Do You Believe In Magic?

A collection of short fantasy stories that I wrote over the past year or so. In one story, a girl goes up against a djinn. In another, we learn where writers get their ideas. And in a different story we see just how a star is born.

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7. The King of the River Skeletons

~This is a weird one. I had no idea where I was going with this, except it was an attempt at writing 500 words or less and making it interesting. The King of the River Skeletons was a story about a man that was supposed to enter a dark kingdom that was already dead (hence the skeletons), but still capable of thought and action.

~*~

He fell into the black river, the swirling water, gasping with terror and struggling to breathe as he entered the unseen depths below the surface. A strange terror took hold of him, as though he KNEW that he was going to die, and he had to live. It was something akin to magic, this feeling of total certainty, as though he were omniscient. He kicked, and fought against the water that was pulling him down, down, down...

He became aware of a bright green light that was shimmering at the bottom-or what he thought was the bottom-and felt a flicker of renewed panic as he felt his lungs beginning to burst with the amount of water that was entering his system, water that was now both green and black. A swirling mass of both beauty almost, but the fear took over that beauty making that beauty into something that was hated and feared. He could not escape. He would not survive.

His vision swam, and he realized with a start that he was still alive after having spent almost…how long…in the water. He felt a flicker of stunned disbelief that he was still alive, and struggled once more for the surface-but it felt as if something was holding him down, away from the surface. He looked once more towards the bright green light-almost alien light that was at the bottom of the river. He stared, harder and harder, and saw-with stunned amazement-that it was actually a beautiful golden castle. Something like what he had seen in the Disney movie when he was a child, in Arial’s kingdom, in that movie called the Little Mermaid. Only…not quite as peaceful. It seemed, as beautiful as it was, it held some kind of untold horrors. Things that he didn’t want to be around, that he had to get away from. He started to swim to the top, and found, to his renewed panic, that he was being blocked. And not from some debris that was floating in the black river, but from…a skeleton.

He opened his mouth to scream, to yell, but nothing came out but the last remnants of air that he had in his system.

As his eyes closed, and his body began to relax against the water, he saw the skeleton grin, its eyes glowing bright green and gold surrounding its body.

“You’re ours now…” It hissed, sounding almost reptilian. “You are now our king-for the rest of eternity. The King of the River Skeletons.”

His eyes slipped close and the last thing that he saw were thousands of similar skeletons like the one that had just spoken to him, surrounding him, and all of them looking just as compelling-full of power and with an eternity of death that none of them could ever hope to escape from.

Death took him and then he knew nothing more but the sweet release of never-ending peace.

Thine was thy Kingdom, and he had come home at last.

==

End

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