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Inspirational Fiction

Brad:

"Daddy!” I shouted from my bedroom. I instantly heard a thump thump, and the door burst open. My dad was standing in the doorway, looking at me with a worried look. 

"Yeah? What is it? Are you hurt? What happened? ” he asked, his eyebrows furrowing, the look he had when he thought something was wrong.

If you couldn’t already tell, I had the world’s most overprotective parents. Makes sense though. We lived in a military bunker, and we have ever since I was born. Something about… was it war? I didn’t pay attention. I just kept to myself, played with my toy cars, normal stuff like that. My parents though… geez. Raise your voice a little, and they were all over you, asking what was wrong. My older sister, Kaitlyn, hated that. I, on the other hand, didn’t mind it. It was nice knowing I just had to quietly shout, and my parents were right there. It made me feel protected.

"Nothing’s wrong daddy. I just wanted some help. Can you fix one of my cars? The wheel snapped off,” I said, holding the car with one hand and the severed wheel with the other.

My dad sighed in relief. Probably happy I didn’t get hurt. 

"Yeah, of course.” 

My dad fixed the car, ruffled my hair, gave me a wink, and left the room. 

Kaitlyn:

I was putting on some black nail polish, Believer playing from my radio when my mom suddenly burst into the room. I felt annoyed. No matter how much I told my parents to knock before they came in, they just come in whenever they feel like it. It’s irritating. 

"Sweetie! Thank god you are okay! I heard a loud noise, and I thought something happened! You are okay, aren’t you?” her eyes as wide as an owl. 

"Yes, mom. I’m okay. And can you please knock before you come in?” I asked, rolling my eyes. 

My mom pointedly ignored me and walked over to my radio. She switched Believer for a slow, classical song by…I don’t know. All I knew is that the song had no pop in it, which makes my point that it sucks. 

"Mom!” I groaned, "why did you change my music? Change it back!” I said. 

"Honey, that music is too loud and aggressive. Classical songs are best for teenagers. Also,” she snatched my black nail polish and replaced it with a hot pink bottle, "black makes you look aggressive. Angry. That is not what you should look like. Use this one instead.” she said, putting my black nail polish in the depths of her pockets, where it will never be seen from again. 

I groaned loudly. I hated this. My mom had a list of what girls should be like;

  1. Girls should wear pink and nothing else. 
  2. Girls should be prim and proper like they are from the royal family. 
  3. Girls should have a smile on their face at all times. 
  4. And most importantly, girls should never, even if their lives depended on it, wear black. 

My mom was wrong. A girl had the right to express who they are. They had the right to be who they want to be. I always tried to show that to my mom, but she thwarted me at every attempt. She said she just cared for my safety. Yeah right. As if wearing black nail polish was dangerous. It is a wonder that I am her daughter. 

Dad:

"Dinner is ready!” I hollered. 

I heard footsteps, and Brad and Kaitlyn emerged from the dark hallway. Brad looked happy, probably because I fixed one of his toy cars. Kaitlyn on the other hand looked mad and not pleased. I casually glanced at her hand. Her black nail polish was gone, replaced with bare nails. I glanced at my wife, Kara. It must be her handy work. Everyone sat down and looked at the food on the table. There were miniature pots of chicken and potatoes, with a slice of dusty bread on the side and a glass of milk for everyone to share. I took a tiny spoon and put some chicken and potato on my plate, and ripped off some bread, and put it onto my plate. 

“ Daddy? Isn’t there any more food?” Brad asked.

“ No bud. Food is scarce, and we make do with what we have, okay?” I said.

“ Okay. And daddy?” 

“ Yes?” 

“Can you help me build my race track after dinner?” he asked. He looked a little sad because of the food restrictions but excited for his race car track. 

“Of course bud,” I said. I reached over and filled Brad’s plate with a tiny spoon of chicken and one small piece of potato. I ripped a tiny piece off of the slice of bread and poured a little bit of milk into his small glass. He smiled sadly and started to eat, chewing loudly. I did the same for Kaitlyn, but when I tried to put some potatoes on her plate, she blocked me with her hand. 

“I don’t like potatoes,” she said, her voice cold and sharp.

"I know honey, but potatoes are good for you. Also, they taste delicious,” I replied.

"I don’t care,” she snapped, and slowly began to eat her chicken.

I glanced at Kara. She frowned and started to try to talk to Kaitlyn.

"Honey, try some. I made them, and they taste good,” she said softly.

“No,” Kaitlyn responded. 

As she and Kara began to argue, I began to eat, grabbing the scraps of chicken and plopping it in my mouth. I then made the mistake of looking over at a family photo. In it, Brad, Kaitlyn, Kara, and I were all standing around my dad, Lieutenant Jay Hartfield. My heart ached. My dad was a U.S Navy soldier, but last year, he went MIA, missing in action. I so desperately wanted to leave the bunker to search for him, but Kara stopped me. She said it was too dangerous to leave for a long time, and I could only leave to get the shipments of food and supplies we got from the government. She literally had to restrain me. To this day, one of my biggest regrets is listening to Kara. I could have just left. I then realized everyone was staring at me. I looked at my reflection in the cup, and I looked like I wanted to kill somebody. I straightened my face, and I felt Kara’s hand on my arm. I looked at her, and she looked scared.

"Is something wrong?” she asked.

"Nope,” I said. I immediately gobbled the rest of my food and left before she would attack me with more questions.

Mom:

Andrew could fool the kids, but he couldn’t fool me. I knew something was wrong, but I chose not to ask. He probably needed some space. Everyone finished eating, and I took the plates to the kitchen. I washed them and dried them before I heard a loud noise. I insanely jumped and ran toward the bedrooms. The sound was coming from Kaitlyn’s room. I swung opened the door and heard somebody say something, and it wasn’t Kaitlyn. 

