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First pages

Prologue.

 “Just close your eyes and dream away.” A childlike voice whispered. “Close your eyes until those dreams are clear as day. Close your eyes but do not sleep. If you do, regret will make you weep. Just close your eyes and dream away. Even if life brings you dismay. Once you Fathom those dreams and follow its trail. Open your eyes when it is complete.”

 

 

His eyelids popped open and woke with a startle, drawing in quick gasps. His head in pain and clouded with confusion. Black hair dampened in sweat. His only question being, where was he? As he woke from deep slumber, he looked around his surroundings. A bolt of fear struck him whole. He was not at home. He wasn’t anywhere. Bewilderment crossed the boy’s pale face as he found himself hovering in mid air. Floating in an all white room.

 

 

Goosebumps rose beneath the sleeves of the satin red robe he wore. Every centimeter of his tender skin of porcelain was tainted with purple hickies and lipstick stains. Such turmoil a child went through without remembering. Innocence turned into utter emptiness. A virgin bud deflowered before it could bloom.

 

The seven year old boy attempted to get himself down from the air, but a stronger force latched on to him. His grey eyes wandered the white room and all he could see was bright white. Even with his delicate petals darkened and turned to ruin, light still engulfed him. The light was still there, even in his darkest state.

 

 

Warm tears cascaded from his waterline. He was alone. Stranded in nothingness, with only the deafening sound of blood pounding in his ears. This was no dream, it was a nightmare.

 

 

“Nightmares are only nightmares when you are afraid of them.” The childlike voice whispered again.

 

 

The boy whipped his head to the direction of the voice. Eyes slowly focusing, he spotted a large mirror that was placed against the wall. Gradually, he felt the weight of gravity push his frail body to the ground, lightly landing on the balls of his feet. Peering across the room with curiosity, the little boy stared at the eight foot tall mirror and watched himself walk toward his reflection. The reflection was similar to him, but different. While the little boy was naked and bruised in a satin red rope, the reflection was clothed in the finest royal clothing with a shiny gold crown upon his head.

 

 

Sunrise brightened the grey eyes of the reflection while Nightfall darkened his. The reflection’s black hair decorated with puffy bright clouds, while the boy had glistening stars around his ankles. The reflection’s radiant skin glittered like crystals, releasing a thousand ray of rainbows, but the boy, on the other hand, was a pallid pale, embraced by shadows.

 

 

The little boy raised a small hand and reached out to touch his reflection. The reflection did the same and mimicked his movement. Before their fingers could connect, the reflection did something a normal reflection wouldn’t do. It broke the rules of imitation and clutched on to the boy’s wrist, keeping a firm hold on it. He felt his heart lurch once his wrist was encased. Superiority veiled the grey eyes of the reflection while fear fogged the boy’s.

 

 

“You’re still scared?” asked the reflection with a grin.

 

 

As the boy stared at his reflection, tears welled in his eyes and abruptly, he dropped to his knees.

“Nightmares are scary, you can’t help but fear.” The little boy answered timidly.

 

 

“Yes, when it’s given that power.” said the reflection calmly, loosening the grip on the boy’s wrist.

“Until you overcome nightmares, only then you will have a dream.”

 

 

 

 

No one can escape Death. No matter how hard one might try to overlook it, do not forget, young one, that shadows linger even in the brightest of days. However, there’s one question that will remain. A question that will haunt the mind whenever a human would find themselves in the brink of demise.

 

 

What will happen after Death?

 

Would Death be the ending to a story or the new beginning of a sequel?

 

 

The answers you seek are hidden inside this book.

 

 

Now, young one, let us escape into the mystical land of Anatome! Where all the lost souls who were revived from their very graves, are in search for dreams they had failed to accomplish on Earth. Everyone is a story. Each living soul is an unfinished book that holds certain depth within every word printed in their lines. Just like yours. Our pages are scribbled with scars and dark secrets, leaving many chapters untold that only few could unfold.

 

 

And this is the story of an abnormal soul.

