Submitted into Contest #135 in response to: Write about a casual act of bravery.... view prompt


Adventure Science Fiction

It’s dark in here. A massive expanse of what feels like pure nothingness and yet a strangely calming sense of what is to come.

It is dark here. Full of nothingness and a wasteland brimming with fear.

This state of being lasts for what seems like an eternity; although, what is time in a place like this?

This feeling keeps me on edge for what feels like forever. I have no concept of time.

My existence continues unnoticed with waves of motion sending me here and there without care or concern of my self. These waves support me. They take me where I need to be.

The wasteland does not know I am here. There is no peace and I am thrown about without care.

I am still. Resting on the soft warmth of space which is to become my universe. It is here where I will become.

I am still. I press my self against the barrenness of this space. What will become of me?

Nourishment fills me from beyond and I am satisfied.

Nourishment fills me from beyond. It is enough to sustain my existence but for how long?

I am changing. I don’t question where I am or what I am doing here. I just am.

I am changing. I ask the wasteland: Where am I? What am I doing here? Who am I?

My eyes open briefly but I see nothing. I do not understand this world. I am exhausted. My eyes close on their own. I will not worry about what I cannot see.  

I open my eyes for a moment. I see only an empty darkness. I do not understand this world. I worry about what I do not see and close my eyes

A pulsing within begins to drum faintly in the distance. It grows stronger and feels near to me. It creates a longing within to feel. It repeats but is not mine. I am not alone.

The drumming wakes me. It grows stronger and I am afraid it will come for me. I am not alone.

I’ve grown accustomed to the darkness surrounding me in warmth. I see nothing and yet know I am secure.

The emptiness of the wasteland has become familiar. My surroundings are desolate and hot. I do not feel safe here.

A fluidity in movement and I realize I am mobile. There is a resistance in the nothingness which makes me strong. I push my self against it and float with ease until I reach the boundary of my confinement. It is soft and warm. I want to remain here.

A part of myself moves on its own through a fluid rich atmosphere. The energy spent exhausts me. I am resigned to remain here.

I am rested and still. I stretch my self as far as I can and still cannot reach the other side. With nourishment, I am growing and my space expands with me. There is a freedom in movement. I move at will and feel powerful.

The nourishment does not last long enough for me to venture away from this spot. I move as little as possible to conserve my strength. I am hiding from the drumming.

The nothingness moves without me. I feel carried at times and the movement becomes regular with cycles of quiet stillness and gentle rocking. I go with the flow of the movement as it prevents my own. I wait for the nothingness to become calm again. I explore my space uninterrupted.

The wasteland erupts and shakes without warning. I make my self as small as I can to protect my self from the unknown. I wait in fear for the rocking to stop.

I am content. I want for nothing, but understanding eludes me. What am I to know? What am I to feel? Who am I to be? I am hopeful the answers will bring purpose.

I am starved for nourishment. I am barely hanging on but continue to grow. I do not understand my purpose for being and am afraid the answer will reveal I do not have one.

The drumming is louder now. New sounds have emerged, distant at first, but without pattern. A fluid melody wakes me from my slumber. It reassures my existence. I await the sound of this melody again. I want to be closer to it. I struggle toward its direction but it is out of reach.

The drumming is louder and closer. I can no longer hide from it. New sounds emerge with intensity. The wasteland feels angry and it tightens around me.

Nourishment arrives. I am fulfilled beyond measure.

After the sounds, nourishment burns as it enters me. I am too tired to move.

The vast nothingness is becoming smaller and smaller. I stretch out and feel what I could not feel before. It is soft and mushy. It is comfort.

My walls are closing in. The wasteland is becoming smaller and smaller. I can no longer hide here.

I know nothing and yet I am hopeful someday I will know.

I know nothing and yet I am determined to survive.

It is difficult to move. I am uncomfortable at times but am able to tuck my self inward and feel safe within this space.

The wasteland is suffocating me. I do not feel safe here.

I opened my eyes and saw my space glowing with light. As I began to look around, the light disappeared and darkness returned.  

I open my eyes. I am surrounded by darkness. I use my self to feel for a way out.

My surroundings closed in on the remaining pockets of space between my self and the softness I had come to associate with security. A change was occurring outside of my control and yet I was not afraid.

I have found an opening. I do not know what waits for me on the other side but I must endure.

An intense pressure around my self, forces me toward an opening I cannot see or feel. It is happening.

An intense pressure causes the wasteland to compress against my self. I use it to move toward the opening and my escape.

All at once, I feel the weight of my self, the resistance to movement, and the urgency that I am ready for what is next.

All at once, I feel the weight of my self resist the barrenness of the wasteland. I am on my way.

The space I had come to know as safe and comforting was quickly morphing into something beyond my comprehension.

The space I had come to know as cold and unsafe was quickly morphing into something beyond my comprehension.

