Saturday, February 5, 2011

January Writing Contest Winner - Eliana from Ambitious Writers, Goodreads

Title: Republic of Music
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: M
Word Count: 1924
Summary: A modern fairy tale.

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there were two kingdoms who hated each other. They loathed, abhorred and detested each other to such an extent that there aren't enough synonyms to continue describing how they felt towards each other. And like most conflicts, this animosity was the result of their differences, and the eternal struggle to better than the other. These kingdoms were called Rock Realm and Popville. No one remembered when exactly these two places began hating each other, for all they knew, the hate had been going on forever.

Only in very rare history books, which weren't available for everyone, did it say that the kingdoms had once been united. And as you know, when history isn't taught or remembered, truths become stories, and these stories become legends. Eventually, these legends may even become nursery rhymes who no one takes seriously. No one even knew about these books, and no one cared. They were happy having someone to hate.

Realm of Rock stood tall near the ocean, with strong black buildings made of stone. Every house had graffiti painted in the walls, doors, or roofs. The people called themselves Rockers, and to honor their kingdom, they also dressed like their homes. Everyone wore black, with a green or red touch here and there, and their hair was always multicolored or dark. The nobility was forced to wear spiked hair do distinguish themselves from the rest, and the longer the spikes, the better. Some spikes were so long they were prone to attract lightning, so most of the nobles stayed indoors during thunderstorms.

If you were to walk down a Rocker street, you would have had a sensory breakdown. The smell of hairspray and vodka hung heavily in the air. The smells were particularly stronger near the bars, and not surprisingly, every neighborhood had at least two bars. Two were required by the government, but some neighborhoods even had six bars, one for each block. Everyone played music so loud, that it seemed like the sounds came from the walls, but if you listened closely, you realized the sounds came from inside people’s homes.

There were very few laws in Realm of Rock, and the few that existed were always broken, because there wasn’t an organized law force. The only three unbreakable laws were: no playing music that wasn’t strictly rock or similar to rock, no platinum blonde hair, and no crossing the forbidden wall. The king promoted anarchy, as long as the citizens provided him with enough booze, original music and food. And the citizens loved their free-spirited king. The normal work days were Sunday and Saturday, and they had the rest of the week to relax, drink, play music and enjoy.

On the other side of the wall, which concealed the cacophony from Realm of Rock, was a forest surrounding a mountain. The kingdom of Popville was built on top of Gaga Mountain, so high in the sky that it was hidden by the clouds. The air in Popville was cool, fresh, and the days seemed longer there because it was so close to the sun. Contrary to the dark architectural style of Realm of Rock, Popville was built out of glass. All the homes were different shades of pink, and sparkled crystal clear in the sunlight. Instead of bars, every neighborhood had hair salons and dance studios. You might here some music here and there, but mostly, Poppers kept to themselves and their phones. Sometimes you would see a small group of people breaking into song and dancing in the streets. Everyone had blonde or highlighted hair, and wore tight, bright colored clothes which brought out their naturally tanned skins.

Each kingdom kept to itself for the most part; except for a few occasions where they were they accidentally collided during festivals. The festivals were weeks of celebration and concerts, and sometimes both kingdoms played their music so loud that the other kingdom heard it. And of course, the rulers from both kingdoms sent their respective apologies whenever that happened. However, one steamy September night, during a Rocker festival, an unprecedented event occurred. Metallica was onstage, and the guitarist, Kirk Hammet was playing a solo. He was drunk as usual, and accidentally raised the volume of his guitar so loud that it went beyond the human hearing spectrum. Everyone went silent, but Kirk quickly adjusted the volume and kept playing. No one even remembered what happened after ten minutes, because everyone was drunk and having a great time.

Up in Popville, people were doing what they usually did. They were buying clothes, getting manicures, or taking their daily dosage of botox injections. Suddenly, their world came crashing down. An extremely loud sound wave hit the kingdom, the ground shook and the glass houses shattered. There was pink glass everywhere, people running and screaming, trying to text their loved ones to see if they were alright. A royal assembly was immediately took place in the barely standing palace. They debated whether the sound wave had been intentional or just an accident. The king, Michael Jackson, said to his nobles and family, “They don’t care about us. Of course it was intentional.” Queen Madonna was frozen in her chair while princess Gaga stood speechless, next to her in the verge of tears. Princess Gaga had been the ambassador to Realm of Rock, and all her hard work to bring the kingdoms closer meant nothing now.

