My Ranking Points
Her head ached more than it did last night and her body throbbed with pain. She couldn’t think straight and her vision was wonky. A man walked into the room and sat down next to her. He put his scratched hand onto her shoulder and sighed, his breath heavy and raspy.
“Ailey,” he started, sighing again, “the doctors don’t know if you’ll make the night or not.”
The girl stared ahead like a zombie, her face paling by the minute. She placed her hands on the side of the bed and used all of her strength to lift herself up to the man’s height. When she was up there, she leaned against the man and coughed. Her breathing slowed and eventually she blacked out.
The man stood up and lowered the girl to the bed, “I’m sorry they couldn’t find a cure. They just didn’t know what it was…” He trailed off and finally forced his gaze away from the silent girl. What he didn’t know was she was breathing in short bursts.
Stars swirled around her head whispering: “Ailey! Come back to us!”
Moons swung to and from in front of her eyes and zoomed out of view.
“Dad!” she screamed, hoping for a response.
“Dad!” she said again, now on the verge of tears.
She woke up and bolted upright. She was in her bed still, but she felt better. She wiggled her toes; she wasn’t sure if anything was real yet.
“Dad!” she croaked, her voice painful.
A man ran through her bedroom door and tackled her in a hug.
“Ailey! You’re here!” His accent was clear, he sounded like he had lived his whole life in a country side.
“Dad,” she coughed, “ what’s going on?”
“Don’t worry,” he answered.
The girl lifted her legs over the side of the bed and looked at the floor. Memories flooded back to her. She had been reorganizing he room, ready for a new loom to her hut, when her hearing cut out and she fainted on the floor. A few hours later she had woken up on her bed but couldn’t hear a thing. Her dad’s mouth was moving but she couldn’t make out a thing that he was saying.
“Ailey, tell me, what’s your name?” her dad asked, trying to do some sort of medical test.
“Ailey,” she replied, as certain as can be.
“Good. Now who am I?”
“You… You’re…. Peter Pan?” she said, this time uncertain.
“That’s my girl! Now, lunch will be in five minutes!”
He walked away through the door and slammed it shut. Ailey stood up on the floor and picked up her bright blue fluffy jumper. It had been lying on one of the oak floor boards that was, for some reason, sticking up at a strange angle. She lifted it up some more. It creaked so much that she had to cover her ears with one hand. She turned away from the noise abruptly and narrowly missed an arrow that was shot up the gap. There was a note attached to it.
“Be warned. Danger lurks.”
That was all it said.
Ailey walked out of the kitchen her stomach full. She sat down on her bed and picked up the arrow. Nothing had changed. Upon closer inspection, there was a strange most surrounding the poorly secured tip. She felt around the mist, but all she could feel was air. Placing it down on her bed, Ailey stretched her arms and smiled: she had had a close escape from death, cheated it almost.
She looked at a bag on the floor, it had a note attached.
“Ailey, please pack this bag, you will need it later.
She yawned and got to work packing the bag. She guessed she needed it for some sort of trip, she and her dad often went on trips together.
After half an hour of packing, she had finally got together he ultimate survival kit: books, clothes, more books and art supplies. No need for food, she thought, it would clog it up.
Night passed and she suddenly thought: maybe it was a joke. Maybe she didn’t need the bag?
Almost immediately she found out that wasn’t true.
A shadow crept into her room and hid behind a chest of draws. In one silent breath it extinguished the lone candle on her bedside table. Ailey sat up straight and looked around: nothing was there.
She calmed down and lay on the bed again. After a few minutes she heard a noise that sounded like creaky floor boards. Again, she sat on her bed, searching for the source of the noise. While she was looking, the shadow moved to the other side, now hiding behind her antique mirror.
“Who’s there?” she asked the gloom, not expecting anything.
She was answered by a slim, bony, shadowy hand gagging her and dragging her backwards. Quickly, she grabbed the bag and the note and surrendered to the shadow. Soon, she was off the floor and gliding through the air, zooming past all the landmarks she had seen before: the final resting place of many pirate ships, the wolf pack, marooner’s rock to name a few.
Hours later, she had made it to a deep forest and could see the spires of towers. The shadow dropped her onto a leaf that looked like it would eat her if she wasn’t careful. That leaf passed her onto another leaf and so on until she made it to a branch. On the branch was a nest so she crawled towards the nest, expecting eggs and a mother bird. What she was faced with was a collection of big purple eggs much larger than the average bird’s. She stepped one foot clothed towards it and prodded one of the eggs with her finger. A loud roar erupted from the egg and it cracked open, spraying gooey egg all over Ailey. She stepped back in surprise and almost tripped on a branch but was saved, just in time, by the burden who picked her up by the collar of her jumper and flung her onto it’s back. The bird itself seemed to be made of bones alone. Its eye sockets were dark holes that showed what was behind it, its mouth was a simple jaw with scratch marks all along it.
The bird soared high into the sky and flapped its bony wings, spraying the remaining yolk onto Ailey. It speeded up and was soon flying high above the spires that she had seen earlier. Now she was closer, she could see that one tower had been eroded by time and was black and pockmarked where as the other was clean and pristine, made out of blue and pink glass. She gasped at the magnificence of the two towers when suddenly more towers appeared and slowly she could see a complete castle!
When she was high above the glass castle, the bird did a spin and dropped Ailey into a grassy meadow, leaving her there, alone.