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  1. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Short Story Contest (58): Utopia - Submission & Details Thread

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Dec 7, 2009.

    Short Story Contest 58
    Submissions & Details Thread
    Theme: Utopia​




    Open to all, newbies and established members alike. Please post your entries as replies to this post. At the deadline I will collate all entries and put them forward for voting in a seperate thread. The winning entry will be stickied until the next competition winner. Sadly, there is no prize on offer except pride.

    Theme: 'Utopia' (courtesy of member yellowm&M). Any interpretation valid.

    Suggested Wordlimit: 500 - 3000 words.
    Deadline for entries: December 21st 2009 10.00 am (UK local)


    There is a 10% word-limit leniency at both ends of the scale. Please try to stick within the limit. As below, any piece outside of the suggested limit may not be entered into the voting.

    If you would like to prepare an entry in advance, the next contests will be themed "Wrong Number" (sirhoot), and then "One Minute To Live" (-NM-, amongst others). Do not submit an entry for these contest until instructed to do so.

    There is a maximum of 20 entries to any contest. If there are more than 20 entries to any one contest I will decide which are entered into voting based on adherence to the suggested word limit and relevance to the theme, not on a first-come-first served basis.

    Try to make all your entries complete and have an ending rather than be an extract from a larger one and please try to stick to the topic. Any piece seemingly outside of the topic will be dealt with in a piece by piece manner to decide its legitamacy for the contest.

    Submissions may not have been previously posted on this site, nor may they be posted for review until voting has closed. Only one entry per contest please.

    Please try to refrain from itallicising, bolding, colouring or indenting any text to help avoid disappointment. These stylistics do not reproduce when I copy-paste them into the voting thread. You may use visible noparse BB code to preserve style if you wish.

    Please remember to give your piece a title and give its word count in brackets at the top of your story.

    If there are any questions, please leave me a visitor message or PM me. Please do not clog up this, or any other thread, with your questions.


    Thanks and good luck.
     
  2. Fitz1901
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    Fitz1901 New Member

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    Red mural (1800 words)

    Blood was splashed on the walls creating a red mural. Drops of blood were spattered on the tile floor, leading to the corpse like footprints, its head bathed in a sticky red puddle, with a pistol shining grimly beside it. There was a small mass of people around the body, forming a cloud around it. All of them were wearing dark blue coats; with a patch on the side of it which in raggedy letters spelled out, U.U. They chattered excitedly, all of them smiling. One man, who seemed to have a grin too wide for his face, as if glued on by an inartistic child, cracked a joke which sent the whole crowd roaring in laughter. A beetle like man in the back of the crowd adjusted his spectacles in time to see captain Mathews emerge through the crowd. The captain looked in the red puddle surrounding the head,expecting to see his reflection in it. ..He didn’t. He proceeded to light a cigarette, and with a fluid motion waved the beetle like man toward him. The beetle like man scurried over to the captain. “What happened here” the captain grunted, his lip twitching beneath his bushy mustache. The beetle man fixed his tie anxiously, which was already straight to begin with.

    “well the projectile was launched in close proximity, the gun was probably touching the mans head, the bullet went through the frontal and parietal lobe, and made an opening on the other side of his head creating cast off stains on the wall and leaving satellite splatters leading up to the body.” The beetle like man looked at the body again, and nodded his head, satisfied with his explanation. Someone in the crowd yelled out “thanks Sherlock” which sent the whole crowd laughing.

    Mathews took a long puff of his cigarette “so an obvious homicide then, well it’s been two years, about time some bodies shot somebody.” The crowd again roared in laughter, a mock fight broke out sending two men rolling on the floor. The beetle like man looked up with an almost unknown expression on his face, his lips quivered, drops of sweat were dropping from his forehead, and his hands shook. “No sir” Mathews looked at him quizzically “well how else could the bullet go through his head!” the beetle man swallowed hard and in almost a whisper…

    “suicide”

    At this moment the chatter stopped. The noise disappeared from the room as it it was a deflating balloon, and silence hung over the room like a funeral pal. The air conditioning buzzed quietly in the background, and Mathews looked at the beetle man with a bewildered expression. “Suicide,we haven’t had a suicide, since the.”

    “Since the utopia began” the beetle like man said, meekly staring at the ground.

    Mathews stared out the window, the city shone a euphoric light, the buildings were in perfect repair, the grass well nourished and a perfect shade of green, the street lights were a work of art, their elaborate twisted posts well noticeable from the top of the building, even the streets were a wonder to look at, their flawless black pavement called out to Mathews below. But even more were the people walking below, they were smiling, all of them. Everyone always smiled, all the time.

    When Mathews wife died he laughed,he fervishly watched the color drain out of her , her once bright red lips turning a gummy pink. The funeral turned into a raucous party, his wife’s corpse ended on the ground, forgotten in the drunken chaos. He remember raising his glass, giving a toast to his friends, his family, the officers he worked with,and the utopia "thank you for the best day of my life"…

    Murder he could understand, he still knew rage, it was a rare event but he still felt it stirring in his soul, trying to tear free…but depression, hopelessness, discontent, fear, these were all distant memories, fading mirages in the back of his mind slowly disappearing into the distance. This corpse was more than a dead body, Mathews thought, it was the end of his society, it was the buildings crumbling into the ground, it was riots in the streets, it was a tear coming to a mans eyes.

    “Why would somebody commit suicide in an utopia”

    “I don’t know sir. I don’t know”

    “Should I take this to the commander” Mathews said defeated

    “I don’t know what else we can do"

    Everybody else in the room had left


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The building was massive. The two white pillars on the front of the building extended all the way to the fourteenth floor, artwork of lions curled up, sleeping with sheep etched into them. Mathew could swear he saw a crack in the pavement on his way here, and on the walls behind him had an image of Jesus, sketched roughly in graffiti. It was the first time he had saw cracked pavement or graffiti in thirty years. Mathews pulled open the door and stepped into the hallway, its pale white wallpaper seeming to extend without an end. The building seemed even larger from the inside than it did on the outside. The commanders’ office was the 14th door on the right, the only door with mahogany wood. He didn’t know how he knew this, He didn’t know how he knew this, he had never been in this building, or even seen the commander before, but he accepted the knowledge. He paused, knocked weakly on the door twice and waited. The intercom buzzed, and a raspy voice surrounded by static came through “Come on in”

    The room was massive, like the rest of the building; It was encompassed by a pure white walls. The area was almost entirely empty except for a glass table and a large television behind it. Sitting in the table, wearing a creaseless white suit and a bright red tie, which stood out from stark contrast, was the commander. Tinted glasses covered his eyes, but Mathews could tell that his eyes were kind; his entire face was kind, welcoming. He snatched his empty wine glass and with a swift motion raised it in the air, extending it towards Mathews

    “A toast to my dear friend Mathews, who visits me in this lonely hour” He put the empty wine glass down on the table and proceeded to fill it, the rich red wine sloshing in the glass.

