4 teenagers embark on a mystical journey and encounter strange gods. Nanowrimo 2011 Novel.
|"Excuse me but you really should come and see this," Evan's younger brother Joshua begged. "I can't reach but I'm sure one of you can do it."
Evan peered into the dark area Joshua kept jumping under. It was obvious Joshua was grasping air. Kevin reached up and nothing was found.
"I don't see what you're looking at," they told Joshua.
"Oh just lift me up. I can see it fine!"
So they hoisted the boy up. Like magic, Joshua's hand plunged into the darkness and magically a book fell out of the sky and struck the floor.
Their shocked expressions compelled Joshua to blurt, "I could see it sitting there. On a shelf! Like it was built into the pointy thing on the ceiling."
The others stared at the darkness above them, unable to see the stalactite that Joshua claimed was there. It wasn't like they didn't believe him. On the ground was the stalagmite, so logically there must be a matching stalactite situated directly above. What their minds couldn't wrap themselves around was how Joshua saw the stalactite whereas they saw darkness.
"This place is creepy." The older ones all shared this same thought. "But where's the fear? Where's the trepidation? All I feel is numb. My mind tells me that there is no sky. There's only empty darkness. Not even a ghost can exist in there." They all knew this to be true without knowing the source of this knowledge.
"I believe we should get out of here as fast as possible, but... for some reason, I am in no hurry."
Joshua opened the book where it lay on the ground. An amazing array of colors erupted from the pages and the kids leaned in closer, hungry for the fresh, new kaleidoscope that delighted their eyes.
Joshua turned back to take another look at the cover.
Dull as the rest of the cave, they could barely make out the decorative borders. There seemed to be a symbol or some writing, possibly the title of the book, but the words just slipped their minds as soon as they read them, leaving no memory of their meaning or of what the words were. The cover was just too boring to remember and, like minds possessed of ADD, the details barely registered.
Inside there lay beautiful depictions of a man. He stood on the edge of the right page and his arms reached out to the left side of the book. He was walking a path paved of of stone and pebbles. Above him, a reflection of the same man walked as well. It was an inverse reflection. Nearly identical at first appearance, the reflection was clearly asymmetrical. The major details were identical, such as the man and the path and the way the path winded through a cave. Minor details such as color, possessions and landmarks, dazzlingly told a different story depending on how the book was held.
Kevin inverted the book and suddenly the inverted man on top became the man on the bottom, heading for some unseen goal located on the path that now started from the left side of the book and ended on the right side of the book.
Joshua took the book back. "You're reading it wrong. This is the right side up," he said as he inverted the book once more so the man and his reflection traveled from the right side to the left.
"How about I show you the right side of my fist," Kevin snarled, raising a clenched hand to Joshua's nose.
Joshua's eyes darted to Evan, who appeared to be ignoring the threat. "Alright, you look at it first."
Kevin took the book and stood up. He hoisted the lump of grey up and down, as if weighing its value. After a quick examination of the front and back covers and its thick spine, Kevin opened the book up and began to read.
Kalina said, "Would it hurt you to share a bit of the view?"
Kevin smiled and sat down, legs crossed and placed the book on his lap. Kalina knelt beside him. Her hair fell over her face as she craned to see the pages. One hand on the floor to steady her balance and the other hand to hold the hair away from her eyes, Evan leaned over to Kevin's ear and suggested that his friend place the book on the floor so everyone could see it.
"Alright," Kevin mumbled. He placed the book on the floor and everyone lay down on their bellies to study the beautiful pictures.
Kalina pointed at the flowers. "Looks like an adventure map, like the kind you'd find at theme parks telling you where all the rides are."
Joshua pointed as well. "And that must be where the treasure is."
They leaned closer to glimpse the supposed treasure spot.
As the pages turned, the adventure of the man and his reflection grew. The illustrations were simple and representative. No images as real as photographs could be found. The man on the right wore a loin cloth, white and simple. He had some kind of ankle bracelets and wore his hair like an Egyptian found in ancient wall paintings. The inverted man above, wore a loin cloth as well, embroidered, with blues and greens, and gold, as well as other colors subtly intertwined and weaved inbetween. He wore gold chains around his neck and ankles and wielded a wine cup by its stem as though it were a scepter to ward off danger before him.
"I'm not sure, but didn't that statue look a lot like the man in this book?" Kalina whispered.
The floor was hard and lying on the belly for so long was making her sleepy. She wanted to lay her head on the floor and let her mind drift away however the pages were so beautiful that she didn't want to take her eyes off of them.
Evan nodded his agreement. "His hair was like that. No, wait a minute. The statue was bald. But he's dressed like the man at the bottom."
Kalina smiled. "Are you sure he was bald? I could have swore he had hair. Long, shaped like this." With her right pointer finger, she traced a triangle over the man's thick shoulder length hair.
Kevin snorted. "Evan's right. He was bald."
Kalina stroked the corner of the page. "I wonder why they made the numbers so big?" she thought out loud. "Like we'd have trouble reading the page numbers. They're huge, like the size of my fist." Then she demonstrated by balling her right hand into a fist and covered up the number. "Well almost the size of my fist. Maybe this much if my pinky weren't in the way. I mean I can read the number standing up, like a mile away."
"Hm," Evan said. "The numbers are weird too."
"Weird how?" Kalina asked.
"The numbers count up, from the front of the book to the back. But if you turn the book upside down, then the numbers for the reflection count up from the back of the book to the front. See it's weird because, when the book is upside down, the numbers are upside down too. Why don't they just reflect or print them right side up for the man at the top?"
Evan wanted to keep talking. He had more thoughts, more insights to share, but his mind was lagging and the stony floor felt better and better with each gasp. He reached out to grasp Kalina's hand and drifted away before he could touch her skin. Kalina turned and rolled away, her back facing Evan. Joshua snored. Kevin rolled onto his back and stared into the darkness behind closed eyelids.