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Creative Corner

Creative Corner: Sundog

Person writing in book against pink background with the title 'Creative Corner'
Creative Corner Logo by Roar News

Creative Corner is a space to share your creative writing at Roar! We hope you’ll enjoy the short stories we publish, all of which are written by current KCL students.

One night I took your clawed hand and you hoisted me out of my body. From the corner of my bedroom, we watched my body sleep. I felt you take my hand, and we both stared at the rise and the fall of my chest, and the way that shafts of light were coming out of the hole I had stepped out from. I looked into your glassy eyes, and you looked into mine, a smile etched into your face as you nodded at me. And then I found myself floating in the sky, light as a feather, staring down at all the little lights darting about underneath my soles. Cars creeping about like ants through dirt, trains like worms burrowing through the ground, their long, thin bodies dragging in and out of the earth. You poked my shoulder and led my eyes to a corner where I watched all the houses, once so uniform and straight, become crawling concrete cockroaches; every leg small, sharp and scratching at the earth. The earth was overrun by insects, and all I could do was watch from a small point in the heavens. You might’ve been able to do something more, but from what I could see you were just as entranced with the planet beneath you as I was.

You whispered something funny in my ear just as the world beneath us was engulfed in the mouth of a great, scarlet dog. I focused on the animal’s fleshy, pink gums as the pearly teeth tore great leaves of steel apart. Every gnaw was accompanied by the slap of the dog’s great, wet tongue hitting the roof of its mouth. From the corner of my eye, I could see you looking at how the animal devoured an apartment block. We both glanced at each other and laughed. We knew that we should have been utterly horrified, but we weren’t, and that was funny. It was funny that we weren’t scared at the time, especially because the dog could have easily stood on its hind legs and snatched us up in its jaw, too. But the dog didn’t reach for us – it was too preoccupied with properly chewing up The Empire State building. Perhaps I was a little scared at that point, because I could feel myself reaching for your hand. I heard you giggle as I stared blankly at the dog’s jaws curling about the core of the earth. With a jerk of its massive head, mine and yours and everybody else’s homes were hurled across the starry sky. I heard it crash into something, but I couldn’t see what it was. It didn’t matter, though, as the dog was currently biting into Antarctica, its lips curled back in pain. It was rather absurd, if only because the ferocious creature had been thwarted slightly by frost. It felt wrong – this beast should be untouchable by pain. Yet it was pained, if only slightly, judging by the way its mouth moved when it devoured the last of the ground I once stood on. Very soon there was nothing left of the world but salty water from the sea.

It was then that the dog looked onwards towards the two of us, and we could see its massive glassy eyes under its shaggy hair. It opened its mouth and barked, and we could hear it, because it did not abide by the laws of Physics that tell you and I that sound is unable to travel in space. Or perhaps what we heard was not sound, but rather a message transferring from the dog’s maw to my brain to yours.

The creature rolled over onto its colossal back, tail swishing back and forth and sweeping the remnants of its meal onto the floor of the universe. I went to go and rub its belly, but you held back my arm, breath hitched. And for good reason, too, because the dog rolled over onto its stomach. With bated breath we watched as the dog curled up, eyes closed and head resting on its front paws. With the beast came a flash of silver light – a thin needle piercing across space, running from one corner of my eye to the other. The silver light took shape as quickly as it had entered, solidifying into a hare, and sprung over the dog, sharp eyes mischievous, large feet narrowly missing its sleeping form. You look at me for some kind of an explanation, and I give you a confused smile, and the hare tucks itself under the dog’s head and curls up, too. Once more, it is a shapeless ball of silver light as the blue beaded eyes close and it dozes off. Your face contorts in confusion and becomes even more lost in this sea of emotion, as does mine, but the sight is very strangely comforting. It would probably be more so if one of the animals had not just caused the end of days. I think to myself that I would be very content to simply watch the two sleep with you at the edge of the Universe.

But I find myself pulled to the dog’s belly, and I drag you along with me, and together we peel back the skin and walk through the ribs. We find the earth whole again, bobbing about in stomach acid, and then I find my home whole, and my body whole, and I feel sick not because I am outside of it but because it is breathing all on its own. It shouldn’t be breathing, not when I’m not in it, I thought to myself.

The nausea had begun just above my chest, then had trickled downwards through my lungs, over my heart and pooled in my stomach. Some of it must’ve soaked into my knees, because I collapsed on the floor in front of my bed, eyes still fixed on my sleeping body. I closed my eyes, and all I could see were dark marks against grey, charcoal line drawings of alien landscapes. A great desert, the only life form visible, great worms crawling in and out of the sand. A massive castle, ragged flag swaying in the wind. A parking lot with blinking lights. I felt as if I was falling, but I knew I wasn’t, for my knees were very carefully fixed on my bedroom floor. Every time I hit the ground in the world behind my eyelids, it simply opened up and I descended in another pit, and then another. After a couple more falls it got too much, and I forced my eyes open and planted them outside my bedroom window. You might have thought that the outside world would be dark, for we were inside the belly of the beast, but on the other side of the cool glass was a kaleidoscope of oranges and yellows. I stumbled towards it, trying to focus on whatever was in that light. But in my hazy, nauseous state, I tripped on my way there. I found myself plummeting once again, this time into the little pinprick in my own chest that I had once crawled out of.

You can send your short stories to [email protected].

Bella Pelster



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