    “Come here and sit down, your coffee…right, if memory serves me right you don’t like wine, it’s a shame really.” Mathew sat down cautiously, and the server, a stone faced man, instantly gave the commander the cup of steaming liquid with two packets of sugar.

    “So you’re here to talk to me about the suicide right”

    Mathew’s eyes opened wide in surprise.

    “How did you know?”

    The commander had an air of slight annoyance, as if he was being pestered by a small fly…”I know everything” he spat in a menacing voice. The change didn’t last long, in seconds he had reverted back to his welcoming demeanor. “Go on” the commander said in a kinder voice, motioning Mathews with his fingers. “Commander, you know it as well as I do, it should be impossible to commit suicide under a utopia, this utopia must be weakening. I’ve seen it in the streets, cracked pavement, graffiti, rusty cars, beggars, all in the last day, this utopia, its not the same”

    The commanders face shown with paradox, the suicide should has distressed him, disturbed him, cause him to rush to action, phone his authorities, release a statement to the people, anything to explain how this suicide could have possibly taken place. At the very least it should have troubled him. None of it happened; instead a large malicious grin appeared on him, his eyes lit with a crazed fire.

    “Nonsense. Sometimes the drugs just wear off”

    “What!”

    “Or in some instances, rape, tragedies, suicides, the population needs a stronger dose.”

    The commander took Mathews cup of coffee and tore two sugar packets, stirring the coffee promptly, turning into a milky substance.

    “So here is what happened, the man slipped, his head on the cabinet, where tragically he hit his head on a glass vase, killing him instantly,its tragic really." he paused, and took a sip of his red wine. "The press will be waiting outside, you will tell them that story, they will believe it, you will believe it.”

    “But..But there was a gun next to his head, there was a bullet in his head, there were at least thirty, maybe forty people at the crime scene, how are they not going to remember that. How will I forget that?”

    The commander leaned closer, and then in a sharp voice
    “You remember what we want you to remember, what we say happened is what happened”

    He pushed the coffee across the table in front of Mathews. Mathews stared intently at the beverage. It was drugged, he was sure of it.

    “So are you going to drink it, or should I have my servant make you something different”

    It suddenly appeared to him that he had been living the last thirty years in an ecstatic lie. Was his reality made by some euphoric drug? Right now he had a chance to see reality. To break free from the bonds. He just had to refuse the beverage. But if he did…would they arrest him, kill him, would the drug be gassed in through the air vents, was there an escape? If he did manage to get away would everything be different? Did he want it to change?

    He looked at the beverage for what seemed like an eternity.

    Then slowly drank it, letting the glass cup shatter on the floor when he was done.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mathew’s wife used to say, on days like this, that the suns rays were playing an orchestra in the summer breeze. The saying didn’t make much since to him, but it was the perfect way to describe today. The warm breeze danced around him, and he could feel its every move, the weather was perfect, the day was perfect, the world was perfect. The beetle like man emerged from the crowd, just across from the graffiti-less walls, and waved excitedly towards Mathews. Mathews acknowledged him, and the beetle man trotted over to him, bouncing with every step.

    “What did the press want” the Beetle man asked quickly

    “Nothing spectacular, just a couple questions on the glass incident”

    The beetle man giggled, which caused Mathews to laugh as well

    “Who dies like that!” the beetle man burst out

    Mathews laughed “Who knows maybe he was attacked by a rabid animal….And tripped”

    “You mean a mongoose”

    “Or perhaps a rabbit”

    “Or a turtle”

    “Are you kidding me, it was probably his pet fish”

    They both laughed heartily together.

    “ By the way” the beetle man said “did you hear the radio call in”

    “No”

    “Some man tripped off of a balcony, fell thirty stories, died upon hitting the ground.”

    “Damn, the rabid animal struck again.”

    The beetle man chuckled... “See you at that balcony in thirty minutes”

    “Sure thing” Mathews responded. The beetle like man instantly started trotting back to his car. “By the way” Mathews called out “Some day I’m really going to have to learn your name” The beetle man nodded his head, smiled, and made his way to his car.

    Mathews was lying, he really didn’t care.
     
  3. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Utopia

    Utopia

    It was December and I came in from the cold.
    “Daddy, what’s a a a ut..op…ia?” She said stumbling over the words, as she scrunched up her nose and leaned her head to the side a little.
    I unwrapped my scarf from around my neck and unbuttoned my jacket before hanging it up on the hatstand. I walked down the corridor and collapsed into my favourite armchair. The warmth started to thaw my face. I relaxed. It had been a hard day at work. Jess ran after me giggling as she galloped towards me and climbed up onto my lap.
    “Daddy!!! What is it?!”
    “What is what sweetheart?” I asked playfully brushing her fringe out of her eyes.
    “A utttoooopaia!!!” She yelped in frustration.
    “A Utopia is where you live. It is the most perfect place in the world and you are very lucky to grow up here. It never used to be so good.” I smiled and gazed into her wide innocent eyes. She had no idea what I did all day. I already knew what the next question was.
    “Why?”
    “Before Utopia existed, there was war, famine, crime and poverty. All nasty things, but you are safe now.”
    “Ummm… what is the first thing you said?”
    “War? War is when two groups fight each other because they have different beliefs.”
    “That’s ‘Orrible.” Jessica gave me a sad face.
    She was beautiful. I did what I did for her.
    “Yes, that’s why you are lucky to live in Utopia.”
    “What is the second thing you said again?”
    “ It is past your bedtime. Come on, lets go tuck you in.”
    We got up, but Jessica persisted.
    “ What was it Daddy?”
    “ Famine is when there is no food. Crime is when you break the law. Povety is when you have no money. But you don’t need to worry about these things, they don’t exist in Utopia. They died out along with History.” I said in one breath as I carried her up the stairs.
    “What is History?” Jessica spat her toothpaste into the sink.
    “A long time ago humans used to keep records of all the wars and terrible things they did and all the terrible things that happened to them.”
    “That’s stupid!”
    “Yes dear. Now into bed with you.” There are no records of todays events, what I do will not be retold.
    Jess jumped with all her might on top of her bed with a shriek and kicked at the duvet until her feet were under. I pulled the cover upto her neck line.
    “Night daddy”
    “Good night dear.”
    “Luv yoou!”
    “Love you too.”
    I left her side and turned out the light, closing the door behind me. I retreated to my armchair once again. This time I sat in silence, alone with my thoughts and I began to cry. This island was our Utopia. I just hoped that when she grows up she does not look at what we have done to the rest of the population.
     
