Here is challenge #4, in which I decided to continue the story from challenge #2….So from here on out, all throughout the month, I’ll be alternating between these two stories with the new prompts. Yes, I’m making things more difficult for myself, but I guess thats a hobby 🙂 So behold, Part Two of The Nameless Hero!
(Loren, I used 4 prompts total)
The Nameless Hero
Months had passed since she’d stuffed her sulky journals into that box and decided to help others. And even more months passed since the day she opened the refuge camp at the school, carefully orchestrating and masterminding where to place everyone who came into her care. All of which were orphans.
So far, no adult had survived the earthquake. And the oldest orphan to be rescued thus far was only 14 years old. Out of 47 orphans exactly, all were under 14 except for herself, who was 17. She did her best to care for them, but she had little to no experience in raising children, much less shouldering the weight of responsibility that 47 of them brought.
She ran constantly throughout the day, trying to meet their every need, and she barely had time to sleep. But she never complained. Not even once. Because knowing that she was accomplishing something throughout her days, instead of wasting her time in those journals, kept her spirits up and her energy high.
The 14 year old, whose name was Carly, was her right-hand. Helping her do absolutely everything with maximum efficiency. But Carly had a few problems of her own, she was plagued with nightmares since the tragedy of the earthquake and often fell into fits of hysterics.
Every night, she and Carly would sit down on the front steps of the school and discuss Carly’s latest nightmare. Tonight, she hoped to really figure out how to put an end to Carly’s nightmares and help Carly trample her constant fear of the dark. But when Carly started relaying what she had dreamt, it seemed like a lot harder task than was expected.
“I was running, hard and as fast as I could through a graveyard. I had a lantern in my hand and a long black cape hanging from my shoulders. I was constantly looking over my shoulder, looking for something, but I never saw it.
It was dusk and the bad lighting was starting to play tricks on my vision, trying to convince me that something was there when it really wasn’t. I continued to run, unsure of what I was running from but certain that it was dangerous.
Words kept echoing around in my brain, ‘it is cunning, it is brave, it is brutal, it is relentless’. Over and over and over again these words echoed, causing me to lose focus on where I was going or what was in front of me. As I looked over my shoulder one more time, the climate changed and ice began falling from the sky.
I tripped and fell hard to the ground, breathing heavy and not knowing where I was. Then, in the same voice that had been echoing the terrible phrases before, I heard one whisper break the eery silence. ‘And it is hunting us’.
Chills raced up my spine and I slowly raised my head to see what had spoken. But nothing was there. I was no longer in the graveyard, but on a lone road in the middle of a dark forest.
I stood slowly and turned around in a circle, looking for any sign of where I might be, but I saw nothing familiar. Then a mist began to cloud around me and giant creatures started lining the forest perimeter. As tall as the trees they were, almost transparent to my sight, and the sight of them struck instant fear.
I didn’t know what they were, yet I did at the same time. I knew that I couldn’t defeat them and that they were there to keep me in the forest, but I didn’t know why. And I didn’t know how they were keeping me there.
I was frozen. Not just from the ice falling all around me, but also from the fear. I don’t know what I feared, I just feared. I kept turning around in circles, staring at the giants keeping me in my prison and breathing so heavy that it couldn’t have been good for me.
I suddenly began losing my balance, taking random steps from the dizziness before my eyes rolled back and I passed out. And thats when I woke up.”
Carly looked up at her and shrugged her shoulders, knowing she was a lost cause. But what Carly didn’t know, was that her friend had an answer.
“You were scared of fear Carly. You never saw anything in your dream because there was nothing there at all. Nothing there except fear itself. The only way to defeat it is by facing it and overcoming it.”
Carly looked down and shuffled her foot against the stone steps, “I know. But fear is scary.”
“Of course it is. Thats it’s name. But you know what?”
“What?” Carly looked up, tears filling her eyes.
“Fear is also afraid. Because that is also it’s name. All you have to do to beat it is make it more afraid of you than you are of it.”
“That doesn’t make sense.” Carly squinted her eyes in thought before looking back up at her friend confused.
She giggled and pulled Carly into a hug, “Just think of fear as a puppy. When a puppy is scared it growls and makes a big deal about everything, trying to nip at you and scare you away. But once you go up to that puppy and prove to it that it can’t hurt you and that is doesn’t scare you, it in turn will cower in front of you hoping you’ll pick it up and coddle it. Then you can carry it away and never be threatened by it again.”
Even more confused, Carly looked at her friend, “You’re really bad with analogies, you know that?”
Laughing, she hugged Carly again, “Yea, that sounded a lot better in my head.”
Both girls laughed and then Carly said, “But you’re really good at making me feel better.”
Smiling she looked down and stroked Carly’s hair, they felt more like sisters than friends. “I’m glad.”
*And viola! That completes part two of The Nameless Hero! Thank you so much for reading!