Laika (Underground) Pt. III

Laika (Underground) Pt. III

The third part in Laika's strange adventure.
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(Read Part Two)


It didn’t take her long to reach the edge, though clawing up its unsurprisingly unstable surface certainly slowed her escape as the sand repeatedly gave way and smoothly rolled downwards across itself. Finally over the top she groaned, spitting sand as she got her bearings again. Directly in front of her, only about a kilometre or two off, was a grouping of the same kinds of craggy rocks she had seen earlier.

Hoping against logical hope that the shopkeeper's final statement wasn’t some farcical trick Laika pushed onwards. The arid atmosphere was beginning to really get to her and if there was some way to wake herself up or get out of… whatever the hell this was… then she would gladly take it. Clamouring over and around each unwelcoming geological formation wasn’t difficult, but it wasn’t the most enjoyable experience either. She repeatedly thumped and scraped against the harsh shapes, cursing and mumbling the whole way through.

After a particularly nasty flop headfirst into the sand (swiftly followed by a creative string of salty language) she finally came across the door. Just like the last one it stood by its lonesome, in a small circular clearing free of the pesky rocks she had quickly grown to hate. If this is locked I swear I’m going to go back there and kill him. Though, to be completely honest with herself, she knew she was far too unnerved to ever go near that hole in the ground again.

She sucked in a breath, puffing her chest outwards in a show of dominance to no one in particular, and opened the door. Once again she found herself stepping into darkness. Once again she felt organs shifting as if falling into a deep, unknowable cavern below.

---

Laika coughed, feeling the course grime sticking to her face as she looked up. She was on a beach, no, an island. A perfect circular little island of light, pleasant sand. A far cry from the harsher browns of the desert world beforehand, but it was still sand. What is it with all this fucking sand?! She swung herself about to face the door only to find that nothing manmade stood in the miniature desert. Around her she could see nothing but ocean and cloudless sky stretching out for miles. The floaters and dancing atoms of her vision coated the oppressively blue scenery, a layer of TV snow she often forgot was normal in human eyes.

"Wh-what the hell?" Laika shouted into the serene emptiness that expanded endlessly in every direction. She stood up and brushed the excess sand off her clothing, still feeling the harsh particles nestling into obnoxious positions against her skin. This is even worse than the desert!

She was yelling in her head, trashing an imaginary hotel room built specifically for catharsis. On the outside she just looked sour, annoyed and vaguely disappointed by the door’s false promises of reality. Though, to be fair to the door she had been projecting her hopes onto an inanimate object, which wasn't exactly healthy behaviour.

Laika walked around the island in circles, searching desperately for something, ANYTHING to break the monotony of the latest world she had fallen into. She kicked at the ground, little grains dispersing into the air before showering down into the calm waters below. Each impact a tiny ripple almost indiscernible to a human observer.

Her foot tapped, her nostril twitched. She needed a cigarette. A loose cigarette was yanked greedily from her pocket, followed by the Zippo lighter that at one time had made her feel so cool and adult. She lit up and puffed nervously, almost cartoonish in her anxious jittering. “There’s nowhere to go! At least in the desert I could walk around or SOMETHING!” She shouted, pulling the cigarette from her lips to tap the sullen ashes out over the water before returning to suckling it once again.

She stood there, internally stumbling through one angry lack of possibilities after another. Her first cigarette fizzled to its filter, tossed aside for another as she stood there on the pointless little island.

Laika glanced at the water, a weird, stupid, impossible thought growing in her head. She wiggled her toes in her crusty shoes and shook her head. Well, I guess I’ll find out if I’m dreaming or not.

She walked forwards into the water, following the downward slope of the sand as the waterline crept up her body. It was cool, but not cold. Soothing almost actually. Cigarette still hanging from her mouth her head disappeared beneath the glasslike surface with nothing but a gentle plop to mark her passing.

Okay, definitely dreaming. She thought to herself, and with good reason. She could breathe perfectly fine. Her walking was slowed as she made her way to where the ocean floor leveled out into a mixture of muck and sand, plumes of dirty water kicked up with every step, but she could breathe with ease. The sounds around her were still muffled as they should have been, and when she tried to speak it gurgled and formed bubbles as was normal. Yet there she was, walking and breathing as if strolling through a park in slow motion.

Glittering streaks of light pierced the depths creating shimmering pillars around her as she walked steadily forward to nowhere in particular. Though there was nothing in the way of fish or crabs or any other marine animals for that matter there was a great deal of flora to admire. Seaweed and other strange plants of varying colours rippled as if caught in the gentlest breeze. Her cigarette, which had gone out by this point, floated away as Laika’s mouth hung slightly open, her anger and fear from before almost drifting away with whatever light tides this strange place experienced.

She could have been wandering for hours, days even, mesmerised as she was by the oceanic wonderland she found herself exploring. All time disappeared, all anxiety dissipated, as if caught within some sort of lilting trance, a siren’s song of scenery.

