Ancestral *NaNoWriMo Entry*

This science fiction novel will be set among a variety of post-apocalytic/future worlds where the protagonist Charlie is trying to find the origins of his home and existence. In each world Charlie takes on a different form. In each chapter, Charlie meets his nemisis 'C'. C is determined to kill Charlie, but why? In each world the mysterious ancestral symbol appears to confuse and tantalise Charlie (and the reader). Will Charlie survive? Why is C trying to kill him? Can one exist without the other?
****** Our class is writing this******

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5. Nothing

The pain at the back of Charlie’s head slowly started to fade away, and Charlie tried to open his eyes, but he couldn’t. Charlie knew that he changed form when he changed worlds, but he simply couldn’t figure out what he was. He couldn’t even tell if he was alone, he couldn’t see, hear or feel anyone or anything. The world around him wasn’t there. He was in the world of nothingness.

Charlie tried to move around, but with such a different body it would take him hours to get used to, and even if he did get used to it, he didn’t think he would be able to move here. Charlie didn’t have that long, he knew he had to get out of here. He didn’t like this at all.

‘What could be done here?’ thought Charlie. ‘In the world of nothingness how can anything but nothing be done?’

The days went by so slowly, yet so fast. Charlie couldn’t be sure how long he had been in this world, he tried to sleep, but this ‘body’ didn’t need sleep, so sleep never took him. Charlie tried to fill the time with plans of escape, but nothing came to mind. He simply didn’t know how to get to the next world. Charlie did not like it here, he was never fully alert and that scared him- although it was a bit of a break. On the other hand he was never completely comfortable.

As Charlie continued existing in this world of nothing he began to find himself asking all the questions he never had enough time to ask before. The questions were all entwined in his head but he could hear each one clearly. The question he kept coming back to was ‘who am I?’ Lately Charlie had been pondering this question more and more and only getting more questions in reply. He had thought he knew who he was, but now he wasn’t so sure. Where did he belong? Did he have family? Was he simply alone in this world, never to fully belong?

After several more, days, or maybe it was seconds, who knows? Charlie began to realise that to change worlds this time, it was going to involve some thinking. What could be done in the world of nothingness? Maybe it was something so simple that it was right in front of him. Maybe it was something that involved layers of hard-core genius. Whatever it was Charlie had to find out.

Charlie couldn’t describe what it was like in nothingness, there was no colour, not even black or the white fog described in many books and movies. All feelings were numbed here, but they were still there, just not as strong. This world confused him, it wasn’t one thing or the other. How was he going to get out? There must be a way. What was there here? The answer didn’t come to him immediately. But over time he realised something important. Nothing doesn’t exist, at least not while he was there. It isn’t nothing, because he was there! If he was there then how can this world be the world of nothing? He changed forms! If it was truly the world of nothing you would have thought one of two things would have happened; he would either cease to exist and truly become nothing. He wouldn’t be able to think or feel emotions. He would just disappear. Or, he would have simply stayed in his last form, he changes to resemble the beings of the world that he’s in. There must be other people here too!

Suddenly the world changed. It wasn’t nothing anymore, well it never really was, but now there was a white room with a sparkling white floor. The air was all foggy and there were hundreds of people in strange bodies, similar to his but theirs were silvery and drifting around the room communicating in whispers of a strange language- that Charlie could understand.

Everything was still subdued here. But Charlie felt much clearer than he had drifting around in-whatever that was. Fear and adrenaline started to come back to Charlie. He trusted none of these people. Did they put him in that strange land of nothing? Actually, they didn’t even give him land! What about air? How did he survive? What was he? In all the strangeness of this different world Charlie had forgot to check himself- what did he look like now? He tried to raise his hands to his face, and he saw his hands for the first time. They were a strange dirty red substance, flowing like water but misty like fog. He looked at his hands again. This was bad- what if he needed to escape? He can’t escape with these hands! Actually… Maybe he could. Charlie walked over to a wall. He tried to touch it. His hand went straight through it! Charlie waved his hand through it several times in fascination before drifting through the wall.

Outside of that room was not anything like he expected. Out the door there was sky, a great blue sky, it was the deepest of blues with clouds like great big cotton balls decorating the sky. It seemed so familiar, yet so distance. Charlie had gotten so caught up in his emotions that he didn’t even notice the gathered beings whispering in urgency. They whispered isn urgent and secretive tones. Charlie could pick out some words and they scared him. The five words that scared him the most stuck in is brain. Contained… Different… Dangerous… Nothingness and Charlie. Charlie stayed there, shocked, yet foolishly intrigued. He had to hear more, but the creatures seemed to have hushed. They turned to him. Charlie knew that there was now no chance of him hearing anymore so he turned and fled. He didn’t know where to go! Where could he go? He just kept on fleeing.

Charlie was just beginning to stop when he heard strange loud words, he had the feeling everyone here in this world were hearing them to. Roughly translated they were ‘’ Do not run… We not your enemies… We are here to look after you… We do however, need something from you… But you are stubborn Charlie… You do not trust us… Let us prove ourselves… Come back to the sky… We shall talk…

The world was momentarily silenced. Thoughts were racing through Charlie’s head. ‘Why am I here? I’m just a kid. Was being normal too much to ask? I should be playing video games right now, or in the middle of a soccer game. Even school would be better than this! I’m not safe and whatever I do I am never going to be.’ Putting every instinct beside him, he floated back to the sky. What’s the worst that can happen?

