Sunday, August 29, 2010


You could hear the patrols coming a mile away. They were loud, like the monsters they were, charging through the land, crushing everything in their path. Some people stood on the streets, cheering them on; little children holding flags and banners, having the time of their lives. They had no idea what was really happening. Other people stood at doors and windows, watching them in disgust. They wish they could do something, but wanted their lives more than they wanted the peace. At least they could stand on the streets. And others, like myself, ran and hid. For my people, we were hunted, like animals; heads to hang over the mantle. I didn't know what they did with us when caught, but I had heard some pretty gruesome stories, and I didn't really want to know what was true.
I didn't have much time to get away, they were looking for someone. Maybe there were others like me in the small town. But if they were here, I'd never meet them, because the patrols wouldn't leave unless they found someone. It was me or them, if there was anyone else.
I ran from the window as a black, sleek car and two guard motorbike pulled up in front of the building, five stories below. There was only one place in the small apartment where I could hide. Up in the attic there was some loose boards under a bookcase, which led to a small crawl space between the attic floor and the apartment ceiling. Rebecca helped me and pushed the bookcase back to seal me in. In wriggled into the small space until I thought I was deep enough in. It was a very tight space. I had electrical wires jamming into my back everywhere I moved, and I couldn't breathe without inhaling a handful of dust. I held my hand an inch from my face, but I couldn't see it. I tried to search for any light through the floor boards, but it was as if the light had been swallowed up by the darkness. And now I too felt like the light, sitting in the belly of the darkness. The hideout suddenly felt so tiny, so small, closing in on me. Claustrophobia took over my senses and the added fear of the patrol below made me feel sick.
Suddenly there was a loud crash below and the walls shook. I assumed they had knocked down the door, not bothering to wait for Rebecca to answer it. But it didn't matter, they could do what ever they wanted and no one would stand in the way. I could hear them talking, but they were too far to hear. But Rebecca's squeal came through to me crystal clear. The horrible noise soaked through all the way to my bones and suddenly everything became so real. I had been putting my friend, who had given me so much, in danger all this time. Just by being here, in her house; Rebecca could be killed for that! I heard the attic door - a trap door in the ceiling open. I couldn't move, I was so scared, I could barely breathe. There was some light that trickled through. It was almost blinding since my eyes had adjusted to the darkness. But I didn't dare look away, in case that slight movement of my head created enough noise to alert the patrol. Five men entered the attic. I could hear their heavy footsteps thud across the old wooden floor. I didn't know if that was all of them, or if there were more waiting down stairs. At first the only ends I saw were to get caught or hide and get away, but my cruel imagination added a third scenario; what if they took Rebecca? Would they hurt her? Could they kill one of their own, even if by protecting me she was a traitor to them? But I forced those images out of my mind for now, I couldn't let them take control. My body attempted a series of spastic convolutions; a claustrophobic symptom I had experienced only once before when my brother locked my in the pig pen, but the the men, who almost stepped right above me scared me more than the space closing in on me. I could see one of them through the cracks in the floor boards. He was so close! I put my hand over my mouth, risking the chance of sound, afraid that he could hear me breathe.
The man spoke to another soldier in their language but I recognised the word for 'kill'. He pointed off to his left, but where he was looking was out of my view. My heart smashed around in my chest wildly, like it wanted to be found and was knocking on the door. Surely they could hear it. The man above took a step forward, stepping on a board that curved downwards, like a lot of the boards in the attic that were old and couldn't hold the pressure like they used to. Only difference was that it pressed down on my stomach, severely restricting my breathing. I knew he felt the difference in the floor because he paused, standing completely still, like stone. I knew he was just about to rip the floor boards apart, the others aiming their guns down at me. I wondered that if I gave myself up now they wouldn't hurt Rebecca. But I couldn't move. The shock of it held me down like three inch nails through my limbs. And thank God I didn't move, because a second later the soldier moved, heading back to the door. He called to the others, and they all left with them. I realised I hadn't been breathing that whole time they were there, and suddenly all the life and relief flood back to me. I didn't know what had happened, but I hoped that they had given up the search. It had felt like they had been there for a whole day searching, standing inches away from me, but it probably want more than two hours or so. I didn't come out until Rebecca came and got me ten minutes later. I hadn't been so relieved to see anyone in my life. Though I could see the nasty bruise the men left on the side of her face beginning to appear. We came down stairs, and I could see how much damage they had really done. The large bookcase had been tipped over, and a large crack began to grow from the side. Books and other possessions of Rebecca's were thrown around the room. And in the light I could see how bad they had really hurt Rebecca.
"No really, I'm alright. This can all be fixed in a couple of days." If I had never come here for help, she'd be living a safe life, but I had been too greedy, only thinking of myself. I wandered over to the living area, picking up the scattered objects, when I came across an object I hoped I'd never come close to, ever in my life. It was one of the soldier's gun. I knew what was going to happen now, but it was too late to do anything about it, because it was already happening. Suddenly an unarmed solider entered the room, obviously come back to retrieve his gun. He was half way through his explanation when he saw me. I didn't need to understand his language to know that I left him speechless. That's what so many girls want, don't they? to leave a boy speechless. But I didn't think this is what anyone would have wanted. I could hear the words forming in his mind. He was going to yell down to the patrol below. But I was too quick for him. I swung back towards him, gun in hand, aimed and shot without thinking twice. It was the first thing I thought of doing, and I didn't think again until it was over, and the deed was done. Once again I had though only of me, thinking through greed. For my only life and safety, I had just killed someone. I had just killed someones son, someones friend, possibly someones father. Although, the morals and ethics of murder would have to wait, because what was next in line was the patrol that were running up the stairs to the apartment.