Laika was almost angry when she found her leisurely stroll abruptly interrupted by a large, solid object. She stepped back, rubbing her forehead where it had thunked against whatever she had walked into. To her great surprise, and sudden joy, it was another door. Alone and in the strangest of places, as usual. It was a little worrying that the phrase “as usual” could now be applied to this situation, but there wasn't much she could do aside from continuing on.

Taking one final glance around the serene wanderlust that had occupied her mind for a now unknowable stretch of time, Laika grasped the handle and made her way inside.


End Part III

Cover Image Credit: wallpapercave.com

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I Write Because

It's my escape, and I can go into this whole new world when I do.
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I have been seriously writing for about a year now, and today I questioned why I write? In this year, I have written hundreds of pages in my diary, I have written a rough draft of a book that has 263 pages in its first copy, and I have been writing weekly content for The Odyssey. This is in addition to the schoolwork I have had that has required me to write essays and whatever comes my way.

This still doesn’t answer the question, why do I write? What could be going on in my head that has led to me write so much in a relatively short amount of time? A lot of people probably don’t write the amount of I’ve written in a year of writing in their lifetimes.

It’s a lot, and I don’t blame them. Writing takes a lot of time and it’s a skill that can be hard to master. I know I am nowhere near mastery with writing, but I hope to get there one day. It’s something I’ve always loved, but in this past year or so it’s something I’ve grown to be passionate about.

Why? I write because I am someone that thinks a lot. There is always a thought going on in my brain, and sometimes these thoughts consume my daily activity. Writing is how these thoughts escape my brain.

If something bad happened, I need to write about it in my journal. I am the type of person that gets so fixated on either something huge or miniscule and it will distract me from whatever I am doing, and writing gets me out of that. Writing helps me escape my own demons in my brain.

When I write, I am brutally honest with myself and I do this, so I can reflect later on. One of my key values is growth, and to me writing allows me to grow because when I write, I reflect on what I did wrong and I can better myself for the future. I am not perfect, I make mistakes and writing allows me to see those mistakes, so I don’t make them again.

I document the good, the bad, the ugly, and I love it. The good days make me happy when I am sad, and the bad days keep me humble and teach me. I look at old entries from 3 months ago, and I see the growth I have made since then. It’s awesome.

When I write, I get into this vortex where it’s me and my keyboard. Nothing can stop me when I am writing, and it is my therapy.

Sometimes, I document days when I need to make a decision and the people that I get advice from, their words don’t click in my brain. I write every factor in the decision, others advice, and how I feel.

I suck at public speaking; my brain goes a million miles per hour and my mouth keeps up. When I am nervous, and I have to talk in big groups of people, I cannot make a cohesive sentence. It’s because of nerves, and it’s why I force myself to participate in class because public speaking is an important skill.

That’s another reason why I write all the time. When I write, it forces my brain to slow down. It gives me a layout of what I want to follow, and it’s why in class or meetings I am always taking notes. Taking notes keeps me on track.

Bringing this back to advice, sometimes I forget words, or I don’t quite know how to explain something. When I write it out, the words naturally come to my brain and I don’t struggle to find words because my brain has had time to process it.

Writing things down forces my brain to process things and to digest big issues, instead of just accepting it and moving a million miles per hour. Since I have been writing, I feel like I am more mature because I have taken the time to understand more things.

People ask me, why I write so much? This is why, I need time to digest what is going on, and to make sure I can grow from it. In life we are constantly growing as people, I want to document that for my future self and my future kids. Also, I want to make sure that I don’t repeat history and make the same mistake twice.

As for writing anything that is not about my day, why do I do it? I love it. I love typing on a computer and writing an article or an essay. When we got essays in high school, I would challenge myself and I would take a different perspective and learn what other people think.

I loved it because I dove myself into a computer and became an introvert while I wrote the essay. In college, I had a ten-page research paper and I loved it because I was able to talk about this topic and teach a different perspective to my professor.

It’s the same reason why I write for The Odyssey. I write because I am different, and I own it, and I want the people who read my articles to hopefully think differently. Another reason, I get to teach and share my knowledge through writing, and teaching that I want to do for the rest of my life. If writing enables me to do teach, I will write till the cows come home.

As for fiction, I am creative by default. Since there is always a thought in my brain, I begin to wonder what if, and I create these stories based on that what if. It’s how I wrote a novel at the age of 18.

My whole novel that I wrote started with a what if that I asked myself when I was little. Since then I have been creating this whole story to that what if and have developed it over time with my life experiences. It is the biggest reason to why I may never publish the book because it is so personal.

Also, creatively writing get these ideas out of my head and I can focus on my schoolwork. Sometimes creatively writing distracts my brain from feeling a certain way, and it’s a channel for me to get to this happy place. That is the biggest reason to why I always travel with something to write on because it’s a need for me.

