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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.
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...
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.
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...
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?
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