A Midsummer Night's Dream - Talent Show~

This is a chapter slightly in the future from my current story: 'The calm before the storm', about Z and Abby who embrace the hidden beauty of the world, tarnished by a life long war of death and destruction.


** Unfortunately as i have been super busy with exam revision, i was unable to fully put my writing skills to use and create a story i could be extremely proud of, but as this is the first writing competition i have been so grateful to be apart of, i simply could not pass up the chance to submit a piece of writing, even if it is very short. i hope you like it! ^.^

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1. A Midsummer Night's Dream

It was a warm summer night, and Z had found himself sitting on the soft, grassy bank, just outside the impenetrable walls of Maya, a medieval fortress, now encompassing a bustling town, preparing for war and strengthening their defences from the imminent Vasco attack. His body was tense from knowing this, and with such vigilance he found himself unable to relax. But there was something invigorating about being outside the walls that made him somewhat forget about all the fighting and destruction in the world; something that made him, for the first time in his life, experience a sense of freedom. He inhaled deeply, embracing the summer breeze that whisked through his tousled, brown hair, cooling his body down from the heat of the night. He exhaled, feeling revitalized as he slumped onto the bank behind him, his legs outstretched and his hands behind his head.

“Is this what freedom feels like?” he asked himself quietly under his breath. It felt like for just a moment, a huge weight had been lifted from his chest, and from feeling as though he’d been holding his breath all this time, he could finally breathe now.

As Z lay on the grass, gazing up at the stars in the darkness, he found himself experiencing feelings he was not all that familiar with. Was this what it felt like to feel at peace? To be free? When he pondered about peace, something he longed for in Caragun, he would always wonder whether life on another planet was more peaceful than Caragun. He wondered whether they had to deal with death and destruction like he had to grow up with and learn to live in a world full of hate. Z stretched his arms down beside him and brushed his hands through the grass, feeling each individual strand between his fingers. Z sat there bewildered by his behaviour, and how it was possible for him to suddenly find something insignificant like running his fingers through the grass over and over so mesmerising. But then suddenly, he stopped. He sat upright, upon hearing the faint sounds of footsteps padding on the grass behind him. His body went stiff and he clenched his fists, adrenaline rushing through his veins. He knew all too well that you can never leave your guard down too long in Caragun. Though, as the footsteps came closer, he realised he need not be so worried. He could recognise her scent anywhere, and its presence took him all the way back to his childhood, offering a sense of security he hadn’t experienced since arriving in Maya. Not even his old man Calridge could offer such security and warm fuzzy feelings that he gets from her. From Abby. He still found it hard to say her name, hard to believe that she was alive and well in the flesh and blood. The anger he felt from her abandoning him when they were younger and then not allowing him to know she was alive was only residual now. Partly because Z was fed up of the hatred he felt towards everyone; Calridge, his family, Abby. He knew it was time to stop living in the past, and to move on, because he couldn’t do it alone anymore, and if he wanted to end this war once and for all, he knew he needed help.

“It’s only me,” Abby said as she sat down beside him on the bank. “But then… you already knew that didn’t you,” she smirked, looking over at Z.

“It’s late. I didn’t expect anybody else to be out here,” Z said as he lay back down onto the bank, making himself comfortable.

“I could say the same about you,” she laughed softly. The two drifted into a peaceful silence, both for a minute just embracing the night. “It’s nice out here, isn’t it?” Abby said quietly, breaking the silence. “I used to come and sit out here nearly every night. Anything to escape the depressing atmosphere and war talk from inside the walls,” she added. Z felt comfort knowing that even one of the leaders of Maya needed to escape from the world every once and a while. Z was not surprised she chose this place to do so. He sat up to take in the breath-taking view from the bank once again. Maya was quite high up on a hill, so the bank offered a full panoramic view of the moat and the outskirts of the fortress below. After being inside the walls for so long it was surprising how easy it was to forget about the beautiful scenery and sounds of nature just outside, and from this particular spot, you could really appreciate Maya’s beauty. The full moon lit up the grassy fields in the distance, and Z could clearly see that there were no towns for miles, at least none that were left standing. The people of Maya must have felt blessed for their strong defences, but Z knew, and possibly they all knew, that Maya’s annihilation was inevitable. Z could hear the faint sound of the river flowing from the bank when they were in complete silence, but its glistening could be seen easily, with the water clear enough to return a beautiful reflection of the stars above. From the bank he could just about make out the winding dirt road he had driven along when he first arrived at Maya a couple of days ago. Looking down onto Maya made him feel happy for a moment knowing Maya had managed to preserve most of its beauty, but it was sad to think that one day he could be sitting up on the bank looking down and seeing a war zone, with Maya’s beauty being tainted with the blood of the innocent.

“Z?”

Startled, Z snapped out of his trance and looked over at Abby who was sitting up with her arms around her knees, looking at Z intently, and who had no doubt been staring at him the whole time.

“Can I ask you a question?” she asked, the silence deafening after her every pause. Z stared at her for a moment as he regained his focus, after being lost in the beauty of Maya.

“Go ahead,” he managed to answer, watching Abby intently as she quietly lay back onto the bank, and looked up at the stars in the midnight sky.

“What is it that you dream of?” she asked, closing her eyes. Z looked at her confused. He wondered why out of all the things she could possibly want to know about him, she chose to know his dream. She lay unmoved, the pair in complete silence, as Abby awaited his response.

“Peace. My dream is to live in a world with peace, a world where there is no war, no killing and no fighting. Just peace and happiness like it used to be,” he said seriously, a painful smile appearing on his face as he remembered his peaceful hometowns, both Bingry and Rosemarsh, and then how both had been obliterated in the war. Just remembering what they used to be like made him clench his fists in anger.

“Hm?” Abby said melodically, her tone implying confusion with his response, but her eyes telling him she knew his answer all along. “Wealth doesn’t interest you?”

Z joined Abby and lay back on the bank.

“What good is living wealthily if you have no one to share it with? Living in a mansion but there’s a war at your front door? Money to spend on your family but they’ve all been slaughtered. So, no, wealth doesn’t interest me,” Z explained, but he remained in a dark silence as he realised he was the person he was describing, someone with no one to share his life with, amidst a war that killed his whole family. Regardless of his situation, at this moment in time he was feeling pleasant, as for the first time in years he felt he had had a glimpse at what real peace could be like, as he lay there embracing the summer night, without any signs of hate in the world. As Z lay there with his arms resting beside him, he felt Abby’s cold, slender hand suddenly slip into his and he subconsciously interlocked his fingers with hers. He looked over at Abby to see her reaction, but she just lay there silently with her eyes closed, and thus, so did Z. Z tried to ignore the goose bumps on his arms and the butterflies in his stomach but they were too much for him to bare. Is this because he was holding Abby’s hand, he wondered?

No…

Something was wrong.

“What’s the matter Z?” Abby asked worriedly as she looked up at Z who had now sat up abruptly. Z looked down and realised he had been hurting Abby with such a tight grip, and he let go immediately.  

“We’re too late… we’re too late…” Z repeated under his breath like a mad man, panic strewn all over his face.

“Too late for what Z?!” shouted Abby, appearing frightened by Z’s sudden panicked behaviour and most likely impatient from the lack of answers Z was giving her. Z looked at her, sweat dripping down his flustered face. His fear had come true, and all sense of peace was soon to be lost. He spoke like he was admitting defeat, something that was not at all in his nature.

“They’re here.”

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