Hello, My name is Culhane. I am second year at Florida State University, currently studying Theatre and Public Relations. I come from a small town in Florida named Venice. I come from a large family with three brothers, two parents, and over 40 aunts,uncles, and cousins. One of the best things about growing up with such a large family was the number of stories I heard growing and the number of people I got to meet. When I write I try to draw upon my experiences from where I live and the stories that have been passed around at the dinner table for years.
The Girl in the Dark Room, by Gary Ertz
A solitary light flickered on, and a white glow filled the dark room. The light gave definition to the room and its contents that were once nothing more than undefined shadows in the dark. The light gave off the occasional quiet buzz that would be followed by a small annoying flicker, but that was normal.
The light had woken up the only living thing in the dark room. The girl blinked awake slowly and began shifting herself to sit up. She did this carefully and without haste because she knew that she had all the time in the world to get up. Every morning would consist of the girl trying desperately to remember better times. Memories of getting up on other days in other places were not lost, but they had been badly faded. The girl was glad she could still lose herself sometimes in memory, however foggy and rose-colored it may have been. The girl in the dark room counted her memories like gold. In a way, it was all that remained.
The room was exceedingly cold every time the girl woke up. Her fingers slid across the floor to position her hand in a place to take her weight. As she did this her hand felt the strange material that made up the dark room’s floor. Though she could not say for sure the floor felt like it was made of some kind of metal. The rough texture was felt as she lifted her body up into a sitting position. The floor on which she sat could have been stone or metal. There was no way to tell. It was a strange sort of cold as well. It was more the absence of warmth rather than actually being cold in that room. This made the girl feel strangely tired because of the lack of warmth. It was as if the floor was sapping more than just the heat from her body.
The girl sat up, after examining the floor, and began to survey the room to see if anything had changed. She had hoped in vain that something, no matter how small, would change. She wanted to know that something would be different. One of the worst things about this kind of captivity, along with the ignorance, the dark room, and the strange material that made it, was the monotony of it. Sometimes safety and comfort came with knowing the simple routine of things; however, the girl was human and monotony eats away at her in excess. Even when the routine breaks, it is usually predictable in some way that allows the person to compensate for it. This room followed none of those rules.
The girl stood up, putting her hand on the wall to steady herself. The walls were the same ebony color of the floor also sharing the same texture by sight. Though, the walls were completely smooth to the point where she didn’t know if she was touching the wall or some barrier that prevented their contact. She figured the texture on the ground was for traction after she shuffled her feet around slightly. Now fully standing, her hand still on the wall, the girl scanned the room with her blue eyes and found that the room had not changed. Even though she had spent many mornings (she assumed she woke up in the morning) finding nothing new, she, by human nature, could not help but hope.
The room was made up of the same four black, ebony colored walls that were smooth to the touch. They shared the indescribable, unexplainable ability to suck the heat out of anything that they came in contact with as the floor. The floor maintained its color, texture and coldness, just as it always had. The wall on the left of the girl housed the door, which was simply two black slabs that were almost indiscernible from the rest of room. Had the girl not spent hours possibly even days observing every detail of that room the doors would have gone unnoticed. On the side opposite from the door, there was the only non-black thing in the room. Housed high off the ground was a silver panel that seemed to almost glimmer in the flickering light. Upon the shining silver panel there were two buttons. One read “live” the other “die.” When she was place in the room she was told that the “live” button would set her free, if she could reach it. She needed no explanation for the other. She could tell she could not reach either one. The room was twice her size in height.
At first she reached for the “live” button like so many before her, but after a while she reached for the other with similar success.
She took three steps toward the middle of the room. Standing just off center she looked up at the light. It seemed to taunt her by giving the silver panel its shine, and by reminding her of her inability to reach it. The girl sat down in the middle of the dimly lit room that did not seem to be made of stone or metal. The girl thought to herself as she did every time she woke up. She thought of all the things that she didn’t realize were finite. She thought of all the things that she would never do again and the people she would never see, among them her family and the man who was about to become family, at least she hoped. She was stripped of all possibility of such experiences when she was put in this cell to die.
Even though the pain was almost too much, she could not help but think about how this all started. It was almost unbelievable, in the same cliché way that even if you experienced it, it would still be unbelievable. It was a normal day out of the 365 days that were allotted for the year of 2037.
They came to her and her people from their great, white castles in the sky.
They said they come in peace. The giant starships took home in the skies of man. They claimed to come with good tidings. Their people floated down to us. They were the creators of man they said. From their flying fortressing holding dominion of the sky they came with man’s reward. They were proud of what man had accomplished in their short time in the universe. The castles would become humankind’s way into the stars. The shimmering, silver sanctuaries would be the next step in the lives of many. They would flock to the stars.
Those of religion went first to have their faith deceived, but in the end they deceived all of us. They flocked in drones to the gates to their heavens. The Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Methodists, the Manni, the Buddhists seeking nirvana, all went to the skies in search of enlightenment, power, and reward; however, All that was allotted for them was a cell and the sweet release of death that would save them from their humiliation and their own dark rooms. At least this was what the girl thought as far as the dark room was concerned. She figured that her fate would be the norm for all people. There was no need to waste more than a dark room on the likes of man.
