37 comments

Mystery

I was suddenly aware of my consciousness, though something stopped me from opening my eyes. It wasn't that a physical obstacle prevented me; the slow build of dread rising in my chest at what might meet my gaze was enough to keep my eyes shut tight. I had woken up with no recollection of how I’d gotten here... wherever “here” was. The soft undergrowth cushioning my body felt cool against my burning skin, but it remained the only clue of my whereabouts until I could manage the strength to open my eyes. Perhaps I should take inventory of my surroundings. I forced myself to lift my lids, a hiss escaping as the bright orb singed my eyes. I instinctively winced at the brilliant rays, lifting a hand to my face to block them from paining my eyes.


As I finally let my eyes adjust, I glanced around at my surroundings to get my bearings. Vivid colors met my gaze, still too brilliant to quite make out as the sun had dazed my eyes, but even their blurred, dancing vibrancy enchanted me. I tried to lift myself to get a better view of what was around me but immediately felt a throbbing pain building in my head as a whimper escaped my throat. Perhaps that wasn't a good idea yet, though the reason as to why only elusively fluttered around my mind. Soon, however, I pursued my original goal of getting up, much more carefully this time, though my body seemed to refuse to cooperate. Ever-persistent curiosity, however, soon got the better of me. I finally managed to struggle into an upright position, trying to ignore the pain as I felt my eyes hungrily sweeping the landscape.


The otherworldly view swam before me; it was like nothing I had ever seen before, though I wasn't sure how I knew that... Funny, now that I thought about it, I couldn't seem to recall that much at all. My brow furrowed in confusion as the mesmerizing color of the surrounding nature entranced my eyes. Swirling reds and purples of floral vegetation curled around sturdy hazel shoots reaching for the sky, though the shoots eventually got lost and tangled together with their neighbors in a net of green arches. The ground below me seemed to slightly shimmer from the glistening droplets upon its sleek surface.


Suddenly, the hypnotic lull was broken as a large object caught my attention, one that had wings and a gaping wound in its side. I crawled towards it, a muffled, nagging voice in the back of my mind trying to tell me its significance. Though as I edged closer to the mystery, the voice fell silent. There were bodies strewn around the beast. They were mostly mangled and a few half-eaten; however, none were left alive. It was sickening.


The world suddenly began to sway as the feeling of dread started roaring again in my chest with panic clawing alongside it. My eyes continued trailing from one corpse to the next, flitting between bloodied injury after bloodied injury. I collapsed to the ground again, curling up and trying to sift through the pain in order to figure out what the hell was going on. A few thoughts began bubbling up, though they twisted the knife of pain further into my skull and prevented me from focusing on them. Finally, I was unable to withstand it all and let out a guttural howl before my vision faded once more.


As I came to for the second time, I realized that my overworked brain had managed to wring out a few details as I lay unconscious: the winged beast that had appeared to have consumed the then-animated corpses was instead the airplane that I had arrived here in, and the unfortunate beings surrounding it had been my fellows on the journey. Something had gone terribly wrong during the travel, causing the vessel to crash in this strange place, killing most of the travelers. The rest, perhaps, had gotten lost in the phantasmagorical jungle surrounding the site. I didn't want to have to think of what else could have occurred. In fact, I refused to pursue that thought further as the indistinct growling, purring, screeching, and other noises of the area did not sound the least bit welcoming.


But the noise only grew. The brilliant radiance of day was beginning to tuck away her sleepy head, and night began his prowl, bringing all manner of foreign beasts with him, as evidenced by the unwelcoming sounds. I had somehow managed to force myself into a standing position, nervously scanning the area. I needed somewhere safe. I finally found and locked my eyes on the prize, grateful for anything as I headed towards the only source of shelter I could find: the vessel.


Alas, even such a simple plan was destined to fail. As I staggered off towards the gaping maw of my to-be home, I felt an uncomfortable prickle on the back of my neck, my muscles beginning to tense. A glance backward told me the shadow of something much more limber and stealthy than I had started its hunt with me as its prize. Panic started to take over as I registered the danger, causing me to blindly stumble faster towards the hope of safety. I barely heard my pursuer, as it likely had much more practice at the art of silence, though I knew it was there as I trudged forward. Was it a doomed endeavor? Panic and logic tussled in my mind as my legs blindly stepped forward to create distance from the unknown threat. The crunch of leaves beneath my feet was amplified to a deafening roar in the pursuit, though was it much of a pursuit if there was no chase? I could feel the unresolved tension of the unknown prickling at my neck as I got closer and closer to my destination. A moment of relief was on the cusp of flowing through me, as I had almost reached the center. Just a few more steps and I would be safe.


