My Ranking Points
Clarissa strode to the front of the class, heels whooshing quietly against the everblue tree planks.
“Today’s lesson,” her clear voice rang out, “is against gluttony.” The rustle of parchment, a scent of old book, and memories flooded the air. Azalea sat upright in her chair, and let the professor’s voice take her away.
“She walked to the end of the rainbow, running her hands through the silky nothingness that was light. All troubles seemed to be forgotten, forgone, or frivolous by now. Her toes danced over the clouds, body lifted in a glorious arc, as if embraced by a realisation of greatness. Her dirtied knees were clean, her ratty dress was washed, her hair shone like one of a child’s who had been loved and appreciated. For the first time in her short life, she was weightless, unburdened by the grime of the world. She drifted closer to the end of the rainbow, the way paved with gilded mirrors. Glancing down, the girl noticed her beauty. Her teeth shone and her eyes twinkled, a way they never had before.She knew now where she was,
A tinkling music wafted up the light, and settled, like a crown, around her ears. The noise of an eternity of children at play greeted her, and she hurried more eagerly along the path now. There it was. Raised up up up, higher in the sky than a bird, it sat. As vast as the vastest ocean, as warm as the warmest sunshine, as golden as the newest coin. The girl felt a pull in her hearstrings. This is where she belonged, this magical realm where she would never have to fight or beg or cower again, this is where she belonged. She needed to rise, to fly as she had before. She ran in circles looking for a ladder, or a wizard, or a pair of wings, and then she looked down. A red chasm, flowing with misery, covered in suffering, sat at her feet. Voices almost too painful to hear cried up for salvation. They did not want to live anymore, no. They wanted it to be over. The girl heard scratching, and backed away from the ledge. A face, sunk in eyes, skinn pressesed taught against brown cheekbones, crumbly, pitted lips grimmaced up at her. It pulled itself up, over the edge of the the rainbow, groaning and convulsing across the floor. It was small, barely the size of herself, and it spoke in soft, wheezing breaths.
“If you help me, I can show you what truly lies at the end of the rainbow.” The girl’s brows knit, she thought for a long time, with lips pursed.
“Okay. I’ll help you, and you get me to the end of the rainbow.” The monster’s face broke into a grin. The girl fetched water, and daintily poured it down the monsters’s throat, making sure not to splash any on her new shoes. Re-energised, the monster took a deep breath, reached it’s hands towards the end of the rainbow, and began to grow. Up and up and up, taller than even the tallest tower it lengthened, until it was barely five feet from the end of the rainbow. The little girl crawled into one of the monster’s hands, shivering at the dirt and grime on it, and let herself be raised into the air, grimacing all the way. She went higher and higher, until her little hands grasped the edge of the rainbow, and she hoisted herself up.
“Grab me now, help me as I helped you!” Cried the monster, but the girl turned away. “Please!” It cried, “I brought you here! Did you know there is a place even better than the end of the rainbow, I can bring you there, too.!” The girl only walked further away. The monster was now wobbling, the sobs racking it’s body were shaking it back and forth. It’s foot slipped into the cavern it came from, and just like that, the monster was gone. The little girl didn’t even notice. She stared into the face of a god.
“Little girl. Why didn’t you help that monster to the end of the rainbow.”
“Sir, I didn’t think **** things belonged in heaven.” The god chuckled.
“You are right, little girl. They don’t.” With one flick of his hand, a gust of wind caught the little girl. She stumbled off of the edge, and fell into the chasm below. Her little body crumpled as it hit the ground. She lay there, too pained in the heart to move, for hours. Hours turned to day, days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months which turned to years and years and years. Finally, the little girl dragged herself, with wheezing breaths, to the edge of the cavern, and peered into a pool of muddy water. Crumbling skin was emphasized by ***** brown bones, wearing through at her forehead, her lips were thin, and pocked, and her cheeks were just deep, foul smelling pits. Hearing noise overhead, she crawled, hand over hand, up steep cave walls, and, finally, her hands grabbed the edge of the bottom of the rainbow. A child, dressed impecabbly in a clean little white dressed, scuttled away to the far corner in horror. She pulled herself over the corner, wheezing, and smiled a toothless gring up at the girl. She cleared her throat, and began to speak for the first time in centuries.
“If you help me, I can show you what truly lies at the end of the rainbow.”
Azalea’s eyes blinked open, back to the candy-coated classroom. Good students were nodding and whispering quietly to each other, but she sat by herself, absorbed in her own thoughts. There was something strange about that story, something familiar. A tingle of a memory began to surface. It grew, hotter and hotter and hotter still, until azalea’s hands moved like demons, tearing at hair and flesh, anything to get this itch to stop. She convulsed, body rocking back and forth. She could feel hands and see the outlines of faces over her, but it was too painful to look. She shut her eyes, and curled into a ball, letting the fever take her away.