We Were Sinners Once

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
"We are the nameless. We are the spurned."

P.S. This story has some holes and there are many ways I could take it, so any feedback or suggestions are good. Collaborative creativity is always welcome. :)

P.S. The image is not mine. I don't take credit for it.

Submitted: March 17, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 17, 2016

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A A A


The fire burns brightly. It hurts my adjusting eyes. How did I get here? The world didn’t used to be so hot. I glance around the but all I see are shades of red. Sharp pain brings my eyes to my palms. They’re dirty and covered in black tar but pain is everywhere. My eyes travel up to my arms; scorched and devoid of hair. I touch my head, pause, and touch it again when I don’t feel hair. It’s just skin against bone. Vaguely I remember the plush feel of soft, fine hair and fingers stroking through it. I’m crouched low in a predatory position; one knee on the hot ground, the other close to my stomach, my hands on the rock below me supporting my weight. I’m naked I note.Sweat runs down my bald body in beads... Where am I?

The world focuses and I see rocky terrain. Black boulders jutting up, one after the other against a red sky ... it's all burning.There is no life other than the flames that lick my fingertips and threaten to incinerate me alive;and me of course. I move sparingly to breathe as little as possible for the black smoke is furious and promises to kill me before the fire can. I look around me still unwilling to move from my spot until a bald head bobbing in the distance catches my sight. Quickly glancing to my right and left, I inhale, and then make a break for it. Neither the fire nor the smoke will claim me today.

My feet are on fire. They’re burning. God,they’re burning but worse yet the rocks are sharp and they stab my raw, blistered flesh as I run. Through incredible will power, I ignore the pain in my feet and focus on that head. That other living soul. The one that has to have all the answers, but as I run towards it, the distance between us seems to grow ever wider. So I run faster, quicker pumping my arms next to my sides dodging fireballs and lava.

And just as I’m gaining ground on it, just as I am about to capture it, I trip and fall but nothing catches me and I keep falling, falling, falling. I fall for an eternity until I lose all sense of self, of time, of being. I lose everything and then there is nothing.

 

***

The fire burns brightly. It hurts my adjusting eyes… The world focuses and I see rocky terrain...I look around me still unwilling to move from my spot until a bald head bobbing in the distance catches my sight. I ready myself to make a break for it but stop. Something seems amiss. The human shimmers and disappears into thin air. It had only been a mirage created by the shimmering air and my imagination. My heart sinks into the pit of my stomach, where it is swallowed whole. But I must endure I think my eyes smoldering like the fire around me.  I observe my surroundings carefully searching for something, a color to contrast all of the red. And there. I see it just between the cracks in the swirling vortex of red. A faint outline of blue. Space, distance, time don’t exist here so I dive for the blue seam and am immediately transported into yet another unknown world.

Here there are others like me: all naked with hairless bodies and most discombobulated. Dirt is everywhere, covering the vast expanse of the ground, but just above is a hill. While I’m observing my surroundings, a hairless bumps into me, doesn’t talk, doesn’t look at me just wanders straight ahead on an invisible path. As I scan them I see that we are not all the same. Some are taller than others. Some have larger faces, different shaped eyes, some have curves and lumps while others are  linear and firm. They pass me as I try to speak but nothing but a raspy breath escapes me. Wandering and looking back and forth between each person I try to form the words that plague me. “W-h--W-h”

I’m walking through the crowd up the inclining hill, the brown dirt soft beneath my desensitized, charred feet. I again attempt to voice words to each person that I see as I ascend but it is as if I have not spoken for centuries because my throat creaks and voice fades out. I reach the top to see beyond me is a thick,dark forest and below me are hundreds of people walking seemingly unaware that they exist. I stare hard at the forest searching for answers, for anything and then with a scared,sad curiosity turn to the pit of the nameless.

“W-who who are we?” I croak. They all freeze in their tracks as if they have just been switched on for the first time. Some become aware suddenly glancing around anxiously scared out of their wits, while others come to slowly as if waking from an enthralling dream; yet one by one each turns to me, peeking out through their round, doe like eyes at me expecting something that I don’t have to give. My lips are quivering. My limbs shaking.

“Who are we?” I say more firmly this time.

Silence. But it speaks volumes. It says we are the nameless. We are the spurned. I look to the forest serious in its grand size and think about the place I had just arrived from where all things burned, where the world was on fire and insanity scorched my mind;then about the people below me, not really living and not really dying, but trekking along in limbo like empty vessels.

We are in hell. We were sinners once.

 


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