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Emily Grist

"End of Imagination" by Emily Grist

SciFi/Fantasy text 14 out of 31 by Emily Grist.      ←Previous - Next→
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I wrote it for the October 2003 Woodworks contest (I lost), which was write a story about the Boogeyman... well, here's just a story I've been thinking about, and now had a purpose to write!
Please try not to crush my ego with criticism X.x
Inspired by Linkin Park's 'Nobody's Listening' and Woodworks for pushing me to write it :)

The End of Imagination by Vic Alfieri is the poem to this.
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←- Vision of Depth | Project KAGJ -→

Discipline yourself.

Never falter.

Always breathe.

Feel the rush.

... Make them listen.

I stormed my way through the street, a rhythmic beat echoing in my head as I wandered through the fall leaves. Blue skies above, the sun shining, and yet my frosty breath was blowing into my face.


Deep, deep breaths from my lungs. A fitful night’s sleep in my dungeon room; dark and dangerous. I felt like the only person in the world, struggling free from the grasp...

Be swift.

I crossed the street, glancing from side to side to make sure no cars were there. Empty streets. But of course, no cars to exist. Not anymore. Not since my nightmare. My night stalker.

They would laugh at me. They don't realize what's happened. They just go with it, all memories lost; erased; burnt.


I entered the gate of the school, looking around the campus. High school students of all grades around, looking. Just looking.


No one turned to see me. Some were alone, twitching, fidgeting, not making any eye contact. Understandable, I thought. I wished my insides weren't so cold. I felt like them, the ones sitting there alone. I felt like them, lost and confused, knowing the end was near.

Not the end of the world.

Not the end of mankind.

Oh no, not the end of either. Those would eventually use themselves up. The extinction of those needed no help from the Night Stalkers, and they knew it. They knew it, I knew it, and those with the memorable nightmares knew it.

No... it's to be...

The end of Imagination.

I stopped in the middle of the campus. My stereo in hand, my only condolence that would help me to make them listen, I set it down. No, I wasn't going to play music; I didn't need it. My radio, my sense of imagination, was there to help me.

One young man, who sat alone, looked up at me with his ice blue eyes, wide and fearful. He slouched, with his hands propping his head up. He simply blinked and looked at me curiously. My look was solemn; how could I smile? How could I be happy like the rest of the people? I didn't understand it. He nodded at me, then turned slowly around in his seat and sat up, looking. In silence, using gestures, he gathered the other loners in the campus. The poor teenage souls that still had night terrors. I felt a pang of helplessness then. I felt shy.


With a loud breath, with people still passing me by, I gripped my arm, shrinking out of people's vision, if any could see me. I felt my skin break and some blood trickle down very slowly. It wasn't enough to harm me.

Just go.

I took a step back. I was suddenly afraid. But why? You know the fate of everything... you're going to lose it all...

And that's what I'm afraid of. I know... I know, I know. At least, I knew. And a lot of other people knew as well. What was to become of us...?


I moved my limbs, stiffly at first, since there came thunder and dark clouds in the sky. So quickly they came. How much time had passed?

As I began, the rhythmic beating drummed louder in my ear. I felt lost, still, but more of a comforting lost. Safe... I didn't want to lose it.

I moved my body swiftly, as if I were in water. I danced for the sake of it, for the sake of imagination. My pants began to rip at the feet, and my shoes began to shred.

I looked around, CD players, books, bags... they all dispersed into mid air, and then disappeared without a trace. And yet, no one noticed. No one except for me, and the loners.

I danced harder, my radio was still intact. I wished it would stay that way. My breathing became heavier as I jumped from foot to foot, twirling in the air, keeping my balance, my heart racing to keep up with my movements. The blood on my arm was already clotted and crusting like a scab. How much time had passed?

The bottom of my pants were in shreds now. The black of them worn suddenly. My legs showed through, the skin burnt to a perfect golden crisp.

That word reverberated through my mind.


My shoes fell off, yet I did not stumble. They lay to the side of me, until I forgot them; then they disappeared too. My radio was still there.

My left hand reached and grabbed my chest, ripping the shirt, tearing it in utter hatred to what I had been set out to do. But it was on my own accord...

No one looked at me, no one except the loners. Until a girl talking to her friends pointed at me, screaming. I wondered what I looked like. I wondered how much time had passed.

My socks were gone, and I was barefoot, my shirt was now ripped and torn, exposing my brassiere, my pants were becoming loose at the waist, hardly hanging onto my curves. My undergarments showed through, but I didn't care. My radio was still in existence.

The girl and her friends turned away, as the world suddenly turned gray.


I pushed myself to dance harder. The rain had begun from the clouds but I hadn't noticed. I was soaked, and I could feel the cold sink into my skin, yet... I did not shiver.

My cheeks were burning, cold sweat, despite the rain, was forming on my skin.

Without a care, I stopped. I was torn; broken; shattered... My clothes hanging onto me.

