Jogging in the wooded park on my normal trail, I’m running harder today, I have to. Maybe I can outrun this pain, or for a moment just forget it. Just focus on remembering to breath. I almost miss it. I stop and walk back, there, a new fork I’ve never noticed before. I look back at my every day path then at this new discovery. I decide to take it, quickly leading me downhill. Mist starts to rise amongst the ferns around me, it’s strange but pretty.
All too suddenly, the mist has become so heavy I can barely see. I turn to head back, but my path is gone, I nervously proceed, but my footing slips, and I fall, tumbling through a thick hill of heather and plunging down to the base, landing with a thud. I groan as I pull myself up. There is a lake surrounded by some solitary trees, the mist now above me, permitting only a dull glow from the sun to come through. A boat lay at the shore and I then see in the center of the lake an island with the remnants of a castle. I am shocked, there were never any castles in these parts, at least that I’d heard of before. I looked at the boat again; it had no oars, nothing to propel it to the island. The lake was still as glass. I cautiously approached the sandy shore. The boat was weathered. It had a single bench. I step in, expecting it to give at my weight, but it floats with ease in the shallow water. I smile for the first time in so long; I look back, noting the path now. I sit down and enjoy the view for a short moment.
The water suddenly erupts in front of the boat, knocking me back. I pull myself up frantically, seeing the island rapidly approaching. I look around, trying to find a way to get back to shore, but I then see that there is something large harnessed to the boat, its great scaled body just barely breaking the water’s surface. I shriek in horror, uncertain of what to do. The boat is now halfway to the island when it suddenly stops; the creature now disappearing, and the ripples soon as well. I sit in horrified silence, breathing harder than any run had ever done to me. The forest is eerily silent. I look at the water, considering my chances at swimming to shore. I stand up, mentally preparing to jump.
I am knocked back down once more though when the boat is suddenly rocking wildly for dragon serpent is erupting, flying into the air before diving back down with an enormous splash. A second passes and the front of the boat is pulled down, submerging into shockingly cold water. What little air I have is forced out of my lungs, the dim light behind me fading. I try to chase it, but something holds me firm to that boat. The darkness consuming me, I cannot breath. The pain in my chest is rising, I feel myself slipping into unconsciousness, but I see the figure of the serpent pulling me down suddenly, or is it up? There is a faint light it is pulling us towards. I feel the water warming, my consciousness returning and suddenly, I am erupting onto the water’s surface. It is now night.
I look around, but the lake is illuminated by moonlight only. The mist! It is gone! I can see the sky! And the stars! There are so many, how can it be? So close to the city! I look ahead of me, the serpent is now above water, slithering gracefully. It is covered in pale blue scales, glistening like a diamond in the moonlight. Suddenly, I see another boat next to me. It’s an older stout man standing nobly as he is pulled by a deep violet serpent. He gives me a friendly nod, I suddenly am aware of all the boats around me, each being pulled by a terrifying but stunning serpent. The people in each boat are clad in the most magnificent clothing, fit for a ball. Where are we going? I look ahead and gasp, the remnants of the castle are no more, it is now a dazzling palace, set in the middle of the lake. There is a sound of merriment and singing echoing from within. I can’t help it, I smile once more, my hands dropping to my side, but the wet clothes are not there, I look down and see that I too am dressed in a dazzling ball gown of gold, complimenting my copper skin. My serpent pulls me gently alongside a dock. An usher rushes to my boat, bows to me and offers his hand. I look behind me, the pain seems so far away now. I turn back and look into his smiling face, and take his hand.
The large learning curve that makes up successful creative writing is overwhelming to me, but I am loving it. This piece was a mixture of a few elements. It is meant to have some open ends for the reader to fill in. As a new writer, I know it is something I need to work on, trusting my audience. This piece has its own meanings for me, but was intended to be applicable to hopefully anyone going through a personal struggle or loss. My three year old helped me in some capacity, I asked him what my story should be about, and he, as always insisted on a Dragon. He gave me two other items though that it must have, a forest and a boat. I guess there is a saying that restrictions breed creativity? I may have that wrong 🙂 but it was fun to see what I could come up with in a 1000 words or less. I also thought it would be fun to write this as a short story of symbolism or something that could be used as a beginning hook. Please share your feedback and words of wisdom! Thank you for your time and may you have a wonderful day! Happy reading! (and writing :D)