Story Cubes - Writing Challenge

As some of my regular readers will know. Last year I had set myself a writing challenge for the of December. The intention was that I would roll one of the story cubes for the day and then write the next section of the story with that item in mind. I wanted to post the final result here. One item to note however is that I was not allowed to go back and edit any of the previous sections.

Let me know what you think.

Writing Challenge Story

Woah…The light was blinding. “Avery, I told you not to shine the light in my eyes.”

“Come on, let’s try and be quiet. We need to see if we can find our way out of here without waking everyone up”

So we tiptoed our way out and used our feet to feel our way down the tunnel. How did I get into this? I keep asking myself this and it is a really long story.

But for now, we need to concentrate on how we are going to get out of here. “Avery, can you pass me Your flashlight? I think I see something up ahead.” As I swing the flashlight around, illuminating the tunnel, I notice something strange. It looks as if, no, it can’t be. But there it is, there is a large footprint…on the wall.

I swing the flashlight up and notice that there are several up there. They lead all the way up to a small chink of light. Surely, that can’t be the way out? Also, where is the creature that created such a large footprint. I lean up against the wall and notice something interesting. The wall is sticky. Not sticky in a spilt jam kind of way, but it almost seems as if the wall has its own gravity. I struggle to pull my hand away. Avery, come here. I want to try something. Since Avery is only small, I bear hug her and ask her to put her feet on the wall. Stepping back, I notice that I don’t even need to hold Avery, the wall is doing it for me. I step back, run up and launch onto the wall feet first. While a little wobbly, I can stand up.

“Let’s go.”

We gradually, carefully walk up the wall. I reckon that we must have walked a few hundred feet. To be honest. walking this far up a sheer wall is much easier than I would have thought. I guess that’s the benefit of a wall that has it’s own gravity.

As we walk up, the light gets closer and brighter. After being down here for so long, even the tiniest amount of light is painful. Gradually, I can see the top of the tunnel. I see Avery climb over the top. As I approach, I decide it wlll be better to crawl on hands and knees. I am not sure when the gravity will change and for some strange reason, it feels as if falling will hurt less from thi position. I get to the top, swing my leg over and finally I am out in daylight.

“Andrew, you have to see this.”

Standing up, I look out and can’t believe my eyes. We are stood atop a giant pyramid, in the middle of Central Park. Which, you have to admit is kind of weird. But what is even more weird is the fact that no one can see us. At least, they don’t seem to look at us.

“Click, click, click”

“Andrew, do you hear that? He is catching up to us.”

We don’t know who he actually is, but we do know he is relentless and we recognize the distinctive click of his cane anywhere, even on the vertical face of a rock wall, inside a pyramid. Does that sounds as crazy to you as it does to me?

“Quick, let’s climb down now. That has to be the best way since this guy needs a cane to walk.” Avery chimes in. “Good idea, let’s do it”

We start running and climbing down the stepped side of the pyramid. We get about half way, when we see his silhouette. There he is standing at the top. Surveying the scene. But he doesn’t look at us. We gradually crawl backwards, trying not to attract his attention. As he turns his head, the sun catches on his face, I notice that he has a worried, sad look on his face. He doesn’t look angry, but just sad.

Gradually we reach the bottom of the pyramid. I ask Avery if she is ok and we look around to see where we would make our escape to. I point to a group of tourists walking to the park and we try and blend in. I wonder why he is chasing us, but more importantly, I wonder why no one is concerned about this gigantic pyramid in the middle of Central Park, but as I turn around to look for the Cane Man, the pyramid has gone. Central park is back to normal. I ask Avery if she saw it disappear, but she is gone too. In every direction, I look. But I can’t find her anywhere. Here I am standing with a group of tourists, in the middle of Central Park and I can no longer find the pyramid or the girl that escaped with me. Walking back to where the pyramid was is a dumb move, but I have to see if I can at least feel it. But nothing. I don’t feel anything, I do wonder though if I am going crazy. Then out the corner of my eye, I catch a glint of gold attracting my attention. As I walk over to where I was walking with the tourists, I notice an extremely large gold coin. It has lightning bolt symbol on one side and the symbol of the grim reaper on the other. I bend down to pick it up and just as instantly, Avery is in front of my and the pyramid reappears behind her. More importantly though, I see the Cane Man slowly walking towards us again…. Click Click Click

I drop the coin immediately and they are gone again. What is happening? I don’t have time to process it, I just know that need to make sure that Avery is ok. I quickly think of a plan. I pick up the coin and see that the “cane man” is about to get hold of Avery, I grab her by the arm and RUN….Run as fast as I can. I don’t really know where we are going, I just know that we are going. All of this running and trying to escape is becoming too much. I really don’t know where I am right now as Central Park seems to be merging with some other world. I see large pyramids, bridges and rivers. Finally, when I can’t run anymore. I ask Avery what is going on.

“Who are you?”

“Why do you keep disappearing?”

“Why do these buildings keep coming and going? and who is that cane guy?”