  4. McDuff
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    McDuff Member

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    Showdown In Utopia [1388]

    The sign, hanging from two ropes and suspended across the muddy street, bore the name Utopia. Obviously a gross exaggeration of the towns properties , it nevertheless caught the strangers attention as he rode under it and into the town.

    The horse he rode on was a large specimen and might have been something to catch a passerby’s eyes on another day, but now, however, it looked like it was ready to lay down in the middle of the street and give up the ghost. Its head sagged dejectedly as it walked ankle deep in the mud and manure, carrying his rider towards destiny...or death.

    The stranger was a tall, lean man who appeared to be no more energetic than the horse he rode, but somehow there was an air about him that caused people to look away quickly and cross the street when they saw him. He was dressed in leather pants that were stained black by the rain that battered down upon his weary head. A wide rimmed cowboy hat sat atop his skull, sagging with the weight of the rain and a dirty leather duster covered his torso and thighs. There was a rifle in a saddle scabbard near his right hand and the bulge of a six gun at his hip showed through the duster.

    No one was out on the street at the late hour when he road into town, although a few oil lamps still lit some of the windows up and down the main street of the town. One of them was the Hell’s Gate Saloon almost at the far end of the street. Riding up to it he swung slowly down from the saddle. A man was sitting on the boardwalk in front of the saloon, smoking a cigarette under the cover of an awning and watched as the stranger swung down from the saddle.

    “Want me to tend to your horse there, mister?” He asked, tossing the cigarette into the street where it hissed out. “Twenty five cents and I’ll give him a rubdown and a bit o’ grain.”

    Taking the rifle from its scabbard the stranger turned to the hostler and flipped him a quarter, which he caught out of the air before stepping out into the downpour to tend to the road weary animal.

    The stranger stepped up onto the boardwalk in front of the saloon and stood there for a moment letting the rain drip off of him and pool at his feet. He checked the action of his rifle making sure the rain had not fouled it and then reached down to the pistol at his hip and did the same thing. Leaving the thong on his pistol undone, he strode up to the doors to the saloon, his spurs jingling loudly and his boot heels announcing his presence. Reaching down he grasped the handle and pulled it open.

    The room beyond was dimly lit by a oil lamp on the bar and a single chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Several tables and chairs were scattered around the narrow space, but only two men were present. The bartender stood at the bar and looked up from the glass he was polishing as the stranger entered. Nodding a greeting he placed the glass upon the bar top.

    “Howdy.” He said. “Looks like you could use something’ to take the chill out of your bones.”

    Taking a shot glass from under the bar he sat it on the counter and filled it from a battle that had already been sitting there.

    “First ones on the house.” He said and then went back to working on the glasses.

    Walking up to the bar the stranger laid a fifty cent piece on the counter and took the shot glass and bottle. Turning he walked over to the only other man in the room.

    “Mind if I take a seat?” He asked looking down at the man from under the brim of his hat.

    “Suit yourself.” The man kicked back a chair with his foot and watched as the stranger seated himself.

    Setting the rifle on the table, the stranger pulled off his duster and draped it over another chair to dry. Sitting down, he threw back the contents of the shot glass and refilled it. The man across from him was a young, solidly build fellow with curly black hair and a broken nose that had never been set properly. He had small, beady eyes and a mouth that seemed to be set in a permanent smirk. The stranger did not like him one little bit.

    “Took ya long enough to get here.” Beady Eyes said reaching across the table for the bottle, which the stranger relinquished.

    “Ran into some of your friends up in Pagosa Springs.” The stranger said. “Took me a bit to get ‘em buried proper. Never was much for letting a man rot in the sun.”

    Beady Eyes grunted. “Wouldn’ta figured you for the sentimental type, Tom.”

    Tom Brady eyed him up and down. “Well, I’d say that’s what got ya into this fix in the first place…not figurin’. If’n ya used that lump on top of your shoulders instead of that hogleg strapped to your waist, I wouldn’t have to take you down.”

    The bartender shifted nervously and went into the kitchen to tend to something very important that he had apparently forgotten about.

    “So you’re the law now?” Beady Eyes asked.

    Brady shock his head. “Not in the legal sense of the word, but I figure to judge ya for what you’ve done all the same.”

    Beady Eyes laughed. It was a nasally, evil snicker that set Brady on edge. He almost reached for his gun right then and there.

    “You think I give a damn about your judgments old man? What I did to your woman was nothing compared to what I have done to others. Some men are born for farmin’ or lawin’. Me? I’m built for killin’. Pure and simple. But I reckon if ya think you can skin that smoke wagon faster than me, I’d be willin’ to give ya the chance.”

    Brady moved fast. Flipping the table up and towards the villain across from him, he drew the pistol at his hip and fired fast. Beady Eyes hadn’t been expecting the draw so soon and was taken off balance, but if there was one good thing to say for the youngster, he was fast to recover. Almost immediately he dove to the left and rolled across the floor as Tom’s bullets punched holes in the air where he had been. He came up firing and Tom felt a bullet tug at his shirt collar almost at the same instant as he heard another one whir past his ear. The kid was fast!

    Spreading his legs wide he thumbed back the hammer on his gun and fired again, this time scoring a hit and knocking ole’ Beady Eyes back into the wall. The young man slumped against the wall, hatred burning in his eyes. Raising the gun, he fired and cut a chunk out of the floor at Tom’s feet. Tom, who wasn’t much for taken chances, gave him a couple more doses of lead and then holstered his gun as the kid fell facedown onto the floor.

    Stepping over to him, Tom rolled him over onto his back. The kid looked up at him, blood on his lips and fire in his eyes. “I’ll see you in hell Brady!” He hissed. “And I’ll keep her nice and warm for you while I wait!”