I was broken from a young age, taking my sulking to the masses, writing my poems for the few...” 

Believer. Kaitlyn is listening to the song again. I stormed to her radio and turned the song off. I glared at her.

“Kaitlyn, I told you to not listen to that song,” I said. I couldn’t help but raise my voice a little. 

She rolled her eyes, walked to her bed, and pulled the covers over her head.

I was getting irritated. Didn’t she understand that listening to such songs is bad for her? I grumbled and left the room. 

I walked to Andrew’s room, knocked once, and opened the door. He was sitting at his desk, listening to the government radio. I pulled an extra chair and sat beside him. He looked at me, and something was different in his eyes. It didn’t hold the same humor, the same easiness. He looked, scared. 

Panicked. 

I was about to ask what was wrong when a voice boomed from the speakers of the radio. 

"… and now we get to the good news. After 5 years, people who live in bunkers are allowed to leave. You heard that right, folks. The reign of terror is over!”

I was ecstatic. I grinned and looked at Andrew. I was expecting him to leap in the air, showing off his trademark smile. But he didn’t. He sunk lower in his seat and ran his fingers throw his hair. He was nervous. 

“Andrew? What’s wrong? We can leave the bunker! We can eat good food and in big quantities! Isn’t that great news?” I said. 

"It is. For us,” he said uneasily. 

"What do you mean “for us”?” I asked.

He looked at me, his eyes sad.

"Kara, what are we going to tell the kids? The bunker is the only thing Brad has ever known. Kaitlyn will be fine, but what about Brad?” he said, pacing the room. 

The realization hit me like a wave. He was right. What are we going to tell Brad?

Brad:

Mommy and daddy called a family meeting.

That either meant something really good. 

Or something really bad. 

Judging their dark expressions when we walked into the living room, I would have to go with the second option. 

"Kids, we have something to tell you,” my mom said. She took a deep breath and let my dad say the rest.

“Okay, umm,” my dad said, looking at me, "so basically, the government said we can leave the bunker. We can go to the real world, and live in the city.”

Silence. 

I was beginning to process this when Kaitlyn cheered.

"This is fabulous news! Finally, we can leave this gross bunker! I’m gonna go pack my bags!” she said, grinning ear to ear. For Kaitlyn, that is a really long trip. 

She ran off, practically jumping with excitement. I had different emotions. I was shocked, confused, and scared. My parents were staring at me, anxious to see how I was going to react.

"What do you mean “the real world”? Isn’t this the real world?” I asked.

My mom started to cry.

"No Brad. See, the real world is so much different. Filled with other people. And there are big buildings and shops, and more food, and,” he stopped. “Let’s just say it is a lot different than the world we are living in right now.”

He paused. He and mommy were both staring at me like I was an alien. A world different then what we live in right now? Filled with other people? More food? That is… great! I want to see what others looked like. I wanted to see, what was it called, grass? I wanted to eat all the potatoes and chicken in the world! I had lived in this bunker for my whole life. Sure, this news is scary, but it was exciting! I grinned, and my parents reeled back like they got punched in the gut. 

"I’m so excited!” I said, jumping.

My dad grinned and ruffled my hair.

"That’s my boy.”

Kaitlyn came back from her room, all of her things packed.

"Let’s go,” she grinned.

Kaitlyn:

Dad opened the hatch, and the sunlight that patiently waited for five years drowned the bunker in warm, golden light. I stepped out and gasped at the beauty of the world. The grass was as green as I remember. The sky was a bright blue, the birds cheerful, the sun shining. Brad gasped beside me. He had never seen anything like this. I bet his mind was blown. I looked at my dad and mom, and they looked like they were ready to cry. We walked into the warm sunlight, excited and scared for how the world changed. 

Dad: 

We arrived at the train station. It was busy, people choking the room. Brad looked like he was going to explode. I smiled and took his hand. He looked at me with his wide and curious eyes. He squeezed my hand, and we stepped onto the train.

Mom: 

We arrived at our apartment. We stepped into the hallway. There was a small living room, a kitchen shoved into the corner, and a long hallway with attached bedrooms and bathrooms. It was the bigger version of our bunker. Brad had seen so many things along the way that blew his mind. Other people, buildings, grass, the sun, and so much more. It was cute how he knew nothing about the real world. He was in for a treat.

We sat down on the bare living room floor, the carpet soft underneath us. Everyone was quiet. Suddenly, Brad looked at me.

"Mommy, what happens now?” he asked

Everyone stared at me.

"Well,  I don’t know,” I said.

Brad looked puzzled.

"But for now,  who wants pizza?” Andrew asked, a huge grin on his face.

“ We aren’t having potatoes and chicken? Also, what is pizza?” Brad asked, confusion twining around his words. 

“ Brad, Brad, Brad. Pizza is the best thing in the entire world. You will die when you try it,” Kaitlyn said. 

I laughed. Fate is unpredictable, but I had my family, and that was the most important thing.

March 12, 2021 01:41

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4 comments

Daniel R. Hayes
05:35 Mar 17, 2021

I liked the way you wrote this story. It was very unique, and I thought the story was very good. Great job!

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Veda Vivek💎
15:44 Mar 17, 2021

Thank you so much 😃

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Devi Rakesh
16:57 Mar 14, 2021

Good Job Veda👏 Keep it going! All the very best!

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Veda Vivek💎
18:02 Mar 16, 2021

Thank you so much! :)😁

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