17 Sep Lockdown Writing Competition – The Crown of Medinah
At some point, your world caves in. The bridge of emotion deliquesces into the air, leaving your consciousness to feel the wrath of the void. Whether you continue to persist is all up to yourself, but the fortuity of life is too sweet to let go.
You finally arise in the depths of the Valley, a vast land of sand that appears to expand into forever. With a sigh and a fumble, the blood in your veins retraces its route, and the journey commences. You’ll soon owe your feet an apology, as they continue to plunge deep into the sand. Step by step. Minute by minute. The nerves in the feet give in, and a trill of tremor seeps through the body. As you plunge onto all fours, it doesn’t surprise you that you are drowning in the pool of regret, as this inhuman treatment of yourself fascinates the darkest parts of your mind. Whatever this is, you have not experienced it. But it is what they all call… the beginning.
The Mountain! For which you must climb it, to reach your Nirvana. Yet the path to the summit is no child’s play. A long journey awaits, but not for the light-hearted. You must endure the grip of the cold, survive the prickle of the thorns, fend away the fire; an infinity later, you slay the serpent guarding the summit, then Nirvana is truly yours.
However, you remain at the Valley, trudging through the sand which never seems to end. You start to wonder, “What am I doing here? Is the mountain in sight?”. If fortune was never in your favour, then why were you given this second chance. If the taste of hope was so delightful, then why can’t your tongue receive grace. The wrath of the void creeps around you once again, as you gasp for breath and mutter…” I want to end it all.” With one last feeling of the sweat and tears trickling down your face, you perish. Until a nobleman grabs you by the arm and sits you back up. He brings out a cloth and wipes your face with his solemn hands.
“Fear not!” he tells you. “For I have been given the opportunity to grant you, your grace! Behold, the Crown of Medinah!” Through your half-opened eyes, a light shines through. Was it a golden headpiece, plated with precious jewels? No. Then what? The light was getting brighter by the second. A light so bright would’ve usually destroyed your eyes by now. But oh no, this was very different. It gave you a feeling of complete ecstasy. For a moment, all the pain before was no more, and you could see your future through the blinding light.
The Crown of Medinah. Those who obtain it will be granted instant gratification. A key to reaching the summit of the Mountain, without needing to walk its treacherous path. “How wonderful!” you think to yourself. “How joyous! How joyous!” As you walk across the summit of the Mountain, you take in the warmth of the air, viewing the flare of the sun. From the day you were born, you dreamed of ruling a kingdom. One so great and prosperous, the meaning of utopia had come true. On the outskirts lay magical fields of crop. They circle a ring of the lush forest like a golden bracelet. Within the ring, the city markets roar with life, trades from vendor to vendor. And right in the centre, was the biggest palace you’d ever see. A structure so grand, its marble stairs shimmer in the moonlight. Tall, stone walls pieced together in harmony, with a drawbridge that could fit a giant. Each tower had a tile roof of crimson red, sweeter than a lover’s kiss.
That is the power of the Crown of Medinah! A power so great, it is challenging the gods above. But the ones who use it pay a price. The price of realising how fake it all was. A mirror that didn’t reflect truth, waiting to be shattered. All the townsfolk dissipate into the air in a deafening cry. The trees and crops burn deep, deep into an eternal flame. One crack, two cracks, marble gives way. Broken rafters make the palace crash into a chaotic scene of rubble. As you try and grasp what is left, you let out a frantic cry, tears gushing down your face. You fall from the summit, down the mountain. Past all the serpents and thorns… past the never-ending valley. Everything’s a blur when you fall. All the emotions of sadness and joy just become a muddled thought; the bridge has broken once again. The void catches you, but you keep on falling. Falling past the void, past consciousness, past existence. Where you end up… well, you don’t end up. You no longer “be”. No more nerves to make you feel, no more nerves to know what’s real. This is death.
When one is at their worst in life, they need to know that there is hope. Know that no matter how hard it is, light seeps through the tiniest crack. If the bridge of emotion collapses, and the void grabs their soul, the strength of persistence paves the path. Through the emptiness of the valley, the pain of the thorns, the summit is always in reach. Or will one give in, and reach for the Crown of Medinah.
by Noot Fragrance (Francis Yang) – Year 12
“If you were a fruit, you would be a fine apple”.