My outstretched hand reached for the chipped white surface of the vehicle to begin my climb into its shelter, but it was a false hope. The creature (being much faster than I) had finally decided to pounce. It was midnight black and sleek, seeming to blend in with the very air itself. I barely had time to register its attack before it clamped down on my leg, earning a stifled cry from me, its unfortunate prey. It seems the beast had been toying with me, allowing me to feel a glimmer of safety before it assured me that I wasn't out of the woods yet. I began to struggle for my life, wildly kicking out and scrambling for some sort of hold or weapon or anything that could save me. Though initially slender in appearance, thick muscles bulged as the creature yanked at my leg. It was a cruel game of tug-of-war as I fought to hold on to the edge of the plane. The feral foe bared its teeth and pulled at my leg to dislodge me, its unforgiving emerald green eyes locked on me as I struggled. It seemed to be telling me that my time was up, and maybe it was right. But I wasn’t going down without a fight.


A growl was all that came of my efforts, then a roar as my foot connected with something hard; playtime was over. Claws raked at my sides, and I felt a sticky warmth trickle down after, a gurgling sickness rising in my throat. My pursuer sunk its teeth in my neck, and a metallic tang was all that was left before my life whisked itself from my body.


...


All I could see was black, and a strange language surrounded me as the cold air hit my body. I struggled to open my eyes, soon scrunching them back up as a small wail escaped my throat at the unfamiliarity. Someone shushed me and gently picked me up, slowly rocking me and comforting me. I continued to cry, though I soon tired myself out and clung to the person, still whimpering slightly as I wasn't sure what else to do. 


It seemed that I had been given another chance at life, though I didn't know it yet at the time. I was but a newborn child, fresh and reborn to the world with infinite possibilities; I was blessed with a new start. A new beginning.


July 19, 2020 18:02

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37 comments

Deborah Angevin
14:28 Jul 31, 2020

Wonderfully written piece (with the vivid descriptions too!) Would you mind checking my recent story, "A Very, Very Dark Green"? Thank you :)

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Cypress Grey
18:02 Jul 31, 2020

Hello and thank you for the comment! I'll check it out when I have the time ^^

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Andrea Smith
12:26 Jul 31, 2020

Scary yet I couldn’t stop reading. Great concept. I like how you can truly “see” your character’s blind agony. Great read.

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Cypress Grey
18:01 Jul 31, 2020

I'm glad you liked it! Thank you for the comment :)

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Clyde Roan
03:20 Jul 31, 2020

I love it! As many have already mentioned, there is gorgeous imagery here. If anything, I'd love to see even more of that at the end, diving into the character's confusion at their rebirth. That said, I thought the end was great. I think the rebirth element is a perfect compliment to the frequent descriptions of life interspersed with death throughout the story. Great job!

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Cypress Grey
18:00 Jul 31, 2020

Thank you! A few people have suggested me to take this story as a sort of "prequel" to the tale of a person who recalls their previous life, and I may do something with it!

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Paul Rouse
11:23 Jul 30, 2020

Love the idea - very clever, and keeps the reader guessing until the end. Some vivid and original description in there. My only suggestion would be to perhaps trim a couple of paragraphs from the middle: maybe it's me, but I didn't quite 'get' the winged beast/airplane section, and I think it slowed the story down a little. But great stuff!

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Cypress Grey
15:59 Jul 30, 2020

I'll see if I can clarify that bit more if I ever flesh out this story. Thanks for the feedback!

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Keerththan 😀
06:56 Jul 30, 2020

A very creative story. It was great. But, Short paragraphs make the readers more interested. Otherwise, wonderful story. Keep writing. The descriptions were also wonderful. Loved it. Would you mind reading my story "The secret of power?"

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Cypress Grey
15:56 Jul 30, 2020

Thank you! I'll be sure to take a look when I have time :)

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Mannat Kalra
05:38 Jul 28, 2020

Great story👍👍

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Cypress Grey
21:42 Jul 28, 2020

Thanks!

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Alexi Delavigne
02:05 Jul 28, 2020

You had some really nice descriptions in here! I really enjoyed the line “ The brilliant radiance of day was beginning to tuck away her sleepy head, and night began his prowl, bringing all manner of foreign beasts with him.” Nice work!

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Cypress Grey
21:42 Jul 28, 2020

I'm glad you liked that line! I always like personifications haha

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Grace M'mbone
18:04 Jul 26, 2020

The plot was okay. I grasped the story along with the wonderful descriptions. You did great with the descriptions. It was a worthy read Cypress. Please keep writing. The world needs more of your craft.

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Cypress Grey
20:15 Jul 26, 2020

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed :)

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Quill Porter
08:16 Jul 25, 2020

The descriptions were beautiful. The way you portrayed the thoughts of the narrator throughout the story was on the spot. Great job!

