A Bedtime Story for 2
A young women sat within the blackest of waters; red orbs floating on the top, and black hair floating around her body. A man stood on the shore side watching. The water had long been polluted, killing all the fish. All that was left were their corpses and the red orbs. Her eyes wandered until they set on something in the smoggy clouds, she spoke loudly into the air.
“The world is filled with con artists, false prophets and deceivers leading sheep to the slaughter.”
There was once a village where the land was green and no mouth went unfed. Where children sang, and the great lake flowed with ease; the village was without death, those they could prevent. They followed the rules of the priest and stayed within the land, never wandering into the forest of everlasting night.
But one day a storm rolled past the mountain tops and covered the village in rain, for the last time. The following month everything began to die, no longer were the hills green and the children stayed inside in fear of sickness. The great lakes which once gave them freshwater washed up dead fish and human limbs on their shores; the land and the water had become tainted. Even the priest had fallen ill and locked himself away, leaving the villagers without a leader and without hope. Everything they had worked for was being stripped away, as if something unholy had crawled into the soil and pumped poison into the very lungs of the villagers.
A lowly demon that had wandered through the forest and crawled across mountaintops came to the village in this time of need and desperation; he disguised himself as the priest who had died in his sleep, a body yet to be found,
He spoke to the villagers.
"Hear me my children, the Lord has spoken to me. You must sacrifice one of your eldest daughters into the forest of Everlasting Night, every other year. You must dress her in the finest clothing and jewelry, to please the Gods. Present her to the Gods as your token of appeasement."
The villagers followed the words of their priest without fail. They began sacrificing an eldest daughter every other year and with each coming year, the land would return to its glory. The crops were prosperous once more, the lake reflected the sky, and the fish swam without washing up on the land. Children left their homes again, and the village was overjoyed. Yet - every other year they would have a festival for the woman who would be sent into the forest of Everlasting Night.
One day, during the ritual sacrifice, a little girl wandered into the forest. She was not well known, often passed over, she held a spark in her eye like no other. Yet she was poor and was rumored the bastard child of a bishop. Even so the priest took a great shine to her.
It was only after her mother was chosen to be sent into the forest Did something the villagers would never forget. The priest showed great remorse for the girls lose. The family of the little girl was not very rich; they were simple people. Yet the hate and endless rumors that surrounded the girls birth, made it hard for them to live.They lived by the great lake in a little hunt of a home. Many of the villagers gossiped about them and stared, but not once was there a look of discouragement on the face of her mother. She held such grace and fearlessness that no one else could ever hope to match her. Not even when she was chosen to go into the forest.
When the night came, the only family member who had shown their face was the little girl. The dress she wore was the only one she had, a wedding dress she had never had the chance to use. All the little girl could do was watch silently as her mother disappeared amongst the trees. When she could no longer be seen, the villagers began to play the merry music.But the eyes of the young girl stared into the abyss which was the forest. The priest approached her that night, and thereafter the villagers began to avoid the little girl.The only place she would ever go was the small little market, and then back home - as if she was avoiding the priest. The spark in her eye had died, yet every day she would stare into the forest. Her eventual disappearance into the forest, sent the village into a panic, but no one dared step foot on those grounds to go after her.
She wandered through hills and and valleys of blue land where the sky never changed; the stars were fixed in place. As she wandered, a dark figure stood up within a forest clearing where the trees stood tall in a circle, surrounding them. So lanky, so tall, he loomed over the girl, a figure with no face spoken.
The figure asked:
"Little girl, why have you wandered in?"
And for the first time ever, the girl spoke.
“Because my mother was killed.”
The figure asked:
“Little girl, little girl, what do you call home? Where do you sleep? ”
“At home, with friends, with my grandmother, on the street.”
“Little girl, little girl, don’t lie to me. Where did you sleep last night?”
“In the forest, in the forest where the sun never shines. Where the night is everlasting and the sky is always blue.”
“Little girl, little girl, the body of your mother won’t be found.
There was silence, and the figure reached out a hand; slim fingers and no pulse.
“Little girl little girl, won’t you join me?”
The little girl, began to move, getting closer and closer to the dark figure. And when she was toe to toe with it, the wind picked up, rolling out of the forest, and shaking the trees until they danced in the night sky.
The village had gone silent, the festival stopped as it began to rain. Suddenly, one by one, out from the forest came the eldest daughters that had been sacrificed. All stumbling out, jewelry gone and clothing ripped. Skin as white as snow, tired and malnourished, they fell back to their families. But the one person that the villagers never thought they would see, slowly made her way out of the forest. It was the mother of the little girl who wept as she stepped out of the forest before disappearing amongst the villagers.
The villagers were confused and went to the priest for answer, but he was found dead in his home. Without guidance the villagers feared the coming years; what will they do when their crops did not grow again? The villagers waited the following year, but to their surprise and joy, the crops grew once more. It would not, however, stop raining. It is believed that the rain fell on the village for years and years and years. All until it filled up like a blow and became one with their river. No one ever spoke of the village. No surrounding villages spoke of the dancing like bodies at the bottom of the lake. Nor did they believe it was ever their in the first place. It was nothing but a crystal blue lake with a great forest that sat on the lookout; people would pass through it just to see the view of it.
Before the village was engulfed in water, washing them away. The surrounding villagers went into the forest of Everlasting Night. They could find nothing, nor could they see two feet in front of themselves.
The world is full of mystery, there are some questions that will never be answered. Sometimes we feel like something was just a dream. Sometimes the answer is best left buried deep down.
