The return of the short story for Insurgent. People often strive towards certain goals they set for themselves. Some big, such as a career promotion. Others, small, such as reducing one’s soda intake to once a week. Sometimes, people are content and relieved once they accomplish their goals. Yet, outside of blog updates, postings on social media, giving a snapshot of the after effects, nothing much is told about the details. It is often implied. What happens when you can see the goal completed, but the consequences are unforeseen? You work hard towards a goal, a dream that can define who you are and what you do. This is the framework of something that can have repercussions on the future: your legacy. What people will think of when you are gone. In this piece, the character, who embodies a certain historical figure that will be left up to you, the reader. Enjoy the following piece about hope, the reaching of a dream, and most importantly, what can happen afterwards.
Editor In Chief,
A Dream of Travesty
The air was cold...
As though it was the very cold chill that ran down my body...
Beads of cold sweat formed around the temples of my head. The light had seemed to disappear almost all together, the only thing that lit my path was the torches. I could hear them crackle and spit as the flame bit on the cloth. Other than that the only other sound was that of my rapid breathing, and the sound of my sandals hitting the floor. I looked down and saw the toga that had adorned my once muscular body. It was a purple cloth, one that showed my status as royalty.
I continued down the path, there were only columns and torches in my line of sight. My steps echoing off the marble floor beneath me. I thought to call out, but changed my mind once I imagined that anyone could be hiding behind these columns. It wasn’t that I was afraid, more rather that I should be more prudent and cautious. I walked for what seemed like hours, only the darkness outside of these columns, and I dared not stalk outside.
From the corner of my eye I thought I saw movement, but when I looked again darkness there and nothing more. My mind must be playing tricks on me, or perhaps something more sinister lurked behind the darkness. I tried to ignore the thoughts pressing on my mind. The ones that told me I should turn back, the ones that said something was coming to get me. Perhaps these were the more sane thoughts?
Something soon changed about the columns, the further I ventured the more dirty and worn they seemed. Webs...webs lined the columns now, the flame of the torches seeming to pass right through, but not burning them. Now there were whispers, I couldn’t make them out no matter how hard I strained my ears. I broke into a run, almost tripping on the loose toga. I called to them, to the whispers, hoping someone was there anyone. Throwing caution to the wind, as I sprinted down the row of columns. The whispers became louder and louder, soon I could hear them, I could hear small bits of what they were saying.
I was close, I so badly wanted to hear what they were saying, as I got closer the voice started to sound raspy, as if someone was in desperate need of water. Then I realized it wasn’t one voice it was two, wait not, three, more voices than I could realize.
“Failure, you’re nothing more than a pathetic failure.”
The voices were calling out to me, but not to be helpful. They were voices of ridicule of persecution.
“You mean nothing.”
“The world would be a better place if you were to just give up and die!”
“All your dreams will turn to dust, and you’ll be left behind with nothing.”
Tears began to stream down my cheeks, I didn’t know who was speaking, or why. I don’t even know where the strength came to continue walking. The columns had almost completely eroded away now, the flames on the torches all but spent, the webs seemed thicker and darker, almost as if they were stronger. Soon the darkness would take me, and all would be lost. I don’t even know why I am here. The voices persisted and I walked, I walked even though it felt like my feet bled. A light appeared, it wasn’t bright at first, perhaps that's why I hadn’t noticed it, but the more I walked towards it, the more it felt like hope. The last of my fading strength, I rushed towards the light, hoping for some kind of way out of this darkness. I reached it.
When I stepped into the light, I could see the valley before me, the river that stretched past the mountains, and the bright light of the setting sun behind them. I had entered a circular building, one for observation, more columns around it, and a picture of the sun in all of its golden miraclus glory upon the ceiling. I felt free, the sight gave me hope, and made it feel like the journey in the dark was all worth it.
“Just because you make your dreams come true, doesn't mean you get to enjoy them.” came the cooing of a familiar voice behind me. I turned around and gasped as I saw the face of my attacker, a knife now buried in my belly.
“How could you do this?” I asked, as my body felt numb. I slumped to the floor, my eyes on the setting sun past the mountains, it was gone now. I could feel the warm stickiness from the blood oozing from my wound, and I could feel the warmth leave my body. My vision started to blacken, were my dreams really meant to end here?