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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 16, 2017

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Submitted: October 16, 2017





“Number two-six-eight-eight-seven”

The anticipation only increased as every hopeful soul eagerly reads their ticket number. Those once enthusiastic and upbeat souls now grew sad and depressed. The atmosphere was now filled with disappointment and resentment. It spread around the entire stadium like wildfire. Except for one single person...

Ian held his winning tickets with trembling hands, not believing it would be him.t. Everybody aged 18 and above in got one entry into the system. Out of the total population in his city, he had won this gift. Now, the true question remained, would his arrow disappear? The last time someone’s arrow disappeared was over 18 years ago. Maybe this year, it’ll be his arrow.

“Number 2-6-8-8-7, please come up to the stage.” The monotone voice rang out over the loudspeakers set up in the front of the crowd. Ian snapped out of his confused awe and swiftly started to rush past people.

A hand had reached out to snatch his winning ticket away, but Ian forcefully pushed it away. He clutched his ticket closer from the greedy hands of the others. After running and pushing past people for an eternity, Ian finally made it out of the crowd and near the front stage.

“Ticket please.”

Ian nearly lept out of his skin. The deep booming voice had caught him off guard. In front of him stood a man easily over six feet tall, adorned in a riot gear suit and a helmet with a face shield. His eyes were black and devoid of any emotion or sympathy.

“Ticket please.”

He quickly snapped out of his trance and held out his ticket with a trembling hand. Ian felt a part of him was stolen as the guard snatched the ticket and examined it carefully. Even though Ian was 100% sure he had the winning ticket, he was still nervous and afraid. The punishment for having an invalid or fake ticket was immediate death.

“Very well, please step up onto the stage.” The guard commanded with a stern voice. He then moved aside, and Ian quickly sprinted up the old, moldy, and creaking stairs.

The stage was small, about 20 by 20 feet. In the corner of stage right was a bullseye target. Ian felt overwhelmed as the camera focused on him and projected his image on multiple widescreen, big televisions hanging above. Due to all the lights being focused on him, Ian could not distinguish any of the faces in the throng of people. The black sea of anticipation seemed to infiltrate his mind and soul, filling him with doubt and self-pity.

“And now, young Ian will shoot the bow and determine his fate!” The voice boomed across the stage, locking Ian into his new destiny. He looked around curiously to where the bow was going to be. A couple of seconds later, another guard walked onto the stage with a blue, crystal bow. The bow was half the size of the guard and the string was a pure, blinding white color. Along with the bow was a simple arrow being carried in the other hand of the guard. Ian couldn’t help but admire the bow. He had only seen pictures and watched the event on T.V. when he had been younger. But this was the first time he ever seen the magnificent bow this close up.

“Drop the bow, and you will be killed.” The guard threatened as he carefully handed Ian the bow. Ian’s hands fumbled to securely grip the bow and the singular crystal arrow. Once he had shifted the bow into his hands comfortably, he looked back up at the guard.

“Now, I’m assuming you know what you do?” The guard demanded more than asked. The only thing Ian could do is simply nod. Of course he knew, just about everyone knew what to do. It was such an honor that you’d look like a fool if you didn’t know.

“Alright then, I’ll leave you to it.” He replied and quickly, yet briskly, walked off the stage, leaving Ian alone with the crowd and T.V.s. The bow seemed so light in his hands, yet, heavy in his heart.

Alright, stop wasting time. Ian thought to himself and walked over to the red drawn line. The line was about fifteen feet from the giant bullseye target. Shifting the bow in his hands, Ian took a deep breath then lifted it up to eye level. His hands noticeably trembling. Without wasting anymore time, Ian put the arrow on the notch and lined it up with the string. Then, wrapped his two fingers around the back of the crystal arrow and slowly started to pull back. Even though the bow and arrow were light in weight, they weren’t light for Ian. Once the arrow was pulled all the way back, he took a deep breath and let go of the arrow.  

The string made a soft hum as it flew out of the bow, the crystal arrow traveled ten feet, before suddenly disappearing in a bright flash of light.

*** *** ***

It had been two decades since that day.

Two decades since Ian had fired the bow, and within those twenty years, it had not come to save him once, like promised. That’s what the government had researched and promised. The amount of times he had been shot at and beaten when he was a part of his faction, was too many to simply forgive.

“This arrow will murder the person that will directly cause your death at the moment you need it most.”

Ian thought it bullshit.

However, he cleared his mind. There was no use in thinking back on useless government projects and his past. This day was about to be the best day of his life.

His wedding day

He met Anna shortly after he left his gang. She worked at a small coffee shop, he’d sometimes stop to get some drinks and snacks. He’d always admired her petite frame with her long brown hair and brown, doe-like eyes. She always seemed to have a natural glow about her and a love for helping people.

He had asked her out on a whim one day, otherwise, he’d regret not asking for the rest of his life. To his immediate surprise, she eagerly accepted. The rest was history. Ian had found a job as an editor for a city newspaper, while Anna became a nurse at a local hospital. That was who she was. The kind, passionate person he wanted. It was almost like she was made for him. This was shortly after she moved into Ian’s apartment.

Now, he was going to marry this woman. His light in the darkness, his everything. Oh, how he couldn’t wait for both of them to wear their same rings, and to now become even closer than they had before.

The music suddenly swelled loudly as Ian stood up on the podium, eagerly waiting for his bride to be to appear. She soon appeared with an arm locked around her father, a scraggly old man who had a slight limp. After what seemed like an eternity, Anna was now finally standing in front of them on the podium. Ian could only stare at how magnificent she looked in her wedding dress, and Anna had looked back up with loving eyes.

“We are gathered here today to....” The Officiate started to speak, but Ian swiftly ignored it and focused on Anna. After more droning on from the Officiator, the time had finally come.

“You may now kiss the bride.”

It came down to this moment, here and now. Ian looked into his wife-to-be’s eyes. Those brown, doe-like eyes. They were filled with happiness, anticipation, and restlessness: just as his were. As he began to lean in, her eyes changed from overflowing joy to sudden panic. A glint of reflected sunlight caught his eye and caused him to look down. A blotch of crimson red was growing on his lover’s pearly white dress. In the very center was an arrow.

A crystal arrow.



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