The Fragments of Freedom

Submitted into Contest #89 in response to: Start your story with a character taking a leap of faith.... view prompt

7 comments

Adventure Suspense Mystery

Fate. A word that truly depicts the odyssey of life. Life remains a journey of integrity that each breathing person strives through, day after monotonous day. Yet moments of joy can be found even in the darkest of places, as long as one remembers to turn on the light. Unfortunately that was not always as easy as counting to 10.

After stepping forth into the blinding daylight, one would expect the sign of a smile, though not for Franco, for his day was declining into the realm of pure madness. Running wild, running free, such ideologies were not currently achievable for him; his few brief moments of glee were snatched away in an instance by the cruel hands of society. As he peered over the ever-apparent cliff-edge of his life, both mentally and physically, a tear strolled down his paling cheek as he fell forth over the edge, his mind in shambles and his body in agony.

When your life is flashing before your eyes, most would expect the moments of bliss. All Franco saw as he accompanied the abyss was the negativity that forever imbedded the forsaken shred of life that was his own. Thoughts of thousands fluttered like pigeons in his mindscape, chaotic and wanting an escape. ‘An escape’, an escape from what? His dispiriting escapade of mortality? His discouraging collapse into madness throughout his 30s? Nonetheless, scarper was essential no matter the cause.

After a presumed eternity of flailing about in the gale, a supposed image of solid ground materialised beneath his frail skeleton. Thankfully enough, the ground was a familiar clear volume of aquamarine. Bedraggled with fear and salt water, Franco spat out the despair, as well as the solemn goldfish that had found its way past his cyan lips. He suddenly pondered as to how his life was still in his hands, though instantly neglecting the confrontation of notions for he had not a second to waste. 

Peering in the assumed direction of North, he acknowledged the fact that the environment around him was all supposedly full of luscious grass and herbs. Although he discouraged his vision for his perception of reality had betrayed him countless times before. Unfortunately his suspicions were correct, for he watched as two solemn squirrels sauntered past him in absolute union. A false sense of serenity lay rest in the palms of his hands for the world was not what it seemed to be.

He ambitiously stumbled around glancing momentarily at the birds flying overhead. Tremendous trees of mahogany were planted northbound; creating a canopy of corruption, for once again the exact same squirrels ran past Franco. “I’m not going crazy.” He now had upmost confirmation for the sake of his sanity for the shoddy design of this presumed prison was evidently not up to standards. Henceforth escapade was now a necessity.

The first sign the failure in the circuits, was truly the aura of solemnity he had experienced when arriving on the hardened terra firma of the place. Life had never truly been at peace for Franco, not since the very day he arrived on this planet he currently resides upon. As he stumbled forth in the prison of both mentality and physicality, he noticed a peculiar sight, strictly west of his field of view. A solemn rowan tree lay unprovoked and isolated from all of the mahogany, perhaps a sign from whoever was in charge of this stockade.

Upon encroaching upon the cocoa roots of the tree, he noticed an array of wires and cables spreading like a virus from the trunk. Since no further harm could be caused to his life, Franco began tearing the wires from their sources and lacerating them as he went along. Strangely no electrocution was in play, at least not to Franco, for in an instant bling of light, the prison appeared to collapse to ashes as its true form took place.

All around Franco, the once viridescent and illuminated environment transformed into a greyscale horror of an augmented reality set. Fraud was present and Franco took advantage of this. Sprinting towards the nearest rusted door in sight, a yell could be heard from the ceiling as footsteps shunned his eardrums. 

As he escaped the institute of illusions, he arrived at an even more hebetude office block, peculiar yet familiar. He began to saunter around until a sudden sixth sense struck his mindscape. “This isn’t real.” He blurted aloud, realising the horrifying truth and immediately screaming an array of expletives that no living person should be forced to hear.

Reality had once again deceived him for it was further becoming apparent that an attempt at escape was fruitless. “Is this a test?” Franco yelled out loud, yet to his assumption no response was active, however that was not his intention. In conjunction with the words leaving his mouth, air accompanied it and he noticed a distinct lack of movement all around him. This information further proving his perception for the stack of paper before him lay restless and seemingly sly.

Assuming anything but success, he suddenly sprinted at the nearest wall, yet additional flimsy design led to Franco tearing straight through the combination of electronics and cardboard. He now stood in the opposite of the previous serene environments, for now he was in what once was considered no man’s land. A bleak and disconsolate wasteland. Hope had truly left his ideology and at this rate would never submerge.

Franco now lay upon the brink of pure insanity, as he knew not at what end the madness would conclude. He fell to his knees in dismay, apparently too hard for he tore through the ‘soil’ and fell upon a begrimed Victorian style house, further implying the inevitability of his failure.

A laugh rang out from far away, not a happy laugh at a humorous joke, but a soulless sinister snicker at the collapse of a man’s mindscape. The laugh belonged to a man sat atop a throne, a throne of human failure for the laugh belonged to the man responsible for Franco’s eternal imprisonment. The man responsible for the beginning and current end of Franco’s life.

April 14, 2021 19:23

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7 comments

Francis Daisy
02:04 May 03, 2021

soulless sinister snicker - I love the alliteration!

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James Holgate
06:31 May 03, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Cookie Carla🍪
18:57 Apr 20, 2021

Heyo!! Can you read my story "Sign of a Haunt"? It was the first story last week that I threw out because I had HORRIBLE Writer's Block😭. I think it turned out pretty great and I'd love to get feedback :DD

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13:55 Apr 20, 2021

I enjoyed your story and the dark ending. I don't know why, but I've always been a fan of dark endings. Of course, I don't want all endings to be dark, just some sprinkled here and there so when you're reading stories you have to wonder if it's going to end for the hero in tragedy or victory. Please do not take this the wrong way, because your writing is unique and I'm not trying to pick. But, there were a few moments when your writing pulled me out of the story and I think that tightening those things up would enhance your writing. I've inc...

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James Holgate
15:19 Apr 20, 2021

Thank you so much for the detailed analysis, I will attempt to amend my future work to the best of my abilities!

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Ana M
20:24 Apr 14, 2021

I- I’m not even sure what to say... you have a way with words and descriptions that makes everything read like poetry. I’m actually blown away, amazing job

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James Holgate
22:08 Apr 14, 2021

Thank you so much! This comment has truly made my day 😊

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