This one was from my Creative Writing for Teenager class. Unfortunately, I never finished this novel. I stopped when I reached chapter 4 (it’s not even a full chapter). I just didn’t have the time to write this anymore I guess, or I just didn’t know what to write anymore. But now that I see this discarded novel, I’m going to put it into my ongoing works folder and I’m going to finish it (I hope) But for now, enjoy Chapter 1 of the story, PROSCRIS.
P.S.: The title of this story later became the name of one of the country in my final project for University. It was derived from a Rumanian word that means outcast (if I’m not mistaken…again)
A question just pop into my mind : should I post the rest of the chapters? Hmm…
— PROSCRIS —
The room was barren and deserted. The walls were old and were starting to turn into a sickening yellowish color. The few chairs in sight were scattered all over the place. Some of the desks were missing their legs while the others turned upside down. The wind rustle the shredded curtains slowly; gently; almost like people’s breathing. There was no sound aside from the trickling water that sounded far away. It was so still; silence; a perfect picture of nothingness. I woke up with a sense of emptiness inside. My harsh breathing was a great contrast of the stillness of the room. My wild eyes were searching for answers. I looked at the water-marked ceiling with a distant eyes; a frown on my forehead. Where am I? Realizing that I was lying on the cold hard floor, I tried to sit, only to find that I couldn’t move. My hands and feet were numb; my whole body was numb. I couldn’t move a single muscle. I was starting to feel fear. The fear was numbing me from the inside. My pupils dilated, my heartbeat rose, my breath quicken. Then suddenly it was gone. The fear was no longer there and the numbing feeling I had on my legs and arms were also gone. I sat up and felt the nothingness in the air. I stood up and looked around the empty and abandoned room. Where is this place?
I looked around; searching for any signs of people or animals; anything. But all I found was nothing. I was more confused than ever. Not to mention the fear was starting to return, gnawing at my back. I forced my legs to move. I felt the urge to get out of this classroom. I must get out; now. Staggering, I finally made my first step with much effort. One. Two. Three steps and I was walking like nothing happened. I got out of the empty room to a deserted hallway. Not much of a different to the condition of the room. The wind was rustling the torn curtain and gave the entire setting an eerie feeling.
‘Is anybody here?’ I shouted. No answer. I gulped down my fear and asked again after taking more steps away from the door. ‘Hello? Is anybody here? Anyone?’
Still no answer except for the whistling sound that the wind caused and that irritating sound of water droplets. I moved further down the hallway and then finally spotted a door. I almost ran in glee seeing that door. Door meant good news; freedom. I reached the door handle in record time and opened it as fast as I could. I just wanted to get away from this place. Behind the door was a meadow. A huge contrast to the eerie feeling of the building. The meadow was warm, filled with light, and full of happy feelings. I felt calm instantly. I was enjoying the magnificent view laid out in front of me when suddenly a tiny voice startled me and woke me up from my reverie.
‘Who are you?’
I turned around and saw a bushy head with two large blue eyes. From the sound of it, the voice belonged to a mere child. The child had the bluest eyes I had ever seen in my life. They were light blue but very deep. I didn’t know how to explain this feeling I had right at the moment when I saw those eyes except maybe safe, contentment, like I belong.
‘Who are you?’ that voice asked again. The kid moved a fraction and this new angle made me able to see more of the kid’s face. He —because he is in fact a he after a closer look— had a brown bushy hair that was more like a nest rather than human hair. His hair was a mess; that was the second thing I noticed aside from his eyes. And he was frightened. That’s the third thing I noticed about this boy.
‘Hi. Don’t be afraid. I’m not going to hurt you. I’m Amber. What’s your name?’ I reached out to him. His big blue eyes widen in fear and he took a step back as if trying to run away out of my reach. I raised both of my hand as to show him that I mean no harm, and then took a step back. He still looked at me with suspicious eyes. I wonder what happened to him to make him this suspicious and afraid of other people. Maybe his family did him wrong. Actually, it was odd that I only saw him in this vast meadow. A child this small with no parents in sight? How weird was that? ‘Where’s your parents?’
‘Don’t move. Where are you from?’ he asked me again. His stance offensive and at the same time defensive, as if to let me know that he didn’t trust me at all.