Friday, August 27, 2010


As I was sprinting to the back meadows I realised something was different. I'd run this way every day; my record was one minute thirty seven. But I was no longer running with those words skimming across my brain. "This is it." I'd tell myself. "This is the grand finals, the race to end all races. All you have to do is win, then you'll never have to run again." All false promises. I can never stop running, whether I want it to or not. Running was in my blood, and every day I cursed my blood just for that. But the hope of leaving the competitive world behind got me to run faster, like a burst of energy, even if it was just running from the house to the back meadows. But today I didn't think of that hope, I didn't try to push myself, I didn't think of anything at all, just how good it felt to move without demand. I had never noticed how the wind brushed past my face and through my hair. I had never noticed how it felt sometime to run so fast it was like i was flying. I just ran - for what reason, I don't know. To escape maybe? Nevertheless I found myself running faster than I ever have before. I was in the meadows before I knew it. Out from the dense bush land that sealed the sky from the ground, bursting through the canopy and into the powerful warmth of the sunset. I checked my watch, briefly entering my competitive frame of thought. One minute twenty six! I couldn't believe how quickly I made it there.
I could hear my father screaming from the house. My name echoed through the farm. His voice could have echoed through the whole town. But I couldn't stop now. I really was running my last race - the race that my whole career, my whole life depended on. I kept running, reaching the boarder of the farm. I wasn't going to stop, but I didn't know where I was going to go. But far away from here was the destination.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The men's grips around my arms were strong, and no matter how much i struggled, how much i kicked, I knew i was never going to make it, and the explosion of colour in the distance confirmed that. The loud, horrible bang crawled under my skin like ants; biting and swarming through my insides destroying me from the inside out. But I couldn't let the death of my star to be the death of me as well. For a moment the two men on either side of me forgot that they were holding me down and gazed up at the beautiful death lighting up the sky like fireworks. I quickly pulled back my arm from the first unsuspecting man. I had only a second to act, but that was all I needed. The second man was well built, but didn't have the height that the first man had. I swung my arm up at the second guy, hitting him in the nose with my elbow. He fell backwards, clutching his bloody face. I fell to the ground to avoid the arms of the first man, reaching out to grab me. I swung my leg around and hit him in the back of the knee. He fell awkwardly backwards and hit his head on one of the blue pillars. He didn't get up so i assumed he was unconscious. But I didn't give him much thought, because the second man was getting up. He was still clutching his face with one hand. But i didn't let him take two steps. Just as he was at arms length, I drove the knife I pulled from my boot into his stomach. I didn't realise what I have done until I saw the life fade from his face. I let him drop to my feet, but as soon as my brain began to function again, I dragged him to sit beside the other man. It made me sick to even look at him, let alone haul him away.
I looked up at the empty sky. The colourful light was starting to fade, but there was a small burst of warmth that burned my skin as a result of the distant explosion. That had happened frequently since the first blast, though none as hot as that one.
I was stuck on the little island planet , slowly drifting away from the dead sun. My home; my star was destroyed and I could do nothing except wait. Wait with a dead and an unconscious man, wondering what would come first; the wake of the man that could very well kill me, or the wave of gases and heat from the explosion that would vapourise the entire planet?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The morning sun rose slowly over the watery horizon. I usually never got up early enough to see the sun rise, but today was special. White light laced the edges of the moons crowding in the sky and the rays of warmth stretched out to the stars that were disappearing, one star at a time. There wasn’t a noise at all where I sat. Not a single animal or insect. Not even the sound of the gentle wind. The eerie silence gave me chills, even though it was humid for such an early morning. The sun rose to blast its energy my way, and I had to shield my eyes for only a moment before it slowly disappeared behind the first small moon. There would be three eclipses this morning; by midday they would be finished, and by then I would be gone.
Suddenly a bright light appeared in the distance, brighter than the morning sun, that it forced me to turn away. An exploding star, maybe? The bright white faded into the many colours of a supernova; pink blue yellow, so many different shades. It was beautiful. Too bad something so beautiful could be the destruction of a planet that held a race of people, just like my own. There used to be a time when a nova was a rarity, something unique, but in these times, it was a common, devastating event. How things have changed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I ran up the furthest hill, the highest hill that blocked my view of what should be the rest of the world. But I knew i would never be able to pass it, because when i reached the tree at the top of the hill i realised the blurriness in my vision that i expected from a distance was still apparent, even though i was only metres away from the great oak.
I stopped, looking at it for a minute, before reaching out to touch the tree with the tips of my fingers. I prayed as hard as I could, to who ever could hear me, asking that this tree was real; that i just needed glasses; that i was just being paranoid; a cruel trick of the mind.
But just before reaching the tree my fingers were stopped by an invisible force that was as hard and as cold as concrete.
"No." I whispered. "No, this can't..." I placed my hand firmly on the invisible wall. I squeezed my eyes shut, so hard that it gave me a headache.
"This isn't real. This isn't real!" i said over and over again, eyes still squeezed shut. But when i opened my eyes there was still the out-of-focus tree, inches from my touch.
"No!" I screamed, hitting my fists against the wall. I hit so hard with both hands, that I felt I was shaking the ground I stood on. The world around me was suddenly silenced. Not a noise from the town below, not a bird, not even the sound of the wind was heard. Then suddenly, as if it had all come rushing back to me, the world started motion again, and i was shoved back by an invisible force. My head throbbed and my vision was distorted. My thoughts were in panic, a thousand at once screaming and shouting to be heard. But the one that stood the tallest, the one that i could hear clearly - run. get out of here. Now! I obeyed, running back into town, looking for an escape.
The small town, that was usually packed with people, walking in the streets, the the parks, at the markets, all seemed to have disappeared. My heart raced, thumping at my chest, wanting an escape as desperately as I did. i ran to the closest house, and banged on the old wooden door.
"Hello? Is anyone there?" no answer. I ran and climbed over the fence, and thumped on the second door. Still no answer.
"There's no one left, Mummy. No point in trying." I spun around on my heels to face the voice. There she was. Little Hana, such a small and fragile girl, the rings around her eyes growing darker every day. She stood tall and intimidating, even though she looked sick and dying.
"Where is everyone?" i asked, surprised that sound actually came out of my mouth considering how scared i was.
"I sent them away. They were ruining the fun." she said with a sickly sweet voice. "Come and play with me mummy?" she slowly took a few steps forward, and with every step she grew an inch. I took a step back, but i was only pressed against the door.
"Don't you want to play?"
" playing." I whispered, my voice cracking. I could feel the tears rising up; i couldn't stop them from running down my cheeks.
"Mummy? Don't you love me anymore?" she stopped moving, waiting for my reply. She stood now just past the garden fence of the house. She was almost as tall as me. He body was so stretched out, she didn't even look human anymore.
"No." was all i could seem to say. The anger suddenly boiled inside Hana and she ran towards me, her long and powerful arms reaching out for me.

