Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gummy Skulls

I decided to add a little more spice into the mix. In addition to using packaged food pictures to inspire me, I'm also going to see if I can incorporate some prompts from this book: 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More.

Prompt #1: Holidays / Halloween - "Explain your most memorable Halloween: from the candy you received, the costume you wore, the environment of your neighborhood (if you trick or treated) and why it has dwarfed all of your other Halloween experiences."

The cardboard wings were heavy and hot on my back, but were painted gold and sparkled like the sun.  My wire halo, shining with gold tinsel, began to tilt and I readjusted it to be centered over my head as a gentle breeze filled with the scent of the nearby eucalyptus trees billowed through my beautiful white dress.  I wondered if it hurt other people's eyes to look at all my wings and halo under the bright Indian Summer sun.  I hoped people were jealous.

Slowly, I began to grow weary, walking in what started to seem like the Halloween parade that would never end.  As the parents oohed and ahhed over the other kindergarteners, suddenly everything began to grow dark.  Rubbing my eyes didn't seem to help and it confused me.  It was noon, and the weather was perfect.  I turned to my best friend Charles who was walking next to me, and I screamed when I saw him.  When we arrived this morning at school together, he was dressed as Spiderman, but now a walking skeleton looked back at me from the growing darkness with hollow eye sockets that seemed to stare into the depths of my very soul.  

The world spun around me and I crumpled to the ground, dirtying my beautiful white dress.  I tried desperately to find a teacher or other students, but all the adults and children that were only moments ago gaily enjoying a carefree day in costumed glory were now replaced by horrifying lumbering skeletons that peered back at me with their unintentional permanent grins as they continued on the parade path.  

Suddenly the skulls were spilling with crimson fluid and the fresh scent of eucalyptus was at once overtaken by a terrifyingly familiar coppery scent.  Charles, who had been walking near me, fell to the ground next to me as blood poured out of his eye sockets and mouth. He reached for me with a bony hand and added sticky red streaks to the dirt on my dress, and I screamed anew.  His horrible jaw opened and closed, but no sound came out but the clacking of his teeth and I shut my eyes and put my hands over my ears.  I began to rock and rock, wishing for it all to go away.  

When I opened my eyes, Charles was kneeling next to me, staring back at me from his Spiderman suit and our teacher was asking me if I was all right.  Tears streaked my face, but the world was bright again and there weren't any skeletons, only costumes and sun and happiness and eucalyptus. I tried to stand up too quickly and ended up smacking Charles' face with the back of my head as he leaned over to get up.  I heard his teeth clack together and he cried out as I fell back to the ground. Blood began to stream slowly from his lip and nose, and it dripped on my dress, and we both began to cry.  Our teacher cleaned us up and my parents took us home early from the parade. My mother asked me what happened, but I said nothing and just shook my head and pressed my face into her stomach as she held me. 

My grandmother was waiting for us in the entryway at the house.  She had a knowing look on her face.  She waited for my parents to take Charles into the other room to give him a snack and she sat me down next to her.  

"You saw something today, didn't you, Caroline?" she asked me gently.  
I nodded. 

"It must have been pretty frightening," she said, putting her arm around me. "I just want you to know, you don't have to be afraid of those visions. They can't hurt you." 

I finally managed to tell her what I saw, the skeletons, Charles, and what happened immediately afterwards.

She tilted her head slightly. "Sometimes visions get mixed up.  Time doesn't always pass the same way in them." 

Seeing my look of fear and concern, she squeezed my arm. "Don't worry," she replied. "Remember what I said. They can't hurt you." 

Several years later, I came down with a strange sickness. I became filled with an unknown terror and it made my stomach keep turning over, and I couldn't stop retching.  I was in bed all day, curled in a ball.  My grandmother came in to look at me, and brushed the hair away from my forehead looking somewhat puzzled.  She closed my bedroom door, but I could hear her turn on the television. 

The reporter's voice was grave. " at Trenton Elementary School has claimed the lives of dozens, but we don't have any solid numbers as of yet. Firefighters are battling the blaze..." 

The television clicked off. I heard my grandmother mutter what sounded like a prayer, but somehow I was asleep before she was finished.

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