Great Thirst (A Short, Short Story).

Chapter 1-

24/03/2061

Walked through the forest, the red light sliced through the pines, silhouettes were everywhere, standing around like shadows, shadows that come from the people from before. I found shelter in a small cave dumped my backpack and belongings on the floor and went to collect firewood. The forest is dry, the trees creak and moan for their roots to give way, begging the sky for water to fall, but no water will come.

I set my alarms surrounding the perimeter so that I have a chance to run when the ragged ones come. The thirst will be particularly strong these couple of months so I will not be taking any chances. I came across a deer that has only died very recently so it will be a feast tonight, its blood will hopefully slake my thirst for a little while longer until I make it to the river, back to my people.

 

Chapter 2-

25/03/2061

I am but a few days away from the river now. In the midst of my sleep I was awoken by an alarm but thankfully it was just a fallen tree. You can never be too sure though, so, while it was still dark, I grabbed my backpack and pegged it, unfortunately leaving all my traps. I ran and ran until the sun came to greet me. I fear the thirst is coming for me, I do not want to join the ragged ones like the others did. Today I walked a total of twenty miles according to the stars. I have covered much length. I believe that in another 15 miles I shall come across the river and my thirst shall be slaked and God shall be thanked.

I can’t help but marvel at the wonders of this place. The forest I can feel is almost talking to me. Maybe it seeks my witness to its last dying words. I can almost hear its whispers. I feel sorry for the trees and the roots, there is not much that I can do for them but listen while they cry their leaves off in sorrow.

Tonight I sleep rough out in the open. I am nervous, I have no fire or smoke to ward off the ragged ones, they are always there, I can tell they’re following.  I pray they do not find me, I am so close.

 

Chapter 3-

26/03/2061

I barely slept the night from before. I kept hearing voices; it woke me again and again. I could have sworn I saw their eyes watching me in the night.

It seems I have made a miscalculation. I have followed the stars and God’s signs but I must have interpreted them wrong as I have not come across my river. Everything here is barren. There are no trees or roots, no animals, no wind. Just silence. Deafening silence. I don’t know what is worse, the noise of the forest, or the silence of the plain. I can hear my heart beat so clearly.

 

Chapter 4-

28/03/2061

I was not able to write last night as I had fought strongly with my thirst. My tongue was leaping from my mouth and my belly enlarged. Luckily I was led by God to a small pool of water. The stars shone in it so I knew that it was clean to drink. Truly this was not by chance. I know that with more faith and endurance I will reach the river and be with my people once again. The river is our only chance to rebuild truly. Tonight I sleep in the trees away from the ground. I hear distorted voices again, surely it is them. Their howling and mourning is keeping me up.

 

Chapter 5-

29/03/2061

Today was a rough day. My feet are bleeding from sores, my shoulders ache like I carry the weight of the world with me. What I carry will rejuvenate our people once again. My mission is almost complete, we will have fresh hope. I have found the path, I shall be back to the river, to my people, tomorrow evening.

 

Chapter 6-

30/03/2061

My people have turned, the thirst took hold, and the river has run dry. They are nought but hollow shells of themselves. Their veins run dry and minds have forgotten God and themselves. The ones that refused, remaining faithful are strewn across this place. Our walls have crumbled by their fists, our house reduced to ruin. I do not know what to do. My weight is so heavy, my tongue hangs loose, I feel my limbs seize up. To write right now is such a pain I cannot describe. Whoever finds these journals, whatever finds these journals. Please preserve it as a testament to our struggle. It seems God did not find me worthy to slake our thirsts. In my backpack you will find hope, you will find salvation. You will find the answer to all your problems. Unfortunately, I was gone too long. I wish you luck traveller.

 

END.

 

(Hey there, Jack here. Lately I’ve been attempting to write longer stories alongside the usual short strands of poetry. I’m trying to find the right flow to storytelling and writing fiction. Any criticism, comments or tips would be much appreciated! I definitely want to give all this more of a go, it’s great fun. Hope you enjoyed, if you made it this far, haha.)

A False Speech

He took to the stage

All eyes followed him

All voices quiet

Ears poised for position

He readjusted the microphone to his height

And spoke his piece:

“All men are greedy and ugly. Every one of these men running for this local election only care for their own pocket. Not your livelihoods. I promise to bring about a new era where I put the people first, and not myself!”

The audience clapped

He took off the stage with a smile and a wave

To sit in the VIP seat reserved for him

The next man was ushered on

He readjusted the microphone to his height

And spoke his piece:

“This man was lying! He only cares about lining his own pockets. He’ll tell you anything to get votes! Vote for me and you will get nothing but honesty.”

The audience clapped

He took off the stage with a smile and a wave

To sit next to the other man

In the VIP section

Both sharing a laugh together

The next man was ushered on.

Becoming a Man

“I hate the way it feels.” “The way what feels, Jamie?” Asked his mother, putting her book down. “The way my limbs feel just awkwardly laying about. I just can’t rest them. Do you ever get that feeling? When everything is just uncomfortable.” “I can’t say I do Jamie, I don’t often have time to think about anything I’m feeling, I’m so busy, as you know.” “Busy with what? All you ever do is watch over me and read.” The mother sighed. “Can we not just have a conversation?” “I know exactly where this will lead Jamie, and I will most certainly not speak of it again. Now you sit there, and be a good boy.” “Mother, I am twenty tomorrow, do you not see how patronising you sound?” “But you are just a boy, Jamie, nothing more. You do nothing, you do not work, you do not study, you sit there, complaining, and you call it conversation.” “I just want someone to talk to, mother, that’s all.” “Talk to me when you’re a man, Jamie, then I may listen.”

And so, Jamie took it upon himself to learn to be a man. He put himself to work, for money he certainly did not need and know how to spend. He gave half his wages to his mother, who refused to talk. Months passed, work grew grimmer and dimmer, the money kept coming in, yet he still didn’t know what to do with it. The pile grew and grew, the sparkle of gold certainly caught the eye of some young ladies. Eventually they would come knocking, coming to teach Jamie how to spend his money. Makeup, perfume, holidays and restaurants, they came and went, until the pile diminished and they lost interest. Until one lady came knocking even though there was no pile. Jamie, enthralled, moved out immediately, shadowing the great figure of the lady who took a chance on him. She managed him, rationed to him, washed him, pleasured him, until he became a man. He hates the way it feels. But his mother talks to him now.