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Adventure Drama Suspense

   Blood poured through a gash from Elin’s arm as he fled the burning city. Dark smoke filled the air and chased the beautiful sky away into the heavens, where it couldn’t be found. He stopped for a moment, watching the horror around him increase. The people who were spared the death of the sky either ran or burned in their fiery apartments. Everyone still had to be careful even if they were alive and free from smoky suffocation. Streetlights that had once lit the proud roads of Sudbury crashed down and added to the turmoil. Elin grabbed a little girl and pulled her backward just before one shattered and sprayed glass that was sharp enough to cut into their skin, and it did. The girl cried and screeched, and her voice was drowned out by the sounds portrayed in his hometown.

“Elin!” cried a too well-known voice that belonged to Elin’s best friend Ryn. The usually strong, healthy teenager was severely injured and could hardly walk. Stumbling, he held a bundle in his charred arms. Elin placed the girl he had saved on a stone deck. At least then she would be safe and out of death’s reach. Hopefully. He ran over to Ryn quickly but stopped when he saw the bundle. “I-i-is that a baby?” Elin asked, trembling in pain, and put a hand on his friend’s broken body.

“Yes,” his companion nodded. Ryn shakily uncovered part of the baby. A chubby little face with red hair peeked out and held onto Elin’s finger. “I rescued her from a church. She had been with her mother before the storm and before the church collapsed. The mother had begged me to save her baby and told me that she was the daughter of the priest and would give me no trouble,” he explained. A lightning bolt struck a metal pole inches away from their bodies, causing the boys to jump back.

“Well, what’s her name?” Elin shouted above the natural disaster. The girl he had saved and placed on the stone deck flew over his head and crashed into a burning building. Elin turned away so he wouldn’t have to watch the gruesome scene. “And who is going to take care of her?” Elin grabbed Ryn and started running for the gates to the city. He ducked as a car got caught up in the wind and flipped over his head and crashed into a stone building.

“I think she said it was— Augh!” Ryn’s leg hit a thick metal pole and caused him to hunch over, almost dropping the baby girl. While Elin examined the injury, Ryn started yelling incoherent words.

“Elin! Stop!” he made the words leave his mouth out, protesting. “You have to go!” Ryn passed the baby girl to his compatriot. “Save the child!”

Elin’s eyes burned with tears, both of fury, sorrow, and soot. “I can’t leave you!” he insisted gruffly, grabbing Ryn’s hand fiercely and pulling him forward. His companion let go of him and narrowly missed a strike of lightning. The road they had been running on suddenly split in half. Ryn stuck on the side of destruction and death, tripped, fell, and grasped the edge of the road. His hands had grabbed a ledge yard away from the split road. Elin stood on his half of the road, the clear sky and fresh air just seconds away. The churning sea reached for Ryn, desperate to pull him in and let him drown. To leave Elin alone. As his fingers slipped away, Elin reached for his friend.

“Elin!” shouted Ryn. “Go! I’ll be fine!”

“Liar,” thought Elin. “You’re going to let go the second I leave and drown.”

“Listen, Elin!” he commanded. “Go, and give the child a family! She and you may be the only survivors, and if you both die, who will protect the truth of this incident?”

Elin wished that wasn’t true. But it was. The other pathways out of Sudbury were either destroyed or in the process of annihilation. He slowly nodded as tears streamed down his bloody face that was caked with scorch marks and dirt.

Ryn’s left hand slipped off; he rummaged around with his free hand in his sweatshirt pocket. His hands found a leather pouch and tossed it to Elin. “Take this!” Elin, puzzled, peeked inside and saw some beef jerky, a small cork of milk, and another of water. “Now go!” Torn between his friend and the fate of the last survivor, Elin suppressed the urge to rescue Ryn.

“Goodbye, Ryn,” he said for the last time.

“Goodbye,” Ryn repeated and paused. “Just… promise me one thing.”

“What?”

“My aunt told me this when she died. ‘Don’t spend the time other people gave their lives for by grieving. Honor them by living strong, not by staying in the shadows. Live.” With that Elin’s first friend, his oldest friend, let go of the ledge and fell into the crashing waves below. In a few minutes, the storm stopped, the fires ceased, and all was calm for once. But the damage, inside and out, had not been repaired.

Elin set down the baby gently along with the pouch of food, and looked over to the edge, searching for Ryn’s body. At least when he found it, he could give Ryn a proper goodbye. When the baby girl started to wail, he plucked out the milk and fed her until she was asleep. “Poor girl,” thought Elin sadly. “No parents, no home, no name.” Something shiny flashed under the blanket she was bundled in. He slowly uncovered it and found it. Engraved in a silver medallion, was her name. Elin’s fingers ran over the letters like he was reading braille.

“‘Goddess Future Truth. Born to Jinaco and Selvia Truth.’” He looked at the baby. She didn’t look like a goddess, that was for sure. His attention turned back to the medallion. He tucked it inside the blanket and held the baby. “Come on, Goddess. Let’s find you a family.”

June 01, 2021 13:32

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