Without giving her a chance to answer, I look her in the face and ask her outright if it is something to do with Aliens. She doesn’t say a word, but rolls her eyes and then shakes her head. I figured I would give it a chance, since things are not exactly making sense.

Avery looks at me and quietly says “I don’t know who cane man is, I don’t know why you keep disappearing and I don’t know why you are asking about these pyramids and bridges, they are everywhere. They have been here as far back as I can remember.”

Suddenly, it dawned on me, she hadn’t been surprised by the fact we just came out of a pyramid, but she was surprised about seeing Central Park and the New York skyline. Perhaps to her, I was the one that disappeared, and so did New York.

I wanted to test an idea, I told her that I may disappear for a second, but I would be back. I quickly let go of the coin and dropped it into my pocket. Nothing happened. Neither of us disappeared. As long as I was somehow carrying the coin, our two worlds collided.

Now, I want to know who Cane Man is and what he wants. I turn around and head straight back from where we came.

As I see the Cane Man in the distance, it strikes me how old he is. For a person that walks with a cane and steps as slowly as a turtle, he seems to cover lots of ground. Within only a few seconds, we are face to face.

“Who are you? Why do you keep following us?”

I blurt it out

“Why do I keep following you? What a preposterous, idea. You keep running away with my granddaughter. Avery come here at once. Let’s leave this strange man right now.”

I turn to Avery, look at her closely and it is clear that she has no idea who he is. But he seems so certain, and how does he know her name? “Hang on there mister. She says that she doesn’t know who you are. Why would I let her just go with you?”

“First of all Strange Man, my name is Elliot Haddison, I am Chief adviser to the Grand Vizier of Adria. Which means I am practically the ruler of all you see. I tell you she is my granddaughter.”

At that he reaches into his jacket and pulls out a roll of paper. As he unrolls, it there is a hand drawn sketch of Avery with weird writing on it. I can’t understand a word it says. I put my hands in my pocket as I have a habit of doing when nervous and I touch the coin. I glance back at the paper and immediately, the words are in English. It talks about A young girl called Avery, which I already knew, but it also mentions that she went missing a few days ago. It mentions that she has a history of forgetfulness, Familial Amnaesia they call it,which basically means that she cannot remember her family.

I take my hands out to rub my head. As I do the text on the pages goes back to gibberish.

“Avery, do you remember anything about your family?”

“My family? Sure I mean…. Now I think about, it I haven’t really thought of them in a while but my Mom is erm… Well…my Dad is? Do you know what? I can’t really put my finger on why, but I can’t quite remember who them”

It looks as if the Cane Man might be right.

“If we come with you, what guarantee do we have that we will be safe?”

“Well…I give you my word that nothing will happen to Avery, but I am afraid Strange sir, I cannot give the same guarantee to you.””

The Cane Man reached into his other jacket pocket and pulled out a second roll. This roll had my picture on it. As I put my hand in my pocket again, I notice that it says WANTED in large letters across the top.

Suddenly, I hear loud screeching type sounds. I turn around and see a whole field of Teepees. Out of the Teepees, I notice small, blue creatures on all fours. They look like strange blue dogs, with long ant eater snouts and large rabbit like ears and they are heading right for us.

These creatures look funny and i almost laugh until i realize that they are not small creatures, but are really fast away. Within seconds, they have almost tripled in size. Now i start to get worried. I look around, going to find a castle, a fort, something that can protect me against these animals. A bead of sweat drops from my head and touches the ground, just as i nervously grab hold of the coin.

“Look” shouts Avery, pointing to the floor where i had been a second before, out of the ground, where my sweat had dripped, seems to bed growing a large flower. This is growing quicker than u have ever seen before. Momentarily, i forget about the large creatures heading our way, but the screeching sound paired with heavy footfall, jolts me back. I nervously look around, just in time to see the flower growing like a gigantic beanstalk, the head of the flower starts to bloom and in the middle of the flower is a castle tower, just like i had hoped for. The weight of the castle makes the flower droop. Gently, it deposits the tower. Without waiting for an invitation, i run to the castle. But it’s too late. An elephant sized blue creature manages to get between me and the castle. The screeching stops and then everything goes black.

Everything is quiet….Slowly, gradually, I hear a beeping sound. I can also hear people talking. As I open my eyes and the darkness disappears, I notice that I am in a hospital bed. The voices I could hear where people talking to the patient in the next bed and the beeping is coming from a machine that is strapped to me. As I try to get up, I noticed that I can’t move. It feels as if I have been strapped down and locked in place, but the truth is that I just can’t move.

Disoriented and scared, I look everywhere. At least every where I can see by moving my eyes, my head won’t move. A lovely young nurse walks into my cubicle and asks how I am doing. Of course I can’t answer.

“don’t worry” she says. “the sedative will wear off soon.”

The sedative? I think to myself, what sedative?

Everything is going too quick. What happened to Avery? What happened to those blue creatures? As I close my eyes, they are open again. As weird as that sounds, I have opened my eyes and there he is. Cane Man.

“Wake up strange Man, what are you doing on the floor?”

