Striving to Stay Alive

Submitted into Contest #74 in response to: Write a story that takes place across ten days.... view prompt



β€œCome on we don’t have that much time left”.

β€œI’m going as fast as I can. You know it’s kinda hard to move when there is fire everywhere”. Serena honestly thought I could walk through the forest when half of it was on fire.

β€œChris, we don’t have that much time”. She paused before continuing, β€œOr do you wanna die?”

β€œNo I don’t wanna die but we might if you don’t hurry up”. I caught up to her and by then I was a few feet in front of her. She sighed and started to run towards me. We eventually caught up to Adela, Lucas, and Eloise who were at the end of the forest where the fire wasn’t as bad. In their hands held several seeds. We planned on planting a couple trees in hope that the world would return back to normal.

β€œHere start planting”, Eloise started to hand me and Serena some seeds. We had everything you needed to start planting: water, a shovel, and the seeds of course. The area would receive enough sunlight and we hoped that the trees would be able to grow. We had never planted anything before so this was our first time doing so.

We would need to wait roughly 10 days before seeing any signs of growth. The fires had burned down most of the forest leaving behind smoke and ashes. The smoke polluted the air making it hard to breath. You couldn’t go 5 minutes without hearing a cough in the distance. The clouds were an ugly color of gray slowing turning into black. The buildings were crumbling to the ground and could no longer be recognized as they originally were.Β 

The world was slowly dying because of us. We were selfish and decided that nature was here for our consumption. We thought nature was a means of income rather than a beauty that needed to be saved. Due to our egotistical actions and way of thinking the world was left to suffer.Β 

It was up to us to save the world not get it back to normal because that would be nearly impossible.Β 

Day 1

We collectively planted around 20 trees. The space we had was pretty small so we weren’t able to plant all of the seeds. We did, however, find another plot of land and planted 5 more trees. Now all we had to do was wait.

Adela and Eloise were sisters so they stayed together in a hut they had built. Lucas, Serena, and I lived in the ruins of an old pizzeria. Nobody was there to complain the fire wiped out most of the population. We saw one family of four but they were headed to the mountains; those were the last people we ever saw.

Day 2

I went to check on the trees Lucas told me not to but I did it anyways. I just wanted to see what everything looked like even though we just planted the seeds. When I got to the first site everything was the same, nothing had changed. There was a new freshly burned tree but that was it. I arrived at the second site shortly after; the fire had spread but not into the small area in which the seeds were planted into the ground.Β 

Day 3

Nothing really happened today. Part of the ceiling did start falling but nobody was injured. Serena also couldn’t stop coughing, maybe having asthma wasn’t the best idea when you could hardly breathe in clean air. Adela and Eloise went to check the trees and they said everything was fine.

Day 4

We all decided to look at the trees together. Good news the tree started to grow kinda. It slightly started to sprout and you could barely see the short stem growing out of the dirt. No one thought it would grow because it was surrounded by smoke and burnt wood but it grew. Adela being the superstitious one told us not to get too excited but how could we not. A tree was growing in a broken world. It sorta reminded me of the rose that grew from concentrate.

Day 5

More of the ceiling came down, a small piece of it landed on my arm as it fell. We really needed to find a new place to stay. We checked on the trees and nothing had changed. Lucas and I wanted to explore so we did. We had never been further than where we had slept and planted the trees so everything was new to us. We have been in these places before but that was when the world was intact. We passed by an old arcade with its red sign hanging off. Lucas tried to touch it and it ended up falling causing a cloud of dust to rise from the ground. Once I saw a dead animal it was time to go. The creature was so badly injured I couldn’t even tell what it was.

Day 6

We moved into a different place that didn’t have a crumbling ceiling and checked the trees. The trees were still growing which gave us hope that we might be able to survive. This new found hope was soon lost once we saw that more of the trees turned into ashes and the fire grew bigger. It was heartbreaking to say the least on one hand the trees were growing meaning we could save everything but on the other hand everything was getting worse. We didn’t know how to stop the world from burning so we thought that planting the seeds was our best bet.

Day 7

The trees were growing like actually growing. There was a speck of green coming from the ground and I assume it was a leaf because what else could it be. Adela warned once again that if we got too happy we would ruin it. This time we didn’t listen, we celebrated. Elosie made waffles for breakfast the next day. Normally this wouldn’t have been something to celebrate with but in these times hot food especially hot breakfast is a luxury.

Day 8

More fire that we had to put out. The trees were growing. This day was uneventful.

Day 9

Fire just more fire. The color wasn’t even orange; it was more of a black color that resembled a dark void. That’s all we have come to know back then flames this big were uncommon now it’s everywhere you turned.

Day 10

It was gone. Everything gone burnt up by the flames. The worst part is that we didn’t even hear it burn. We couldn’t hear the flames cackling or the wood sizzling so we couldn’t stop it. All the work we had put into planting the seeds and caring for these plants. Plants that would never reach their full potential. Every once of hope that anyone of us had was gone for good. Without trees we can’t have clear air and without clean air that would be the end of all of us.

December 29, 2020 02:47

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This story is something I submitted for school and it matched the prompt so I thought I would put it on here. If you have any title suggestions let me know.


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Carrie O'Keefe
22:28 Jan 11, 2021

End of Days, Reaping What We Sow, or something along the lines of Striving to Stay Alive. Hopefully those suggestions might spark and idea of what you could call this prompt.


i love all those ideas thank you :) i changed the name of the story to Striving to Stay Alive thank you again🀍


Carrie O'Keefe
23:06 Jan 11, 2021

I am glad you liked my suggestions. ; }


they were really good im glad you gave them to me


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