Chapter One

A nameless little boy flinched at the pain that swelled in his chest. His breath wavered, clinging on to the thin thread of oxygen. The continuous coughs were intense, his frail body of bruises and slim bones were sore and unable to move. Another nameless boy, who was his half brother, carried the sickly boy and desperately dragged him through the deserted streets in search of shelter. A trail of blood followed behind them, scraping along the streets that were made with glittering white crystals, now stained with smeared crimson. Two little boys, both nameless and homeless. One with hair as white as the blossoming floral of winter, while the other had black hair dipped in shades of midnight. The black haired one was ill, not due to a mere cold or disease, but due to a golden arrow that has been shot through his stomach. The golden arrow was still planted there, but to his fortune, it failed to kill him. The little boys couldn’t recall the past events that had occurred for this to happen, all they knew was that they needed a roof over their head and urgent medical treatment.

 

 

“Help us! Somebody help us!” The white haired one pleaded with his brother tucked in his feeble arms. His breath was jagged, the weight of his sickly brother was considerably heavy but he kept walking forward, hoping, praying for a miracle. Only a few handful of people passed by them, but paid the boys no mind. Flashing them disgusted glares, the people walked on, providing no speck of aid.

 

 

The wounded boy clung to his older brother’s torn shirt, gazing up at him with big grey eyes that glistened with silver tears of moonlight. “Please, stop.” He managed to croak out in a raspy voice.

“It’s no use. No one will help us. Did you see how they looked at us?”

 

 

“Their eyes can roll out their faces for all I care.” said his brother, still dragging him down the crystal coated street. He huffed and puffed with each tug. “I only care about you! We will find help, you won’t stay like this!”

 

 

A cough interrupted the wounded boy before he could respond back. He decided not to argue with his older brother and remained silent, latching on to his shredded shirt. The golden arrow dangled each time they moved, causing him to wince in unbearable pain.

 

 

It was nearing midnight and the little boys still had nowhere to go. They roamed and roamed for hours upon piling hours yet the door of miracles has not yet been opened. The two boys were like a pair of empty vessels, who had no clue who they were, where they were from, or how they had gotten in the position they were in now. All alone. The only clip of memory they could recollect was the younger boy being striked by the golden arrow, but the rest was a blur.

 

 

“Brother…” The younger one tried again. He was tired and wanted to rest his aching body. “Please, can we--”

 

 

“No!” The older one interjected. He was getting weaker by the minute but he refused to stop his bare feet from pushing forward. Tears of frustration cascaded down his dirt stained cheeks as he cried out.

“We will not stop! Shut up!”

 

 

His screeching voice echoed in the darkened pits of the night. A child’s cry of sorrow seemed to have sparked something in the midst. If they were to look up, they would notice the night sky being bewitched by the little boy’s cry. The harmonic choir of climaxing stars and the kisses of the blushing moon formed a glowing blue object. A blue key shaped with shooting stars. It fell from the sky as soon as it was created and landed directly in front of the two little boys, clicking against the ground until it laid still.

 

 

Their eyes enlarged once they seen the glowing blue key, clouded with confusion as they observed the object with innocently curious eyes.

 

 

“A key?” said the older one.

 

 

“Did someone accidently dropped it?” the younger one asked, gazing up at the perplexed expression of his brother.

 

 

“From the sky?” The older one said with a raised eyebrow. He motioned his head upwards to gaze up at the night sky, but it was normal, just like any other plain night sky.

 

 

“Pick it up!” the younger boy said.

 

 

The older boy threw a sharp, sideway glare at his naive little brother in his arms, giving him that ‘Are you crazy?’ look. “No way! We don’t even know where it’s from.”

 

 

“It might be our only hope.” The younger boy continued on. “This key could give us shelter! We have to take it!”

 

 

“You’re going crazy.” said the older one coldly, as though his brother was really going nuts. This was not a good moment to be playing games. How could this wounded boy with a whole arrow through his stomach have the time to think of this? He warily stared back at the glowing key on the ground. Could this thing really lead them to shelter like he claimed? They had been roaming for hours with no luck intact, perhaps this could be their last piece of hope. There was only one way to find out.