I stopped and watched, my hair drenched. The coolness of the world started taking its toll upon me, and I held myself, my arms bleeding again from my grasping fingers. I watched as the world left me. The buildings gone, the cement gone from under my feet so that I stood in dirt... my radio was still there, sitting on the cement bench. The kids all around didn't notice, and it seemed as if the loners had decided to not care. Or they simply had forgotten. The clothes on them burned off. Their bags gone, along with all their possessions. They were naked, but they didn't seem to care. They roamed around freely, until, finally, I stood alone. I felt like a failure.

I stood holding myself, the rain pouring on my tattered clothes, noticing how the naked skin of the others was the only thing to cover their souls now. They stood along, looking around, not bothering to shield themselves of the weather. There was nothing; just a vast land of dirt and plants.

The end of Imagination.

Without imagination, nothing could exist. Nothing at all.

I seemed to be the only person aware of this.

I broke down, my knees buckled and I fell, screaming out.

My radio was still there, lying on the ground, getting more wet with each moment that passed. I picked it up and slammed it to the ground, and the pieces disappeared.

They were getting me, I realized with a sudden regret.


I can't! I'm a failure...

Just... dance...

I stood gasping as they all looked at me, realizing the strange growths I had on my skin; my clothes.

I began my dance again.

This time, my clothes did not rip. I made up moves, thinking of the great writers I had read in my time, thinking of the famous proverbs I'd learned in school.


My clothes began to restore themselves; I could feel myself shuddering under the rain, and my thoughts beginning to be interrupted by something.

My night stalkers.

I was not going to let them overpower me once again. I stood my ground, even though my limbs continued to move to the sound of the ceasing rain.

I shut my eyes and just danced, my night stalkers, my night terrors, looking at me from the inside of my eyelids.

I was afraid of the dark. I was.

The evil creatures that have stalked me throughout my childhood and adolescence began to charge at me in the dark I put myself in. The odd dragons with red eyes and only two legs puffed smoke and threatened me with fire; threatened to burn me.


I realized that they had already burnt my insides, my thoughts, tried to overpower me. All of my night stalkers had the power to burn, all of them. The many that charged at me had planned to burn me.

I felt a light squeeze on my shoulder and, shocked; I opened my eyes in alert and stumbled back. The buildings, books, clothing, and my radio returned. The ground was back, and I heard cars in the streets, honking to one another. I was stunned.

The loner with the ice blue eyes had woken me from my reverie, stopping my dance. Many people were looking at me, but I paid them no heed. They turned away, bored, and continued their talk. It was no longer raining. There wasn't even a sign that it had rained.

"You made them listen," he said.

I fell into his arms and embraced him, myself much smaller than he. But I felt protected.

Then I wondered, how much time had passed?


←- Vision of Depth | Project KAGJ -→

27 Oct 2003:-) E. Hanna
An irony- the story itself is an embrace of imagination, and a call to Wake Up. This may have no meaning- but it just happens that I'm a tall loner with blue eyes.

I have a midterm tomorrow and a pare the next day. I've been studying, writing and washing dishes for three days and I have two more to go. I bicycle through the rain there and back, drenched and miserable. I only have time to do one thing- and I decided to read your new story.

And it was more than worth it.

Thank you for sharing your dream. Your imagination.  J00r a tall loner with blue eyes?! Ironic!!
Thank you ^^ "embrace of imagination" THAT could go somewhere...
Washing dishes...? Yeah, I do that too -_-...
*Squees* YAYAYAYAY!!!!