    Tom shook his head. “Man like you and a woman like her ain’t got nothing in common, boy. The places your goin’ ain’t never seen the likes of her and I reckon they never will. So you jest set there and die. I’m sure they’ve saved a room for you.”

    The fire flickered in the boys eyes for a moment longer and then passed out of them forever. Tom strode over to fallen table and stood it back up. Gathering his rifle and duster he nodded to the bartender who had reappeared from the kitchen.

    “Sorry for the mess, Mister.” He flipped a silver dollar onto the counter. “See he’s buried proper will ya? Never was much for letting a man rot in the sun.”
     
  5. Colum Black-Byron
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    Colum Black-Byron New Member

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    Utopia?(831)

    Hi all. This is my first sub here, I've been writing my novel, but I thought I could do with a break. I wrote this on the fly, without any planning or any idea where it'd go. I hope you all enjoy.



    Utopia?

    Everybody seemed to call it that. Heaven on Earth, a place where people can be free from disease, wars and hatred, but as I strolled between the enormous skyscrapers, it seemed anything but. Laws had been passed centuries ago that banned livestock being caged in so close together, but people very happily lived in apartments so small that they couldn’t even stand. But nobody ever complained, nobody even questioned it. They were living in Utopia after all.

    Of course, I wasn’t like them. I was part of the elite, the people that controlled the world, and kept the masses docile.

    Not that we needed to do much. A hundred years ago, all the groundwork had been done for us. The world was automated down to every detail. Food was grown and picked by machines, they’d calculated it down to a fine art, bred plants which grew quicker and contained enough nutrients to keep the human body alive and healthy.

    It didn’t contain any taste, not that it mattered. Everything was pumped right into the blood, so the masses didn’t need to cook, they didn’t need to buy food, store food or anything of the like. It was all done for them.

    But as one of the elite, I couldn’t be hooked up to it. I couldn’t be hooked up to the neural net either, my ancestors didn’t want their offspring becoming the slaves they were setting up, so they altered our genetics, made the neural net lethal to us if we used it for more than half an hour a day. So we were special. And how horribly boring it was.

    The Neural Net was a natural progression of the ancient internet. And its ability to keep people not only docile, but happy was extraordinary. The mask that users wore connected directly into the brain stem, it could read thoughts and tell what somebody’s greatest ambitions were, what they wanted and gave it to them. The net would search through every other personality in the world, and find the ultimate partner, and they lived exceptionally happily lives together.

    I usually spend my daily half hour on the Neural Net spying on other people, inserting myself into their feeds, taking on their personalities and indulging myself. But the sad thing was that despite them never knowing about it, I always ended up being the unhappy one. I had to leave, and they were left to live their lives.

    And the sad truth was that for over two hundred years, nothing had changed. The population remained exactly constant. When somebody died, another was born and inserted into the net.

    My ancestors had wanted to make the human race docile and easy to control, but they’d done too good of a job. For the first time in human history, the human race had come to a complete halt. No new discoveries were made, nobody bothered coming up with new inventions, new ways of doing things, or even seeking new challenges. Well not that would work in the real world anyway. The Human race had turned into purely virtual population.

    And if left alone, I don’t think the world would ever get out of the Neural Net. Another five hundred years could pass without a thing changing. Without the human race moving forward, and eventually us elites would die out, or figure out a way to change our genetics to allow us into the Neural Net, which several of my siblings were doing now. And then all hope would be lost.

    So it was left up to me. I’d have to doom billions to starvation and death. I’d break up every family, destroy every friendship and break any bond on Earth, because families could live in completely separate continents, they’d likely never find each other again. When I’m finished, all the automation, all the robots and everything electronic will go dead, and hopefully those who survive will come alive. Either that, or I’ll doom the entire human race to extinction.

    It was a definite risk.

    Knowing there were exactly a million people in each of the monstrous skyscrapers around me, I looked past them into the clear blue sky. Out of sight were over a hundred nuclear warheads. I’d used an old design while I was making them, I’d modified the design but the construction had been easy enough. I’d found more weapons, but few created the electo magnetic pulse that I needed to blow every electrical circuit on earth without killing a thing on the ground. I’d placed one next to every Solar Collectors, so when the weapons exploded, the earth wouldn’t have a source of electricity anymore.

    We’d have to do it the old fashions way and create these things from scratch.

    Pulling a remote control from my pocket, I flicked off the safety controls, and hovered my finger over the detonation button. I was about to become the biggest mass murderer of all time.

    I felt my fingers depressing the button.
     
  6. Marshall41
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    Marshall41 Member

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    Heaven's Dark Tonight

    .
    The accounts of a child named Sam Frank.

    January 6, 2011​

    The council voted today. War. The attack on Washington was too horrible to ignore. The terrorists blew up the House and Senate and killed hundreds of people. Now America is going to attack them back.

    The bombing will start tomorrow, with atomic bombs. Brother says we wont last the winter. He told me that if we get hit by one of the bombs our eyes will explode and our bodies will suddenly burst into fire. Mom wasnt happy when I told her and she grounded him for a month, but she didnt say it was a lie either. Dad is gone today. The army called up the reserves. If he were here we would safe.

    Mom has decided to send Brother and me to our grandma’s house. She lives out in the country so if the bad people try to attack we might be safe. I dont want to leave without Mom. She is staying to look after the house, Dad would want her to go. Mom gave me this diary, she told me to write in it every day so when I get home she can read it and know all that happened, but it makes me feel like a girl, I cant let Brother find it. I hope we dont stay away too long. Everyone says that the War will only last for a couple months so we will be back soon and Dad will come home, I just know it.
    .

    February 15, 2011​

    New York is gone. They showed the attack on TV this morning. There was a lot of light and then a huge cloud. Rescuers are already searching through the rubble but they havent found anyone alive. The people they do find are burnt and black and have no faces.

    Mom has written us a couple times, just short letters. She lets us know how she is doing, how our friends are doing, and how father should be coming home soon, but I knew that already. The quiet people in black suits came to the house a week ago and talked to Grandma. She cried for a while but when she stopped she told me that Dad had only been wounded and should be coming home soon. Brother is acting weird though, he doesnt say much and if I bring up Dad he gets mad and Grandma gets sad again. I just tell them that they dont have to be sad because Dad is coming home soon. When he gets back everything will get better.
    .

    April 22, 2011​

    The bad guys sent out a new video today, they say that they started this world to create a Utopia. I dont know what that means but Brother says that the word mean like a perfect world. The videos of bombs going off still show on the TV every night. The bad guys must be wrong, they are not creating a perfect world.
    .

