armor than with armor, because either way, it’s risky but my best bet would be without.

I clenched my teeth and continued to crawl as quickly as I could. It was like running a marathon, except if I lose, I lose my life. So losing is not an option. As I got closer and closer to the main entrance, more and more arrows struck the ground near the path I took. One arrow managed to miss my head by a margin. Another only grazed my left ear. So far, I was lucky enough to make it this far. As soon as that thought came into my mind, an arrow struck my left arm. Again, I wanted to scream, but couldn’t. Since my body was aching, the pain wasn’t as painful as it would’ve been so I withstood it and continued to crawl with both my hands and legs. As a knight, my king and his kingdom are more important than my life. It is my duty to protect them, along with the citizens of the land.

Finally, after a long and desperate struggle to return, I reached a point where the guards at the main entrance was able to see my figure on the ground. I tried my best to wave my hand, only for it to rise about the length of a sword’s hilt’s distance off the ground. Quickly, one of them ran towards me, while the other stayed on guard. I believe his name was Squire Charles, one of the best of all squires that served our kingdom to this day. He helped me off the ground and carried me back to the kingdom, but just as he did that, two arrows struck my back. This time, being unable to withstand the pain, I finally let out a cry, and tears flowed from my eyes. I felt the taste of salty sweat and dirt. Without hesitation, the other guard quickly ran over to me and Charles with a shield to help us return back to the kingdom. Finally, my vision blurred and everything became black.

To be continued…

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The Midnight Sky

Milky Way
Image credits to Jacqui Barker.

The moon was absent in tonight’s midnight sky; however, millions and billions of white dots filled the dark blue night sky. They shined so bright that almost all their light pierced through the remaining clouds in the sky. It was as if millions and billions of fireflies swarmed around in the night sky. Each dot represented each star from our galaxy and from others nearby. They say that when we look at the beautiful night sky, we are actually taking a glance into the past of the stars that we see at night. How they twinkle ever so brightly in the night sky. Breathtaking.

I wonder if I will see a shooting star tonight. On one part of the sky, a large cluster of stars stood close by. Together, they formed a nice line which bulges outward in the center and gradually eases out on either side, kind of like looking at a sunny side up egg from the side. The night was cold, but the sky was delightful. Every moment was worth the sight. Bewitching. Still, I wonder, if I will ever see a shooting star tonight in this beautifully lit midnight sky.

Sunset

Tree On Fire?
Image credits to Eleanor Miller.

Do you know what’s just as beautiful as the sunrise? Sunset. That’s right, sunset. Instead of a slowly increase of brightness, its a decrease in brightness. This is the source of the beauty of sunset. The horizon would glow orange, and the sky would change colors, colors that you would not see in a sunrise. The sky would change from blue to purple, and in some rare circumstances or probably depending on your location, orange. Sometimes, you might even see all three together at once. Just by staring at the sunset sky somehow puts the heart at ease and the mind at rest. As the sun fades, and the moon appears, I wave good-bye to the sun for another day’s worth of hard work as it travels to the next part of the globe. Good bye sun! Good bye. Until tomorrow sun, until tomorrow.