Challenge #2 is underway and these prompts were a bit difficult for me to weave into a story. However, I managed to include all 3 prompts. Here are the picture prompts and below is my story 🙂 (And just in case you missed my first story, here is a link CWWC 2016: First Prompts)
The Nameless Hero
Silence. Thats what greeted her as she walked into the school. It hadn’t always been like that though. Once it had been full of the hustling and bustling of students eager to build their knowledge; students who wanted to be more than average; students, like her. It was never an ordinary school; and it was never intended to become ordinary, it was intended to teach those who loved to learn and wanted to be different; but really, none of that mattered now.
The school was still standing, yes, but the town was not. The people were not. Not even an animal stood across vast enveloping devastation caused by the earthquake. Everything was either completely gone, vanished into the dark hole at the center of the city, or it was lying dead somewhere. Everything except her.
Her family was gone, her friends were gone, her home was gone, even her enemies were gone. The only thing that wasn’t gone, was the school. In fact, it looked as if the school hadn’t even been touched. There were a few places along the halls where the ceiling had fallen out, but nothing was seriously out of place. The desks all sat upright in their places, waiting for the students that would never sit in them again.
She lifted her empty, sorrow filled eyes to the desk that used to be hers and carefully weaved her way towards it, like she had done so many times before. She sat and gazed about the room, not being able to believe that she would really never see any of these people ever again. Then she did what she had always done when she felt like she was going to fall apart, she pulled out her journal and wrote.
For hours she sat there, alternating between writing the accounts of everything she had seen and then capturing the feelings that had been created from those sights. When her hand started cramping she would get up and walk around, looking for any signs of life, but every time she did so she just returned to her pen with more sorrow to fill the pages with.
A few times she went out to gather food, or rather anything edible that could sustain her being. She couldn’t bring herself to call the morsels she placed in her mouth “food”, it was too disgusting.
For weeks that was her routine, write for endless hours and then eat, write more, and then eat. Whenever she ran out of paper in one journal, she found another one in one of the many class rooms and continued her writing in that one. Her penmanship alternated between pens and pencils; she didn’t care, just as long as the utensil worked well enough for the words in her mind to be put on paper.
Journal, after journal, after journal she filled. The emotions and feelings slowly changing with time. The stories and words began transforming from gloom and hopelessness to that of anger, disdain and confusion. As she continued writing through theses feelings, they yet again transformed, this time to acceptance and boredom.
More weeks pasted and more journals were filled before those feelings changed for a third time. Once again anger reformed, but not in the way it had been before. Before she had been angry that this had happened to her, she was angry that she had been left alive, while everything she knew had been taken away. This time the anger was aimed at other people, surely there were others out there that could help her! Others who lived beyond the city limits that surely knew of her circumstance and yet remained where they were.
Her fury was etched into the careful books violently, with tear stains blotting out words to the point that it was almost impossible to read. Finally at her wits end, the anger vanished and nothing but sadness and grief was left. She fell forward, her head banging on the journal atop her desk and the pen flying from her hand.
“I just need someone who cares. Someone who isn’t so involved in their own life to step out and help me.” Her whisper was desperate, unintelligible to anyone who might have been listening because the choking of sobs drowned out her voice.
Picking up her pen and once again writing, she wrote the words, “I need a hero.”
But then her breath caught, and she considered the very words she had just uttered and remembered those survivors that she had passed by in her selfish anger. She remembered the way they looked as they hid under boxes and crates from the storm as she ran to her refuge in the unmovable school. Disgusted with herself, she stood.
“What’s wrong with me? I’ve been sitting here for weeks, wallowing in self-pity , when I could’ve been out there helping others just like me!” Her breathing increased as her adrenaline picked up and she ran to the closet, pulling out a huge cardboard box and a Sharpie marker.
Slamming the box down on the floor, she began throwing all the journals, that were piled up all over numerous desks, into the box. Some of the journals were torn and damaged as she so carelessly stuffed them in. Then she came to the one she had currently been writing in and wrote down one last sentence.
“If I want a hero to show up for me, then I need to be a hero for someone else.”
Then she placed the journal gently on top and shut the lid, securing it in place to keep it from opening. Using all of her strength, she carried the heavy box to the corner and reached for the marker. Scratching out the previous labels that were written on the box she wrote, “Bad Memories. Do Not Open.”
Stepping back, she gazed at the box that held every part of her life for the past few months and shook her head. Turning towards the door, she walked out with a new reason to live. She needed a hero, so that’s what she became.