from sydney and austin, but currently living in singapore.
in the process of writing a full-fledged book with three amazing other humans.

you built me palaces out of paragraphs

black lives matter

Message to Readers

Still a work in progress! Please review if you feel it needs work.


May 2, 2018


After detention with Ms. Abbott, I start to head back to my dorm for a well-deserved rest.

I shiver. The corridors are drafty at night.

“Autymn?” Vicky asks timidly. “I’m scared.” I can feel her mental presence curling up into a tight little ball.

“It’ll be ok, Mayple.” I say, with more confidence than I have. “It’ll be ok. We’ll get back to the dorm and settle down for the night.”

A storm is brewing outside. Lightning flashes and thunder booms. Vicky’s mental presence curls up tighter, and I can hear her sobbing. Poor Mayple. She never liked thunderstorms.

I never liked them that much either, for that matter.

When we lived in the sewers, some nights the storm winds would be so strong, they would threaten to blow the grates off the top and expose us. Vicky would cry, and it would be my job to protect her.

Up until recently, I never actually realised how much responsibility was on my shoulders.

I trip over something and fall to the floor. Vicky screams, and my migraine intensifies.

I look to see what I’d tripped over. I’d tripped on a loose tile, drenched from the rain.

“It’s okay, Mayple.” I say, taking deep breaths to calm Vicky down. I can hear her sniffling.

As the lightning continues to flash, and the thunder continues to boom, the storm exacerbates.

Then something really weird happens. When the lightning strikes a spot very near the window, it illuminates a strange door.

Which then creaks open.


“Um, Autymn?” asks Vicky timidly. “The dorms are that way.” I feel an instant pain in my head as Vicky turns it sharply to the left.

Yeah, well, I wanna go this way, I think scathingly.

I wait for Vicky to retort, but she doesn’t. So without even thinking about it, I step inside the door, which slams shut behind me.

No turning back now.

I can hear Vicky whimpering like a sad puppy in my head. Trying to shake the pounding it gives me in the back of my head, I try to find the walls. If I find the walls, I can find the direction I’m supposed to go and avoid hitting any… obstacles.
When my eyes adjust to the light (or lack thereof), I can see a winding staircase that leads down.

“Down where?” sobs Vicky.

Just down, Mayple. I guess we have to find out, I think to her.

“You were always the adventurous one, always the amazing one, always wanted an adventure like in the movies. You really lived up to your name. No one came near me to try and harm me because of how fierce and formidable you became.” I can feel Vicky smiling sadly. “You always protected me.”

“And I’m gonna do that now, Mayple. I’m not gonna let anything happen to you-er, me… us.” I say out loud, not sure who to reference anymore.

I find the walls and carefully make my way down the winding staircase. Vicky curls up tighter, and soon her heavy breathing makes it clear she had fallen asleep.

I creep down the staircase, not wanting to wake her, when my hand touches something that feels like a button.

I press it, totally oblivious to the consequences.

Well, that was about the stupidest thing I could have done all day. Maybe all week. Maybe even all year. Maybe in my life.

The stairs turn into a slide. Thankfully, not a slippery one. Just when I think it’s going to be all right and I can find a way past this obstacle, I hear water rushing, like I’m near a waterfall.

Before I can react, water is rushing out of all of the walls at a mile a minute. It crashes together like one gigantic tidal wave and suddenly I am riding down the world’s fastest, longest waterslide. I am drenched, it feels like there’s a tsunami behind me, Vicky’s woken up and is screaming at the top of her lungs, which does NOTHING to help my headache, and yet some small part of me, that isn’t screaming “terror!terror!terror!scared!scared!run!” is screaming “THIS IS AMAZING!!!”

My head goes under and I see my life rapidly flash before my eyes. The terror part takes over and I kick to the surface, gasping for breath, when I am pulled under again. I plough into walls and am generally thrown around before I realise one very important detail.

“The water is rising!” moans Vicky. “You’re going to die! You’re going to die down here and no one will ever know! They’ll find your dead body down here years later, when-”

“Thanks for making me feel a lot better, Vic.” I say, annoyed.

I have to paddle ferociously in order to stay afloat. The water continues to rise until I stop sliding and my head goes under once more. For good.

Then suddenly the water stops rising. That’s it. It’s reached the ceiling. I’m so dead. I start to wonder if these will be my very last thoughts.

Uh-oh. I suddenly feel the need to breathe.

Well, goodbye world.


Then suddenly, like someone had just pulled the plug of a giant drain, the water level starts decreasing.


My head breaks the surface. Air! Air! I’m breathing air! I’m not dead!

