The Four Survivors (Pt. 1)

Written in response to: Set your story in the woods or on a campground. ... view prompt

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Adventure Sad Friendship


“Charlie, Lisa, everyone. Come here! Fast.” I yelled with blood on my hands. Thick veils of guilt knotted together in my gut and churned in a painful twist. How could I not have been here? How could have I not saved her! 


Charlie was the first one to come. His olive brown hair dripped with sweat and his brows arched together in confusion. A thump of worried footsteps spreaded over the forest floor; all meeting with a sudden stop and a gasp of horror. Sixteen pairs of eyes flicked between the lifeless body in my hands and back at me. 


“No no no no no” A boy rushed forward, his age shy to sixteen. He crashed onto his knees and carefully took the bloodied face in his hands. “No no no please, Tracy, open your eyes. Please. Open your eyes.” A sob joined the desperate voice as he kept shaking Tracy’s head, begging her to open her eyes. I tried to pat him on the shoulder but got a furious shrug in response. The boy’s eyes finally met mine. The once amber sparks had melted away, stepping away to the hazy look of hopelessness and misery.


“How-?” 


I pointed at the blood doused arrow beside the body. The feeling of its hard wood still resided in my hands. Tracy’s screams echoing to the core of my ears as I had pulled it out of her back. I wish I could’ve held her hand and told her to be brave but I never got the chance. I never saw anything else except two lifeless voids staring back at me. Seeing the arrow must’ve broken the last straw as the boy got plunged into utter madness, screaming and shaking the body violently. 


But what could I do? Stop the brother from mourning over his sister? 


The tempest didn’t last longer than a minute but now the boy was nothing but barely a stack of bones because his heart had been long shattered. 


“She- she told me she was scared.” A tiny voice escaped his lungs. “She told me to be with her. It’s- it’s all my fault.” 


“No, please. Don’t blame yourself, Check. It wasn’t anybody’s fault.” Lisa finally spoke. She took out a small bottle of water from her bag and gave it to Check. 


***


An hour had passed. Charlie and a few others helped me bury Tracy and we all joined hands for the prayers. Check would take some time to recover. He’s made sit under an old tree but I doubt he’s still shivering. 


“Tammy, can you find me a few good stones? I think I found some fleshy peaches here.” Sadie voiced from behind a thick grove. 


“On it” I yelled back and began tracing the ground for a little help. 


Suddenly I heard some shuffling behind me and my bones almost jumped. 


“Charlie! It’s you, gosh” 


“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” 


“No, it’s fine. I was anyway helping Sadie collect the food.”


“I- uh actually wanted to talk to you about something.” 


“Uhm-hm” I bent down to pick a fine looking stone from under a few leaves.


“The whole Tracy thing, you know what that means, right?” 


I stopped. My eyes now fixed on him. “That there’s someone else out here too.” I said, more like a statement. 


“Yes. But how is that even possible?”


“Maybe we were wrong. Maybe there is still life. And maybe they could help us.” 


“You really think so? After what they did to Tracy? Have you even seen Check? His face is almost unrecognizable with all the crying.” 


“I know, okay? I know. What do you expect me to do?”


“To get moving. We can’t stay here long. It’s too dangerous.” 


“Tammy, are you coming?” Sadie yelled. 


“Coming” I replied and turned back towards Charlie. “We’ll talk about this after lunch, okay? We’ll talk to everyone.”


His disappointment masked into a slight nod and I headed towards Sadie. 


***


“Mm, Tammy. These are so good. Where did you even find them?” Jack, a boy with handsome blond hair and sharp nose said, the edges of his mouth covered with peach pulp as he began licking his fingers. 


“All credit goes to Sadie.” I said and got up, patting the dust off my pants. I looked around to find Check sitting on the same spot, unmoved. 


“Check, you sure you don’t wanna eat anything?” I said, sliding beside him. 


“I am not hungry.”


“You know that starving is not the solution. She can’t come back now. You have to be brave.” 


“You don’t understand, Tammy! I-” 


Before he could finish, a loud noise stole the show. The ground shook beneath as if thunder had swept beneath our feet. The sky that once bloomed with calm blue was now stomping with threat. Before I could move a muscle, an arrow landed just an inch away from my foot. 


“Shoot. We have to go. Now!” I grabbed Check by his collar and we began to run. 


