The arched hallways were filled with a hushed silence, soothing her soul. Moving slowly, she breathed in the pure air. She was safe now. No longer would she live a life embroiled in the darkness of others, their hatred seeping into the goodness of her inner being. No longer would the sounds of the embittered city hound her thoughts and question her actions. The Old Religion would cloister her within its walls and give her refuge. And in return? She would give her life to combing the books that had survived, searching for the truths to help an ailing society.
There was a time when I thought the train tracks leading out of the city would take me away from what had become my life. Tainted. Stained by my environment. Haunted by those who had abused me. Hope had dwindled. And yet, for a moment, it had been ignited by what I believed to be love. Disillusionment and betrayal had led to this moment. I no longer have the will to struggle through life.
The rush of adrenaline as I fall through the air makes me feel truly alive. Maybe ending it was a mistake.
When the rains first came, everyone rejoiced. Harvests had wilted under the sorching sun and the fear of famine was fast becoming a reality. Shouts of joy, however, soon turned into panic. Water seeped underneath doorways, and roofs slowly let in the water that had hammered against them. Homes were destroyed, lives were lost, heros were born. Mud embraced all as the water levels lowered. Famine was now a reality and the shopping carts that littered the area would not be filled with fresh produce any time soon.
The white walls stifled her as she hurried along the walkway. Each day was the same as the last. How she wished to break free of the monotony, the routine of it all! She did not hear the soft footfalls that deliberately followed her, nor did she realise he had watched for weeks. As she struggled against the wiry strength of her captor, she instinctively knew that she would wish for the mundane in the days to come. The white-walled pathway became silent again – until it echoed a few hours later with the sound of her name.
Clouds moved over the city, bringing the noxious gases that would change the inhabitants’ lives. They slowly extinguished the light and the carefree days of the past. They would remain for weeks, smothering hope and snuffing out the breath of many. Survivors would burrow underground, taking over the sewers and subway stations. Their lives would evolve, adapting to the remains of a once powerful city. The remaining few would grow strong and discover the cause of the life-changing catastrophe. Planning and plotting would begin, long after the instigators had forgotten them. But they would not forget. Revenge would be sweet! (100 words)
The automobile had been passed onto him by his grandfather. Weekends saw him tinkering with the machine, buffing the chromework, and lovingly cleaning the leather upholstery. While working on the car, he would remember the pleasant moments spent with his role model. He wished often he had listened to the last piece of advice given over the bonnet of the car: “Marry a woman who understands the enticing purr of a well-run engine.” Instead her beauty, charisma and joie de vivre had beguiled him. Twenty years later, she had become bitter with disappointment and they had nothing in common. (99 words)
The gloomy surroundings were free of hope and laughter. Mothers hurried their children home and old folk scurried along as fast as they could. The area had long been forgotten by those who had the power to change things. Parks were neglected and maintenance crews were slow to do repairs. Nature, however, has a way of providing beauty. Signs of Spring pushed through the gritty soil, suggesting hope and renewal. The colour and optimism of the flower did not last. The gang members gathered near the natural beauty and trampled the plants heartlessly. Their dominance remained unchallenged.
The water crept up overland during the night. Unseen. Acres of crops were submerged; animals and humans drowned. The tranquil water caused panic among the villagers – especially when those on the higher ground refused them entry into the barricaded compounds. The wealthy did not consider the lives of the menial hands. What they saw was the rising water and the limited space on the hillside. A few days later the water crept back to sea, leaving behind muddy devastation. Carrion fed and the survivors were left with the task to begin again with nothing except their soft hands and intellect.
Do you think the wealthy have any regrets about helping the workers gain acess into the compound?
The stool in front of the spinet remained unused; the ivory keys untouched. Each day the instrument was lovingly dusted by the faithful servant in the hopes that her young charge would return. The mother stared unseeingly through the window, thinking of the day her beloved daughter had flounced out of the room on the arm of her young beau. They had warned her he was a scroundrel who would not be able to support her. She had laughed, claiming “love would find a way”. They had searched for them but to no avail. Now they waited for the inevitable.
The battered stairway had seen plenty in its lifetime. It remembered the debut of its life and the young couple who had first stepped onto it. They had been exhuberant, full of hope. The years had slowly eroded her joyfulness and brought with it disillusionment. The children had skipped up and down the cement stairs, turning into adults with their own young trailing behind them. The first family had long ago left this place. Now foot traffic hardly passed down these stairs. Architects had come by, planning a new building. Its life was over and it passed with no regrets.