“Can you really trust your eyes? Sometimes the things you believe to be real aren’t really there at all. How much of your life has been illusions, dreamt up by your eyes? Yet, when someone else intrudes and tells you what you can and cannot believe, does the illusion finally have life blown into it, or does it just stay a distant illusion?”
The young women sat looking out of her window at young man who was, in turn, watching a women being dragged into a loud thumping club. The door was slammed shut, and no matter how hard the boy tried to pull, it would not move. The young lady watched until she was called and got up. Click sounded the door, as it was unlocked.
The quality of being loyal to someone or something.
I’ve lived half my life with one seeing eye. I have been tossed before humanity and I’ve crawled through the depths of hell. I have felt pain that no other could imagine and I’ve been broken to my lowest point. I never thought I could trust, or even hold a conversation with another human being; loyalty was something I had long forgotten. The trust in another, the invisible bond that holds two individuals together... They could see you at your weakest, make no comment and hold out a hand to pull you up. I thought this type of loyalty was long gone for me.
At the age of sixteen, I lived within church walls. The only place a kid with a busted eye, no family, and no money could stay. One day the Bishop brought in another child, someone he said that was just like me. Unlike myself, though, his skin was as pale as snow with red eyes. He was an albino. My skin was a shade darker, but we were the same? Initially, we didn’t get along - his attitude was negative and demeaning. And he also had this shine in his eyes that read murder. I wanted nothing to do with him, but the Bishop declared we would be partners. Reality hit me then - staying in this church wasn’t going to be free. The Bishop had us run errands for some of the local people in our town. Do chores around the church, whatever he needed, we did it. Soon we fell into our actual rolls. The albino was the gun handler and I would gather information.
The city we lived in wasn’t exactly child friendly. It wasn’t uncommon for kids to have guns, and if you didn’t you were easy pickings. The amount of bodies that were piled up because of us grew over the years. Even when we were enrolled in school, we didn’t stop our jobs. It was never easy; we would bicker, even threaten each others lives. We had no reason or desire to save one another. Honestly, we didn’t even like one another; there was no reason to speak to each other outside of school and in our housing area. Yet, when my back was pinned to the wall and looking at the front end of a gun barrel he saved me. I never thought I would be saved by the albino.
We never had the best of luck, or should I say I never had the best of luck. It was as if the Goddess of bad luck had come down and kissed me on the cheek. My luck was so bad I got us sent to Juvie. I will go to my grave saying it wasn’t my fault. It didn’t seem that way, though, when we were on the bus, headed towards the shittiest Juvenile hall in our city. Within a week, everyone knew our names. After a month, due to some information I sold to another gang, I was kidnapped; beaten unconscious, and tied to a chair, I was in the shittiest, most remote area of the juvenile hall. It was made all too clear, after the first first round of guts punches, that they didn’t really care about the information. They just wanted my partner. It seemed like we were both on a lot of shit lists. Unfortunately, I had no information to give. The albino wouldn’t come to some shitty area to save my ass but, from what I learned, sometimes it was better to keep your mouth shut.
“Don’t play games with us, you ginger fuck!” He pressed his gun to my forehead; if my eye hadn’t of been swollen I would have rolled it. “We all know you're his bitch so where is he?!”
I wish I could tell them; just because we hung out with each other did not mean that we were best friends. And just because I fell into the role of bitch didn’t mean shit. I was over this whole song and dance of questions; I had nothing to give them. The moment was hopeless. Or so I thought - until I smelt blood in the air. Distant screams echoed throughout the halls and rooms.
My heart picked up speed, I pushed my chair over to dodge the bullets that came scattering through the walls. If I wasn’t dead before I was dead now. I watched in horror as the door slammed open and heavy boots hit the ground. I didn’t even realize I had a dead body laying ontop of me until those heavy black boots shoved it off. That’s when I saw his face; my heart pounding in my ears. I wasn’t ready for what I saw. The last person I thought would save me - even though he looked annoyed beyond belief. He stared at me, waiting for me to say something; possibly a thank you, but there was only thing that came to mind.
His pale lips curled into a smirk as he reached down to untie me from the chair. Helping me up from the dirty floor, it was nice to be able to feel my arms again. I didn’t want to admit it, but I felt my chest tighten with gratitude. Even though we’ve been through hell and back, I forgot something important; we were all we had. From gun fighting to stupid town jobs it was always just the two of us.
Soon after we left the juvenile hall, our bickering became less and less. Our threats happened when we were annoyed with the other. Slowly, trust was built and a long awaited loyalty had come along as well. The year went by and we became pros at whatever we did, but still with the shittest of luck. I still got kidnapped from time to time, and he would be right there, guns ready. I started to think he had some sort of bloodlust with the sheer amount of dead bodies that would come from one kidnapped idiot. He would say how much of a pain in the ass I was and how he should just leave me there. Yet, no matter how off putting the words were, I knew he would show up every time. Just as things were looking up, there was always the fear of him leaving someday or another.
During one rainy afternoon, a new pain developed in my missing eye. I curled up in the far back of the church and waited for the waves of pain to leave. I guess the Albino could feel my pain, not an hour had gone by before he showed up. Sitting next to me, he never asked how I end up with only one seeing eye. There was no need to tell either - the past was the past. When the day came when he would be curled up in pain, I would be there for him too.
This Loyalty, or something more, had formed making itself known. There wasn’t anyone else I would rather have save me, or sell information to, than him. We were both broken, had so little in common, but no matter how dangerous or stupid we were, we never left each other’s side. We wouldn’t have it any other way.