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Sin Game (Preview) | Wrong Side of Reality

Sin Game (Preview) | Wrong Side of Reality

Posted May 28th, 2020 by SilverMoon

by Ena
in Texas

I haven't been on kidpub in ages and honestly it's depressingly dead but I love it so much and decided to post like the one piece of writing I'm proud of, a scene from my main novel WIP Sin Game. I'm really excited to share it so I hope anyone who sees it enjoys. It won't make any sense, really, because you'll feel just as disoriented as the character Chase. Keep in mind this is a magical realism story. 

Chase heard the roar of water, felt it tumbling down through him like a waterfall. The sound was the pounding of drums, pinning him down as an insect to a board. A dull tingle crawled up his skin, making his hairs stand on end. His fingers and toes were beginning to go cold—soon he wouldn’t feel them at all, and he knew with certainty that this feeling would spread through his bones like a virus. Familiar and soothing like the lullabies he’d never heard, like siren-song he yearned to follow, he let the pins and needles wash over him. It smelled distantly of smoke, and the taste of electricity sat heavy in his mouth.

            He lurched forward, his stomach dropping and his heart pounding in his throat. As his head spun, he twisted his fingers in the soft surface beneath him. He could feel every thread of the fabric beneath his fingers with startling clarity, and his vision drifted in and out of focus like a camera lens. Chase steadied his breaths, which left his mouth in glowing clouds. This alone did not strike him as odd, except for one thing: there was no light in the room.

            He was in his dorm, sitting up in his bed. Like the threads of the sheets, each corner of the room and the edges of the desks and shelves stood out to him. He had put on glasses with a new prescription a little too strong, and it happened to come with perfect night vision. He could see everything well now, but it strained his eyes and head. Ultraviolet clouded the edges of his vision. The room pulsed around him like a beating heart he felt but did not hear. A sticky wetness clung to his ears, spilled down his jaw and neck.

            Something was missing. Chase stared at the walls that closed in on him. There was no second bed in this room. Names and faces escaped his memory, but he knew he was not supposed to be alone. It was this sense of wrongness that forced him out of bed; the certainty was unusual, and he felt compelled to follow it.

            A shiver rolled down his spine as his bare feet hit the glassy surface beneath him. Although he felt it, it was not there—there was no floor but a chasm beneath his feet, and he and his bed stood suspended in space. He stumbled to the open bathroom door as though he would be able to save himself if he were to start falling. By the time he reached the bathroom, he had forgotten why he had cared. Let him fall, he thought. It would be the most interesting thing to happen to him all week.

            But now he was glad he reached the bathroom, because he could see himself. There was no mirror, but he saw his countenance reflected before him clear as day. This was Chase Nakahara—an impression, a collection of observations, an essence or perhaps a certain lack of it, a blankness—not the disheveled, subdued boy his classmates had come to know.

            An echo from the abyss outside turned his head. He peered out of the open doorway into the darkness and carefully put a foot forward to step into the nothingness again. At the squeal of hinges, he turned the corner to find his door ajar and a sterile white light spilling in. Perhaps many people would have ignored it, returned to the bed, or locked themselves in the bathroom. These all seemed like reasonable decisions to him, so naturally Chase opted instead to approach the door.

            He slipped into the hallway and raised an arm to his face to shield his eyes. Outside the room was blinding white despite the lack of any overhead lights. As his eyes adjusted, he followed the curve of the hallway, expecting to somewhere come across a stairwell. His footsteps reverberated off the walls as if the hallway were an echo chamber, and perhaps the extra noise was the reason he didn’t notice another presence.

            “You don’t belong here,” said a voice that scraped like nails on chalkboard and squealed like car tires.

            Chase turned to find colorful television static and a Cheshire grin inches from his face, but he glimpsed it only for a moment before his world turned sideways and he slammed into the ground. The floor was cold against his side and his cheek, and the thing above him laughed like a cacophony of shrieking birds.

            “I don’t belong anywhere,” Chase said, though he didn’t feel his lips move.

            Chase wondered how a smile could be so deafening. It made the air heavy, charged it with the very static that flickered behind the grin. His ears were ringing, and it wasn’t from the impact. Although the static had no eyes, it studied him, not yet making another move despite being quick to attack him before. The static face rose from a headless human figure, spindly and thin, positioned over him with its arms crossed. Something black dripped from the stump of the neck, thicker than blood yet thinner than water.

            When the person—the thing? —hummed in consideration, it was the high whine of something electric. Then a clawed hand shot towards Chase’s face, and he slid under and around the person to avoid it. Their movements were quick, but sloppy, and they stumbled as their claws raked into the spot where Chase’s head had been. His blood sang in his veins as he sprang to his feet and put a few paces of distance between him and the other.

            They were hostile, but not much of a fighter. Chase Nakahara was not a fighter either, but the best observations were done up close. He rushed the static person just as they whirled to confront him, slamming them into the wall but his whole form going numb in the process. They pushed him back with claws in his shoulders he didn’t even feel and somehow their grin got even wider.

            The charge in the air and the blinding light were unbearable. The pulse of pain pushing out through his skull told him that his time was up, slipping through fingers that clung to it with a grip hungrier and surer than anything Chase had ever known. The grinning figure cackled and approached slowly, and Chase stumbled backwards against his will.

            “Wait,” he gasped out, but it wasn’t fear that colored his voice, and the person laughed harder in delight.

            “You want more of the forbidden fruit,” they mocked, still stalking forward, “but it wasn’t ever meant for you, Chase.” The tone of his name neither scraped nor squealed; it rung like a bell he’d heard before but couldn’t remember what it signaled for the life of him. The next words they spoke were no less cryptic. “So why can you taste it?”

            Chase tasted nothing but the burning dryness in his throat, but the world around him dripped with the sweetness of a peach.

            He was still stepping back when he wanted to go forward, and he cleared his throat twice before he could speak. “What—” he began, but the person before him was faster.

            One little push was all it took, and Chase was falling backwards into the very stairwell he had initially been looking for. Could a grin fixed in a static cloud look shrewd?

            Instead of his skull splitting on the stairs, the world was shattering around him like glass he tried to hold in his bare hands, and everything dissolved into a gaping nothing once again.


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