 

 

The older boy shifted his brother in one arm, so that he may slowly bend down and pick up the glowing blue key with a free hand. They both gazed up at the key once it settled in his hand and watched it illuminate even brighter once it was touched.

 

 

“Brother! Look!” said the little boy, shakily pointing ahead of them.

 

 

The older boy averted his eyes from the key to look at the direction his brother was pointing at. Farther up the crystal pathway, the mist cleared, and a hopeful gasp was drawn as he looked ahead with golden eyes. There was a mystical road of silver bricks, very lengthy with numerous twists and curves, with chocolate chip cookies that were neatly lined up along the pavement. A tempting lure for any child with a sweet tooth.

 

 

“Cookies?” the older boy questioned confusingly at the sight. The landscape that surrounded the silver bricked path were painted with monochromatic colors of gloom. The neon grass were of vibrant blue and defoliated trees beamed with orange hues. Suddenly, a swarm of Luna moths fluttered ahead of the boys, utilizing the glow from their diamond shaped wings to brighten up the path for them.

 

 

“There’s a hotel up ahead! We found it! We finally found shelter!” The younger one cheered.

 

 

Wasting no time, the older boy gathered the little amount of strength he had left to carry his wounded brother towards the hotel, hurrying after the choir of moths leading them. A teary stream trickled down their stained faces, for their hearts were exuberant with joy. They followed every swoop and loop the silver bricked path could offer, occasionally picking up a few cookies from the trail to suffice their hunger. The blushing moon casted its glow upon the purple hotel, as if it were urging the boys to go after it.

 

 

There, on Puffer Creek Lane Street, standing highly upon a blue grassed hill, was The Fathom Hotel. Multiple gardens of shimmering gold roses engulfed the purple painted building. Each shimmering rose swayed side to side into a small dance as they sang out a happy tune to the little boys, like they were welcoming them.

 

“Those flowers...they’re singing.” said the younger boy before coughing.

 

 

“They’re welcoming us.” his older brother replied in complete awe, watching the elegant performance of the roses, their grace effortlessly took his breath away. He carried his brother down the bricked path, the silver bricks crunched under his bare feet, while the dancing roses continued to sing. With each wary step he took, the roses released a puff of glitter at them. There were chimes that sounded like tiny Christmas bells as more and more mounds of glitter were chucked at them. The older boy was annoyed at the glitter being constantly aimed at him, but somehow, the impact of the glitter managed to seize the coughs from his younger brother. He looked down and noticed the golden arrow was gone. The glitter from the singing roses healed him!

 

“I-I feel better.” said his younger brother.

 

 

“Can you walk on your own now? You’re too heavy for me to carry around.”

 

 

“Uhh, I’m still weak.” he lied, holding on to his brother’s shirt tightly.

 

 

“You lazy butt.” The older boy hesitantly sighed but continued to hold him anyway.

 

 

As the boys finally approached the entrance, the older one slowed his pace and took his time to scan the structure of the massive hotel. He looked at his wounded brother in his arms while he took out the glowing blue key.

 

“Are you ready?” He asked, waiting for his brother to nod back at him before inserting the blue key into the slot of the golden carved doors, which fitted in perfectly, then slowly pushed the doubled doors back. Behind the beautifully carved doors, awaited the start of their journeys.

 

 

 

 

A shiver trailed down the older boy’s arms, dragging all the way up to his shoulders.

 

 

The inside of the hotel was dark and eerily quiet. It seemed completely empty with only the company of renaissance paintings with pastel eyes that stared back at them. The eeriness of it all made the little boys shudder with uneasiness.

 

“Are you sure we should be here?”

 

“What other options do we have? It may be big and scary looking, but maybe we can fix it up and make it our home!”

 

 

 

“Or you can just leave, that would be a much better option.” A sudden voice echoed within the dark lobby they were in.

 

 

The boys terrifyingly wailed at the random voice, darting their heads around in search for it.

 

 

“What was that?!” said the older one.

 

 

“Is this place h-haunted?” the younger one whimpered, small tears rolled down his rose tinted cheeks.