Gingerly, I sit up. What happened to the hospital room? I am so confused, as I stand up, I realize that I must have stood too quickly. I see small specks of light hopping across my vision, like stars shooting across the night sky.

I fall straight back down. What is happening to me?

Again, I close my eyes, but really they are just opening. I can’t explain this feeling. I don’t understand what is happening. As I open my eyes, I notice that there are several people around my bed. Some of them are sad and crying. The others, the ones that have seen me open my eyes are happy.

“where am I?”

“Where is Avery? And the man with the Cane?”

I don’t know anyone in this room, but they all look at me strangely.

“Whose Avery, honey?” says the athletic, brown haired woman to my left. “She’s the one that helped me escape from the pyramid.” I reply.

Everyone looks at each other again…

“But it turns out that she is Cane Man’s granddaughter. who are you anyway?”

The brown haired lady looks sad. Heartbroken. Wiping away a tear she says “I’m Marilyn, your wife…”

My heart skips a beat…No matter how drugged up I am, I know a beautiful woman when I see one and this is one beautiful woman.

Now I just feel bad. I have made this woman cry and I don’t even remember her. I tell everyone that I am tired and need to sleep. AS I roll over, I catch a smell of all the flowers in the room.

Closing my eyes again, I am immediately transported.

Again, I awake with a start.

“What is happening? Where am I?” I croak.

A gentle voice calls out “Why strange man, you are in Adria, guest of Mr Haddison.”

“What is happening to me? Why do I keep going somewhere else?”

Cane Man steps out from the shadow, I can see his face gently illuminated by the dim lightbulb hanging on the wall.

“Andrew, that’s your name, isn’t it? Do you mind if I call you strange man? I much prefer that name. Why are you in Adria? Why did you take my granddaughter? Why were you in my pyramid?”

That was a lot of questions, i don’t know where to start and really I don’t even know the answer, but I talk anyway.

“I don’t know”

“you don’t know, is that all you have?”

” But I really don’t know, I can’t remember anything about it.”

“do I look like a beginner, do you think this is my first interrogation? “

I am so confused right now and I really have no answer, so I say nothing. Which only serves to infuriate him further.

“why are you here?! My patience is growing very thin strange man. But I will go easy on you if you tell me how to use this magic coin. The one you must have about your person.”

“How to use it?” I ask. “As far as I know I just hold it and then I can knd of merge my world with yours”

“why don’t you try it?”

As he picks up the coin, sure enough he disappears and I find myself back in New York with the coin on the floor. The ropes that were holding my hand have disappeared. As I look around I realize that I am in some hotel room. I have to think of my next step.

Looking around, the room I notice a large bowl of fruit, suddenly a strange idea pops into my head. I take a pillow case and fill it full of apples.

I run to the other side of the room, touch the coin and start swinging the pillow case. Using the element of surprise, I seem to have knocked out everyone in the room, except Mr Haddison.

I expected the Cane Man to surrender, instead, he did something that I did not expect. He ran straight through the wall. I couldn’t let him escape, so I ran after him. Unfortunately I should have looked before I leaped. It seems as if we were very high up and he was floating down using a parachute of sorts. I didn’t have that luxury and I hurtled towards the ground. I think the Cane Man even waved at me as I sped past him.

I put my hand in my pocket, touched the coin and suddenly started slowing down. I don’t know why, but this coin seems to do what I want it to. I carefully landed on a large, soft, comfy haystack. As i look up, I saw an arrow whiz past the corner of my eye and slice through Cane Man’s parachute. I started laughing until I realized he was heading straight for me.

I managed to make it out of the way just in time. As I turned around, I suddenly became aware of the fact that we were surrounded by a group of beautiful, strong Amazonion type women. They were sat astride gigantic sheep and they all looked ready to battle.

“Surrender or die Mr Haddison”

At least I knew that these fighting ladies were not on his side. The woman who had spoken stepped forward, she had long brown hair. I recognized her from somewhere, but I was not sure. She started to speak again.

“Mr Haddison, what is your choice? And you strange man….what are you doing here?”

Why does everyone call me Strange man? Do they think that is my name?

As I turn around to say this, two of the ladies start dragging a giant magnifying glass towards us.

This place is beyond strange and I do not know how to explain it. Where do I know the lead Amazon from? I am trying to fish for a memory, but nothing is biting.

Ring….ring….where is that sound coming from? Suddenly I open my eyes and I am back in my hospital bed. I hear a familiar voice. It is the amazon lady…what did she say her name was? oh yeah, Marilyn and she said she is my wife.

I hear her beautiful voice, she is taking to someone on the phone. I don’t really understand what she is saying. I notice at she has left a book on her chair, it seems as if I can move a little now, so I lean over and read the title, “adventures in Adria: a long forgotten tale.”

Wow, moving like that is exhausting. I lay back in bed and notice the rainbow through the window, it’s so beautiful.

Marilyn walks over to me, I am definitely attracted to her. As I look in her eyes, I know that I love her….

“Do you want me to continue with the story?” She asks.