The canteen had been drained to the last drop hours ago. The sun pressed down like a physical weight. The heat was exhausting. A woman, of average build, raised a shaky hand to her brow and scanned the horizon again. She had lost count of how many times she had done that. Sand. Just endless sand.
She continued to walk and combed her fingers through what was left of her once long, thick black hair. It startled her at first then she remembered she had used her knife to remove as much as she could in an effort to cool herself some in this oppressive heat. That had happened sometime after waking up here. Wherever “here” was.
She wasn’t even sure if this was her planet at this point. She had wandered for what felt like days but the sun never set. It never even moved.
“What the hell is this place?” she asked no one in particular.
As if in response, she saw a glare of light in the distance. She ran towards it, or at least she tried. Her exhausted legs protested each footfall, but she couldn’t stop. She had to know. As she neared the source of the reflected light, her legs collapsed beneath her and she fell, face first, into the sand. She rolled to her side with a grunt, catching her breath. Then pulled herself back to her feet and turned to look at it.
A mirror. Tall and plain. It was rectangular with a smooth, silver frame. Her reflection stared back at her. It was wrong. The reflection had the long, black hair flowing over her shoulders. The lips were not dried and cracked as hers currently were. The outfit, however, was the same one she was wearing, yet clean and devoid of sweat. She reached up to touch the reflection, cautiously. She feared it was a mirage and she was losing her mind. Her fingertips met the reflection’s fingertips and the cold surface rippled slightly. She instinctively jerked her hand back. Curiosity tugged at her. She reached for the reflection again.
The reflection rippled slowly, yet the cold, solid surface remained smooth to her touch. She spread her fingers, the ripples spreading with her movement, until her palm was flat against the mirror’s surface. The cold surface beneath her hand began to feel wet. Her reflection attempted a smile. Then vanished. In its place was the dark blue of water. As the reflection vanished, so too did the surface her hand had been upon.
No longer restricted by the barrier, the water cascaded from the silver mirror. The woman’s heart raced as the powerful current swept her from her feet. She fought to keep her head in the air as the water pounded her exhausted body. She frantically searched for the mirror and could not find it.
After a few agonizing moments, she realized the water current had slowed considerably. She paddled through the water noticing that the water was spreading out into the desert. She felt solid ground at her feet. A short distance away she saw the glare again as the top of the mirror reappeared above the surface of the water. She dragged herself through the disapating water, back to the mirror. Her outstretched hand led the way as she climbed through the mirror and onto the silt of a now drained lake.
She retreated from the mirror and bumped into something flat and solid. She turned to see a woman standing over her. The black hair was haphazardly cut at shoulder length. Her own face, yet oddly sunken, stared back at her.
“Few survive the first test. But, of course, we knew you would survive.” The image in the tall, gold-framed mirror faded away.
Here are a few prompts that can be used to get the creativity going if you’re strapped for ideas. These can also be used for practice if you need a break from a big project but still want to do some writing.
If you have any particular genres you’d like to see, let me know and I’ll use them in future posts.Share:
Deadpool (2016) is the newest Marvel movie, via Fox–so really, it’s the newest X-Men movie–staring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, and T.J. Miller. Reynolds was born for this role and he played it to perfection. The movie is among the most faithful adaptations of its chosen source material.
Deadpool is a fun action flick from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It is important to know, and they’ve made no secret of it, the movie is not remotely intended for younger viewers. Despite the R-rating and constant media saying “Not Kid Friendly!”, there are still tons of people taking young children to see it.
Which brings me to the Spoiler Alert for the review. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want anything spoiling your enjoyment of it; stop reading long enough to go watch the movie, then come back and enjoy the rest of the review.
The opening “credits” are hilarious and set the tone for the rest of the movie. The movie is extremely violent, including Deadpool sawing his own hand off at one point as well as killing, with katanas, enough people to spell out Francis (one of the funniest moments of the movie). And foul language is a constant throughout the movie.
As far as sex and nudity, the movie features a short sex montage that doesn’t actually reveal anything, but isn’t exactly vague either. This scene is used for laughs. There is, however, a strip club scene that leaves nothing to the imagination and is also the location of Stan Lee’s cameo, as the strip club’s DJ/announcer.
Where the movie shines brightest is with what has made Deadpool such an interesting character: his utter disregard for the fourth wall. The movie features several scenes where Deadpool/Wade stops what he’s doing in the movie to address the audience or simply grins mischievously. The movie also features tons of jokes and references with little to no bearing on the story. One of the best of these occurs when Colossus declares he’s taking Deadpool to see Professor X; Deadpool asks him, “McAvoy or Stewart?”
I believe what made this film so enjoyable lies with Reynolds. He is a fan of the character and wanted to have a movie that properly portrayed the character. He succeeded. No one else could have played Deadpool. I look forward to seeing more of Reynolds’ Deadpool in the future.Share:
The scent of vanilla filled the air. Aged paper and fading ink created the most intoxicating aroma. The cowl that covered all but the pair of piercing eyes did not obscure the smell the young man loved so very much. The shelves towered over his head and covered every wall in the cramped room. The only light was the nearly full moon peaking through the yellowed sheer curtains.
The dark eyes scanned the titles as the boy moved quietly along the nearest wall. Protesting his presence, every other step illicted a creak from the wooden floor. His whole body tensed each time this happened, but he never took his eyes from the collected spines that lined the shelves. He tensed again in anticipation of the coming creak but what he heard froze his blood. A whisper. He was sure of it. There had definitely been a voice. She had specifically demanded that his presence not be known.
He strained to hear any other sound. There was only the rhythmic beating of his heart, for what seemed like an eternity. His legs started to cramp. He slowed his breath, hoping to calm his pounding heart.
He remembered his purpose for being in the old library and resisted the urge to flee. He took two steps, sliding his feet carefully instead of lifting them from the floor. No creak. No whisper. He crept along the shelves.
There it was. On the last set of shelves, second from the bottom, a single leather-bound tome lie by itself. The boy crouched down to it and cradled it. The book was a lot heavier than he had expected. He sighed. Now he just had to find her again. And hope she kept her word.
“I had almost thought you were going to give up, lad.” The voice was deep and dry. And near.