Things Are Seldom What They Seem

Zalán Kaposvári

It was supposed to be a beautiful morning followed by bright sunshine during the whole course of the day, and without any annoying clouds. However, when I got up and stepped out of my sleeping cabin, expecting the previously described weather conditions, I could notice no nice sky. It was quite a bad day typical of an ocean climate: a thick layer of cumulus clouds indicating a coming thunderstorm enough for tearing apart a whole ship…such as ours.

If that wasn’t enough, as I rushed to the deck to tell the others, what had I foreseen, I had to face a “surprise.”. Actually, there were no other crewmates on board. I was in despair, because I did not find anyone anywhere! What is more, the new “visitor,” the wild wind, had arrived, which seemed to be enough proof to verify my predictions. It kept growing and growing to the extent where it started to tear apart the sails. It wasn’t enough, so when all the sails were destroyed, the masts started to be damaged as well. I went to check the captain’s cabin, hoping that the captain would help. After all, it is his ship. Guess what! He was missing as well!

The next thing I realized and can barely describe and imagine: when I stepped out of the captain’s room, I noticed that… our ship had run aground on a sandy beach of a pretty mysterious-looking island! But a few minutes ago there was no land in sight, just ocean all around.

I couldn’t even think about getting, moving or stepping anywehere else from my position. I was just simply shocked. Reflecting on the events that happened previously, though, I was distracted in a peculiar direction, which was the landscape and the environment.

At first glance, the whole island looked like a usual island. But after a deeper overview, I became more and more curious. The beach looked pretty nice and peaceful. (It would have been even nicer if my shipwreck hadn’t been there.) I saw some tiny crabs, turtles and other marine beasties crawling and running around trying to catch each other. I enjoyed watching them for quite a long time. Suddenly, I heard a strange noise from the nearby woods. I was hoping that it would be a source of some food, as I had already started to feel hungry. Being the single victim who survived — I did not find a single bite of food on board, so I had no other choice but to step out of the shipwreck and set out to find my destiny on the island.

A forest even stranger than the sound I had heard earlier awaited my late evening arrival. Everything seemed so orderly, so strange, so unnatural, so mysterious, so…dangerous. The sound, as if it had been swallowed up by the earth, disappeared, nowhere to be found. Not only that, but the whole forest was engulfed in a thick but also faint mist, which I still cannot describe. I felt that the deeper I penetrated into the dark thicket of the misty forest, the more intensely and intensely I was afraid. At this point I heard nothing, not even my footsteps. However, this was not enough, as I started to feel the constantly thickening mist transforming into a much thicker fog. It was an unusual one, as it weighed down my delicate soul. Some minutes passed by, as if they were short moments, and I changed my mind: I wanted to turn and get back as soon as possible. However, the fog seemed to condemn this idea of mine. By that time it had already completely swallowed me up, so that I was not able to see anything anywhere. This way, I completely got lost in the middle of nowhere! Suddenly, I felt something. Something, the feeling of which I have always hated. For a moment, I felt, that…I was falling.

It lasted only for that very short time. The next step I took was in a completely different place. However, the colours didn’t change much: everything was white. And my status of being afraid still haunted me. In the following minutes, I noticed something strange. I saw some moving “objects” far from where I was standing. The closer I got to them, the more my eyes could prove that they were people, all of them working. Some were ploughing the large lands, others were manufacturing tools and other items, while lots of them were carrying and hauling enormous rock-sized stones, each of them towards a single destination.

At this same moment I stood before a landscape I had never seen before. To begin with, everything was white. Besides that fact, a small but lovely village was revealed to my eyes. The houses were similar to the ones that filled the vast lands of the middle ages. They were perfect for making a simple living in the countryside.

I entered the village in order to inspect the people. I thought they were really happy about their situation. They had their opportunity to live in such a peaceful area. Neverthless, none of this was true. The inhabitants looked infinitely frightened, terrified, though completely emotionless at the same time.

At this point, I observed a sudden movement. Everybody froze so rapidly that I had absolutely no chance to react to anything around me. These poor people who were so strange, they got down on their knees immediately, without any questions. Seeing all this, a terrible thing came to surface in my already cloudy, confused mind. It was obvious that these poor creatures were under opression. They had to obey every single rule and word of the opressor.

Somebody arrived. And not just alone: a whole escort ensured his safety. Now I knew why the people did all this. I had never seen somebody so terrified until that moment. However, the soldiers, the chieftain’s companions, noticed that I didn’t fall to my knees to welcome the leader properly. They bound my hands and took me away.

The road ahead was more colourful now; however, I had to go forward, all of my kidnappers following me. I had to go through a very narrow path at an extremely high altitude, which seemed like it could fall apart at any moment now. In addition, as I looked down, I didn’t even see the clouds, never mind the surface. I started to imagine that I was falling; it wasn’t a convenient feeling.

I was taking every step with constantly increasing fright. Suddenly, I felt something again, which I did in the mysterious woods: falling.

This was the moment when I finally managed to break out of this terrible dystopia: I woke up and put an end to this terrible nightmare. I am sure it will haunt me for some days. I am happy to live on Earth.