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stargate, DanielJackson

Week 13, Title: Avarice

Posted on 2017.03.28 at 21:21
Tags: ,
“I don’t know how I got here,” Talia says. The place is oddly bright and the walls seem to spiral into themselves; spinning tops of blue and pink and orange. Her first thought is that she’s dreaming. But she’s never able to tell when she’s dreaming even with the ones where she’s levitating through a den of centaurs. It’s too hot and too cold at the same time. And it doesn’t feel like she’s asleep.

“Welcome to the Hell-scape!” A stout man says, grinning wildly. He’s an odd sight; his bushy hair neon green and his face painted alabaster. “Choose your dystopia wisely. You’ll only be there forever!”

It’s then that Talia notices all the doors running down the corridor. She could’ve sworn they weren’t there a second ago. Her head is spinning. She’s off-kilter.

“What am I doing here? What is this place?”


“Oh honey. You’re dead.”

Her mouth is dry, a denial breaking before it forms on her lips. It makes too much sense. She wraps her arms around herself. “Is this…”

“Hell? Yes.”

Talia steps back, holding legs straight to keep knees from buckling.

“Oh, don’t worry. It’s Heaven too. They’re just sort of mashed together. And it depends which door you choose.”

She looks at the doors, towering in height and chestnut brown, all identical. “How am I supposed to choose?”

The man grins too wide, showing large teeth, and shrugs. “That’s the quandary.”

She makes no move towards the doors. Maybe she can just stay here forever. “Can you tell me anything? Give me a clue or a hint?”

“No. Hurry up now. We don’t have all day.”

*

“I don’t know how I got here,” Talia says. She supposes she must have chosen but she doesn’t remember anything besides a shining handle under her fingers. This is wrong, all wrong. She tries to claw her way back to the door but it’s gone. She hides, makes herself small, and stares in horror as people tear into each other. Their bodies clothed in blood and entrails and filth. She doesn’t belong here.

Teeth grasp her ankle. She screams. Kicks. Struggles. Helpless. Then others are clawing at her attacker. Her heart thrumming and limbs shaking, she watches as he’s torn to pieces. Then they turn their eyes to her. She runs. And hides again.     

But she’s hungry. And there’s only one thing to eat.

Talia pulls a half-eaten, half rotten body towards her, picks away at it. But after the first bite settles on her tongue she devours it.

*

Fear sits under her ribcage like a canary. She runs and hides and runs and hides and scavenges.

Hunger gnaws at her and she can’t close her eyes in case she’s caught. Her face feels pulled tight.

She crawls towards the door, scrapes her nails against the wall, digs and digs and digs with nothing but bear hands. She’s close, so close, she can see the light, see the other side. She can get out. She needs to get out. She can’t survive here. The last shift of soil comes away in her hands. There’s a bright light. She walks through.

And the wall is whole again and she’s still here with these other bodies desperately scrabbling for life.

Then she begins to fight.

*

I don’t know how I got here. It’s her mantra now, she thinks. Though she doesn’t dare say it out loud.

She bites with bloodied teeth and claws with bloodied, broken nails.

She stands on a pile of corpses she made and declares herself queen.

And for some reason the others follow her. She’s terrified they’ll find out her secret; there’s nothing special about her, nothing noble or cunning, no whiles or paths of manipulation bought her this crown. She just bit a little harder and clawed a little wilder.

They hold her up. But she knows better than any the tentative nature of her position. Knows how quickly they could tear her back down.

*

She sits on a chair at a table, both of which are carved into a grey cliff-face, overlooking the writhing creatures below. She looks down at a sea of exposed muscle and bone and sinew. The hem of her dress is wispy, smoky- seemingly ever-ready to evaporate. She’s ethereal, she’s separate. She’s not going back there. She will do what she needs to, to stay on her throne.

A confused boy stumbles in. She sees doors she hasn’t seen in years. And she realises the price. Swallows the urge for bitterness, because she knows exactly how she got here. And grins, too wide and too wild, before announcing,

“Welcome to the Hell-scape!”  

Comments:


rayaso
rayaso at 2017-03-29 15:37 (UTC) (Link)
Great ending, and great all around. Your description of hell was wonderfully grotesque. I love the idea that Heaven or Hell comes down to random chance. Very well done!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-29 16:19 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked my description of Hell :)
d0gs at 2017-03-29 16:06 (UTC) (Link)
I adore this. Great description, great atmosphere, dialogue, idea. Just all around great :D
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-29 16:19 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked it :)
mamas_minion
mamas_minion at 2017-03-29 19:36 (UTC) (Link)
Brilliant! Simply brilliant, I love the imagery and the evolution of this story the ending was perfect.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-30 18:47 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked the imagery :)
kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatre
bleodswean at 2017-03-30 01:01 (UTC) (Link)
Oooooooh! J, this is really well-done! So incredibly visual! If you knew an artist you could easily create a commix out of this story! I absolutely can SEE her in her dress on her throne.

Hell is so random! Who knew?!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-30 18:48 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked the visual aspect :)

Who knew indeed ;).
Shadow Wolf Byrd
shadowwolf13 at 2017-03-31 01:19 (UTC) (Link)
Very descriptive!! :)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-03-31 14:52 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you :)
Teo Says
eternal_ot at 2017-04-01 12:33 (UTC) (Link)
Spooky and nice! I loved the transition the character goes through. I also liked the idea of letting the person choose his/her heaven/hell. Amazing take! Well done :)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-04-01 13:29 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked the character's transition :)
dmousey
dmousey at 2017-04-01 21:02 (UTC) (Link)
A diabolical twist to The Tiger Or The Lady. I liked this a lot. I missed what her sin was- or did it really come down to random choice? Hugs and peace~~~
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-04-02 07:32 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked it :). It was random choice, in my mind it was down to the idea that people are not just one thing and therefore destined for not just one place; it's a landscape of possibilities, but maybe some people have more Hell doors than others.
Raised by Wolves
sinnamongirl at 2017-04-01 21:03 (UTC) (Link)
That random chance idea is so great; chilling and awful!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-04-02 07:33 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked that idea :)
fodschwazzle
fodschwazzle at 2017-04-02 21:37 (UTC) (Link)
Seems a little bit that hell is what she makes of it--I wonder what her risks are, though. Is it really kill or be killed, or is there a reset that happens if she is overcome? Maybe she would just fail to die if consumed, indefinitely existing as a skeleton. I do like how she basically becomes queen of the damned at the end, even though she doesn't seem entirely comfortable with that condition.

Great piece.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2017-04-03 16:14 (UTC) (Link)
Seems a little bit that hell is what she makes of it

Yes, it's that exactly.

Thank you, glad you liked it :)
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