Submitted into Contest #47 in response to: Suitcase in hand, you head to the station.... view prompt



Walking into the station, looking down at the ticket, written on it is gate 7. Looking up scanning the large open area of tile floor containing rows of chairs full of noisy people. There in the distance you see it, GATE 7, but you think,  just sit here at this end for a little while, after all there is still time before departure, the ticket and the letter said 9:00am and it is only 8:00. Sitting down on the first available chair, farthest from gate 7, putting your ticket in your backpack and pulling out the letter. Still a little shaken from having received it 3 days ago. Of course, you knew this day would come, but they could have at least given you longer than 3 days to prepare for this. They obviously have no idea how many loose ends would have to be tied up before leaving. Leaving, wasn’t supposed to be hard, why did you let yourself get so attached to these people, this life, what a stupid, stupid thing you let yourself do Neila. Looking at the letter again for the hundredth time since you got it, your eyes getting slightly wet, you crumple it and put it back in your backpack. Tears, you fool, just one more stupid thing you learned while you where here, and not one of the more favorable things about this place, maybe it is time to go back. Wiping away a tear that had escaped, looking around at the crowd, do you recognize any of the other observers? not that you would in this form, but maybe there would be a clue that only you would understand. The little girl across from you smiled, she reminded you of the little one that lived across the hall from you, what was that age called again, toddler? yes toddler a name given to children who had recently learned to walk. It was a funny word, but then again a lot of the words in this place were strange, funny or confusing, but you did a good job learning quickly about these people, their language and their ways, some things that were so different and some that were similar to your own world. Yes you have much information to report when you get home, but after 5 years and getting attached you hoped it was enough information to save them, which you felt they deserved. Of course, in the beginning, when you first began the assignment,  you didn’t feel this way, but that was when you had had seen only the horrible side of people, back before you actually interacted with them. Now that you have seen both sides Neila, what are you going to do about it? For five years you have travelled around the globe, to different locations, large cities, small towns, coastal areas, farm areas, northern and southern. The variety of appearance in these locations still amaze you when you think of them, how your energy changed with the environment, thinking back how the nature as people referred to it, was closest to home, surrounded by beauty, bodies of water of all sizes, small paths wandering through large trees, animals everywhere that would come to you and sit with you for the afternoon, giving you peace and pleading for you to help this world. You looked at the clock, still 50 minutes, pretending to scratch your temple you turn on your process file, :Doc 1:7, one of the first positive observations – an incident where you saw a man sitting on the sidewalk, leaning up against the wall. He was in ragged clothes and held a sign asking for money to feed his furry friend. This was confusing until you noticed the furry little cat that was curled up in his lap. Seeing that these humans, or at least some of them, must care deeply for creatures other than themselves, sparked hope and eagerness to discover more about them. Then almost as quickly, your hopes were dashed, two younger males walked towards the one sitting, they called him names and teased him about having a pet when he could not even take care of himself. They said someone should take the furball. This scared the man with the cat, and he clung to it protectively. Being new to the area  not sure how to handle this, you relied on your instinct to defend, you boldly stood up the to the men, telling them that there was no greater thing in life than to care for one another, and for creatures that gave only love and kindness. The two looked a little shocked by this action, they laughed and then walked away. The man with the cat looked up at you and said, “Thank you, this little guy is all I have in this world, but he is my whole world.” He looked down at the cat then back up, “But you understand that don’t you” he smiled.

This was one on many memory files stored in your universal processor chip. There were so many, so much information to submit to the directors when you returned home. Unfortunately, there seemed to be a higher number of negative files, so many that you often wondered how this world has survived as long as it has without destroying itself. Every time you witnessed a cruel or destructive act in this world you questioned yourself on what your final recommendation would be, but then something good would happen and restore your desire to save it. Your files were categorized by 5 levels of Destruction vs Creation, each with 3 subsections for environment, human, animal.  You carefully marked each file sub note, so that you could easily retrieve and relive your favorite moments, when you needed hope after witnessing heart crushing situations. This is probably the only thing that kept you going during the assignment. Too often you found yourself saying, What kind of world would do this? Don’t they know or care at all about this planet or all the creatures that inhabit it? Are they blind to the future they are heading towards? Realistically you knew that they did not have the knowledge, the abilities or the depth that your world has, you know that they have no idea that their future, lies in your hands. The decision to intervene with a planet is not a hasty one.  It is made after years of distant observation and then of the jury known as Neila, assimilates and lives among the inhabitants for 5 years, to obtain accurate information, so you decide with full knowledge which of the three courses of action will take place. Being on the Jury you know you can only put one of these three choices on your recommendation, 1) The planet is evolved enough to teach Rejuvenation to. 2) Leave it on its present course, as it is evolving beautifully. Or 3) Annihilate all humans and buildings and give animals, nature and environment what it needs to heal.  Looking up at the clock again, ten minutes left, clicking off the processor, you stand up, put your backpack on, looking out the window behind you, you see smog and people rushing passed each other uncaringly, you turn back around and head slowly towards gate 7. Along the way you see smiling faces, laughing, hugging. On the ground you see garbage scattered, against the back wall you see police arresting two people covered in blood with drug paraphernalia at their feet , Passing one of the internal stores, the bars across it with a closed sign hung, reminds you of the animals in cages. You notice a scared woman and child, who look like they haven’t eaten in days are being handed food from a stranger with a smile. A young boy is drinking from the fountain but you know that water is not that accessible to everyone in the world, nor will it be available much longer, anywhere on the planet. As you approach gate 7, your energy vibrates, yes you can feel the other observers, it is so strong, so soothing that it makes you realize how much you missed the connection. How very important the connection is to your entire being, one, that if you went without much longer, you would surely cease to exists inside.  Would this world every understand connection, Could it understand? Or is it to late for them?  Entering through gate 7, the attendant read the ticket, smiled “Safe journey Neila, bus J is waiting for you.”   Home, yes you want to go home.

June 22, 2020 16:37

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Elle Clark
10:54 Jul 02, 2020

Hiya! I’m here for the critique circle - I hope you find my comments helpful! This is such an interesting story with a really ambiguous ending. Obviously, I hoped that the protagonist would find enough to save Earth but I quite liked that you didn’t give a definitive answer either way! I would think about putting in paragraphs to break the text up for your reader. It’s quite a big bulk of text. I love the little snapshots of humanity that we see. I would’ve loved you to have gone a little deeper into one or two - just like you di...


Rhonda Allen
20:04 Jul 02, 2020

Hi Laura, thank you for your comments, I love hearing what others think and helpful ways to improve. The reason I did not detail most of the snapshots, was leaving them open to individual perceptions, each person could picture a scene from their own personal experiences eg a family: what does that mean to the reader? I agree I tend to make long paragraphs. I'm glad you liked it.


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