A short story that takes place after the events of The Author’s War (2014) novelchris ticehurst
There’s an autumn hill in a universe, in a small town in which I dream and where I go when I need to take in all that I have learnt during the year. I can go there with my mind and connect with a character who sees things differently than most. I laid down on the grass looking at the sky while a young girl riding on a familiar cow arrived.
“I thought you might be here and I bring you some yummy pies. Your favourite!” she cried joyful with the little pony tail hair.
“There’s not many young girls who owns a cow that feeds mainly on grass and cupcakes,” I answered eyeing off her cow named Norwin munching on his favourite cupcakes next to a tall oak tree.
She sat down cross legged next to me and remembered being in a story with me a while ago, “You know when you and your characters came together. To fight that terrible person, the one who tried to use your depression?” she asked.
“The person that brought my depression to the outside. Turned my body into a skeleton and when people looked into my eyes all they saw the floating pieces of black dust and no soul inside me. All for everyone to see what I felt on the inside. That’s something you don’t get quite forget ever,” I replied taking in a deep breath.
“I now remember I was in your dream. You know the music box brought you to the dream world and you got to talk to your younger self. In a way you convinced yourself that living mattered and that fighting through your childhood only to quit after so long was not worth it. That was when you wanted to defeat the person,” she reminded me.
“Well Chisa, he represented the depression in me and he was the symbol all the hate, sorrow, anger, and darkness that was depression in all the world and all the universes where he tried to destroy all the characters I wrote over the years. The music box that you saw has this ability of turning up in the right spot at the right place. I wrote you into existence but there are many things I don’t write. Somethings just happen and that box represented all the joy, the love, and desire to journey onwards where all hope is lost, “I tried explaining to her about the events of what was called ‘The Author’s War’.
“I think hope is never lost forever. It’s just misplaced somewhere,” Chisa said smiling eating a small pie from her bakery store down the road in the small town.
“For such a young girl you are very mature for your age. Maybe that’s why the music box used you. To bring my younger self to me now at my age. Both of you were the same age and I had to grow up quickly as a child.”
I grabbed a leave next to me that had fallen and started to play with it, breaking it up into little pieces and looking at the clouds in the sky.
“Does the end of the war mean you are happy again now? That everything is good again?” she asked me.
“No. it’s not the end. What I learnt was coming all this way in my life to throw it away now would be such a waste of a journey so far. Depression is much like the weather you see. Some days are sunshine and some days are storms. I’m always curious like you Chisa, what the next day will bring. What adventures I might have or stories I might create. During the war with depression I learnt much about myself through the characters I wrote and how they grew by themselves without me. That’s because there’s some of me in some in them and it’s like looking at a mirror.”
“Do you like what you see?”
“Sometimes I like what I see and there are some who are damaged. Unable to feel emotion, who have been hurt over time and only a couple who are unloved,” I replied with my mind weighting heavily on my characters and people I written.
Chisa slowly put down her small pie sadly and looked at me, “Do you still feel love and joy? After all what has happened during and after the war?”
I turned my head to her with a wry smile, “I still feel love. Sometimes too little and at time too much I have loved people who I have lost or never returned the feeling to me. There are times I question why I am unloveable to most people. It feels time and time when I reach to someone they don’t feel what I’m feeling.”
“You know when I met the music box with ballerina couple when you open it. I remembered I felt they told me that there is no perfect love. That in due time that you will find someone. Their power is really to remind you of who you are and to love yourself,” Chisa said remembering back to the dream world.
“When I nearly decided to end my own life and when I fell with my bag and the music box appeared out of it and it opened by itself. Before that I was in a tower of darkness with a person that spoke sweet words of death to me. Then there was the music box and for a moment in time I felt whole. I felt the darkness broke apart and the room turned white. I reached out my hand to it and I could see what my life could like in the future. A future of happiness and wonder. It was only for a moment and then I saw you in the dream world. It showed me what I needed to see in my darkest moment, at the edge of my sanity and strength.”
Chisa handed me over one of the warm pies from her bakery store and smiled, “I’m happy that you are here. I wouldn’t have been written into existence if you left us long ago. Do you get on better with us than the people in your real world?”
“When I’m here in another world, exploring another universe. You can just say I’m talking to myself in a way. They journey is not over yet. I still have time to find what I’m looking for. It’s the waiting that hurts. Waiting to be loved and wanted,” I explained to her.
Chisa nodded and Norwin the cow wandered over and sat down next to her nudging into her. I sighed and smiled at the odd pair and looked back up at the sky and thought about what has gone, what has happened and what will come to be.