Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lost in Roanoke

At an old bookstore, you find a book that helps you interpret your dreams. But something is strange about it. You fall asleep reading the book, and find yourself in a dream that you cannot wake up from. What is it? And how will you snap back to reality?

Note: This is the prompt as it was worded on the website. It was a 500 word limit challenge.  I always take creative liberties when writing, so the following is my take on the prompt as it was posted on the website.  

Lost in Roanoke

The moment I saw it, I knew I had to have it. A leather bound beauty with the title in calligraphy, it was as old as it was beautiful. I could feel my hand trembling as I pulled it down from the shelf.
  “What’d you find, babe?” my boyfriend asked, breaking my trance.
  “It’s just an old book about dream interpretation,” I said, suddenly feeling strange.
  “Well, get it then,” he said. “Don’t just stand there like you’re brain dead!”
  I laughed and shoved him playfully, gripping the book tightly on my way to the register.
  Snuggled in bed that night, I delicately turned each page of the handcrafted book. Inside the front cover were the words, “Virginia Dare, 1588, Roanoke Colony.”
  My mind buzzing with excitement, I continued to turn each page, admiring the delicate writing as much as the words themselves. My head was heavy with the thoughts of the lost colony and its dream interpretation, as I fought the losing battle to stay awake.
  “You shouldn’t be here,” a child said.
  My head snapped up, and I gasped at the sight of towering trees around me. This has to be a dream, I thought, trying to rouse myself.
  “That won’t work,” the girl said, a smile creeping onto her face. She wore a dirty dress with an apron tied around her waist. Her long blonde hair was pulled into a tight braid. She stepped forward and offered her hand, “If you want to get out of here, you’ll have to come with me.”
  I hesitantly accepted, reminding myself that this was a dream–albeit a lucid one.
  “My name is Virginia Dare.”
  Of course, the book.
  I followed Virginia to a settlement hedged into the woods; a tall wooden fence the only barrier to the wilderness. I stared in awe at the bustling village with women outside cleaning and children playing.
  “Is this–”
  “The Roanoke Colony,” Virginia said solemnly. “But don’t let it fool you, it’s not what it seems. You need to get out of here.”
  “Why, what’s going to happen?”
  “Tonight is the night we die–again. You cannot be here. The spell must be broken.”
  “There’s no time,” she said impatiently, pulling me. “The colony was build near an Indian place of power. If you want to escape–alive–we must make it there.”
  I pinched myself, trying to wake up, but it was no use. I was still being led by the child. She stopped in front of a tall tree with golden leaves and placed her hand in the center. A loud crack rebounded from the tree, sending us both flying. The word “Croatoan” was now etched across the trunk.
  “Goodbye Virginia,” the girl said with a wicked smile.
  “But I’m not Virginia,” I protested, lifting myself from the ground. As I rose, I stared in horror at my now child frame.
When I lifted my head again, the girl was gone, leaving me lost in Roanoke. 


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