The sounds outside are loud and chaotic. I have no choice but to be brave and emerge from the safest place I would ever know and face whatever reality was waiting for me.

The sounds outside are calm and melodic. I have no choice but to be brave and face what I hope will be my salvation.

I succumb and feel pushed into the chaos. Far away from the safety of my nothingness.

I relax enough to slip through the barrier which had been holding me captive. I am free from my prison.

With my eyes closed, I feel the intense brightness as I am lifted and carried across an unknown space becoming colder and colder the further away I am taken.

I am not ready to open my eyes. The bright light feels warm and gentle as I am carried to safety through an unknown space.

Something hard pushes into me and pulls the breath out of my body. Then again. And again. The rush of dryness flows into me.

Something hard pushes into me and releases my breath. Then again. And again. The rush of cool air flows into me. I can breathe.

I cannot see the invader. I let out a cry warning them I will not stand for this violation.

I cannot see who has given me life. I let out a cry of thankfulness mixed with relief and hope.

I am bound with something soft and warm. Bound tightly, I cannot move. I do not resist.

I am bound with something soft and warm. I cannot move. I feel safe for the first time.

I feel safe again as I am left to rest against a familiar warmth. I know the smell. I can hear the distant drumming and I calm.

I am laid to rest under a strong glowing light which keeps me warm. I sleep believing I will be okay.

Nourishment returns but I must work for it. I feel it reach deep within me and I am content.

I am given nourishment. It feels glorious as it fills me up, reaching the deepest and furthest parts of me. I feel alive.

The melody, which had calmed me so many times, returns. It is no longer muffled but clear and soft. It will protect me.

It is calm and quiet here. The silence broken by soft reassuring tones as I am gently rocked. I do not understand but am comforted knowing they will protect me.

I open my eyes. It hurts to keep them open for long. Everything is bright, blurry, and unfamiliar. It will become clearer with time.

I open my eyes. Everything is blurry and unfamiliar yet encouraging me to become stronger.

Deep down, I know I will need to trust the being holding me if I am to survive.

Deep down, I know I will trust the being holding me as they will be the key to my survival.

I am exhausted. I close my eyes and fall asleep listening to the sounds of my distant nothingness grow further away.

I am exhausted. I close my eyes and fall asleep listening to the sound of my own self’s drumming.

I will be brave in this new world. I am born.

I will be brave in this new world. I am born. 

March 05, 2022 00:08

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Mickey Carroll
01:43 Apr 03, 2022

Your use of words and pacing created a great flow. It feels expansive and cinematic. Almost like an existential stream of consciousness piece.


Jeannette Miller
02:03 Apr 03, 2022

Wow, cool! Yeah, I meant it to be abstract from two different perspectives but each going through a similar experience. I'm so glad it came across the way I intended!


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Sharon Hancock
02:24 Mar 20, 2022

Loved it! Very poetic and flowed beautifully. “cannot see the invader. I let out a cry warning them I will not stand for this violation.” I like that part best. I enjoyed it a lot thanks for sharing!


Jeannette Miller
15:04 Mar 20, 2022

Oh I'm so glad! This story was an experiment for me so I'm so happy it worked for you! Thank you for reading it :)


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Chandler Wilson
20:25 Mar 19, 2022

One word comes to mind. Beautiful.


Jeannette Miller
14:58 Mar 20, 2022

Wow. Thank you! That means a lot to me.


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Palak Shah
14:20 Mar 19, 2022

Nice story. I loved reading it and it really touched me. Well done :)) I hope to read more of your work :)) Could you please read my latest story if possible? :)) Thanks :))


Jeannette Miller
14:56 Mar 19, 2022

Thank you very much! Of course, I'll read it :)


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Trinity Chasey
02:06 Mar 10, 2022

Incredibly insightful and creative. The use of language in this story gives it a unique feel. An act of bravery is something this story definitely demonstrates.


Jeannette Miller
02:37 Mar 10, 2022

Thank you for reading it! It was an idea I've never tried before. I tried to keep it abstract in a way so readers would discover the story as each of my "characters" discovered their existence. I hope it worked!


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Thomas Graham
00:39 Mar 10, 2022

It took me a couple reads to get the echoes or whatever they are and their merging, but that's a great thing that the second read was more enjoyable than the first - well done! I'm curious whether you titled it "Born" to give the reader that knowledge from the outset so we can focus on other aspects.


Jeannette Miller
02:35 Mar 10, 2022

Thank you for reading it! I titled it "Born" because I wanted to keep it abstract enough without giving it away in the title. My original version was just the regular font portion but was only 800 words long! You need at least 1000 to submit but I didn't want to add anything else to the unborn baby's experience. So I ended up adding the italicized perspective of a different unborn baby with less than hospitable environment. It got me the word count and I think it works. I hope so :)


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