Prelude to Freedom

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man's stuggle for freedom and survival in a devastated post apocalyptic world.

Amateur story written to explore and practice my writing abilities. Please comment, I could really use some feedback.

Submitted: December 04, 2010

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Submitted: December 04, 2010

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His pulse beat hard with excitement and anticipation. Every aspect of his being was focused on his goal.
“Over the next dune, over the next dune”
He repeated to himself, over and over with short gasping breaths. His muscles burned intensely with every movement. He was exhausted. He had come all this way by foot. There was no other option in this new world. The streets and roads were choked with abandoned vehicles and rubble.
The day was overcast. Dark clouds loomed on the horizon. A strong breeze swept across the vast field of dunes, sending blizzards of sand skyward. Gusts of sand riddled wind whipped and stung his exposed flesh. He looked up and ahead, the summit of the dune was within his reach. Each step was an ordeal. The sand beneath him was loose and soft. Each step forward would take him two steps back. He dug in with both his hands and feet and struggled on with the last of his effort. He pulled himself upward one last time and reached the summit. He took a moment to catch his breath while looking out along the coast. He could see the docks. Not far now, not far at all. He let out a haggard cry of triumph and collapsed, rewarding himself with the rest his body craved. He would just take a few minutes, then press on. It was not far now.
He felt the sand’s soft, delicious warmth beneath him. He thought of his bed back home. Its’ clear white sheets, plump soft pillows and down stuffed quilt. His mind took him away, back to a place of sanity and calm. ”I’m dreaming” He thought and found himself wrapped tightly within a cocoon of blankets in his long ago bed. It was a Saturday morning. The sun cast a warming, orange glow through the closed bedroom blinds. And he can hear her in the kitchen, She’s cooking something, bacon, maybe eggs. A delicious aroma wafted into his long ago room. It smelled beautiful and sweet. Everything is as it should be. He lay in absolute serenity listening to the sweet crackle of Her cooking.
The crackling grew louder, subtly at first but steadily growing. Each crackle began to dissolve and take on a droning quality. It was no longer the warming sound of promised goods. Now it was as though a thousand insects were swarming furiously around him, filling the room with a huge monotonous roar. He awoke. The droning had driven him from sleep. His bed and bedroom were gone. The droning roar was not. “No” He whispered. Dread filled him. This couldn’t be, they weren’t supposed to come during the day. Daylight still belonged to us. He stumbled to his feet and turned toward the horrid roar. An enormous black mass had gathered on the eastern horizon. It shifted and swayed unnaturally against the wind. It was a living mass and it was moving in his direction. He turned to run.
He launched himself off the side of the dune and suddenly became aware of his mistake. “Shit” He thought. The slope of the dune was at an almost vertical angle. He fell several metres before crashing feet first into its side and cartwheeling the rest of the way down, sand spraying in every direction. He opened his mouth to scream and was rewarded with a mouthful of sand. He hit the flat, hard surface of the beach with a tremendous thud, winding him. The avalanche he had created in his wake caught up and poured over him. Though his ears were now clogged with sand he could still hear the menacing droning. He choked and spat through sand and fought for his breath. He lay for a moment, catching his breath when a thought struck him “Maybe I should just give up now. They will have reached me long before I make it to the dock. And hey, look, I’m already partially buried”
“No” He objected. He silenced the voice, those were dangerous thoughts. He had come too far and survived too much to give up with his goal so close. He let the horrendous drone fill his mind. It was now his motivation. He pulled himself out of his partial grave, grimacing as his tortured muscles screamed in protest. Sand poured from him as he rose and began a light jog, building into a sprint.
He could see the docks now. And standing alone, tethered to the very end of the central pontoon was his ticket to safety.


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