Island Community

Submitted for Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about community.... view prompt

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Ziva didn’t realize how blessed to be born on the island of Kova.  In fact, there were a few that didn’t realize how blessed they were until they heard of the other islands.

Kova is a community where everyone works together to strive for survival.  Equality is stressed among the people for no one is greater or lesser than the others.  People of color, age, or sex is not discriminated against for they knew it would cause conflict.  Division is not allowed for they knew the community would unravel.  All they have to do is read the texts of old to see that the community came close to extinction.

As the population expanded many years ago also feuding started to take place as many wanted to do it their way, and soon pushed by force for everyone to follow their way.  Soon, riots, to battle, to war took place that wiped out half of the population.  Future generations praised the outcome for it was the ones for unity that survived and ruled.  Being ones of common sense, and looking to beware future generations, the people put down in pamphlets the days of division and what needs to be done not to go back to those days.  They strictly enforced the reading of the pamphlets so the dark days would not come back to Kova.

Ziva had just finished the reading of the pamphlets, and the teachings of the elders of life on Kova.  Now, that the teaching is over it is now time to fully implement the readings.  Part of it was already being done since he was practically walking.  Now, to be a full-time member of society to keep the machine rolling smoothly.

The day after his teachings came to an end Ziva stood in front of the crystal mirror his family was lucky enough to get from a supply that is quite low.

He is of a typical height for a male on this land being five foot and eight inches.  He had dark, curly hair that in the back went down to his shoulder blades.  On both sides of his head his hair was cut to a stubble, with curly hair on top, six inches high.  He made many facial expressions - serious, goofy, happy, sad, bizarre.  He had almond eyes, large plump nose, full lips, and somewhat of a jutting jaw.  He kept himself quite active so was lean, but showed the muscles for all to see.  He had light brown skin, which around fifty percent of the population were of that color.  The other half were either darker skin or light skin.

“I feel like my place in learning has not ended yet,” he said to his reflection.

Ziva needed to talk to one of the leaders to find out why he still felt in-complete.

It was the next day he was able to have a meeting with Nolanda to see if she could answer his dilemma.

“I have finished my teachings,” he told her.  “So I should be ready to fully unite with this community, but I feel like I’m still not done with my learning.  I feel I need to expand beyond what this land contains.  Hopefully, you can help me understand my circumstances?”

Nolanda gave him a warm smile as she handed him a drink.

“It feels like your mind wants to expand?” she asked.

“Yes indeed,” he replied.

“Do you feel as if you need to leave this land?”

“Not to depart to never return, but to see what else is out there,” he explained.

She nodded in understanding.  “I know the feeling and what news to be done.”

“You do,” he said with excitement.  “Please tell me.”

“I will start with the good part by saying you are destined to be a leader of this land,” she said, but held up a finger upon the look of excitement on his face.  “But you will face peril to accomplish your task to be welcomed into this role.”

“What is it that I must do?” he asked quite nervously to have to perform something that was out of his comfort zone.

“You will travel to another land,” she replied.  “You will see the life of another community.”

Ziva felt as if he should be excited to see another land, and different people, but by her look he knew it would not be a grand experience.

“What are the perils?” he asked.

“The land you will go to is similar to this land of old.  The troubled times before we united.  Possibly even worse than then.”

“I have read and retained,” he said.  “I should be able to handle it.”

“It is easy to read it, but entirely different to live it.  People want to judge others of their way of life hundreds of years ago, but don’t have a clue how life was.  What we consider bad others consider good.  You will witness this, but do not interfere.  You will want to help.  You will want to teach.  Do not, but instead observe.  You will see why our way of life is much better than others.”

“How long should I stay?” he asked.

“You will know when it’s time for you will feel complete,” she said.  “I just pray all will go well for you.”

“I will be cautious.”

“You will learn much more.  Do not let your emotions overrule your reasoning.  By doing so you will face less peril.”

“I shall do so,” he said.  “I will prepare for the journey.”

“Once you are ready there is a boat on the southwest part of the land.  It might not be much but it will get you there.  The boat will practically take you there without using much labor.”

“Thank you for everything,” Ziva said standing up.

“I wish you the best,” she said, standing and giving him a hug.

Ziva went home, and once his family heard what he was about to do they celebrated.  Even though there is concern this community concentrated on the positive.

After the celebration Ziva readied for the journey then went to bed, but there was little sleep.

The sun hadn’t risen yet when Ziva started his hike to the southwest part of the land.  When he arrived at the water he saw the wooden boat.  It was large enough to fit two as he climbed onboard.  He looked around for a paddle, but there was not one in sight.

“How am I to get to the other land?” he asked sitting down.

Next moment, the boat was moving, and it quickly picked up speed so Ziva had to hold onto the sides.

“How is this moving?” he thought.

He looked back, seeing his homeland dwindle away until he could no longer see it.  But as it disappeared a land appeared in front of him.  It grew larger and larger until he came too short.  As he stopped out and looked around it looked similar to his land.

“It doesn’t look bad to me,” he said as he started travelling through the woods.