"You're going to have to make a decision, Mr Lancaster. I'm sorry to have to ask you such a question, but we need the hospital beds." Said a voice.
"Yes I understand. Do you think you could give me another day?" I couldn't see anything, but somehow the voices made sense.
"James?" I called. I knew it was him. I had never heard his voice, but I knew, i just knew.
"Jensen? Jensen!" he yelled. I still couldn't see anything, but i could feel his warmth. "Doctor! She's speaking!"

I opened my eyes, but I didn't see James. I was crouching down, my hands covering my head. I was leaning against the door, back with Hana. I looked around and there she was, back to her original size, staring up at the sky in fear. There was something different about the town. Everything was...darker. The clouds suffocated the usually brilliant blue sky. The array of flowers had gone into hiding, burying their faces, leaving only the grey shades of decay where the vibrant green should have been.
"You could have been happy." said Hana. She sounded different. She wasn't a child anymore. "I made this world all for you, and you had to ruin it!"
"What are you talking about?"
"the real world isn't that great. You heard James yourself. He was considering pulling the plug. He was going to let you die!"
"You heard him to?"
"I've always heard him. Clear as day. But you, if you had just accepted this perfect world, that I made all for you, and stopped fighting, you would have never have had to hear what they've said." She was angry and upset, but i could see it on her face that she truly wanted me to stay.
"If I didn't fight, I would have never known about my real life, my real family." I stood up. I wasn't going to take anymore from this child. I wasn't going to let her take over my life, letting me die, when I knew I could fight back.
"You wouldn't have a daughter if I had never brought you here." she said, her voice so small and weak, not in fear, but a plea. That struck me hard. The one thing I've always wanted and something I won't ever have. "Please stay." It was only a whisper, but I could hear every emotion in her words. She was so weak now, trying to hold me back.
"Jensen! Please talk to me!" I hear him cry from the sky. The world was beginning to crumble and Hana was dying.
"I can't stay. I'm sorry." The ground shook, and a nearby tree fell loudly to the ground. Ignoring her surroundings, Hana ran up to me and hugged me. I wrapped my arms around her fragile little body. She was so cold.
"Goodbye." I whispered.
"Don't forget me." Her words were almost gone.

Beep, beep, beep. The familiar sound rung loudly in my ears. The noise that had filled my dreams was now coming out into reality. I opened my eyes, and looked up at James who was standing over me.
"It's a miracle." said the doctor standing off by the door.