By: Andrew Scott/Junior Writer
My day usually started with kids screaming, dogs barking, and trying to make a mad dash out the door to work, most times, not even saying goodbye to my children. I wanted nothing but to end that mess of a lifestyle. It couldn’t have been healthy. I was hopeful, though, that today would be the last time I started my day off on the wrong foot.
I’ve been working tirelessly at the castle all in hopes of one day, going back to school. It’s been my dream since I was a child, to own my own pharmacy; and tomorrow is the day I was supposed to start that journey. I had to get through today.
On my two mile, walking, commute through the dense woods, I often thought about my dream and tried to picture my first day on the job. Before I knew it, I could see the immense marble towers. They ascended high above the treeline with shiny gold accents all throughout. If it weren’t for the dense forestry, you could see them for miles.
As I made my way up the spotless marble staircase, I could tell something may have been a little off; it was the vibe, but I dismissed it as I thought I was just excited to never have to see this place again. I navigated through the lusciously decorated hallways to the kitchen where I found a peculiar visitor.
I addressed the stranger with a friendly voice, and was kindly given one back. Nothing pointed to anything alarming, other than the fact that I had never seen her before. So I proceeded on with my daily tasks and the next time I looked over, she had left. That was the last time I thought about her. Little did I know, she made her way to all of the departments that morning, but just like myself, no one thought anything of it.
Throughout the day, I heard some street gossip about the prince. Apparently he just had a falling out with one of his sponsors; he was not in a good mood. But the staff continued on with their daily chores. The prince really had no direct impact on us, any of us. We even ended up joking about him.
“Good day to mess up his soup,” I said sarcastically.
I continued on with my day, and heard nothing more about the prince.
Then with a great intensity, I felt that strange feeling again, but this time it was different. It lingered, almost like a headache. Then it started to get progressively worse. I started to feel sick to my stomach and I ran to the nearest chair. My head was spinning and I soon lost mobility of my limbs. I crashed to the ground and my vision was beginning to look tunneled. I tried to call for help, but my consciousness faded, and I layed on the cold marble floor, alone.
The next thing I remember is the persistent ringing in my ears. It was a ring that made me irritable. It was a ring that made me come to.
I opened my eyes slowly, but all I could see was darkness. I tried to move my neck, but it felt too stiff. I tried to sit up, but my abdomen felt too sore. I don’t know how but I managed to stand and maintain my balance. I went to take a step, but my ankles felt really tight, so I began a waddle over to the nearest window.
The trip over felt twice as long as when I did it earlier that day. I don’t know if it was because the lights were off or the fact that there was an agitating “clang” that seemed to follow me. The more I walked, and the closer I got to the window, the more I started to realize what was going on and my anxiety started to sink in.
“I have to get home,” I said. “Where’s my kids, what about my…”
But that’s when I saw it; that’s when I saw that ghastly image in the window.
“No!” I yelled, “What even am I?”
I was turned into a shiny, purple, porcelain vase; and my future looked dim as I saw no way out of this.
My immediate reaction was sheer panic. I burst out of the room and frantically searched for answers. I was soon malcontented though, as everyone around me was in the same situation. No one knew what to do. I headed back to the dreadful kitchen and over to the giant windows where I first discovered my identity. Something about looking outside, alleviated some of my anxiety. It helped me accept that there were more things outside of my control, than I’d like to acknowledge.
Then, as if someone heard my sudden realization, my eyes caught a flash of something. I stood motionless, peering out of the window, looking for whatever caught my attention. I searched, but I saw nothing, and the movement never resurfaced. Then feeling discouraged that it was superficial, it happened again, but this time I had a location. Something was hiding in the woods behind the castle.
I quickly headed for the side door and stumbled across the overgrown lawn. It looked as if its been two years since it’s been mowed. Slowly but surely though, I made it to the bushes where I saw the movement. Then, as I was no more than five feet away, a dark figure burst out of the bush and frantically ran away from me.
Unable to run after them, I screamed for them to stop. The figure turned their head towards me and I caught a glimpse of an older lady. Thoughts were racing through my mind. I knew I saw her from somewhere, but where?
Then it hit me, she was the every woman who made an appearance in my kitchen, she is a person that must know what happened to me.
I screamed “stop” but she kept running. Then out of a dire panic I belted “I know that you were there!”
In the blink of an eye, she was stopped in her tracks. She turned around and nervously started to make her way in my direction.
“How do you know who I am?” She said.
“Well, I remember you sitting at a table in the dining room” I responded. “I remember you right before I was turned in to this. Besides, who in their right mind wouldn’t be taken aback by my appearance? I know you have information.” She raised her lips to speak, but I cut her off before she could squeak out any sound. “Actually, I don’t want to know exactly what happened, I want to know exactly how I can see my kids again. I will do anything, but I need to know where my first step is, I need to know how to get back home.”
Then with an emotionless tone, the old lady responded. “The only way to do what you wish, doesn’t fall within your action. It falls within the single person who has no respect for anything but himself, it falls within the prince. There is nothing I can do to help you, unless he can learn how to help others.”
Enraged with anger, I lashed out. “All due respect, but in no way, shape, or form am I at all related to the prince’s judgments. I have zero control over who he talks to, or how he treats others. And to be honest, I think it’s quite ignorant to group a bunch of hardworking individuals with such a nepitist. But if you really think I deserve this punishment for just trying to provide for my family, then I don’t think I can fathom talking to you any longer.”
I turned around as fast as my figure allowed and I aggressively headed towards the castle, leaving the lady behind.
Then with a very iniquitous tone the lady said, “I may have a way to help you after all.” I acted like I didn’t hear her. “All you have to do is break the vase.”
I turned around, “Are you kidding, that’d kill me!” I said.
She then responded callously, “How bad do you want to see your kids?”
I proceeded to head for the castle, but deep in my head, that question lingered: How bad do I really want to see my kids? Then because of my absence to pay attention, I clipped a rock. It threw me forward with so much force I had no idea what had happened. I tried to maintain my upright position, but I was tipping, fast. I began compensating though, and just as I started to gain some control I slammed into the marble steps of the castle, shattering my brittle physique. The bits and pieces of the last remnants of my life, laying on the ground. I looked blankly up at the sky, but that slowly disappeared as a bright light overcame my vision.
My day usually ended with a relaxing walk and an anxious desire to get home. Today though, I was walking a little faster. Who would blame me though?
As I approached my quaint house, it kind of started to all hit me at once. I never thought that walking into the front door would be such a gift.
I burst into the door and was pleasantly surprised by the screaming, just as when I left. My eyes started to water and I quickly made my way over to my child who was sitting on the couch. I yelled his name, but he didn’t respond. Again, I, more frantically called for him, but I once again wasn’t acknowledged. I reached out to hug him, but then I fell right through.
My eyes swelled up even more and I shook my head in disbelief. I guess I wanted more than to be able to see them.