Happy Mothers day to all the mothers out there. A bigger happy Mothers day to my mom for being the best mom a weird girl like me could have. And since it’s mother’s day I am going to dedicate this story to my mom. She may have already read the story, but I know she will look at my post too. ❤
This short story is about 4 days late, but it happens. With work as crazy as it was last week, I knew it was going to be hard to get the story up soon. Also, I had no idea what I was going to write. Funny enough, the idea for this short story came to be while I was out with my dog first thing this morning. It didn’t even start as a short story for the prompt, but about half way through I realized it was perfect for the prompt challenge.
A little warning, it’s a little longer than my usual prompt challenge stories, so I hope you still want to read it. I enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.
The Hall of the Lost
Welcome to the hall of the lost. A never ending hall with doors on each side. All doors are unique to what lay behind them. There are silly rooms, like the room of lost socks, a room of lost earrings, a room of lost screws. There are also important rooms, like the room of lost love, the room of lost laughs, and the room of lost joy. Some people who fight to get those things back will find themselves here. They will find the right door and they will find what they have lost.
I am the keeper. I keep everything organized. Things come through the portal and I put them in the correct place. My favorite room is the room of lost books. Some days I spend too much time in there and get behind on my work. Some days I stay in there just to avoid sorting more lost things. Especially, when there is an abundance of lost souls.
I don’t like the room of lost souls. It’s so dreary and sad. The souls know that they are lost, but they have no idea how to get back. They are not trapped in there, they are free to go whenever they like, whenever they decide to find themselves. Not many of them want to find themselves. A few have left to find themselves only to come back here. Some souls are better off lost, while some are just hiding from something they didn’t think they could handle. Most lost souls have had their hearts shattered over and over again. It becomes too much for some people and they let go. I try my best to help them. I play happy music for them and keep the room bright and vibrant. I even bring in fresh flowers every day, which is why you will not find a room of lost flowers. The souls need it more than those careless enough to lose them.
As I was taking a doll to the lost dolls room, I ran into a man, a soul. He had just walked out of the lost souls room. “Hello.” I said to him, smiling my bright smile. I was happy to see a soul leave that room. It had been months since the last soul left. More come in than go out.
“Where am I?” He asks, his face was scrunched in confusion.
“The hall of the lost.” I answer simply. “I am Amara.” I bowed to him.
“How do I get out?” He asked, looking around.
“Do you remember your name?” He shook his head. “Okay, follow me.” I stopped at the room of lost dolls and carefully sat the doll on the shelf, making sure she wasn’t going to fall over. Some child would come for her. A lot of the dolls were eventually found. I left the room, closed the door, and continued down the hall. The man, the soul, behind me read the labels over the doors, stopping once to peak into the room of lost dreams. “Don’t open the door to the lost nightmares. It’s terrifying and always hard to close. Those nightmares hate being locked up.” He laughed, thinking I was joking, but let out a little shout when we passed the door of nightmares and something banged on the door. I only laughed. “Here.” I said, pointing to a white door with black words decorating it.
“The room of lost names.” The soul read off the label. “You think I will find my name in there?” He asked.
“If your name is lost, which it is since you can’t remember it, it will find you as soon as you walk through the door.” He opened the door and peeked inside. I knew what he would see. Names of all origins floating around, little iridescent wings carrying them around the room. Some of the names you could tell the personality they belonged to. I only come to this room when a soul has come to me for help. Some souls leave the room of lost souls and I only pass them on their way to find themselves. The ones standing in the hall way like this man was, are the ones who will need my help.
The man gasp and jumps back as a name tackles him and smacks him in the forehead. “Axel.” The soul read.
“Nice to meet you Axel.” I said, bowing again.
“Why do you bow to me?” He asked. I shrugged my shoulders. “You shouldn’t bow to me.” He said and his mouth drooped in sadness. “I do not deserve such honor.”
“But you do.” I told him, smiling. “All lost souls who walk out of that room deserve the honor. It means you are strong again and you can find yourself.” I touch his shoulder and he flinches, but I do not remove my hand. “You deserve everything the world has to offer you. Do you know how long you have been lost?” I ask him.
“It has been too long to find myself.” He shook his head.
“The thing about the hall of the lost is that time does not exist. Your body is still out there in some time. You will have lost some time in your life, but it will be like a moment in time, a lapse of judgment. For some people it is just a split second. It all depends…on what I don’t know. But because you are out, you can find your life and continue on, knowing you are strong for what you have gone through.”
“I’m ready.” Axel says. He straightens his back and squares his shoulders, lifting his chin. “I am ready to find me.”
“Why are you here?” I ask, starting the process of helping the lost souls who ask for help.
“The love of my life left me. She left me for my best friend.”