“What!” Charlie exclaimed. “ You think I know what’s going on! If I did would I really be talking to you right now? I came here because there was no other option.”

This confused several of the creatures. They had been expecting answers to every tough question. Charlie caught one of the creature hiding a list behind his back guiltily. One creature that looked as if he wasn’t a part of the distinguished group floating before him piped up and asked

“Why are you so, so angry? We find it hard to get mad, never mind staying mad, you must have been mad for about an hour, this is a record!’’

Charlie ignored this because he suspected that particular creature was one of the less intelligent beings and wanted to be listened to. “So I told you everything I know-‘’

“You told us nothing!” Piped up the misfit.

Charlie continued , “you must now tell me what was going on.”

After several minutes of unsatisfactory explanations.

Charlie cracked. “You mean you thought I was different so you trapped me? Didn’t anyone teach you about equality or something?!”

The creature looked confused and then continued, “you were a safety risk, so we prevented anyone getting hurt by containing you.”

Charlie was about to ague back but then decided that to get home faster, he had to just let this creature finish. “In our world we make it our responsibility to make sure that live is pleasant and safe.”

Charlie couldn’t believe the lies coming out of this creature’s mouth and had to say his mind

“You see ms, mr or whatever you are, what about my life, shouldn’t it be pleasant or safe? You could have talked to me!”

The creatures waited a few moments before the youngest and most important looking of the creatures said, “you are stubborn and angry, two traits we discourage in our empire. You are being misguided by your emotions. Clearly you are smart and brave, otherwise you would never be here now, but you can’t expect me to jeopardise the entire well-being and safety of our people just to make you feel ‘comfortable’ we had to take precautions and if you want the chance to stay here, where you have more control, instead of being put back in our nothing plot, then you need to understand this. Now someone will take you back to your own white room and until you can come back and talk to me reasonably, like the adults we almost are, that is where you will stay. You can call me C. Until you trust us, we cannot trust you with any other names/”

Charlie did not like being talked to in that manner and was about to make a smart remark when C gave him a glare that C knew would shut Charlie up. Two beings grabbed him and took him away.

For days Charlie paced, well floated really in the room they had left him in. The room was white and misty, it was a reasonably small room, but there was not much in here. Before his recent experience he probably would have used the world noting, to describe the contents of the room. But what he was being held in did not matter, it was about how to escape. He had to trust these people. Well he didn’t really have to trust them, he just had to make them believe that he trusted them, there was no way any amount of days in this white, soulless room was going to really make him trust C. Suddenly everything Charlie did had a purpose. To escape. These people were not safe, he needed to go home. Wherever home was. But to get there he needed a plan.

That was it! The perfect way to really convince these creatures that he trusted them. Trust was the key to power, well that’s how these creature saw it. If he wholeheartedly trusted them, they could do whatever they wanted without him noticing, if there was real trust coming from Charlie, he would be in great danger. He had to make them believe that he trusted them, he had to play the lost little kid in need of care. He had seen people pretend to fake cry before, it couldn’t possibly be that hard.

Out in the white, foggy corridor C and his followers were waiting for him to snap. “It can’t be that long now, soon he’s going to realise that he can’t live like this and just how powerless he is before running back to us begging for help!”

The other beings seemed uncertain of this for a moment, they had never heard words spoken with that amount of hatred twisted and entwined in every syllable, but they must have assumed that he had made a mistake in word choice and tone and they continued thinking about those many important things needed to be thought.

Charlie had spent what he believed to be his final hours spend in this holding room on his life saving performance. He had been working on getting just the amount of sorrow and innocence into his act to score him an escapable quarters. Of course, anywhere they put him would have security, they would not just let him slip out of their hands. Charlie knew that this C would be the hardest to convince, he was different. He was the one injecting the danger into this otherwise peaceful world. To begin his performance Charlie started with some whimpers, before continuing onto quiet sobs.

“Now tell me again Charlie about your new found faith in me and the kind people of this peaceful world,” C snarled in triumph.

“You o-o-only d-dd-did w-what you h-had to, t-t-to k-keep you p-pe-people safe. And s-so I-I h-h-have to, to tru-trust you,” Charlie whimpered. Looking back on this Charlie did add that he thought the amount of stuttering and tears were a bit over-the-top.

C nodded his head and two creatures walked up to him and grabbed him by the wrists. He was back in the white room.

'That was just about the most humiliating moment of my life. Looking up at him stuttering, and… crying,’ thought Charlie more than bitterly. The last world left a bitter taste on his tongue. He tried yelling at them, that didn’t work. He tried going all spineless and weak, that just brought embarrassment…what could he do?

Charlie was at the final straw, what had he really done to these people? Especially C. What was his problem?! That was it. He was finished playing this these people. Charlie stood up. Nocked politely at the door and asked for C. This was it. He was done. No more lies. No more games. C unlocked the door then drifted up to him before suddenly stopping, glaring in expectance at Charlie. Charlie then did the very opposite of what dear C was expecting. He then took on a low, threatening whisper and said, “C. I know what you are doing. These are just games. You’re lost. Don’t think I haven’t noticed you. Every time. Now tell me. Do you get a little knock on the head to?”

C’s face changed. Fear was the only thing left.

“Now C. Just tell me why.’’

For a second C broke, like inside he was screaming, yelling for help. Crumbling to the floor. But then the switch flicked. He gave his usual smirk and slammed the door in Charlie’s face. Charlie didn’t even care about the pain because as C’s key locked the door Charlie got a little lock in the back of the head, and he was free.

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