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Cypress Grey
14:58 Jul 25, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it ^^

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Cool Guy 2
03:31 Jul 23, 2020

I have returned from my great coma in order to leave a comment (which contains my thoughts) on this story posted by the one and only "Cypress Grey". I must say, the words "cool" and "good" are most appropriate for this story. I would in fact say -- and i use the words "in fact" to signify that this is a fact -- that this is a story of quality. Please and thank you for liking this comment <

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Charles Stucker
22:11 Jul 22, 2020

Am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been, have, had. Those words, overused, take a lot of impact out of your writing. You use "was" four times and "had" twice in your second sentence. It stands out. And a small rewrite could eliminate all but the final "was." If it is painfully bright, you can tell it by the light which goes through your eyelids. Full darkness and bright light are distinguishable without opening your eyes. So this is the prequel to a tale of someone who recalls a past life where they died in the jungle after a plane cr...

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Cypress Grey
22:47 Jul 22, 2020

I often struggle with overuse of words without realizing it so thank you for catching that! I'll see how I can edit that out. Hmm maybe I can clarify that the protagonist had accidentally looked directly at the sun. It would better explain why they were a bit dazed after. If I'm being honest, I wrote this story as I went so I didn't have a clear idea in mind until I later went back and sculpted it, but yes, that's what I eventually came up with haha. I think it would be easier to craft this into a jungle setting since it would be f...

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Cypress Grey
01:20 Jul 30, 2020

Forgot to tell you that I finished my final touches on the piece if you would like to look over it again to see if I clarified things!

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Charles Stucker
04:40 Jul 30, 2020

Yeah, this is greatly improved. Everything held together and the grammar had no real issues. Since the tale is built around rebirth, the ending holds well. I understand why you couldn't close with the phrase, "a new hope." Who wants to get mixed up with vengeful jedi?

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Cypress Grey
15:56 Jul 30, 2020

Haha thank you so much for the critiques by the way!

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Jen Park
04:43 Jul 21, 2020

This is a very creative point of view! The descriptions were beautiful and deep and...... Almost scary and horrible! (In a good way.) You really made me think on your last vignette. The only suggestion is that you might have to add more physical descriptions to let the readers catch the plot better and to keep balance with your description of the protagonist's internal struggles. Wonderful story!:)

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Cypress Grey
14:35 Jul 21, 2020

Yeah, I've had a few comments on the lack of worldbuilding and a few confusing sentences so I need to work on that haha. I first wrote this in 30 minutes so I have a lot of editing to do!

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Cypress Grey
01:22 Jul 30, 2020

Alright so I've reworked the descriptions a lot as per your (and a lot of other people's) suggestions. Thank you!

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Jen Park
01:29 Jul 30, 2020

Oh, nice! I'm going to read it right away. :)

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Jen Park
01:39 Jul 30, 2020

Wow, wow, wow! Thank you for telling me that you uploaded the edited version. If you didn't I might miss this one and that would mean missing a lot! I loved the descriptions you put in this story.They were so enchanting and thrilling that I was drowned deeply in the dark vibe. I was also happy to see that you didn't change the last paragraph because that was my favorite part. Again, this story is so creative and wonderful. I'd love to hear more from you. :)

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Cypress Grey
01:46 Jul 30, 2020

Glad you thought the descriptions are better now! Thank you so much again for the feedback I really appreciate it!!

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11:35 Nov 12, 2020

Great story

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11:35 Nov 12, 2020

Hii, Cypress Sorry to intervene, in this brutal manner, I have a request for you would be kind to give a single glance over the vehicle which my team had been working over months. https://www.instagram.com/p/CHX5VUPBJOp/?igshid=5f72nb3cgg30 Sorry to take your time and If possible like the post.Because this would help team to win

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Yolanda Wu
05:24 Oct 23, 2020

What an intriguing story! All of your descriptions were vivid and captivating. The pacing and action in the story was written so well, it was so intense! Especially the fight with the creature, I was on the edge of my seat just wondering what was going to happen next. And wow, the ending when they're reborn was done so well. A fantastic story! Amazing work, Cypress!

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. .
22:48 Sep 01, 2020

Wow! This is so creative. I also loved the descriptions as well, it brings the whole story together

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Batool Hussain
16:12 Jul 27, 2020

As promised, I'm here. This is amazing. Mysteriously haunting(in a good way). Your use of vocabulary and the pace is good too. The advice I would like to give is that maybe try adding a little more physical description to the story. It would definitely give a little more magic to it. Overall, a very good job:) Kudos.

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Cypress Grey
00:08 Jul 28, 2020

Thanks glad you enjoyed :)

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Cypress Grey
22:05 Jul 23, 2020

Author's Note: If you would like to comment (compliment, tip, criticism, what have you) on a specific part of the story or see my progress, please check out the google doc here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-GReJvJ0CeLNRGrSYkWp8TmzGcbWcCkUTNFEvGQiPCI/edit?usp=sharing

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