 

 

The voice was deep but smooth as silk. It continued to speak again and grew louder and closer as it emerged from the shadows in front of them.

 

 

“Oh dear, haunted? It is much, much worse than that.” A pair of glowing oceanic eyes was seen, floating in the darkness. The vibrant blue pigment of those eyes seemed to stir around the pupils, like swirling warm tea with a silver spoon, as it stared tauntingly at the little boys. “Yes, far worse than haunted. This place, is broke.” It said bluntly. After the voice concluded its sentence, the creature slowly stepped out from the cloak of darkness. A white furry paw poked out first before the rest of its body followed after.

 

 

The little boys gasped once the creature was revealed. Their frightened expressions were quickly replaced with pleasant smiles and giggles. It wasn’t a terrifying creature at all, in fact, it was a canine.

 

“A puppy!” The boys cheered and they both ran up to pet the snow colored canine, but they were immediately kept from touching him when the canine whirled around and kicked them straight at their stomachs with his hind feet, sending the two tumbling onto the floor, toppling over each other.

 

 

This canine had on a pair of oversized spectacles over his muzzle, with a black and white polka dotted bow tie to match. He calmly adjusted his glasses with the tip of his long bushy tail after he kicked them. He stared down at the boys on the ground with a deadpan expression. “First of all, I am not a puppy. I am a wolf, a grown wolf.” He added emphasis to the word ‘grown’ with a growl, purposefully wanting to cause a fright, but to his dismay, it left no impact on them. Instead, they actually giggled at this.

 

 

“Whoa, it can talk too!” The younger boy sat up from the floor and brightly smiled at the talking wolf, the shades of his chubby cheeks darkened to a deeper pink.

“Are you a big bad wolf? Like in the stories?”

 

 

“Does that make us little piggies?” asked the older one, sitting next to his brother.

 

 

“No, it makes you little annoyances. At least the pigs had their own homes.” The snow colored canine gave a long winded sigh and mumbled under his breath. “I despise children, I truly do. Every time they catch a glimpse of a furry animal, they think it’s an open invitation to put their boogery hands all over it like a bunch of pesky molesters.”

 

 

 

Suddenly, someone else bursted through the golden carved doors. At the loud crackle of the doors being swung open, the boys jerked their heads toward it. Another creature has entered, but this one appeared frightening. It had a body of human which was draped in a black cloak and a birdlike mask concealing his face. Erratic bolts of blue lightning flashed behind him once he stepped into the lobby, only for the purpose of a dramatical introduction. This would of scared them, however, curiosity eclipsed their fear. They stared at the new creature as he walked near. It took what felt like a prolonged moment of silence before he finally spoke.

 

 

“Sydoh! Who are these children?” The man in the mask asked, glancing at the annoyed looking wolf then resumed his eyes to the observant boys. Sydoh, as they know now was the wolf’s name, remained silent. The masked man flickered his eyes back to Sydoh. “I thought you hated children?”

 

 

“I do.” Sydoh answered, clearly irritated.

 

 

“Then these two must be lucky.” The masked man turned back to the boys, planting both hands on his hips as he examined them. “Sydoh would never allow children into the hotel. This is very rare of him to do. You two should be proud of yourselves. I’m Spike Hood, by the way.” He directed his attention to the older boy. “And what’s your name, my boy?”

 

 

“I don’t know.” The boy shrugged his shoulders.

 

 

“Wow! What an interesting name!” Spike Hood then turned to the other boy to repeat the same question. “And what’s your name, little one?”

 

 

The younger boy shyly glanced up at the masked man and reluctantly answered.

“I don’t know.”

 

 

“Oh! So they’re twins!” Spike Hood laughed out obnoxiously with his head thrown back.

 

 

“No, you idiot.” said Sydoh, shaking his head at Spike’s foolery. “They do not know their own names.”

 

 

“Hmm, why is that?” Spike asked, keeping his glance on the boys to guess an answer. For a soul to not know their own name was odd, especially in Anatome where souls were given the opportunity to give themselves new names as a way to recreate themselves in this new world. “Were they hit in the head with a comet?”