“Everyone! Take cover behind the trees.” I yelled again, struggling my way towards a big banyan tree. All of a sudden, in the midst of the chaos, I caught the glimpse of our predators. Riding the horses were muscular men dressed in the color that of avocado. Each had a green cloth covering their mouths and a pair of giant neat gumboots. A few acquired swords and knives while the rest carried a quiver on their backs. The man in front with long pale hair bent his arm backwards, taking out an arrow and aimed it at- 


“Lisa! Look out” I screamed; my voice delayed for a fraction of seconds as the arrow pierced through Lisa’s chest. 


I stopped. The world stopped. Not again, no. 

“Lisa!” I sidetracked and began running towards her but a solid hand gripped my arm. 


“Tammy, we have to go.” 


I tried to shrug him off but he was too strong. “Charlie! Let me go. Lisa!.” 


The next events still hold a blurry stance in my memory. A sharp pain emerging from my shoulders. My knees feeling too weak. Blurred voices echoing all around me. A pair of arms tugging me to stand back up. And then 



Darkness 


*** 


Life is simple, but in a complicated way. Life is a river with an unknown destination. There are many turns and twists, each droplet with a different path. Life is full of sharp rocks and everyone is bound to get hurt. But the only one that brings oneself to move forward can reach the shore. I am just as you. A simple droplet but my path is much more dangerous. 


“Lisa!” 


I woke up, brimming with sweat. The scenery of the lavish forest floors covered with autumn leaves and an ocean sky wrinkled with smiling clouds had now changed to a small cage. I woke up to see three intent faces staring back at me. Tired and sorrow dipped eyes welcomed me to the world until the realization of the past hit me like a harsh wave. 

Charlie helped me sit back up. 


There were ten when we started. 


And now, 


Four.


April 25, 2022 08:35

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11 comments

09:13 Dec 22, 2022

Hey keya! So philosophically and truly, you ended with the beautiful lines, that I loved: " Life is simple, but in a complicated way............................. But, the only one that brings oneself to move forward can reach the shore." I also loved the way you reminded your readers, in-the-end, with the nos(four) of survivors that matched with the title of your story.

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Keya J.
05:59 Dec 31, 2022

Thank you so much! I really appreciate the feedback :)

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Daniel R. Hayes
22:51 Jun 01, 2022

This was amazing, Keya! With every story you write, you get better and better. I can't wait to read the next part! You did a great job writing this and the ending left me craving more!! I'm sorry I'm late to this, I had to take a break from here to finish my novel, which I did. Hope to have it released in July or August. I couldn't focus on these short stories and finish that larger project at the same time. ;) But as for this story, I loved it and I can't wait to read the second part!

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Keya J.
14:35 Jun 02, 2022

Thank you Daniel! It's always good to see your comment :) Yayy for your novel!!! I can already see it as a bestseller 😁 And I can understand. Lately I too have been going through the same, with my focus shifting more on reading books than actually sitting down and write. I've been facing writer's block on the third part of this series so I just distract myself by writing poetry or another short piece. But hopefully I'll go back to it soon.

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Daniel R. Hayes
17:14 Jun 02, 2022

I completely understand, Keya. Sometimes it's good to step away and take a little break, get outside for some fresh air, or anything that might put your mind at ease. When you come back to writing, hopefully your mind will be refreshed and ready to go ;) I hope you get the rest you need and I know that you will come back stronger than ever! :)

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Keya J.
18:31 Jun 02, 2022

Thanks for those words 😃, really motivates me :)

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Eric D.
14:35 May 12, 2022

Please tell me this continues Keya is was great and 6ou do a great job keeping that suspense going. Also I need to applaud you at knowing how to paint a picture and describe faces really well.

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Keya J.
12:01 May 13, 2022

Thanks a lot Eric! Part 2 is out if you want to read. Waiting for the prompts to see if they suit the upcoming episodes. Thank you so much.

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Alex Sultan
09:00 May 06, 2022

Hi Keya - I read through this story, and I think it was pretty nice. I liked a lot of the lines you wrote, and I think my favourite part was the ending. The poetic bit in italics before closing out the story was well done. Some of the lines really stood out to me, but this one in particular: 'I wish I could’ve held her hand and told her to be brave but I never got the chance.' -I like how you used this line to build character. I'm looking forward to part 2!

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Keya J.
09:41 May 06, 2022

Thanks a lot, Alex! This story was just the footing of the plot...there's more to come 😁 Thanks again :)

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Keya J.
08:38 Apr 25, 2022

A rough draft. All critiques welcomed!

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