    June 5, 2011​

    Mom and Dad are gone, so is Brother. An atomic bomb went off on the city and Mom wasnt able to get out in time. After we heard Grandma told me what really happened to Dad. He was attacking a place where the bad people were hiding and there was a problem with the radios. Then America attacked the hideout with bombs. Now Dad’s dead. They didn’t even find a body. They wont find Mom’s body either. Brother ran away last night. I think he is going to fight the bad guys, but I don’t know who they are anymore. Grandma wont leave her room, she just cries all day. I am getting really hungry, there isn’t much food left.

    ~

    Late Fall 2012​

    I haven’t written in a long time. Mom is gone so I didnt see a reason to write. I’ve lost track of the months and days but it has been almost two years since the War started. Grandma is dead, so is most of America. I have to walk miles to find abandoned houses in search for food, people don’t live close in the country. There is not much left so I take whatever I find, but I still survive. The TV is black, and the lights are too. I keep a fire going to stay warm. Winter is hard.
    .

    Late Fall 2012​

    Last night I had a nightmare about Brother, he was dying in a ditch somewhere, bleeding all over. He looked up at me with a mocking smile and mumbled “This is Utopia.” I woke up with a start, breathing heavily. I rushed to find a dictionary, I had to know what the bad guys were killing so many people to get. Most of the books pages had been used to help start fires but the dictionary was still lying around. The page with Utopia was marked with a bent page, must have been Brother or Grandmother. The first definition was about some guy’s book named “Utopia”. The second one said it was “an ideal place or state.” Since there are not many good places left in world I knew that wasn’t what the bad guys wanted. The last definition was underline. Brother must have read this one, “any visionary system of political or social perfection.” I guess Brother was right, these people wanted a perfect world. How will this War give anyone a perfect world? I was still confused but I tore out the page and put it in my pocket, then started a fire using the “A” section.
    .

    January 17, 2013​

    A stranger showed up at the house today. Her name is Bri. She seems nice but I dont know if I can trust her. She carries around a shotgun, she says it’s for protection against animals and ‘men’. I let her stay though, the winter storms are getting worse and worse. We are basically snowed in so I can’t go out to get anymore food, I hope there is enough to last the winter. One good thing about having someone else around is that I have someone to talk too. She says she is from the north, and that the winter storms are now unsurvivable up there. She is heading to Mexico, apparently most people are heading there. The best part about having Bri is that she has a watch. Now I know it is January 29, 2013. Cant wait for winter to be over.
    .

    February 9, 2013​

    Bri is still here. At first she was quiet and to herself but now she is everywhere. She wont quit eating and hogging all the food. If Bri keeps eating so fast there won’t be enough to last the winter. I have taken a good amount of the food and hidden it beneath Grandma’s bedroom floorboards. The snow is still too high to risk going to get food. If she gets her hands on the rest we wont make it.

    Bri found the dictionary page I had saved with Utopia underlined on it. I snatched it back. She chuckled and went back to eating. I would make her leave but she always has her shotgun at an arm’s reach. I have to do something.
    .

    February 24, 2013​

    All the food is gone except for what I hid in Grandma’s room. Bri is getting angry. She is breaking furniture and threatening to kill me if she doesn’t get more food.

    I dont know what to do. I’m scared.

    ~

    May 10, 2013​

    Christopher Thompson-

    I am traveling down to Mexico with a caravan of people from the northern regions. Food is hard to come by so we raid any house we find unless there are people still living there. Today we came upon a large, rundown country house where I found this diary. The inside was gutted, even floorboards were pulled up. In the living room by the fireplace was the body of a young child, maybe eleven or twelve. By the looks of the wounds, the child had been shot in the legs with a shotgun at close range and left to die. The young boy had crawled over to the fire and probably died of starvation or blood loss. This scene is all too common, family members turning on each other, heartless scavengers killing the innocent, abandoned children left to fend for themselves.

    We decided to stay to give the boy a proper burial and move out the next morning, spending the night in the house. As I was wrapping the boy in some old sheets for burial I noticed a wadded up piece of paper in his frozen, clinched hand. I carefully slipped the piece of paper from his grip. It was a dictionary page with ‘Utopia’ underlined on it. I looked back at the pitiful figure lying on the cold wood floor, knees tucked into his chest, arms tenderly wrapped around his bloody battered legs, and eyes peacefully shut as if he knew the pain would be over soon. A tear rolled down my cheek that I quickly brushed away. I placed the piece of paper back in his hand and gently draped the white funeral sheet over his face.

    He had finally found Utopia.
    .
     
  7. irishgirl1616
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    irishgirl1616 New Member

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    בְּסוֹף (In the End)

    (1158 words)


    Alice let out a tired breath and readjusted her shoulder pack as she reached the crest of the hill. Glancing over her shoulder at the endless knolls of the valley and the warm rays of the struggling sun, she felt her determination raise again at the thought of how far she had come, how far she was still willing to go. Turning forward, she headed up to the thick copse of red oaks that hid what was up ahead. They loomed before her like gates to a mysterious new world, etherly and surreal. The leaves were emerald, the trunks a rich, dark burgundy. Alice hesitated. What could possibly be worse than what was behind her? Would her father have even hesitated? As Alice entered the trees, her breath caught in her throat and her eyes began to blur. A tightness began in her chest and squeezed until her heart beat like a bird trapped in a cage. Panicked, she dropped to her knees and frantically shook her head to clear it and the feeling passed as quickly as it had come. With its disappearance, a memory replaced it. The choking smell of sulfur and smoke, the rotating flash of lights, the scream of the sirens that soared through the streets to try and save the city. The high-pitched screams of a child piercing through the inky black smoke…

    Alice’s hands flew to her face as she tried to hide from the images that replayed over and over in her head. She let out a small moan and it was like that was all that was needed for the recollections to evaporate. The silence was suddenly deafening. Twigs cracked in the slight wind and leaves whispered to her as she stood and slapped off the dirt and gravel from her pants. She trembled as she took off her pack, unzipped it, and shuffled around for her map. She had to have taken a wrong turn somewhere…but a small voice in her head laughed at her. Finding the worn map, she put the bag back on her shoulders and stared at the map. She was exactly where she had thought she was; right where she was suppose to be.