As she pondered the events leading up to all this, as she always did, still trying to believe what was going on, something happened. Something, whether out of heaven or hell, came to oppose the bone crushing, mind bending monotony that had beaten and broken her spirit. The doors opened.
It opened the doors and stepped through without so much as a pause for, what was too the girl, the most rare and terrifying thing to ever happen in that room, and to the alien the last time it would ever happen.
They looked like us, sort of, she thought. That made it worse in a way. They towered over them in height. Body wise they were essentially human like; however, this similarity was conflicted by their legs and arms, which are much longer. On average they stood about 9 feet tall. Their hands were much larger with long fingers as well. Freakishly lanky they stood with pale skin and heads held high. Their heads did not help the fear that was instilled in the girl. Hairless, leathery and with pale, sallow skin their heads lacked definition and diversity that was common among humans. Their eyes were small, cold, and blue. There was no nose to speak of and the mouth disappeared when closed. Their mouths were always closed; they spoke to humans through a metal collar that was strapped tightly to their long necks.
It spoke from its metal neck harness with a soft, kind and almost condescending tone of voice. It was not the type of tone that one would use on anyone else but their own child. The voice was high and reeked of the smugness that came with power.
At first the girl in the dark room didn’t know what to say. The myriad of questions that came to the mind of a prisoner presented with her captor was far too varied and plentiful. Also, finding the right question was made even more difficult since Lilith’s warden was this strange. She didn’t understand her captor, what it was, what it wanted, why it wanted it, or what it was going to do. She was lost for words, so she could only think of one thing to say.
“Why?” Lilith asked.
“Why?” the intruder replied in a tone of questioning amusement. “I could answer that question in a million different ways and I would still not give you the information you desire.” Again, the parent-to-child way of speaking was apparent in the voice coming from the metal neck microphone.
“Why are you here?” Lilith managed as she watched the tall figure slowly make its way in grand long strides across the dark room that even with the light flooding in from the outside she still could not see.
“What sentence?” she asked, more so to keep talking rather than to gain information. She knew what sentence.
“They should have informed you, but if you have forgotten, I would be happy to remind you.” He/She/It said. Stopping mid-stride, the tall one turned to face her and leaned forward with its large hands behind its slender back. “You and your people have stepped too far out of line. We gave you a garden paradise of Earth, as you call it, and you proceeded to exploit it for all that it is worth. Your garden is gone. You constructed towers of Hubris and tools of Aries. To put it simply: You were a danger to yourself and everything around you.” The Tall one moved toward the silver panel and raised one had to rest upon both buttons. Lilith’s heart nearly stopped then. He continued “Now you must be purged so that the garden can begin again, and we, the makers, can learn from our misjudgments.” The maker paused for a moment slowly caressing the button marked “Die.” Lilith took this time to stand up, might as well. “Still, though I am duty bound and fully believe what I am doing is right and just and completely without reservation, I admit that watching you build your empire out of clay and ash made me feel “Proud” as you have come to call it.” Its hand stopped moving and rested upon the button to end Lilith’s life. “If it wasn’t for the fire…”
The tall one’s voice became soft during the declaration of admiration but then returned to the parent-like sternness. “Nevertheless, it affects me not to punish you for the greater good.” A long and almost awkward silence took over after the alien was finished speaking.
“Do you really believe what you’re doing is right?” asked Lilith.
“Yes, Lilith. Consider what would happen if you were allowed to continue,“ The tall one spoke, “You would destroy your world and become a plague upon the others. We, the makers, cannot allow that to happen.”
Lilith looked quizzically at the Maker, “You speak with such certainty.”
“I do not see a more likely outcome. This initiative has been calculated for decades and will do the most good.”
“You’ve done this before.” Lilith stated, hearing the reminiscence in the tall one’s electronic voice. “Haven’t y-“
The tall one hesitated slightly then pushed the button to cease its captive’s speech. It paused to watch Lilith fall to the ground. She rested there like so many before her, in tranquility.
Prometheus left Lilith to her rest and proceeded to walk through the veil of light into the warehouse. That was the last one, it thought. Prometheus walked swiftly away from the last dark room of the last cell block of the castle in the sky.
Title: Sincerely Fame
Author: Arielle Watts
The recalling of a dramatic event that happened at a very sexy party. Maybe this event will change everything for the main character, or maybe not.
Author: Matthew Bryan Pruitt
The story of a drag queen, Latasha Buckingshield, who gets bashed and gets her revenge on her basher, in a pretty fabulous way.
Hello there, my name is Matthew Bryan Pruitt. I guess you could say that I’m the creator of “The Anthology”, but I don’t want to be seen as “the boss” in any way at all.
A little about me. I am 22, Aquarius, gay, in a relationship with an amazing man, and I am a writer, photographer, and basically an artist in as many fields as I can be. My writing style is very different than most other peoples’, for I enjoy to try to provoke the minds of my readers, make them get some kind of reaction- be it offended, depressed, mad, in love, or whatever else.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the recorded stories that I post here, and maybe ones that I will try to write in the real world, for I will always write, always.