“Then she was not the love of your life and he was not your best friend.” I said. At this point, most of my words were scripted. I had said them so many times. But they worked because these lost souls never came back. “You have to free your heart to love again. Maybe you need to move away and start a new life somewhere. Or maybe, be the bigger person and tell them to have a happy life and move on. The anger is only going to hinder your healing.”
“She wasn’t the love of my life.” He shook his head. “I was losing interest in her and wanted out. It just hurt that my best friend took her from me.”
“Do you think that maybe they are soul mates?” I asked.
“Yes.” He nodded. “I saw it when they first met. I should have let her go then.” He hung his head. “I was selfish.”
“No, you were hopeful.” I patted his shoulder and grabbed his hand. “You deserve to have love, we all do.”
“What do I do now?” He asked.
“Are you ready to face the world again?” He nodded and he began to fade away. “Then you have done all you need to do.”
“Thank you.” He said, as he bent to kiss me on the forehead. And he was gone. I touched my forehead, shocked and suddenly sad. No soul had ever thanked me or kissed me. They all left without saying much. It reminded me how lonely it was here in the hall of the lost. It was my punishment. I was the first lost soul, the first to be broken and refuse to return. I felt a tear slide down my cheek. Axel was the first lost soul, first lost anything, to make me cry.
I leaned against the wall and slid to the floor. My knees were in my chest and I couldn’t see through the tears. It was too late for me. Time doesn’t exist in the hall of the lost, but it was too late for me. I was stuck here forever. I was the keeper of the lost and nothing would save me. I would spend all of eternity, caring for things people have been careless about and lost. I would wander the hall of the lost until everything had been found. Would it all ever be found?
A ding rang through the hall, letting me know another soul had just entered the receiving room. I wiped my tears and pulled myself off the floor. I had a job to do and I wasn’t going to slack.
Before I could get to the door of the receiving room, it burst open and a soul rushed out. “Amara.” The soul shouted. “It’s you.” He said.
“Axel?” I gaped at the soul standing before me. The one who had just left, he had just accepted his pain, he had escaped. What was he doing back here?
“It’s you.” He whispered when he was standing in front of me. “I felt it as soon as my soul returned to my life. It’s you.”
“What’s me?” I asked, not understanding his urgency.
“You are my soul mate.” He said, a smile spread across his face, stretching his lips and showing his teeth.
“That’s impossible.” I said. “I have been here too long. Far too long. My life is over. I have no soul mate. I am here to care for all the lost things.”
“What if I am the prince that comes to save you?”
“This is not a fairy tale.” I said, shaking my head. Axel took my head between his hands and forced me to look at him. His hands were warm. Not like that of a soul. It was then that I realized he was not a soul, he was alive, human, and this was his body. When I looked into his eyes I could see his soul. It had been safely returned to his body, to his life. “How did you get here?” I asked, trying to back away. He wouldn’t let me go.
“It doesn’t matter. I have come to take you from this place.”
“Impossible. I have to stay and care for the lost things.” I said, looking down the hall at all the doors.
“No you don’t” He said. He laughed, but there was a hint of sadness there. “This place takes care of itself. It created this room for you. The only soul so broken it didn’t even realize it was a lost soul.” He shut the door to the receiving room and pulled me back a step. He pointed to the label above the door. I had never looked at the label, knowing this room was the receiving room.
“Amara.” I said, reading the label. I shook my head. “This is all wrong.”
“It’s not.” Axel said. His hand was laced through mine and gripping hard. “I have read all about you. You were so broken, Amara. You lost the love of your life, your parents, and three children all in one day. Your kingdom and a beloved pet wolf all died in one day. You were the only survivor. You couldn’t handle it, your soul fled and your life ended before it returned. The pain was too much for even the world to continue.” My vision became blurry, but I could see the tears in Axel’s eyes too.
“How can I return if my life is over? Why would I want to return to that pain?”
“That’s the thing.” He said, smiling through his own tears. “You don’t have to return to that life. You can come with me, I have a new life for you. It will be me and you, and you don’t even have to remember that pain. It has been washed away. It would be too much for you to remember.”
“I would be happy?” I asked.
“Yes. You and me were meant to exist together. I just had to become lost to find you, to find us.” He stepped away from me. “Please, Amara, come with me.”
I woke from my dream, sitting straight up in my bed. I wiped away the tears and the dream faded. I couldn’t remember what had happened in the dream, and the heart ache was melting away and I took a deep breath. I looked beside me, meeting the eyes of Axel, he stared at me and within his eyes I could see his soul shinning bright. “It’s still early.” He told me, pulling me back down. I rested my head on his chest, just below his chin and listened to his breathing and the light beating of his heart. “Go back to sleep.” And I did. Only happy dreams came to me this time.
I do hope you enjoyed the story. Let me know what you thought in the comments.