A guest story by Michael Chrobak
Fear. It was all that I felt. Terror gripped my muscles. My heart raced. My eyes were wide. What was it that had frightened me so? I squished my eyes tight trying to remember, but nothing came.
“Am I dead?” my mind wondered silently.
I looked around at my surroundings. I was in a plain, generic and rather boring room. A chair (where I was currently seated), a table (just off to my left) with a small glass half-filled with a bluish-green liquid, and a door (on the wall across from where I sat). That’s all there was. Nothing in this tiny box that could have generated the fear that gripped me tightly. I blinked, twice, straining to read the note posted on the side of the door facing me.
“Welcome! Please read the note on the table,” it said in bold, block-style letters.
I looked again at the table. How did I miss the note lying next to the glass, one corner tucked under the vessel to keep it from blowing away – though there wasn’t even a hint of a breeze? I picked it up and began to read.
“Don’t be alarmed. You are in a safe place. Please drink this. It will help. We will be with you soon.”
I looked at the glass again, wondering what concoction was inside. I couldn’t remember ever drinking anything this color before. But, then again, I couldn’t remember drinking anything of any color. Lifting the glass, I took a quick sniff. It had a pleasant smell, though my mind could not place what it was. The scent brought a feeling of comfort and peace. Whoever I was and wherever it was that I came from, I must have liked drinks that smelled like this. I downed the whole glass in two large swallows, then set the cup back down.
Like a flash, a memory filled my mind. Mint. That’s what that bluish-green liquid had smelled and tasted like. I could still feel the lingering fresh, cool remnants. As I breathed in, letting the ice-cold sensation wash deeply down the back of my throat, more memories flooded in. The most recent ones came first, being they were the freshest, I guess. As they played out on the dark screen of my mind, I felt the fear that had subsided begin to rise once more. No wonder I had woken like that, filled with terror. I had just been killed.
The most recent – and most vivid – memories were enough to piece my last moments together. It had been a terrible, horrible death, a fight to the end against a man I had spent years trying to defeat. I had almost done it, too, defeated him. Yet, regardless of what traps I had set, what devious plots I had initiated against him, he had always prevailed. Suddenly, I realized what I had been in the life I had just lost. I had been an evil magician; my life spent studying the dark arts. My only goal had been domination, bending the minds and the wills of the people of my kingdom. I was the antagonist, the villain, the bad-guy. But it wasn’t always that way. There were memories of other times, too. Periods of my past when I was the victor, a champion for justice. I was a superhero once, and the captain of a great sailing vessel, too. I had been a knight, a wandering minstrel, even a circus performer. The memories of good outweighed the bad.
I sat up straight, the vestiges of fear flowing effortlessly away. I knew where I was. We called this place The Graveyard. It was where characters came when an author had no more use for them. Here, we had no role to play. Here, we simply rested, and waited. Someday soon, we would be called on again. I stood and walked towards the door. With my hand on the handle, I smiled, thinking of all the wonderful stories I had been a part of, and all those still left to be told. I opened the door, and walked out.
Meet the Author:
So, who am I? Well, that’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a long, long time. And I’m not talking about labels, like; husband, father, brother, son, neighbor, friend, etc. Yeah, even ‘author’ is a label. None of those define me, they only define my relationship to this world.
Maybe that’s why I write. The more stories I tell, the more ‘me’ I find. There’s a little piece of me inside every character and adventure I create. The struggles I’ve had, the wonders I’ve seen, the beauty I’ve encountered, and the sorrow I’ve felt.
I’ve been writing since I was young; I just never had the courage before to let the world read any of it. But what good is creating something if no one sees it but you? Besides, I think the only way we can truly know someone is to find the memories they leave behind. I wonder what my memories will be…
Connect with Michael Chrobak:
You can also connect with him on your favorite social media platform:
Don’t forget to check out The Paladin of Panama, Book 2 in the Brother Thomas and the Guardians of Zion series
Brother Thomas and the Guardians of Zion is a Christian YA Fantasy series that asks the question, “What if the Fruits of the Holy Spirit manifested as superpowers?” Faith, Patience, Chastity, Charity, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Modesty and Self-Control as superpowers? Why not? Jesus said our faith can move mountains, right?
Book One, Foundations of Faith (the fruit of Faith) begins the saga, as young Thomas, a typical teen with serious doubts about his faith, faces several significant trials as he begins to discover the true depth of his faith. He is visited in a dream by one of the Saints who gives him a quest – to find the Guardians of Zion, young people, much like himself, who have been gifted with special powers. The first of these is Theresa, who calls herself The Endlessly Dying Girl.
Book Two, The Paladin of Panama (the fruit of Chastity) finds Thomas deep in the jungle during a mission project to help build a school when he is once more challenged by The Darkness, aka: the Devil. This time, not only is his life in jeopardy, but so, too, are the lives of his friends, one of which is destined to become The Paladin and will wear the Armor of God.
Book Three, The Guardians Crest (the fruit of Patience) is currently in progress and is scheduled to be released before the end of the year. Who will the next teenage superhero be? And what spiritual superpower will they control? All will be revealed….soon.
You can find out more about the author, his books, and information regarding discounts for schools, churches, youth programs and book clubs on his website at https://michaelchrobakauthor.com or on Amazon by clicking here.