I have a book called Complete the Story and it has 150 interesting writing prompts. I recommend it to anyone who often faces writer’s block. I do one every Tuesday and Friday. This is day 30, and prompt #51 in the book. Below, the red is the initial prompt and the rest is what has happened in previous parts.
When you’re the only family living on that side of the mountain, you learn how to keep calm, work hard, and go with the flow. One morning, Mom, up first as usual, walked into the living room and let out a startled, “Oh!” as a hot air balloon landed in their front yard. “Land” is a bit inaccurate, it was more like stumbled and tumbled across the grass. Soon, the whole family was awake, gaping at the strange, empty balloon. Seven-year-old Charlie happily climbed in, and to everyone’s surprise, the basket tipped upright on its own and he began to slowly float away. He landed in the middle of nowhere, and was determined to find people. So he marched down the hill, confident, and a little excited to start his first journey.
Charlie decided to go toward his mountain. Then, he figured, at some point he would either find that little village, a different one, or simply go home. And so he walked, and walked, and walked. His shoes dragged on the long, skinny grass as he reached his first hour of walking. Though it was not much, he was tired, and was about to stop and rest when he saw a flat circular stone, about three feet wide, wedged into the ground in front of him. On it was a carving with a complex network of bridges and tunnels. I cannot use words to accurately describe such a thing. “Magical” and “astounding” are far too mild.
“Whoa!” Charlie whispered.
He noticed a large “bridge,” thicker than the others and right at the top. It looked almost like a handle. Charlie gripped it with both hands, bent his knees, and pulled.
With little effort, the stone popped out, and Charlie flew backwards. Lifting the stone, he was surprised to find that it was nearly weightless! It felt as if it was hollow and made of plastic. He tucked it under his arm to keep, just in case, and looked at the spot where the stone was. It was very easy to tell apart because it was dark dirt against the vibrant grass. Charlie lightly toed around in it, and nothing happened. With a shrug, he kept walking and stepped on the dirt.
The dirt gave in and down he fell, chunks of soil falling with him. He shrieked and yelled, but, as expected, gravity didn’t listen. Charlie tumbled down, down, down…
All of a sudden, Charlie plunged into cool, clear water. It felt good. He kicked and tried to swim up, but he was being pushed down further. Panicking, he was starting to not be able to hold his breath any longer. When he couldn’t bear it any more, bubbles began to escape his nose, and he gave in.
Just when the last of his breath had been released, and the stream of bubbles were squirming to the surface, the water ended abruptly. Charlie took a blissful breath before realizing he was still falling. He looked up behind him and saw the stretch of water, looming above, looking sideways at him.
And he landed in nothing.
Charlie didn’t know it was nothing, because he had never felt it before. And, similar to the stone, there is no way to describe it using the limiting words of English, or any earthling language, really. In Charlie’s world’s language, from which this tale has been translated, there are several words that may come a little close, but as still, no one in the universe has felt nothing before, we do not have exact words.
I suppose I will do my best.