 

 

“I will have to question them before permitting these peasants to stay here.” Sydoh explained, raising up his bushy tail to gesture towards the boys during the ‘peasants’ part. “They just showed up out of nowhere and with the blue key as well, which only kindles more questions.”

 

 

“Blue key?” Spike questioned. Since this man was wearing a mask, his expressions couldn’t be seen, only deciphered through the tone of his voice. “I don’t know and I don’t know,” he called the boys. “How did you find this key?”

 

 

The two boys exchanged each other nervous glances before the older one held up the blue key to hand it over to Spike. “It fell from the sky and landed right in front of us.”

 

 

“Have your parents never informed you to not take things that do not belong to you, peasants.” said Sydoh, critically.

 

 

“Parents?” The younger one repeated this term in particular in confusion, showing no hint of familiarization with the word.

 

The older boy buried his face into his cupped hands in shame, sniffling gently with small hicks to suppress his urge to cry. “We’re sorry. We didn’t mean to steal. We were just looking for shelter. We have nowhere to go and no one would help us, this was our only option. Please forgive us!”

 

 

Spike Hood glanced over at Sydoh, who was just planted there nonchalantly, then bestowed the boys a sympathetic look. “Do not fret! I am not angry with you. As the owner of this hotel, you have my permission to stay here, boys.”

 

 

Both the boys’ heads shot up with excitement and brightened smiles, relieved and joyful to be accepted into this hotel. “Thank you, sir!” They exclaimed cheerfully.

 

 

“Please, call me Spike!”

 

 

“What is this? A Daycare?” Sydoh asked, but this time his voice was calm and controlled, exposing no disapproval or approval of this erratic decision.

 

 

Spike turned to Sydoh and gave another hearty array of laughter with a thrown back head.

“Yes! And you’ll be their caregiver!”

 

Sydoh shot an infuriated glare at Spike in protest. “Caregiver?! Quit playing around!”

 

 

“Bye, bye!” Spike Hood waved at them and pivoted away to take his exit from the lobby, huffs of laughter still vibrated through his mask. “Have fun, you three! I’m off to retire.”

 

 

Once Spike Hood left, the lobby fell into an awkward pit of silence. It seemed to have felt colder in temperature without the presence of the owner. The boys nervously shifted their glances at Sydoh, afraid of what will happen next.

 

Letting out an annoyed sigh, which startled the little boys, Sydoh spoke to them sternly.

“Now then, before you get too optimistic, let me just inform you that just because I have been assigned the role as your caregiver does not mean I will be babying you two around. Understood?”

 

The boys nodded solemnly, but their delicate features took on innocent smiles as they grew excited yet again. Sydoh’s oceanic eyes enlarged at the sight of their smiles toward him, but quickly wiped his face from emotion and stalked past them, flicking the tip of his tail to serve as a gesture for them to follow him. “Come along now.”

 

Obediently, the little boys stood up from the checkered flooring and trailed after Sydoh like a pair of stumbling ducklings behind their mother. They walked out the lobby then made a sharp turn into another area, stepping down a lengthy moonlit hallway. The paintings that were nailed neatly along the walls followed the movement of the two boys with their eyes. One of the paintings even waved at the boys. This caused the them to chuckle and they waved back at the painting. The boys realized that there were no doors in this hallway, only large paintings of rooms.

 

“Pick and choose which painting catches your interest the most and that will be your room.” Sydoh informed them.

 

The boys furrowed their eyebrows at this. Paintings being their rooms? Sydoh was too serious of a wolf to be joking around like this, but this was odd for them to believe. The pair allowed their eyes to examine each painting of a room they passed by. Each one was perfectly well made with breathtaking designs, choosing just one painting would be difficult. Sydoh took heed of this and decided to pick a painting for them. He pointed his nose at a painting nearby.

 

“There. How about that one?” The wolf suggested.

 

 

Overtaken by its beauty, the boys gazed at the painting with widened smiles and sparkling eyes. The glittery walls of the painting matched the color of the key they found, royal blue, with a glowing star shaped mattress. The boy nodded in agreement with Sydoh’s decision, but they were confused about how they could enter this room since it’s only a painting.