‘I’m from…’ I lost my voice. Weird. I couldn’t remember the city, even the country I was born in. ‘I don’t know. I can’t seem to remember.’
He furrowed his brows, confused.
‘I don’t understand it. I cannot remember anything.’ After I thought about it, I couldn’t remember anything about my past except for my name. I couldn’t even remember my parents’ name.
He stared at me and moved forward towards me. Maybe he sensed the uneasy feeling I had as a result of this latest discovery of me losing my memories or maybe he just simply stopped considering me as a threat. He looked at me from my head to toe; his eyes calculating.
‘Alright. Follow me,’ said the boy while making a hand gesture for me to follow him.
I hesitated a bit, but soon I found myself following him. From the back, I could see that this boy was very skinny; his body was just skin and bones. I was shocked to see how a boy this small could emanate such air of confidence in front of someone he didn’t even know. His steps light but with the sureness of someone beyond his age. For the lack of better words, he walked like a mature and grown man instead of a boy. He looked back a couple of times to make sure that I was still on his trail.
‘What’s your name?’ I asked; breaking the silence.
‘Why?’ he asked. His steps didn’t falter and he kept walking forward.
‘Well, I don’t know…I just want to know, I guess.’
‘Not enough reason.’
‘Why must there be a reason?’
‘Everything has a reason.’
Annoyed with his weird and adult-like attitude, I stomped over to him and stopped him from his track. ‘Then, what’s the reason behind you being so secretive about your name?’
He shrugged and moved past me. I turned around and gaped at his back. What?! ‘Hey, listen here. You’re just a boy, what makes you think you can act like that to someone’s older than you?!’
He stopped and turned to face me. ‘You think I’m a harmless boy, that’s why you see me as a harmless boy with an attitude.’
I looked at him with a confused expression etched on my face. I really didn’t get this boy. First it’s this God forsaken place, and then this annoying little brat. What exactly happened here? Moreover, where is here? ‘Alright. Whatever. Just, can you please tell me what this place is? I woke up in an empty and scary room without any trace of memories or whatsoever and then I met you, a little boy, alone in this vast meadow. Everything seems so confusing.’
‘Don’t worry. Everything will get clearer after some times.’
‘Can you please not speak so secretive?’
He stared at me for quite some times and then shrugged and started to walk again. I huffed and felt my patience growing thin. I followed his steps nonetheless. I didn’t want to be left alone in this place. As beautiful and nice as it was, there was still no telling of what would happen at night. And I could see the sun started to set, it painted the sky a beautiful shade of orange. After what felt like hours of walking and my legs started to feel numb, suddenly the boy stopped and turned around to face me. I wiped the sweat off my forehead and finally noticed…nothing.
‘What? Why are we stopping?’
‘This is it.’
‘This is it. This is the end of our journey.’
‘But..but…’ I spluttered. ‘But there’s nothing there?!’
‘There’s nothing there because you think that there’s nothing. Just as why you picture me as a boy. It’s all in your mind.’
‘I, I don’t understand.’
He looked straight into my eyes with a contemplative look in his eyes; as if he was trying to tell whether I was lying or not. After a while, he seemed satisfied with what he saw and nodded to himself.
‘Close your eyes,’ he said.
‘Close your eyes.’ He stepped forward until he was in front of me. Hi tilted his head upward because of our height differences, though it all seemed so trivial now if what he said about the whole thing was true.
I closed my eyes all the while feeling like an idiot. ‘Relax.’ I heard him said.
‘Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. That’s right.’
I did just like what he instructed. Strange, while concentrating to relax my mind, and through all the process of inhaling and exhaling, his voice seemed to turn deeper and rough. It started to lose its child-like quality.
‘Inhale. Exhale. Relax your mind. Don’t think. Just feel.’
After some more of a repeat of the process, finally I heard him telling me to open my eyes. I opened my eyes slowly. My vision blurred after closing my eyes for quite some time. As the dark edges on my vision clearing, I gasped at what I saw. Instinctively, I took a step back. Impossible. There, standing in front of me, was a man and behind him stood a tall gate of what looked like a city. Again, I gasped in shock.
‘Welcome. To the land of Proscris.’