*Huggles you to NEAR DEATH!!!* Yay! Thanks for reading my storyee! I really appreciate it *tear* And it was certainly my pleasure to share my thoughts.imagination with fine people like you
27 Oct 2003:-) Andrew McCaslin
Well, Emily, as you know I love this story. Anytime you need to bounce ideas off me I am here for the bouncing. Like all of your stuff, this is wonderfully written. Later! And you edited it for meeee!! *Hugs* Thank yooooou!
4 Nov 2003:-) Leigh *Shwin* Erickson
That was beautiful. That was very beautiful. And lovely. And deep. And full of meaning. And I really, really liked it and really don't think I can leave an adequate comment on it. I'll always harp on detail... and could continue to do so... this one was good with that *nods* I liked how you used the italic words in there... very effective... it was clear and yet not so... very artful *nods* well done!*Nods* ^_^ I know it does lack some detail... I apologize dearly for it too!! But I am still in utter love with this story @_@
Thanks so much ^_^
9 Nov 200345 Saara 'Fairy' Aitakangas
Eek. This was even more confusing than the previous one! o.O All I can say is "wow." So: WOW. Amazing. I didn't get the point of this one, or maybe I did. It's so confusing that it's impossible to know... Bleh, I gotta stop talking or I'll be even more puzzled. Agh, you're the second person who didn't understand!!
To explain... She dances so she can keep her imagination, because while everyone else is going back to the "primitive people" age, she's dancing, so that she won't. And then when she closes her eyes, her Night Stalkers (a.k.a. night terrors; nightmares; bad dreams, etc.), are coming to burn her (hence the reason why burn was used so much, and her clothes began to rip as if being burned), but she fights them back, and when she opens her eyes she's stopped dancing because she's overpowered her stalkers, and the world is back because she kept going; she fought back.
Does that clear it up at all?
13 Nov 2003:-) Sharon Kelly Adams
~scratches head~ wow..... That was tooo coool!!!! Why was it too cool, and how come you're scratching your head?!
16 Nov 2003:-) Amber Silver
This story was POWERFUL! The style with which you wrote it was just incredible, ie/ with the spaces between the lines and the italics and such. I love the line, 'a rhythmic beating echoed in my head' but Im not sure if it is tensed properly. Should it read, 'with a rhythmic beat echoing in my head'? Regardless, I could really get a feel of a steady pulse throughout the whole of this story. ugh! It was just awesome Emily! ((psst... im really jealous! o.O12)I had written it the first time with "Echoing" and I just looked at that line and re-wound it over and over in my head, but I thought "Echoed" made it sound better... Whenever I try to focuse on the tenses I always get mixed up -_-
Dun be jealous!!! O_O Thank you thooough ^_^ I really appreciate this!
19 Nov 200345 Shadowhawk
*stares* ...*blinks* ...*stares again* ...*blinks again* Wow... that was different. Very interesting too. Since I would have considered myself to be one of the loners in the story, though I've never been visited by 'Night Stalkers'. The story would seem dark and depressing but for the ending where everything comes back and she is told "You made them listen". Neat way to end it. Oh, and this one reminds me of your other story too. The Colored with Grays one where the world has no color and then is given it. *prances off to read more*I had no clue that CwG and this would have any relation whatsoever O.o
Oooh yeah, this was very meant to be different. If you like it, go vote for it in the Woodworks competition (just look on Elfwood main page and follow through to Elfwood Competitions).
20 Feb 2004:-) Dtauri
Claustrophobic, harrowing and emotionally draining... I have to say that quite a few pieces of your writing here remind me of the dream state (something people try and emulate without much luck... like me :-(. A mix of reality and fantasy occur and the characters within do not seem unduly perturbed by the strange things happening around and to them. They absorb it unflinchingly just like our dream selves. Besides the physical environment we are bombarded with the emotions of the characters and their feelings and thoughts are also laid bare to us (also, like a dream). Reminds me of David Lynch, in fact!

Very cool and it's very interesting that you write in this way naturally - your prose is raw and bleeding! A formidable talent to be sure - I hope you keep writing and develop it even further (and start to like some poetry so you can incorporate even more of that kind of succinct language imagery into your work - something you have a burgeoning talent for already). To sum up my long-winded rambling crap: Cool!Damien, I do believe you flatter oh-so-much and oh-so-too-much and I have to say that I adore it and loathe it at the same time! Another thing I must point out is I have to usually get my thesarus out to see what you're speaking of. You teach me new words with each comment, so take that as a compliment!

Ah, ha ha! Only two words in this comment sent me to the dictionary (and in which thus that makes me ashamed), but once those words were figured out, this became as clear as a dream! Alright, just kidding. Dreams are never clear.

I understand what you're saying (really, I do), and I have to say that I've never noticed that in my own writing. My writing to myself is always such a bore and very unconvincing. I don't think I give enough description, the way I describe feelings bites, and 8/10 stories has a female as the main character. But, no, I've certainly never noticed that in my writing style (should I? I don't think we're really supposed to know about our dreams until it's too late). Thanks for pointing it out, and I shall now try and push it out of my head for the time being or try and let it not affect me 2 I do hope too that my writing continues grow, even though I do not want to grow up to be an author (ugh), and right now I have no idea what I want to be... I don't want to be an author though, that's for sure >.< No clue... Clueless Emily... Li... La...

I'm actually really ecstastic that you like this!!! I feel that no one really understand this piece of writing. It's nothing personal, but it's deep. I can't believe some of the things I think of when I'm just walking to school...
27 Jun 2004:-) Glo 'the Bug' Bowden
There's something in this that calls to me. This is one of the most inspiring things I have read here on elfwood, and one of the most well written. The emotions you described are very real to me, and I'm so glad you put them out in words. Thank you for giving me the spark I needed for the day, you rule! Wow, I'm so flattered! -blushes crimson- This is such a nice comment! Thank you for leaving it -- and you're welcome!! I wrote this for an Elfwood contest (I didn't win), and it's one of my FAVORITE pieces -- but not very many people have read it... I'm so glad you did!! ^_^ -Hugs you- You rule, too!! I hope you've become inspired by this -- I'd love to read what you've come up with!
30 May 2005:-) David Frank Daumit
From a fantasy standpoint, I really like your very different take on monsters that stalk us in our nightmares, real or imagined as they may be. From a thematic standpoint, I respect how well you told an evocative tale about not quitting no matter what odds you face.Thank you, I appreciate your input. And yes, those seem to be the things I was trying to accomplish... besides having a beautiful half-naked girl dancing in the middle of public.
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'End of Imagination':
 • Created by: :-) Emily Grist
 • Copyright: ©Emily Grist. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Girl, Imagination, Night, Stalkers
 • Categories: Mythical Creatures & Assorted Monsters, Romance, Emotion, Love, Urban Fantasy and/or Cyberpunk, Vampires, Zombies, Undeads, Dark, Gothic, Celtic
 • Views: 609

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