 

 

“Before I let you two settle into your room.” said Sydoh. “You need names.”

 

“Names?”

 

“Yes, names. It would be quite tedious having to call you two ‘I don’t knows’ all the time.” Sydoh stared at them for a moment to ponder. What names would be a good match for these two?

 

 

The younger boy raised his hand and spoke up. “I want to be named after Spike Hood!”

 

 

Sydoh sharply flicked his right ear at this. “And why would you want that? You barely know the man.”

 

 

“Because he’s nice and gave us shelter.” The younger one explained with a soft giggle added to his sentence.

 

 

“Fine then, your name will be Darryl Hood. That is the best name I can think of, will that suffice?”

 

 

“Yes!” little Darryl exclaimed proudly. “I love it!”

 

“Aw, what about me?” asked the older one, still nameless. “I want mine to be different and cool! A name no one has ever had!”

 

 

“A cool name no one has, huh?” said Sydoh. “Fine then, I will play around with this one and call you Spuff Bradell, how is that?”

 

 

“Spuff Bradell?” He thought over the name for a second, letting it sink in before he agreed excitedly. “I like it!”

 

 

“Splendid. Now that your names have been established. Welcome to The Fathom Hotel, Darryl and Spuff. I hope you two enjoy your stay here for the time being. Now then, get some well needed rest.”

 

 

Darryl Hood and Spuff Bradell stared at the painting of their room with perplexed expressions, still confused on how to get in. Sydoh hesitantly sighed at their utterly clueless display. “Just stick your hand in the painting and see what happens.”

 

 

Spuff glanced over at Sydoh for ressaurance then slowly extended his hand to the painting, shockingly watching his petite hand disappear into it. Inhaling a sharp gasp, he urged Darryl to do the same. “Brother, did you see that? This is so awesome! Come on, hurry!” Spuff pushed his whole arm into the painting then grabbed Darryl’s wrist with his other arm as the painting swiftly pulled both of them in. The pair landed on a fur covered carpet after being sucked in and excitedly looked around their new room. The royal blue room was spacious, large enough for them to somersault in, and flawlessly neat with glittery walls and floating stars.

 

“Can you believe it?” Spuff began. “We have our own room and new names, people to take care of this. This is actually real. I can’t believe it.”

 

 

Yawning, Darryl stretched his arms over his head and smiled at Spuff. “And it’s only going to get better, just you wait.”

Chapter Two

Thirteen years later…

 

 

Pain was his cologne. Chaos was his smirk. Emptiness was his black suit and Hell was his eyes. A successful hotel owner, now twenty years of age. To everyone he had become the man. Darryl Hood, after years of finding himself and developing his persona, he possessed a talent and unhealthy obsession with poetry. When he was a child, he had lacked imagination and knowledge of himself, but found redemption after living in the hotel which provided him opportunities to find certain interests such his love for books. In turn, he has the universe dancing upon his tongue, blessed with rhymes that could convince bullets into blossoming seeds.

 

He could create poetic lines —out of the blue— about any ordinary object that was presented to him, from paper clips to simple tea cups. He even looked like poetry himself, with skin the shade of pale ivory and head adorned in fine ebony locks which was all tied into a shoulder length ponytail. His six feet height and frame was fairly slim but sturdy, complimented with a pair of his arctic grey eyes and sharp features. Despite his looks, wealth, and new talent, he was still in search for something. Something deeper than what money could provide. For he desired, to find his purpose and attain his happy ending like the stories he read.

 

 

 

 

Day after day…

 

 

 

There came times when Darryl Hood would open his eyes and all he could see was an upside down world. A peculiar place far beyond the normal. Where the ground was the sky and the sky was the ground. In this world, he would step over pink feathery clouds shaped like swans, with him being the ugly duckling stumbling by. He would roam aimlessly with no destination and stain the purple skies with the specks of dirt underneath his black heeled boots. He would search around, with his arctic grey eyes darting from place to place on this dream-like world, but failed to see any sign of life anywhere. No one to be of company to him in this lonesome world.

