Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 34 of the 52 week writing challenge!
The prompt for Sunday 27th August is ‘Seaside’:
I’m fascinated by the way the sun sparkles off the sea, therefore my attempt is related to that sparkling colour. It’s also a bit creepy, but it has an underlying positive message: follow your dreams.
The corridor was endless.
Nina had been walking for what seemed like hours, but a glance at her watch told her otherwise. Five minutes after midnight, and four minutes and fifty-two seconds since she had entered the house. She frowned and glanced around her. Walls penned her into the long dark corridor, and Nina raised a hand to peer ahead. Nothing. Her eyes strained, and her hand reached out to run along the wall as she felt her way along.
One foot in front of the other. Keep going. Just like her lessons.
The wall curved under her palm. Nina bit her bottom lip and looked backwards. Nothing behind her, but ahead? Lacy. Her best friend who hadn’t gotten into college. Who ran out of school and towards the old house, which was rumoured to give you everything you dreamed of.
‘Never heard anything so stupid,’ Nina muttered with a flourish. ‘Like I dream of dark endless corridors.’
‘What you seek is behind the door, young one,’ an eerie voice called.
Nina’s head shot around, but no matter how she tried, she couldn’t see another living soul. ‘Whose there?’
‘I am the guardian of dreams,’ the voice replied. Gravelly. Dull. Creepy.
‘You don’t sound like a guardian of dreams,’ Nina said. She took a few steps backwards on sure feet, away from the voice.
A chill huff of breath on her neck startled her. She spun around, hands up in front of her, clenched into fists. ‘Where’s Lacy?’
‘Living her dream,’ the voice replied, and Nina could see thin, pale lips move right in front of her face. ‘Would you like to see yours?’
Nina looked down at her feet. A crushed piece of paper in her pocket caught her eye, and she pulled it free. Held it up for the guardian. ‘Straight A’s. I already have exactly what I want.’
‘Ah, but are you sure it’s what you really want?’ the guardian replied in a drawl. He held a hand in front of her face and moved his fingers down as he listed, ‘College. Career. Money. Family. Stability. Is it what your heart truly desires? Or does it yearn for something more?’
Nina froze and glanced up at his closed fist.
‘Even you have a dream,’ the guardian said with a knowing wink. ‘Do not close your heart. Follow me.’
Nina hesitated as the guardian began to glide down the corridor with a grace she knew she could match. Her parents would be furious if she gave up MIT and moved the way her feet always wanted her to. But still… Nina bit her bottom lip and eyed the guardian carefully.
The darkness had receded a little, and behind him an old door lay open a crack. Light filtered through and illuminated the guardian. His weathered cracked face, his dark, chaotic hair, his bright red eyes. He’d paused and turned, and now he beckoned her.
The paper slipped from her fingers, and in a few quick, graceful steps, she met the guardian at the door. ‘Show me.’
‘Be prepared to be amazed,’ the guardian replied, voice a little lighter now, and with a wave of his hand, the door opened.
Light, brighter than any other, assaulted her eyes, and Nina covered them with her hand. When her eyes adjusted, she blinked, and moved her hand up and away in a graceful arc.
‘The beach?’ Nina wondered aloud. Except, it wasn’t a beach of dreams. The sand was dull and wet, and grey clouds spun overhead, matched only by the pebbles which lined the shore. Monochrome. Like an old black and white photo. ‘Is this supposed to be a joke?’
‘This is the current state of your dreams,’ the guardian replied with a frown. ‘You are so far off course, I wonder if you will ever get back…’
‘My dreams are just fine,’ Nina replied with a scowl.
‘MIT is not your dream.’
Nina looked away. Waves crashed against the shore in the eerie light, and the clouds parted a little to allow a single ray of sunlight through. Of course MIT was her dream. Wasn’t it?
Nina took a step forward.
Bare toes curled in the sand, and she looked down in surprised wonder. Gone were her dull black school shoes. Unbidden, a giggle rose in her throat, and her bare toes curled in the damp sand. One tentative step, then another. Further from the dark corridor and closer to the sea.
‘Yes, go to it!’ the guardian said in a low hiss. ‘Be who you are meant to be.’
Damp sand crunched between her toes as Nina reached the waters edge. ‘Is it what I wanted?’ she sang in a whisper. ‘Is it what I planned?’
She glanced back towards the door and heaved a sigh. Continued to sing as she span in place to the tune of the waves. ‘It was their dream, not my dream. It was never what I wanted, it was never what I planned.’
A swish of purple caught Nina’s eye, and the rays of sunlight grew brighter, reflected off an elegant golden trim. She gasped and spun around again. Her drab school uniform had been replaced with a purple dress with a stunning golden pattern.
Nina laughed and ran along the shore, skirt held up and twirling, leaping, bounding with excitement. Heart racing, it threatened to tear from her chest as she danced along the shore between the waves.
‘Take the path that leads to safety, follow my parents, follow the herd,’ Nina muttered as she dipped and span. She paused and regarded the guardian, whose hair had begun to sparkle. ‘I mean, sure, I’m good at it, and I’ll make a lot of money, but do I really want to take that path?’
The guardian merely shook his head, and Nina’s voice rose another octave as she continued to sing, eyes closed now as she twirled in place. ‘I won’t belong there, not in my heart. I can’t go there, I’ll turn my back on the dark.’
With a final spin, her dress cascaded out around her, and Nina sank to the sandy floor with a dramatic, graceful movement. The deep breaths she drew shook her small frame, and when her eyes fluttered open, she smiled.
Movement beside her, and the guardian shifted into view.
Nina glanced up at him and gasped. Gone were the shadows, and the skin as cracked as a dry desert. Now, his skin was smooth, and the shadows had faded, replaced with wings of gold and robes of silken violet.
‘What?’ Nina asked. ‘Are you the same…?’
The guardian nodded. ‘I was trapped the way I was because you’d nearly given up. When you embraced your dreams, I assumed my pure form again.’
‘I haven’t… It’s not that easy…’ Nina said. Her fingers carded through the drying sand at her side.
‘The easy path isn’t always the most fulfilling,’ he replied. ‘I am not just any guardian of dreams, I am yours. The day you give up is the day I disintegrate. But so long as you follow your heart, I will light your way.’
Nina smiled a shaky smile and raised a hand to her chest. ‘I want to be a dancer.’
Her guardian smiled. Waves tickled the edge of her dress, and Nina drew it towards her. The sun sparkled off the sea, not yellow, but not white either. Somewhere in between. Torn. But Nina was no longer torn. The wind blew her hair, and it tickled her face as she got to her feet. She knew exactly where she was supposed to go next.
Thanks for reading!
Originally, this was going to be a happy tale set by the sea. I think watching the Netflix version of Death Note turned it a littler darker and creepier, and I was totally picturing Ryuk when I wrote the guardian of dreams darker persona!
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for 3rd September is ‘Fast Food.’
I’m going to delve into the world of pizza assassins, which I’ve talked about a bit on Twitter.
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 3rd September, and leave a link in the comments below this post so that I can read it 🙂
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