Hello all you happy internet people! Why, you may be asking yourself , am I in such a good mood. Well, I'll tell you. I had breakfast for dinner, M*A*S*H has returned to the supper time slot, and I finally finished this bleeping story! I swear, if this story had fingers it would have been flipping me the bird. But I triumphed in the end.
And now I must crave your indulgence. This is, partially, a beginning to a story I've had rattling around in my head for something like four years. I liked it, but coulnd't figure out how to get it going. With the help of this blog, though, I've been able to find a solution and hopefully something fun will come of it.
Right! Enough of the explanations. Hopefully, Blogger will cooperate and allow me to stick this beast behind a cut. Here we go!
Prompt No. 3: Friends
In a matter of moments, Angelica was twenty yards away and hiding, breathless, behind a large elm. Her heart pounded furiously, almost painfully, behind her ribs.
Impossible, that’s just impossible. Angelica dared to glance around the tree. The face was still there smiling patiently, like a parent waiting for a child to stop misbehaving. Angelica’s mind was threatening to shut down. It’s finally happened, I’ve gone mad. All these years of misery have done me in.
The sound of rocks grinding together penetrated her thoughts. Angelica’s imagination, kept dormant for so long, was churning out horrible situations for the cause of the sound and each one was worse than the last. Just as she was about to run screaming from the woods, she heard a soft plop as something hit the leaf covered ground.
Angelica once more glanced back at the hill. The last bit of crimson sunlight glinted off of something golden lying among the leaves and twigs at the base of the hillock. The face smiled expectantly, its granite eyebrows arched high. It wants me to look at it. Angelica’s mind raced through more horrifying scenarios before she found the courage to stand.
Gingerly, she picked her way closer to the golden glint, ready at a moment to make a sudden dash for safety. Inching her way along, she came at last upon the object. It was a book. Its cover was green with golden designs at the corners and edges. Angelica knew at once what it was. It was the very same book that she had left for the rock faces twenty years ago.
Angelica remembered it vividly. She would leave a different book every day at the silent request of the faces. Every day she would return and the book would be where she had left it. She had never returned for this book, however. Her mother had forbidden her to return to the woods.
She studied the book. It hadn’t changed a bit in twenty years. Surely it wouldn’t have survived intact for that long. Angelica held the book to her chest and breathed in the smell of it. When she had left it, it was brand new and smelled of the bookstore. Now it had a faint aroma of incense and old leather. Angelica’s head began to swim and she looked up at the face to anchor herself.
Despite the fact that it was stone, the face was beaming warmth and kindness at her. Angelica felt a gentle tug in the back of her mind. She climbed the hill and stood below the face. There was more detail in the face than she remembered. When she was six, it had seemed more mask-like and simple. Now, Angelica could see crow’s feet around the eyes. It had a broad forehead which sported a few worry lines and a strong, square jaw which gave the overall impression of the face being male.
Angelica couldn’t fathom why she would imagine a man’s face jutting out of a rock like some bizarre bas relief. She also couldn’t imagine anything else. Strangely, it seemed right, almost proper. Angelica had the feeling that she had suddenly been reunited with a long lost friend. He, this face in the rock, smiled so earnestly at Angelica that she couldn’t help but let out a small sob.
At that moment, Angelica came to a realization. She took in a deep breath of cool evening air. “Have you been waiting for me?” The face nodded as best it could, little flecks of dried moss floating down from the motion. Angelica stifled another sob; she felt guilty now for having kept him waiting for twenty years. “I’m sorry I’m so late.”
The man’s face grinned so broadly that the rock began to split. Deep cracks snaked along the surface and the rock seemed to collapse in upon itself. The face disappeared as the façade crumbled away and an actual doorway was revealed. The last few chunks of rock fell away and Angelica found herself standing before a man. She ignored her first reaction, which was to run, and stayed to look more closely.
It was him. The face that had moments before been stone was now real and, she noted, could use a shave. He was wearing a garment which looked like a cross between a toga and a monk’s robe. Angelica kept opening and closing her mouth, desperate for something to say, but nothing would come out. The man saved her from having to break the silence.
“Never would I have believed ‘twould be so simple a phrase to open the passageway. Glad I am though for I have been trapped for a considerable time and in dire need of new company.” Angelica chanced a peak around the robed figure and saw five other men standing somewhat impatiently behind him. Although the situation was decidedly strange, Angelica could not help but smile. She knew that this was a turning point in her life and that this moment would mark the beginning of a very interesting adventure.