I’ve started writing a story that is literally my favorite idea so far and trust me, I’ve had a lot of ideas. I am truly that person who daydreams for than thinking of reality because for me, at least right now, daydreaming is better.
Here is the (and shortest) chapter. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I am way to impatient to wait for that. Also, the cover is a bigger work in progress. 😉
Let me know what you think! I love opinions!
Our reflections are truly wonders of the world and they will continue to teach us of fantasies we’ve never dreamed, adventures we’ve never been, and tragedies we’ve never seen.
A jolt caused the young woman’s hair to swing around her face. She stumbled a few steps forward, her knees slightly buckling, before she caught her balance and glued her feet in one spot. A barely audible groan emitted from her mouth as she pushed her long hair back behind her shoulders.
“Pick up your feet,” Holland whispered to herself.
She moved forward again, this time more conscious of cracks in the sidewalk that shifted different slabs of concrete up or down. Her legs were scraped and scarred enough from innocent childhood roughhousing. Holland Scott would have fallen under the fearless child category, although her mother liked to call it recklessness, but that never stopped her father from taking his daughter out to play.
It was late in the afternoon and the sun was no longer high in the sky, allowing a cool breeze to curl through the town. Holland relished in this kind of weather, taking as many walks as possible. In fact, she had just left a few moments ago to enjoy the fresh air. Deep down, she knew she also just liked to get out of house, which she could never quite call a home. It was a standard government issued house—one level with an underground basement. Hers had two bedrooms, her room and a guest room, but only one bathroom. The number of rooms depended on family size, but they all held the same basic features that are needed to live.
Holland took one step in front of the other with no direction in mind. Her eyes scanned over the dulled colors of vehicles that drove by, their matte surfaces blending into the trees and grass around them. She squinted and tried to visualize how bright the hues would be if they held that reflective quality she had learned about in secondary a few weeks prior.
Of course Holland grew up hearing fanciful stories about such surfaces, but the government decided to withhold the facts until the very last lesson in school before careers started. The lesson did not disappoint, opening up a whole new beauty to the world, and the young woman wished she could see herself in a reflection other than water full of ripples.
The facts, albeit fascinating and mysterious, were quite minimal, in fact Holland could boil it down to two simple sentences.
Everyone in the world became so vain and so worried about themselves that they missed opportunities to enrich each other. This caused all hell to break loose and violence, war, and discrimination to become the norm, so all reflective surfaces were banned.
That was probably the most Holland had ever payed attention during secondary. Those three years were really a waste of time. They were supposed to ready students for their choice of career, but most figured that out during the first eighteen years of life in primary, mostly from parents and relatives, but some were intelligent enough to take the corresponding electives.
Holland didn’t follow that path, so she really should have focused in secondary, but having tested out of the prelim exam as administration, she quickly lost interest in the whole program. Now, graduated and signed off, the twenty one year old had one week to secure a position in administration, unless she defected to maintenance, the career below hers and the only other option. Lack of qualifications had set her low on the totem pole. Truthfully, Holland didn’t know what she wanted to do and nothing caught her attention. She’d always been more of a wanderer.
The sidewalk Holland had been walking on crumbled to an end, turning into bits of gravel mixed with dirt. At the edge of town, which coincided with the end of her street, the pattern of green grass and proper housing ended. Instead, broken buildings and overgrown nature lined the road, which itself was cracked with weeds growing out in all directions.
The background noise grew quiet the farther Holland walked into the rubble. The road went nowhere, as it’s a dead end an obnoxious number of miles down, so vehicles had no reason to drive through. Sometimes the occasional group of kids would find fun running through the buildings, but mostly the area stayed deserted. It was common knowledge that parents disliked their children playing or exploring in the broken part of town, so it became a normal place to avoid.
Holland quite enjoyed that aspect of it. Quiet and mystery were found in every corner and crevice, plus her parents weren’t there to tell her otherwise. Before she started secondary, her parents decided to move to a city a few hours north where her father’s family resided.
The appeal of a big city almost pulled Holland out of her small town life, but she had had a gut feeling that influenced her to stay. Recently, she wasn’t so sure if she’d made the right choice. Nothing had happened in the past three years to make her think otherwise. She missed her parents too, which didn’t help, but at the same time Holland liked living away from them. She loved her parents, but it didn’t take a genius to see the distance between them. They were never the tightest knit family on the block.
Holland took a sharp right to follow a curvy path of stepping stones. Hopping from one to another, the she found herself at the steps of the tallest building around town. It was three floors high and incredibly wide. It was so old it was built before the standards were put into place by the government. Maintenance tried to keep it up to code, but that didn’t last long or so Holland heard. The house had been abandoned since way before she was born.
Slowly, she went up the steps, each one creaking under her weight. The front door stood slightly ajar, so Holland pushed it open. The sun immediately shined in and revealed a very dusty set of staircases, one set went up and the other went down.
A shiver erupted through her back. Even during the day, she couldn’t keep those haunting rumors from her mind. It was said that long, long ago this was the house of a man, a serial killer, who would bend his victims to fit into boxes, like a puzzle, before burying them in his backyard. Supposedly he was never caught and died a natural death, but the spirits of those he killed trapped him in the house for eternity—his own box.
The stories, no matter how creepy, were just stories that held an absurdity used to frighten kids and that in no way kept Holland’s curiosity from burning through her mind. She shook her head, mentally laughing at her fear, and warily took the stairs going down to the basement. She wasn’t about to fall through a rotting floor. The lower Holland went, the dirtier everything got. She was careful to keep her hands to herself and away from any mold or strange bacteria sticking to the walls of the narrow staircase. With one last step, she let out a sigh of relief upon reaching the room at the bottom.
Light was dim and scattered around the room in a subtle spotted pattern through old cracked windows that were hardly boarded up, showing just how much this place was not up to government standards.
Holland walked slowly into the center of the room, clutching her hands together tightly at her chest. Her breathing grew shallow for the first time since entered the old house, but she kept her mouth closed. The air quality matched exactly what a left for dead room that hasn’t been opened in years would be—thick of mold and dirt.
Taking little time to assess the dangerous air, Holland let her legs draw her towards a shadowy shape looming in the corner. The closer she got, the more she saw. She honestly had no idea why she decided to come here today, but she was glad she did. Her eyes were glued to a foreign surface that she could only guess was described as glossy. It reflected the dim light around her, casting weird shapes of light on the floor around it. Holland’s feet came to a stop merely an inch from the tall object. Her fingers met the rough wood. Splinters broke off and fluttered to the floor. The frame went all the way around the reflective surface and displayed an intricate carving that wove in and out of itself. Holland’s hand didn’t make it to the top, as the frame became out of reach. Her arm fell back into her side and she once again found herself entranced with what the wood encased. It was smudged, smoky, but there was no denying the clear picture.