Terrarium #5

Terrarium #5

It was late when they saw it. Just on the horizon, in front of them while they walked with the sun setting at their backs. An obelisk or some sort of stone pillar. “Grandmother spoke of them you know. Said that people underestimated what they could do. ‘The power they held within them’ she said“ the girl said with a sigh. She knew her brother was ignoring her. He never believed in the stories her grandmother told him before she passed. No one knew how much power these… Things… Really held.


“We should hurry then. If Those things are actually as powerful as they say they are and as safe they say they are, we should find a shelter upfront“ he said with a shrug. Her brother was the type of person who didn’t believe in any of the supernatural stuff. But when the day came, the day everything changed, everything changed. 


“Ambrose don’t be like that. I believe what grandmother said was true so I think that once we get there we should be able to find a place to sleep for the night.” 


As they trudged through the dusk light, Kali took in her surroundings. It was always changing; the sky was now purple from the sunset getting lower on the horizon. Making their way forward, Ambrose stops suddenly.


“Did you hear that?” He whispers.


“Hear what?” Kali asks.


Her brother motions for her to be silent. His eyes told her everything she needed to know.




Ambrose dashed through the darkness towards the stone. It was emitting some sort of purple light, a soft lavender color, but everything else was dark. Pitch dark.


Grabbing his sister’s arm, they raced towards the light. It was their only hope of surviving those…. Things.


He never once looked back, just knew that his sister was right there with him. He had her arm in his hand of course. Loud crunching sounds followed them as they approached. He hope they didn’t have to look at another one of those horrendous creatures, not after what they did to everything he knew. His sister was all he had left.


Ambrose approached the stone and lavender light, still holding onto his sister’s arm, feeling a warmth coming from the light. As they raced closer, he could see a dark space within the light. He immediately thought back to his grandmother’s stories, having to skip past all of the happy thoughts and get to the parts of the stories he could remember. What was it about the shelter again?


They entered the lavender light emitting from the stone and it seemed as if the whole world just fell away. It was quiet. There weren’t loud crunching noises of those monsters chasing them anymore. He came to a halt, still never looking back at his sister. At this point making eye contact with her would just mean he accepted defeat and that she and grandmother were right. This rock was something. 


“Kali, are you okay?” Ambrose asked breathlessly, nervously awaiting a response from his sister.


A moment of silence passed. “Yes.” His sister muttered. 


He slowly turned to face her. Her face was dark with dirt and dried blood, but her expression was pure awe. He saw tears starting to form in her eyes.


“Wait I thought you said you were okay. Why are you crying?”, her brother hurriedly asked her.


“I am okay Ambrose. It’s just that… What grandmother said was true. We’re here.” She had a huge smile on her face, through the tears that streaked down her dirty face. Even in her 20s, she still had a childlike sense about her that made the little things just that much better. Her brother smiled back at her, knowing that they would be okay, even if was just for the night. That’s how they’ve been living for the past three months, ever since the day came and these stones started to emerge from the ground.


“Kali, do you remember what grandmother said about this stone? Or did she ever mention anything about the stone with the purple light?”


“She did”, Kali replied. 


Kali walked over towards the center of the room, as she had done the past 4 times to enchant words their grandmother had once whispered to her as a child. Since Ambrose showed no interest, they were never told to him. He was more of a practical thinker anyway. None of this was real and could always be explained was his mantra. Not until now. He still couldn’t get his head wrapped around things and it had almost been three months. What was really going on?


He watched his sister stand straight but put her head down to face the floor. He could hear her mumbling words yet again, but she would never speak up loudly enough for him to hear what she was saying. 


Suddenly, the ground began to shake and the darkness Ambrose spotted while they were running returned. But in an instant, it turned into a rudimentary bedroom; essentially a cave within this rock that had magical powers.


Kali turned to him. “Come on Ambrose,” she said with a grin. He knew his sister enjoyed doing whatever it was that made these magically good things happen to them.


They stepped into the cave bedroom together and saw it was nicer than the last one. Super plush beds, a warm glow from a small fire in the center, and food? Yes, there was food cooking over the fire this time!


As they enjoyed their evening, Kali, ever inquisitive, asked her brother, “Do you think that this will come to an end? Like all of this. I know I’ve said it before but I’m tired of running and I don’t even know what we’re running from. Aren’t you tired too?” Her face was screwed up trying to hold back tears.


“Yes, I’m tired too Kali. I hope it does end soon but we just don’t know. Let’s just get some rest. Tomorrow is going to be another long day.”


“You're right. I am tired too. Goodnight Ambrose. I love you.”


“Love ya too sis.” He watched his sister climb into the bed that magically appeared before them, that she conjured. Her body immediately sank into the comfortable mattress, followed by soft snores. She was asleep.


Ambrose watched the flames in the fire dance off his sister's dirtied clothes. Looking down at his hands, he saw how dirty they were too. Together, they were filthy. But after all, they had gone through, it didn’t matter to him anymore.


He swung his feet around to get onto the bed. It just looked inviting. The moment he sat down, he could only imagine that the bliss he was feeling was the same his sister felt. His eye became heavy and he too drifted off into sleep.


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