Time stretched out, an eternity to be endured. The harshest winter held them in its grip, having crept upon them without warning. It was an insufferable shock when it set in; a deep chill that could not be shaken, taking a hold in a way only nightmares do. Yet they knew from this they could not wake. They trembled in their own skin, unable to escape the torment as the icy cold embrace settled in their very bones. Hearts began to freeze, an anchor pulling them under into an inescapable existence; an eternal wintertime enslaving them.
The beast howled at the door, a wooden barricade no match for the frenzy it threw from its parted lips. They shrank to the farthest corner, huddling from the nightmare into the arms of each other. The night drew on, seemingly unending under the torment of the thing outside. As a shriek broke from the house, just as they could take no more, silence fell. But the beast remained. A monster lurking in the darkness of the shadows, disguised by the unlit space. Only its breathing betrayed it. Sharp shallow intakes, a staccato song; a lullaby of nightmares.
The warmth of the evening ebbed away, the flowers dipping their heads as sleep overcame them. The trees fell silent, their whispered leaves still and calm. A darkness slowly descended; the cosy comfort of night wrapping the world in sweet slumber. The night enveloped the world in a cocoon of sweet dreams, safe from the stuff of nightmares. Occasionally, a gentle breeze stirred, tenderly caressing the earth and kissing all that it touched. With the dawning of daybreak, the world will rise from its rest with the sweetest of smiles, the day welcoming the soft babble of leaves once more.
The lights danced above them, transforming the night. They stood transfixed by the display as the colours changed. They could almost hear the music to which they moved, a low hum between the ears. In that moment, there was nothing else.
Crowds gathered as the disc descended, blocking the night sky. The world existed then in a no man’s land which the lights would claim as its own.
The music’s low hum grew, reverberating in their bones. Yet they barely noticed it as the lights began to strobe, shooting out in beams to the ground. One by one they disappeared.
He buttoned his coat against the bracing wind, forging onwards. The wind kicked up fallen leaves that danced before him; taunting him, daring him to go on. He ignored them as they pummelled into him, their fragile bodies disintegrating to dust. Then came the rain, thrashing down hard onto every inch of him; his scalp soon beaten and bruised. Each drop a bullet to the head, constant fire from the heavens. Yet he was undeterred as he roamed, a deranged sneer he could not disguise across his weathered face. The Heavens were no match for what Hell had in store.
The Island of Lost Things exists in the space between sleep and awake, where dreams hover just out of reach. Littered with the hopes and aspirations of every person that ever was, to explore the island one has to tread carefully. Every inch is home to something that someone has lost sometime in their lives. The most valuable lost item that can be found, though well hidden and therefore very hard to find, are the lost marbles. If you should find these rare gems, more precious than gold, treat then kindly. They are the anchor of us, our very essence.
With the last papery breath of time, she blew a wish. It settled for an eternity on the dewy grass as the day slumbered. The sun peeked through the trees, a lazy show of daybreak that kissed the gentle air. The earth slept in a peaceful slumber, unshattered by her presence as she plucked wild flowers from the grassy embankment. They shed tears as she snapped them at the stalk, dewy drops spreading on her cotton dress and mingling with her own. Her dress weighted heavy now, soaked in a sorrow that not even time could take away.