 

 

Where was he?

 

 

Darryl paused his wandering steps and stood there in confusion, not knowing a single clue where he was, until suddenly, he felt another unsettling presence emerge behind him. He slowly took one glance over his broad shoulder and stared directly at the figure with a perplexed expression. It was not another human. It was a dress. A floating orange dress that resembled the embers of crackling flames. The sight of this dress was odd, but oddly intriguing. He could not resist the profound urge to touch it and feel the silky fabric through his bandaged fingers. As if it had placed a lustful hex on him.

 

 

With a few cautious steps forward, he aimed for the floating dress with his right hand outstretched. However, this mystical dress seem to have a mind of its own. A cynical mind. The closer Darryl had gotten to it, the more it distanced itself. By each and every advanced step, the taunting dress only drifted further. Frustration began to roll off of him like heated waves at this, though it did not stop him. This may come across as ignorance at bliss, but it was as if the orange dress itself was leading him on with strings attached to his right hand, which remained outstretched toward it. The dress may be the one hovering in the air, but it was evident that it was Darryl who was the kite being pulled by the dress. In this upside down world.

 

 

He would have given up in trying to catch it, but he was not the type of man to accept failure so easily. Whatever he wanted, he will get it no matter the obstacles he had to face. He continued to press forward like a predator stalking its prey. The pink feathery clouds— they're persuading him to chase after it with the flapping of their swan-like wings and heavenly vocals singing to his feet to run faster and faster, the wind pant behind him, as he raced to the dress.

 

 

Darryl sprinted speedily with the singing clouds, so focused on his target, he was oblivious to the bandages that was wrapped around his right hand slipping off. Layer after layer did the bandages uncoil themselves until they had fully exposed of his right hand. His now revealed hand that was hidden beneath the bandages, did not match the rest of his skin complexion. The skin on his right hand was a glimmering black shade with tattoos of stars stamped along his fingers and around the equator of his wrist. Like the ebony skies in the midst of the galaxy. As soon as his dark toned hand was freed, a sphere of energy with a ring like Saturn crackled blue lightning at the palm of his hand and ascended to the dress in plumes of black smoke.

 

 

“No!” Darryl shouted at the top of his lungs when it reached the dress. Before he had the chance to succeed in grabbing the dress, the ends of the orange fabric started to drip with crimson liquid and abruptly splatter all over his black hand. Darryl widened his eyes at the blood in disgust and quickly pulled his hand back, defeatedly watching the mysterious orange dress crumble like a ball of notebook paper in flames and dissolved into thin air. Right before his eyes. He reached out shakily with his left hand this time, to where the dress once was, but felt nothing. Only air and twisted imagination.

 

 

Darryl dropped to his knees, the clouds served as a plush cushion. He took the moment to contemplate over what had just happened and glared down at his black hand covered in crimson. His breathing wavered.

 

 

What had just happened?

 

 

Why is this seemingly peaceful world turning into a nightmare?

 

 

Finally, he came to realization. He was trapped in the confines of insanity. He was going insane again. In every traditional story there was a hero who had a villain, but he was his own villain. His mind a wicked nemesis.

 

 

Darryl laughed out manically at this realization and shook his head at himself. It was just another one of those crazed imagery that constantly plagued his mind day after day.

 

 

Hour after hour.

 

 

Minute after minute.

 

 

Second after second.

 

 

 

“Mister Hood, are you present?”

 

 

 

A voice echoed in his mind, disconnecting him from his thoughts.


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

My name is Franceska Castor, a young woman born in February 8th of the year 1998. I was born and raised in the state of Florida and my hobbies are writing, drawing and writing some more! I am also a devoted Christian. I hold big dreams in this small mind of mine and I wholeheartedly believe that each dream will blossom into reality.

Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A.
This novel is basically the embodiment of the war in our minds. The challenges of our pasts, our dreams, our fantasies, our wants and desires. The name of Anatome came from the word Anatomy and I created a world from that word to represent the spiritual battle which goes on within ourselves.

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