697 readings

24

The boy shuddered. He was cold, lying on a metal board under a palm tree. The wind danced around his bare chest, causing the boy to stir. But when he tried to lift his arm, a sharp burning pain caused him to cry out. A bird, disturbed by the sudden noise, erupted and flew out of the top of the dark tree, the fronds rustling and bouncing in place. But nothing else happened. No one came to check on the disturbance. No one came to see if the boy was alright.


The boy saw that it was dark out, his blue eyes were revealed to the night as he shook away long dirty blonde hair. Now fully awake from the jarring pain in his left arm, the boy sat upright trying to figure out what was going on. The painful arm was limp at his side and he didn’t dare try moving it again. His other arm was bloodied but didn’t hurt. He was still cold and wished he had clothes. The tattered grey boxers were the only thing he had on. But he could see color now, the green fronds above him beginning to reveal the hazy morning light. He looked down at the metal slab he was on. It was debris and looked like it was painted with blood. Probably mine, the boy thought, realizing why he felt dizzy. He thought he saw something in front of him. A dark, imposing shape not yet exposed to the morning light. Or was that just his mind? He couldn’t tell and felt tired again. The boy screamed in a last attempt to get the shape’s attention. He fell asleep while catching his breath, and no one came to see if the boy was alright.


The boy woke up later, still cold. At least his arm didn’t hurt as much. The bleeding had stopped and felt crusty. Yet the pain didn’t go away, it just spread, distributing itself across his body. The light revealed scrapes and bruises on his chest and legs. He didn’t dare imagine what his face looked like. But what did he look like? The boy couldn’t remember. He couldn't remember anything. It was cloudy and murky, and he felt tired when he tried to remember himself. “What is my name?” the boy whispered, his voice hoarse and weak. He didn’t know. The boy was thirsty and cold. He tried to get up, off the blood-smeared metal but collapsed after just a step in the sand. He cried out in pain as the fall resent the blinding pain through his left arm. What can I do, he thought with despair. I am going to die. No one else is here. No one can help me. I cannot even help myself. The sand crept into the boy's mouth, like sandpaper, as he lost hope. But the boy didn’t actually want to die. He tried to crawl but passed out when his left arm began to slide against the coarse sand.


The boy could barely move. He wasn’t cold anymore, lying in the sand. But the heat didn’t help. It seared at his pale skin, taunting him. Looking up from the sand, he saw metal monoliths reflecting spotlights. Chunks of glinting amalgamate were scattered in with the harsh sand all around him. I must have been in an explosion. No, a crash, the boy realized. But he wasn’t proud he had figured it out. The pain was too apparent and the boy still couldn't remember. The wind rose again as time seemed to fade. Sand and shrapnel struck against him like meteors, beating and covering him. He faded in and out of consciousness, trying not to give in. But this is it, he thought. I can’t remember myself, and I never will. I am young and never loved. I shouldn’t care since I don’t remember...


But I do.


The boy looked at the sand which reflected the dying evening light. He coughed blood as he tried to scream. He tried. He tired. He cried, waterless sobs. He dreamed of plants and growth. Of water and life. But it was painful. So painful. He was cold and alone. The last thing the boy thought on the sandy floor, dusted with blood and iron was a simple question. Why?


______________________________


The boy couldn't move. But he wasn’t in pain. He wasn’t hot or cold, he was just there. It was hard to open his eyes, but when he did all he saw was white. White walls, white floors. A white room. But he couldn’t move his head. Where am I?


“Welcome back”, a voice boomed. “I know that was harrowing”. The voice seemed calm and inviting.


The boy started crying. He felt the tears drip. He could only remember the pain, the suffering, and he needed someone. Maybe this was God.


“Now tell me everything,” the voice stated sternly, after waiting for the boy to stop sobbing.


“I-I. I... I don’t know. I don’t know what happened!” The boy sputtered, his voice high with life.


“Who are you?” The voice asked.


“I don’t know.”


“Who are you?” The voice repeated.


“I can’t remember, I tried!” The boy yelled.


“Who are you?” The voice angrily asked.


“I would tell you if I could” he replied frustrated with his effort to explain to the voice. “I’m a boy!” he asserted in a last attempt to stop the voice’s inquiry.


There was a pause as the boy’s words echoed in the white room. The silence that followed was deadly.


“Terminate the subject,” the voice answered with apathetic satisfaction, as the room went dark. “Time to begin again”.

CONTEST

Image of New beginnings
24

Few words for the author?

This is a place for encouragement, constructive criticism, and respectful comments… unsure if you should say what’s on your mind? Take a look at our advice on commenting here! Read the chart

To post comments, please