“You’re not dead!” Vicky cheers.

I take several deep breaths, and size up my surroundings. I’m in some sort of pool, and there are over a million brightly colored crystals fused to the walls. The room is ablaze with light, a beautiful contrast to the dark staircase of before.
There are four large pillars in the very middle of the pool. They are like stalagmites and stalactites on end, almost touching, one crystal coming out of each of the stalagmites. Each pillar has a different colour crystal, and they glow with an eerie light. One is a vivid coral orange, one is a bright aqua, one is a light blue, with swirls of deep purple, and one is a shade of deep scarlet red.

I feel drawn to the scarlet one, and start to move toward it.

“It must be a ruby,” says Vicky, her voice dreamy. “Only rubies are that sparkly.”

But then Vicky’s voice goes away, and is replaced by a new one, a commanding one.

Go. Get it. You do want it, right? You have to go get it.

I don’t know,  I reply to the new voice in my head. It doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen before. It could be dangerous.
You have to get this one. It is important! the voice continues. This could be the difference between everything. Think of how astounded everyone will be when you bring a centuries-old scarlet crystal up from a secret passage in the school! Think how they’ll all finally want to talk to you and be your friend.

Shut up, I continue to resist. SHUT UP!

Think about the glory you’ll get. Think about who might be interested in such a treasure. Come on, Autymn. You’re a nobody. You talk to your dead sister in your head, for goodness sake. I know why you wanted Chris Levy to go away when he was talking to you. You didn’t see how someone like him would ever talk to someone like you.

SHUT UP! I scream, hoping it’s enough.

“Autymn!”  I can hear Vicky calling. “AUTYMN!”

Before I know it, an invisible force inside me slams into my side. Like a magnetic force, I’m pulled over to where the scarlet crystal is.

But then I’m suddenly realizing how stupid this all is. I mean, who wouldn’t go get it? I had to get it, before it goes away for good!

I reach my arm out, and my fingers rest on the scarlet crystal.

At first, nothing happens for about three and a half seconds. Then the crystal glows with an eerie red light, getting brighter and brighter until it is almost white. It blinds me for a couple of seconds and I fall to the floor, trying to shake the light. As I fall, I accidentally dislodge the crystal with my hand. The whole room shakes, and crystals everywhere start falling into the shallow water. Afraid one will impale me, I curl up into a tight little ball.
Pain shoots through my body and I want to be submerged in the water to ease the pain. Well, if I wasn’t going to die before, I am now.

“Fight it!” Vicky cries. “Come on, Autymn, FIGHT IT!!! You’re a fighter! You have to fight the pain! Whatever you do, do not let it destroy you!”

I try to fight the pain, but Vicky’s constant screaming in my head only adds to it. I try to scream, but my mouth is paralysed in fear and pain.

I… can’t… fight… it, I manage. I can’t, Mayple. I’m… I’m sorry.

I hear voices, incomprehensible to me, around me.

“Take her.” one of them says.

Then I black out.

I’m dead. I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead.

I’m still submerged in the pool, but I’m floating, completely dry and somehow breathing. There are no pillars, no crystals anywhere and no creepy voice in my head. No anything. The cavern is open to the sky, and I can see bright light flooding in from above.

I look down at myself. I’m wearing a simple white, flowy knee-length gossamer dress. No shoes. My burgundy hair is out, and for some reason, long and wavy. Yeah, it’s always wavy, but I cut it with a pair of old kitchen scissors someone threw out when I was eleven, and it’s stayed uneven ever since.

What are you doing in there? chides a voice somewhere up on the surface. Come on, do you plan on staying in there all day? The voice sounds more amused than angry.

I get closer to the surface, and I can hear it clearer now.

“Hold on, Gam.” says Chris Levy’s voice. “Come up.”

I break the surface, taking deep, calming breaths of air. Fresh air, unlike anything I’ve ever breathed before.

I see him standing there, barefoot, wearing a burgundy shirt and jeans. His dark brown hair is carelessly swept across his face, and his deep blue eyes gleam mischievously at me. He smiles that roguish smile again, trying not to laugh.

“Come on, Gam.” He smiles. “Take my hand.”

I grin back at him from the water. “Jughead.”

I reach up and take Chris Levy’s hand.

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  • Kitty Cheshire

    It's really good!!!!!!!!! I love it! Keep up the good work!!!!!

    almost 2 years ago
  • *Gigi*

    I really enjoyed this piece, although I was a bit confused by the ending, but overall AMAZING! I especially loved the internal dialogue thing with Vicky.

    over 2 years ago