    Alice shoved the map into her back pocket and was all of a sudden aware of the hushed forest. Goosebumps covered her skin as she began to weave through the enormous trunks of the trees. The crunch of the underbrush was the only noise as she laced between the enchanting trees. As she began to go deeper, Alice slowed. She looked back to see only a few rays of the sun from the edge of the copse. She pulled out her map to study it harder. She had followed the haphazardly drawn line down to a tee, and she was on it still. But she caught something she hadn’t before. There was no forest marked on the map. Alice’s eyebrows scrunched together as she wondered why her father wouldn’t have indicated a grove this large on his map.
    A gust of wind that rattled the treetops and swirled the debri from the ground had Alice’s head snapping back up and as she did so her stomach twisted. Hidden in the clingy shadows and darkness between two of what had to be the largest oaks, sat a wooden door. It was cloaked in ivy, a brass handle just showing through the mass of shiny leaves. Alice gulped, wondering if this is what her father had meant by the unexpected. Her heart beat in her chest and her feet seemed glued to the ground. She stood completely still, holding her breath, sure that if she moved at all it would be gone. All she could do was stare at it, expecting it to disappear with every blink she took.

    When the door seemed to prove to Alice that it wasn’t going to fade away in a whirlwind of mist, she timidly walked up to it. It wasn’t as mystifying up close as it had been when it first appeared. Alice reached out her hand and touched the brass handle. It was solid, and cold, and real. Alice walked around to the backside of the door and only saw more undergrowth , as she walked past it to get back to the front, a snake reared it’s head and hissed at her. Alice jumped out of reach and stared at the abnormally large, green reptile. It’s black knowing eyes seemed to appraise Alice, then it flicked out it’s tongue and slithered away back into the bushes from which it had come. Glancing around to see if it had snuck up on her, Alice walked back to the front of the door.

    She crossed her arms. This had to be it, right? It was the only thing that had surprised her so far and even then, the whole closed-door-that-leads-to-no-where thing hadn’t been a huge shock. This was it. An opening in the ivy caught her attention as she was looking at nothing in particular. She walked up to it so that her shoes were pressed against the wood.

    Engraved into the wood was a word. עדן. Eden. Her breath once again caught in her throat and blood roared in her ears. Alice let out a whoop of pure elation and her eyes filled with hot tears. She had made it.

    She couldn’t waste anymore time. Everyone had said that the path would be marked, you would know you were there as soon as you saw the sign. What greater clue was that one word? That one place on Earth where God had wanted us to be equal and happy and safe? The rest of the world was dead, demolished, devastated. The people who survived were driven to desperte measures and were more animal than human, and still the people who had maintained an ounce of their humanity had given up. They had just laid down and given in to the fate of our civilization. But Alice had made it. She had made it to the place that God had set up for exactly her purpose. To live a life of happiness and prosperity. She could taste it already.
    Alice clutched the door. Closing her eyes, she pulled it open and stepped inside.

    She expected to be blinded by a light, overcome with feelings of jubilation, greeted by a chorus of angels. When nothing came, nothing happened, she opened her eyes. Rotting tress and brusque bushes void of leaves loomed before her. The gray sky gave everything a dreary, dire hue. All color was leeched from her eyes as she gazed at everything that was dead or dying. A scream built in her throat. But unlike before in the woods, her scream did nothing to shatter this picture that was burned in her mind, for this reality was to heavy to shake off.

    Humans weren’t the only ones who had given up on humanity.
     
  8. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    Sweet Paradise (1099)

    The small six-legged creature stopped walking. It flicked its two feelers in the air, not sure of this new smell.

    “What is it Wick?” Another creature following him stopped behind him.

    “Not sure, Bell. But I can taste sweetness all around.”

    “Really?” Bell’s feelers perked up and joined Wick’s in scanning the air. After flailing in the air for a minute, they drooped.

    “Wick, I can’t smell anything!”

    He turned to look at the smaller Bell, gentle eyes expanding. “That’s because your feelers are still growing. Soon, you’ll be able to smell just as much as me.”

    “Really?” Her head bobbed up and down.

    Wick nodded.

    Bell happily held her head alert and tried sniffing the air with renewed vigor.

    Wick stood still, his feelers acting as antennas. He couldn’t figure out this smell. It was as if a human dumped all kinds of sugar into a large field. He never sensed such a treat before.

    That wasn’t the only odd thing. The sky didn’t seem as clear today as it normally did in the summer. There were no clouds, but rather, lines of a dull gray running through the blue. It appeared as if the sky had grown rectangular scales. And where was the sun? Light was everywhere, but the source, absent.

    He looked at Bell. She didn’t notice such things. The young ones never did, their abdomens constantly craving food. “Bell, let’s go. I want to find this smell.”

    “Do you think its food?” Her eyes widened.

    “Maybe. It’s definitely sweet.”

    “Can I eat it when we find it?”

    “Sure you can.” Wick started towards the smell’s strong presence. He glanced back at Bell, her jaws clicking happily as she followed him.

    She sprang to his side and the two marched on, Wick’s feelers leading the way.

    Large trees rose in the distance, splashed with reds, yellows, and other various colors. Wick imagined them to be fruit. He had never seen such a tree. Not with fruits bigger than the pots and pans accompanying humans on a picnic. Strange bushes and grasses twisted and curled before the pairs’ eyes. Wick felt he was looking at food, not plants. Perhaps that was just the growing intensity of the sweet smell.

    They crawled on all sorts of materials neither recognized. A blurry and very slick ground didn’t allow their claws to attach to anything. If not for six legs to balance them, Wick thought they would be trapped on this slippery surface for good. The ground’s color soon changed to the earthly tones he was familiar with but it wasn’t dirt. It felt like walking over the crushed rock of a road.

    Wick spotted the start of short grass. Belle stayed with him as he scurried over, relieved to see something familiar that he could move through. The smell was overpowering here. Even Bell had to sense it.

    She clicked in excitement “I smell it!” Her curious eyes wandered here and there, trying to locate the source. “Wick! There are so many treats here!

    Wick’s jaws salivated as well. He could smell every one of his favorite snacks. And then there were the mysterious smells that he could not identify.

    They reached the grass. This too, looked strange. Instead of straight and pointy blades, the grass here curled in odd shapes. They felt stiff and as the pair crawled through them, they often found themselves following a loop in mid air before realizing they were upside down.

    Bell spotted a huge yellow boulder. “Wick! Is that food?”

    Wick pointed his head towards the giant sphere. “Smells like it. Shall we have a taste?”

