A Boy Falls Into The Purple Night

Submitted into Contest #122 in response to: Write about a character who’s stuck in a shopping mall.... view prompt



Walking through the aisles was all that he thought to do. As time ticked on and the world rotated, the best thing, in Edward's mind, was to walk up and down the aisles, looking at the books and CDs, wondering whether or not taking one would really be illegal. If you were trapped in a mall, would you take one? Guess you never really know till your in the situation yourself.

Edward plucked a book off the shelf. The book was a thick one with art that resembled a boy walking through a maze. Heh, thought Edward, guess the world wants to taunt me. He turned the book in his hands, analyzing the cover, the spine, and the back. Purple Night was the name of the book and, from what Edward could tell, it was about a boy thrown into a different reality, seeking his way through maze after maze, crying to himself and longing for his friends again. How could anyone write so much about a dumb story like that? Edward thought.

Edward put the book back on the shelf and moved farther down the aisle. The store he was in was a local store that had been fortunate enough to get an outlet in the town shopping mall. They sold books, music, pop-culture merchandise. . . the works.

Edward walked further and further down the aisle that seemed to span towards the edge of the world. The shelves, stocked with books, all of which were written by people Edward had never heard of before, sat heavily on the ground, blocking his way through his existential maze. And no person on earth had probably ever heard of these authors either. In fact, there was no probably about it. The world that Edward was in, his little imaginary existence inside this prison of a shopping mall would not allow the presence of the real world let alone fragments of it. So, Purple Night by Franklin Roald was not a real book and would probably never exist ever in the real world, and neither would any of the music embedded in the CDs that sat so idly by on the shelves of the dark store.

Finally, reaching the non-existent end of the aisle, Edward stood still. His feet teetered off the edge of the his imagination, a purple and black infinity existed beneath him, beckoning him closer so as to bathe in its brilliance. The dragons of reality, breathed hard on his vision, razing it to ashes before his eyes.

The ground was solid again.

As Edward continued his shuffle throughout the store, he heard from the depths of the mall a howl.

"The wolves of night," Edward heard himself say. He didn't know what the words meant. "They hunt at this time." Again, he didn't know what was coming out of his mouth.

The howling, long and sad, ceased. The rest of the shopping mall stood still, cringing with the awkwardness of its situation, hoping for a break of peace, even for just a second. Edward was still frozen.

You're dreaming, a voice from above - no, not above. Inside. A woman's voice silkily drawing fingers of breath over the strings of the harp. Beauty.

You can wake up now, if you'd like. But that is up to you. If you wake, Edward, you will never be back here. The world in manifest around you will dissipate in the air and dissolve in the soil of the earth. Can you hear it calling to you?

Entranced by the voice, Edward floated up, his nose smelling the sweet and familiar perfume of a lost friend. Rosalind. Lost to the darkness of the woods - kidnapped here in this mall. Edward, floating up into the now surrounding purple sky, felt his fingers tingle, dripping in the wetness of the pools of tears that lined the rim of his heaven. He needed to find Rosalind.

"I need you, Rosie!" His voice loud and sonorous in the expanse of purple twilight, his finger gripping the pools around the edge, so as not to exceed their limits. Edward closed his eyes, holding still to the calm placidity that held him in place. Edward opened his eyes to find himself in the reflection of these pools. Purple pools perpetuating the purple shine of a poor boys plight.

You can't have me. Nobody can. I was lost and can never be found.

"I can find you!" his voice throbbing in pain and despair.

No you can't. The police couldn't and neither could you. You tried, Eddy, but you failed. There's nothing you can do about it now. I'm lost.

"Please take me with you, Rosie!" His yells fell to a silent host, the party returning nothing but an echo of his own disconcertion.

The voice did not answer. The sweet voice that he had heard so many times in his youth, his upbringing, his gestation, left him in awe of its sweetness, jerking tears from glands that hadn't fired in years, drinking of his sadness as if an unquenchable thirst has come up to 't. The voice was silent.

Just close your eyes, Edward, he told himself. If you do that, you'll be okay.

Edward shut his eyes, blinking off his tears as they formed. Count to three, Edward. His voice sounded now like hers. But it wasn't so sweet. Edward strained his eyelids to hold them closed, the purple world around him shining through the shut flaps of skin, illuminating his cavernous mind with a plum hue.

One. . .

A scene with Rosalind, her blonde hair and violet dress billowing as she swung back and forth on the swing set of her childhood home.

Two. . .

Rosalind and Edward at the freshman year homecoming dance, their hands knotted tight with passion; Edward danced well that night.

Three. . .

A date at the mall, browsing through a book store, a boy holding hands with his girl. He lets her go. . . and she is gone.

Edward opens his eyes to find himself standing still on the edge of an aisle-way, his weight shifted forward to the point where he's almost falling over. He is in a dark store with barren shelves, the metal closing gate guarding his exit. He is in a dark shopping mall, his soul screaming for help to no avail.

Edward is lost.

December 02, 2021 00:01

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Michelle Colpo
23:18 Dec 09, 2021

Wonderful story full of mystery! I'm sad Edward can't be with Rosalind. I would love to hear more of the backstory between the two if you decide to continue on this story! I'm intrigued!


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Connie Elstun
05:42 Dec 09, 2021

I have always liked a maze. Good job!


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Yves. ♙
08:54 Dec 06, 2021

Really interesting combo here-- something like sci-fi and fantasy. And a classic tale of a lost soul doomed to wander the Earth... or perhaps an abandoned shopping mall. Nice job!


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Kendall Defoe
02:08 Dec 02, 2021

Stephen King meets Lewis Carroll... An impressive story. And I love your avatar (are you Canadian, like your fan who happens to love Rush and come from the same hometown as Neal Peart?)!


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