The kingdom of Popville decided to counterattack swiftly, regardless of Realm of Rock’s role in the sound wave. They had had enough of the stinking, wild Rockers, and they would teach them a lesson once and for all. That same evening, pink planes and helicopters flew down from the mountain and launched a series of bubbles containing air toxins down at the audience in the festival. When the bubbles exploded, fumes filled the Rocker’s nostrils and paralyzed them. All they could hear was “Hit me baby one more time” playing in their heads as they writhed in horror. A second wave of bubbles hit the ground, and a pink gooey substance covered everyone. The goo hardened and immobilized those it hit, and everyone ran for cover, trampling whoever stood in their way. Finally, they launched a third wave of bubbles with bleach that disintegrated the stone and washed away most buildings. While the paralyzed and wounded were taken to the bars to be healed, the nobles hurried to wake up the King. Normally they wouldn’t bother him even if the sky came falling down, but Prince Ozzy was nowhere to be found. King Elvis had slept through the whole incident, and had no idea what was going on. What the Poppers failed to see, or deliberately ignored, was that the Rockers had no idea that Kirk’s riff had destroyed Popville. The Rockers thought Popville had just declared an open war, and they were going to fight back.

The next day, as the sun rose in a still shattered Popville, people woke up to a very strange smell. The refugees had spent the night in the spas and malls that still stood. Outside, it seemed like it had rained, but no one had heard rain during the night. Suddenly, a roaring song was heard from the sky, saying “You’re on the highway to hell.” The next thing they knew was that their world was on fire, everything was lit up and blazing. People ran for their lives, and in panic they ran across fires that lit their clothes and hair up. They fell down to the ground and burned in pain, and realized they weren’t really burning. They felt the pain, but the fire wasn’t consuming them. They ran to fountains to put themselves off, but the fires blazed even harder. That’s when they realized all the water had been replaced by Vodka, and that was wad had been covering the streets.

Both kingdoms were severely damaged, and prepared their most lethal weapons in case the other decided to attack again. Realm of Rock possessed a weapon of mass destruction called The Riffoblaster, which destroyed everything in a blast. Popville possessed a similar bomb called Fakemonster that spread acid in a humongous radius, disintegrating anything in its path. Both kingdoms pointed their weapons to each other while they waited to see who launched first. No one knew who ended up firing the first, but both kingdoms launched their weapons at each other. The bombs collided with each other in the clouds, sending down ash and acid rain all over Realm of Rock and Popville. Citizens of both kingdoms ran to the forest, since it was the only place they hadn’t destroyed. They were surprised by the nightfall, and couldn’t tell who was from what kingdom. Everyone looked the same with burned hair and clothes.

Surprisingly, no one asked who belonged to which kingdom. They began to help each other out, getting water from the streams, gathering food and healing the wounded. When the sun came up, the differences were more visible. The tanned ones were obviously from Popville, and the ones with piercings from Realm of Rock. However, no one seemed to care anymore. At noon, they gathered at a clearing, where King Michael Jackson and King Elvis Presley announced a cease fire and a promise to sign peace treaty that would guarantee that both kingdoms would work together to reconstruct what they had destroyed. While everyone cheered and clapped, Prince Ozzy suddenly came out of the trees with a book. He said, “I was drinking down at the palace’s library when I heard the commotion upstairs, but I was way too wasted to come up. Look at what I found.” He opened the book in a marked page, and handed to book to King Elvis.

He read it, and passed it to Princess Gaga, who was standing beside King Michael. She read aloud. “We came from a planet called Earth in a yellow spaceship. Our planet is very similar to this one, except it’s bigger and populated and filled with crazy people. It’s plagued with people who spend their lives working in jobs that make them unhappy, people who don’t dream and people who hurt other people. It’s filled with materialist, dishonest, fanatic people, who refuse to give peace a chance. In an effort to make a better world, we hereby declare this planet The Planet of Music, to honor the one thing our planet has that knows no boundaries, religion, discrimination or ethnicity. We also declare ourselves the first monarchs of the Kingdom of Music, and swear that the laws of this kingdom will be written by us and upheld with utmost love and honesty. Signed by King Ringo, King Paul, King John and King George.”

From that day on, the kingdoms of Popville and Realm of Rock no longer existed. The Republic of Song was founded, and the rulers were elected by the people. They built the Republic in the sky, so they could always look down to where their kingdoms had once stood and be reminded of the destruction they had caused each other. This time, they would make sure history was not forgotten. In a few years they had prospered into a wealthy, beautiful kingdom, and decided it was time to discover the place they had come from. They took turns visiting Earth, gracing humans with their presence for a few decades. Then they faked their deaths on Earth and went back to their planet in the stars, where they belonged.

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