    Bell zipped past him, excitedly and clumsily maneuvering through the odd grass. As they approached, the yellow sphere loomed above them.

    They attached themselves to the sphere, sniffing and feeling their way around. Wick’s feelers poked into the yellow. “This is definitely sugar. Bell, want to try some?”

    Bell didn’t reply, her head completely submerged in yellow. She pulled her jaws out and whirled around. She had bitten off a chunk and munched happily. “Banana!

    Wick cocked his head curiously then jammed his jaws into the ball. Sweetness flooded them as he gathered in the rich taste. It was banana all right, the most wonderful banana he had tasted.

    What sort of place had they found? Wick wanted to explore more of this odd environment. He couldn’t track every scent that bombarded his feelers. He left Bell and crawled around to the other side of the banana ball and dropped back into the grass. Above him, the large trees towered. At their base, a bunch of flowers grew beneath them. Wick maneuvered to their roots and started climbing up the pedicel of the closest one to him.
    He branched off on one of the white petals near the top. The whole plant’s aroma smelled sweet. In this place, were flowers edible?

    “Hey, Wick!” Bell had followed him. He glanced down at her, clinging to a leaf, face spattered in yellow drops of sugar. She chewed something green. “Delicious!”

    If leaves could be eaten, Wick guessed the flowers must be food as well. He sniffed the pedal and cautiously took a bite. Vanilla! He couldn’t believe it. He chomped again and again, and only when the petal was a third gone, did he stop to take a break from his feast.

    He could be content with just this plant. He saw a bulge in Bell’s abdomen; he felt one in his. He stretched out over the remaining petal and felt content to rest for a bit.

    After a little while, he heard the scratching noise of Bell climbing.
    “Wick, it’s raining!” She joined him on the petal.

    Wick opened his eyes. He hadn’t noticed, lost in hungry euphoria. But he now felt a slight mist on his body. His feelers flicked.

    That wasn’t water…

    “Look, Wick! Wick turned to see where Bell’s feelers were pointing.

    Brown water gushed from a rock mountain, falling into flowing river below. He caught some of the mist in his mouth. His eyes widened. “That’s definitely not water.”

    Bell looked at him. “What is it, Wick?”

    He stared at her. “Bell, that’s chocolate!”

    “Chocolate water? What is that?”

    “I don’t… I don’t know.” Wick’s heart thumped inside excitedly. What a place! He wondered if everything here was edible. Large yellow boulders, tasty flowers, and now a chocolate river! It was a land flowing with sweet and sugar.

    “Where are we, Wick?” Bell scooted over to Wick, her eyes large and wondering.

    Wick was watching the waterfall. “Bell, I think we just found every ant’s paradise.”
     
  9. Evil Flamingo
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    Evil Flamingo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Relation (2,433 words)

    A cold wind blows across the desolate valley with tremendous force. The pressurized wall of burdened air slams against the rolling hills and demolished structures. Thick, dark clouds cover the sky and keep out the possible sun, moving with ferocity along the wind. Gray snow flows along this current with voracious hunger to cover the land, and its evidence of history. I walk alone through this tundra. I walk alone through my old homeland.

    All I see through the slit in my hood is a world of gray. Shaded darkness envelops the ashen ground, the day’s sky, and the cold concrete and steel of my forgotten home. A grand structure stands before me as I head down the remnants of a super highway. It was the Thirty Second Street Apartments back in day, an eighty story behemoth of a building that housed thousands. It now stands a mere twenty stories, from collapses with age. Concrete blocks and folded support beams line the streets around the lost icon, and the cold wind screams through the cracks in what is left. I stop and stare at the building. I look long and hard into the face of my old home, now an artifact of failed progress. It looks back at me with its many eyes, drooping in sadness and cracked with pain. The wind flows through them and cries to me in quiet agony. I stare into the face of progress and I remember, I remember what was once called humanity. I remember what happened the day I watched their utopia burn.

    * * * ​

    From the forty-third floor I observed the machine process in perfect harmony. Trains and trucks flowed hurriedly through the city, bringing its fuel the next process in the engine. Streets ran through the buildings like pipes. Smoke from fires plumed high into the sky like a breath of fresh air, proving to me that work was getting done in their plants. And at the heart of it all were the glorious men and women citizens, the gears or cogs in the machine. They ran this world of power and progress and steel; stood above the victorious gray in triumph of what they had created. The face of my home stood in accomplishment, watching over its children and standing as an icon to their success; but behind its glorious eyes stood a man who saw the city as an element of inevitability. I watched City 17 with fear.

    I stepped back from the cold window and sat down on my couch to watch television. After flipping through a host of reality, music, and mainstream garbage channels I came upon one of the few news channels left anymore. It was a show shot from the basement of an old factory, with low quality tech because their financing was almost nil. Nobody cared about worldly pains or issues anymore. They just wanted to be bombarded with fluff after a hard day of moving the machine. But I listened, and I listened carefully.

    A rather scrawny, brown haired young man sat at the desk in a cheap suit and shuffled his papers. A crappy theme song played as an intro and then he began. “In today’s breaking news, peace talks have been reported once again between the United Americas and the New Asian Republic. President Daniel Cross and Chairman Wei Chih began late last evening in a confrontation regarding the nuclear policy. Concerns about scattered reports of remaining nuclear weapons in the Tibetan region have concerned American policy makers for duration of the standoff...”

    I stopped listening and looked out the window to the sky, or rather the clouds in it. The days had grown darker, physically and figuratively. Gray clouds from the smog in the air and dark horizons from nuclear scares in the West had pressed on my body and soul for a long while. I shut off the television knowing that it would be the same news I heard last week. I got up and made myself breakfast in preparation for the long day ahead of me at the reactor down in outskirts.

    As I put my pinstripe suit on I decided to take one last look out of my apartment window and look at the city. I saw them all move so laboriously and constructively that I felt like a sophomoric man in a government think tank. An imperfect man such as me wasn’t built to run in such a perfect society. I watched over them through the eyes of the giant; then I felt, I heard, I saw inevitability.

    The eyes glowed into my room as a bright flash enveloped my world for a few seconds. I felt as if God’s rapture had come down and had been shown to us, even they banned “God” a few years back. A glorious light shined in and blinded me from the gray, with color. An enormous cacophony of gross sound followed the bright flash. I stumbled back from the window and covered my eyes, wondering what had happened. Before I could move my hand, I felt the floor rumble as if an earthquake had struck. The walls cracked and the supports creaked. I could hear people screaming above and below me, windows cracking all around. I was knocked down to the ceramic tile and landed with a harsh thud. I lie down upon the floor in pain for a few stunned minutes.