But, he hadn’t seen any of his kind yet so he needed to be cautious.

It wasn’t long before he came to a clearing, and saw his first man-made structures.  He got behind a tree and studied the places, seeing they were not as well built as the ones at home.  In fact, it looked like the roof was caving in on a couple of the places.

“I hope no one lives in these places.”

He contemplated stepping out and meeting the inhabitants, taking a step out when he heard someone yelling.  He stepped back and looked to his right.  There was a line of people, poorly dressed and looking in terrible shape heading toward the structures.  A larger male with what looked like a long, wooden stick walked behind them.  He started yelling at the group, swinging the stick in the air, and the people moved a little quicker.

“What could this be all about?” he pondered.

Soon, they were out of sight.  Ziva waited for a bit then ran over to the structures.  He went from one to the next.  He could swear he could hear cries within a couple of the places.

“Are these homes?” he asked.  “They can’t be.”

He moved on.  In the distance he could see more structures up on a hill that looked a lot better than the ones he stood by.

“Do the leaders live up there?” he pondered.

In his land the leaders lived among everyone else so who knows who the special ones that lived higher up in this place.

He came across another group seeing that some of them dug into the earth while many sat or laid back in chairs talking and laughing.  He observed for a while to see if they would change up, but the same ones toiled away while the others enjoyed themselves.

“This seems so unfair.”

Ziva was able to travel through the village, seeing many things that were unjust.  He even ran into a couple of people, who looked at him.  He could see the brokenness in their looks.  They were lifeless as they shuffled away, quickly hanging their heads as he figured they must think he is a privileged one.

“There is no community here,” he said.

The day went by, and Ziva was quickly realizing this land was a failure to its people.  A few enjoyed the riches while many slaved away, and made little to survive.

That night he went back into the woods, and did his best to find a comfortable place to sleep.  He hoped to be sleeping in a structure, learning of this land, but these people could cause him harm.

“Maybe I can talk to the ones in need,” he thought.

He wasn’t long into his sleep when he was awakened by a scream.

“A woman in distress,” he thought, jumping up.

He heard the scream again, and rushed that way.

Soon, he came upon a man wrestling with a woman on the ground.  With the bright moon he could see the man in his dress was one of the upper class while the woman was of the lower class.  The man smacked her across the face then ripped open her shirt.  Ziva never experienced the rage that burst forth as he rushed and knocked the man off the woman.  He then punched him repeatedly until he noticed the man was out.

“My God,” he muttered.  “I can’t let myself be like them.”

He stood up and went over to the woman, seeing she was a young girl as she cringed from him.

“I won’t hurt you,” he told her as he bent down.  “I want to help you.”

She slowly looked up at him, terror in her eyes.

“Please believe me.  I wouldn’t dare hurt you.”

He held out his hand, and it seemed like a long time went by before she put her delicate head into his hand.

“Let’s get far away before he awakes,” he told her or someone else showed up.

By no one else appearing after the screaming he wondered if this was a normal thing.

They went as quick as they could, Ziva having to help her along until he figured they were safe.

They rested for a while in silence, Ziva looking all around to make sure no one was following them.

“My name is Ziva,” he said to her.

She looked up at him.  “Noel,” she muttered.

“Get some rest,” he said.  “Please believe me when I say I will not hurt you.”

She must have for she laid her head on the ground and slept.

Ziva looked off into the woods, tears in his eyes.

“How can this place survive with such people,” he thought.  “Lack of compassion.  Lack of love.  Lack of everything to keep a community whole.”

In the morning he gave her food, and he tried to figure out what to do.

“Take me to where you live,” she said as if she read his mind.

“I don’t come from this land.  I would be taking you from your family.”

“I have no family,” she said.  “Once my mother died that man was my owner.”

“That beast that attacked you?”

“Yes,” she replied as the tears flowed.

“Let us go,” he said.

Soon they were on their way coming to the boat.  They got onboard and he told her to sit.  Once he followed suit the boat started moving.

Ziva looked back once.  He was there for less than a day, and already felt like he saw a lifetime of horror.  There was no togetherness.  There was no unity.  There was no community.

He looked forward, anxious to head home.  Happy that he saved Noel from what he figured would have been a short life.  She looked back at him, and a smile appeared on her face.  He wondered if that was the first time she ever smiled.  He would strive to make her smile everyday.  She will soon join a united community.  Ziva felt complete.


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2 comments

Harken Void
08:18 Jun 30, 2020

Interesting concept and character names (in Slovenian language, Ziva or Živa, is a female name, so that got me giggling a few times), but I liked your story. It went on smoothly and I felt connected with the character. You've got quite the imagination ;) There were some punctuation errors and some clumsy sentence structure. For example, the opening line is missing two words: "Ziva didn’t realize how blessed HE WAS to be born on the island of Kova." If you have difficulty with editing, you can always use Grammarly to help you, or try readi...

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Corey Melin
14:00 Jun 30, 2020

The name makes me chuckle. I looked up the meaning of it and used it in the story. Once again much appreciated with the helpful tips and I need to go back over my stories more thoroughly.

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