Essentially, I write because I need to get out of my head and writing enables me to do that. For me, writing is my therapy and escape that’s why I write.

Cover Image Credit: @fuertes_clara

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50 Amazing Songs From Someone Who Actually Listens To Everything

What music do you like? "A little bit of everything."
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I cannot tell you the number of times someone has asked me what music I listen to without them actually getting a good answer.

To me, music is everything. It is that motivating kick to work on homework. It is that eloquent touch missing from a homemade dinner. It is the immersion of memory from a sound you heard years ago. It is the beat that makes you dance like you actually know how to dance. It is that connection you can share with someone while singing a song at the top of your lungs!

My music history started off with my mom. My mom would play Christian pop for me and my siblings while we cleaned the house. During airplane flights, I would listen to the jazz radio for hours on end. From there, I transitioned to the country music my dad would play through the speakers of his work truck. My sister turned me onto soft rock through the RCHP, Jack Johnson, and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Then I got my first iPod. Suddenly, I no longer had to rely on others to play music for me. I could listen to anything and everything I fancied at the moment. I would write down songs I heard at dances to download later from YouTube videos. I would wait in agony for the end of a movie to see the song list. I would carefully select my next fifteen songs to buy with my iTunes gift card, to the point of creating brackets to see which ones were the best.

Throughout high school, my brother introduced to me to rap music and dubstep. My friends would tell me their favorites, and I would listen to every song of their favorite artist in a week. Soon I would know more about that artist than they did. I jumped from Lil Wayne to Boyce Avenue to Taylor Swift, even touching One Direction because that’s what girls liked.

Every day was a chance for a new song. Every moment was a chance for a new beat and lyric to turn my entire viewpoint of music upside down.

When someone asks me what type of music do I listen to, then I have to say everything. I listen to everything! I can’t have a favorite picking between Beethoven and Drake. I can’t have a favorite between Flatland Calvary and Post Malone.

So here is my list of the most defining songs in my life. There are from every genre and each one holds different memories with them. Give them a listen. Everyone can be a banger or an anthem. Never stop listening to music. Never stop clicking shuffle. Enjoy.

Side Note: These are in no particular order. All of them are NOT SAFE FOR WORK. These are not my top 50 songs. These are just 50 good songs that I enjoy a lot.

1. “Doses & Mimosas” - Cherub

2. “Suga Suga” - Baby Bash, Frankie J

3. “Enchanted” - Taylor Swift

4. “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” - Cage the Elephant

5. “Dani California” - Red Hot Chili Peppers

6. “Elastic Heart” - Sia

7. “Gangsta’s Paradise” - Coolio, L.V.

8. “Mr. Jones” - Counting Crows

9. “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” - The Charlie Daniels Band

10. “All of Me” - John Legend

11. “Love Me” - Lil Wayne, Drake, Future

12. “Gangsta” - Kehlani

13. “Your Body Is a Wonderland” - John Mayer

14. “Banana Pancakes” - Jack Johnson

15. “Howlin’ For You” - The Black Keys

16. “Pray For Me” - The Weeknd, Kendrik Lamar

17. “Stay” - Rihanna, Mikky Ekko

18. “iSpy” - KYLE Lil Yachty

19. “Creep” – Radiohead

20. “God Bless The U.S.A.” – Lee Greenwood

21. “Freeze Frame Time” - Brandon Rhyder

22. “Simple Song #3” - David Lang, Sumi Jo

23. “Light of the Seven” - Ramin Djawadi

24. “Suite No. 1 G Major Prelude” - Johann Sebastian Bach

25. “Hallelujah” - Pentatonix

26. “Higher Ground” - TNGHT, Hudson Mohawke, Lunice

27. “Sabotage” - Beastie Boys

28. “T.N.T” - AC/DC

29. “Blockbuster Night Part 1” - Run the Jewels

30. “White Iverson” - Post Malone

31. “The Hills” - The Weeknd

32. “Shoot Me Down” - Lil Wayne, D. Smith

33. “Black Belts” - Pyramid Vritra, Pyramid Quince

34. “Thinkin Bout You” - Frank Ocean

35. “Sky Walker” - Miguel, Travis Scott

36. “Pray” - Sam Smith, Logic

37. “Yonkers” - Tyler, The Creator

38. “Flexicution” - Logic

39. “Hypnotize” - The Notorious B.I.G.

40. “Boondocks” - Little Big Town

41. “Hotel California" - Eagles

42. “Danger Zone” - Kenny Loggins

43. “Toes” - Zac Brown Band

44. “I think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” - Merle Haggard

45. “Song of the South” - Alabama

46. “A Country Boy Can Survive” - Hank Williams Jr.

47. “Chicks Dig It” – Christ Cagle

48. “She Likes the Beatles” - William Clark Green

49. “Long Hot Summer Day” - Turnpike Troubadours

50. “Summer III” – Vivaldi

“You know what music is? God's little reminder that there's something else besides us in this universe, a harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.” August Rush

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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