    As I started to rise once more another, more powerful force hits the side of the building and knocks be back down. I feel the structure crow in pain as it leans from the shove. Windows now shatter and I feel the hot air plow through my room past me. People outside scream and cry for help. I can smell a fire burning somewhere, but it might just be on the wind. I know I have to get out, but I take one last look. And then I saw it, the eater of progress and destroyer of the machine. A furious, fiery creature set loose upon the gray city.

    The great cloud of gas and fire rose miles into the gray sky. The luminescent beast snarled its teeth at the utopia below it. The grounds around it for a mile or two were obliterated, with not a building standing and even the roads torn up. The hundred megaton explosion tore a hole through the machine, directly above my place of employment. You could taste the sweet radiation in the air as the combined elements of an atomic bomb and a nuclear reactor combined their output on the land in horrid consequences, and the cancer grew along the city. Past the rim of nothingness around the explosion were buildings of less, but still great damage. Many were on fire, blazing bright greens as the plastics burned within. Black smog combined with gray clouds in the air and formed a shell of darkness around the city. Hell had come.

    The building started the rupture while I stood there in awe. A piece of my ceiling fell off onto my dining table. I snapped back into survival mode and scrambled out of the room. A crash happened far above me, probably the floor collapsing. I shut the door habitually behind me and ran through the screaming people over to the elevator. Pressing the button repeatedly and impatiently, I heard a snap from above in the shaft. Seconds later a sound of slight screaming grew and grew until it passed in front of my face and then lessened again. Afterwards I heard an explosion from below and the building shivered from the violent deaths. I turned white with horror and looked at the others impatiently waiting; they all looked identical to me. I ran to the stairs after a few seconds of shared confusion. As I entered the stairwell, a man bleeding profusely from a deep gash in his side fell down the stairs. He died while running down; probably not even noticing that he was dying as he was trying to live. I quickly forced my way down ten or so flights of stairs before the crowd and I were blocked by a fire. Some ran over to the other side, but I notice a few dead bodies lying on the next floor down. I closed my eyes and jumped down on them from above, past the fire. Their bones crunched beneath my feet and blood sprang out of their orifices. Tears rolled now from my eyes as I felt the death beneath my own body, and the cruelty in which I was forced to place on them. I slowly got back on my feet and focused back on getting out.

    I started coughing profusely as I went farther down the stairs. Thick, black smoke rolled up the emptier stairwell as I went farther down. I needed to pace myself in order to breathe somewhat properly; otherwise I’d die from lack of oxygen. I pulled my handkerchief form my pocket and put it over my mouth to breathe through. My eyes burned as the heat rose in the building. My ears were bursting with sounds from sirens growing nearer and the faint cries for help from around, and the crackling of city-wide fires. I stepped in an even and fluid pace in order to get down before the building would collapse. I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it out in time. Finally, after what seemed like hours of torture, and probably was, I made it to the grand lobby. I hobbled along towards the exit, extremely tired from the escape. I knew I needed to get away, though, in case of collapse.

    As I exited the tower, I noticed it was rather quiet for the situation. Only the blare of the police sirens and the crackling of fires remained. The gears of the machine had been removed and the fuel through pipes had plugged. Humanity had left and only cold concrete and steel remained. Trucks lied around in different positions along the street. Some overturned, while others were rammed into buildings. A body or two hung out of one truck, while a red platter lined the windshield of another. Buildings around me were in ruin or on fire. I walked passed a grocery store and it smelt of burnt food and flesh; human or not, I couldn’t tell. It made me sick in any case and I threw up on the street. I didn’t know if I was sick form the smell, the fear, or the physical pain I was in.

    I lied down on a bench that remained on the sidewalk and finally found a little respite. Taking off my suit jacket, I made myself a small pillow out of it and stayed rather comfortably among the destruction. I stared up at the sky with a sort of marvel. The black clouds glowed in strange shades of orange and yellow and green as the fires burned below. I knew from that moment on that I would never see the stars again, but the smog of my generation would cover the world for many years after I die. Then I looked down to the particularly bright spot in front of me. The Thirty Second Street Apartments were bright orange with the blaze from within. Black smoke rolled out the top, as fire burned behind its eyes. The face of progress and human ingenuity was becoming a shell of its self.

    I lied in the center of this death, destruction, and ruin in comfort. I basked in the horror of an end of a generation and smiled at the face burning before me. With or without people I was alone in the world. Now without them I have lost annoyance. I sat there and watched it burn, the world; and I looked behind and saw other plumes of smoke farther in the distance. So there was a war. But now it’s over, and neither side won, they just ended.

    * * * ​

    I smile a little inside my thick coat as I walk along the highway and think about the past. The burning of it all, the end of City 17, otherwise known as Section 17 of the 82nd Utopian District. I remember watching it for a full day and basking in the fiery glory of it all. The buildings collapsing around me, the ash snow falling for the first time over the leaden corpses. To me, it was beauty, beauty in chaos and dust.
    I may have been naïve then, but I still hold that humanity needed a change. I look at the remains of this still irradiated place and wish for it to grow habitable again. It was my home, even though I didn’t care much for it. It was a machine of unstoppable leverage and power, but it was also a place of livelihood. I was a very dark man back then, and somewhat still am, but now as I tread these grounds again, I remember what this place meant rather than what it was. It was hope and a place for people to live in perfection. Of course perfection is an utter impossibility, but we attempted it. We created our image of it, and what we ended up creating was lifelessness. Humanity at its greatest was nothing but a machine with people as its gears. We oiled it, powered it, controlled it; but what we could not control was ourselves. And that was most important of all.

    I finally walk up to the old bench by the sagging face of humanity and lay down again. The nuclear winter rolls on as I lay on this bench, where I watched their world burn. And I realized that it wasn’t only theirs, their well-oiled machine, but it was also mine. I should have advocated for its protection for its self, but never did, and thus I failed it. If humanity still lies elsewhere in this world, I sure hope they have realized this. We have fallen, scratch that, I have fallen. But this world will rise again, and the people will come back. But hopefully utopia won’t represent a machine anymore, nor will it represent the fire for me; but instead it will be in harmony with the world its self. Progress is not utopia, relation is.
     
  10. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for your entries. Voting and the new contest will be launched later today.
     
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