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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sad (07/26/07)

TITLE: Just In Time
By Trevas Walker
07/31/07


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The sweltering heat of the late evening was almost too much to bear. Like rising heat trails from a hot fire, the heat that rose from the surface of the once lush green earth obscured the view ahead. The two explorers slowly made their way through the old city. Most of the city was in ruins. In the centre of the city the old skyscrapers still stood, and in them lay their destination.

“We have to hurry. Do you remember what happened to the last poor sap that got caught in the daylight?” Gwenson said.

“Well hurry it up then,” replied Samion.

He did remember that last poor sap, cooked alive in the sunlight. He had died less than a mile from the cave entrance, trying to make it home as the sun had risen.

For 1200 years they had lived a hard life underground, away from the death trap heat of the surface. The histories said that it was man-kind that had destroyed the planet, making it uninhabitable. Global warming the histories called it. In the late 22nd century the initial effects had begun to run rampant. None of the surface dwellers were left now; according to the history books the last of them had died some eight hundred years prior. A few thousand cave dwellers were all that remained of humanity.

As they entered the building, the last of the old libraries, they began their search. The books were old and had to be handled with much care, but this last storehouse of human knowledge hopefully contained the information they needed. Their ancestors had left behind all human knowledge when they moved underground. It was for some of that knowledge they now searched.

The spring had run dry within the deep reaches of their cave home. Without the stream to feed the lake, it would only be a few months before the water supply, diminished to nothing.

“I found what we need,” Gwenson called from across the room.

Samion had found what he needed as well. These past few months, while they had formulated a plan, Samion had fallen into a deep level of depression, a sadness that he felt right through to his bones, a deep seated sorrow for himself, his children, and his people. Sadness was all that many of the people knew, with the daily struggle just to survive. Humanity was never meant to live this way, and yet they persevered.

Now in his hands Samion held the message of hope that he, and his people, needed. It was if Samion had been drawn to this one book when they began their search an hour before. Enclosed in a glass case, and in pristine condition, much in contrast to the rest of the books in the old library, it was as if some mysterious force had kept this one book whole. Most of the other books were rotted to the point of being almost unreadable: not this book though, The Holy Bible, printed on its cover.

“Look at this,” Samion said, as Gwenson approached, pointing to the book. Any book in such good shape was a treasure to these two who rarely got to read anything.

Together they sat and read the message, of hope, of salvation, and of love; a message that brought light through the gloomy darkness that was their lives. They read about a man named Jesus who had lived once, long ago. They read as much as they could in the short time they had before they had to begin the journey home.

The two set off for home with a renewed sense of hope. Gwenson held in his hands the knowledge that would eventually get them the water they depended on. There would be more trips to learn how to build the tools to drill the well, but eventually the book he carried would save the lives of many.

Samion, walking beside Gwenson, held the knowledge that would lead his people to salvation. This message would teach them to love one another, to work together again, and lead to a new sense of purpose for all of the few thousand humans that remained. Samion carried the book that would save the souls of many.

The sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon as the two explorers made it to the entrance of their underground home. With the knowledge in hand that was the light in the darkness; knowledge that was delivered just in time.


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This article has been read 624 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Author Unknown08/03/07
I liked that. I like the futuristic approach and the tie to our current time and how they preserved books (which we writerly types hope will still be of value so long into the future). Interesting approach, good job.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/04/07
A different approach to "sad"...Biblical Sci Fi; and a creative mind that thought this rendition of the future. Something to think about, that's for sure. Thanks for shring.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/04/07
Oops...sorry, "sharing.
LaNaye Perkins08/04/07
I really like the futuristic flare this story had. You captured my attention from the title to the last sentence. Well done!
Sherrie Jackson08/06/07
Great job here! I love sci-fi stuff. :) You know, what would make this story very real is if they couldn't save themselves in the end (physically) but had still saved themselves spiritually, which is really all the matters.

Great writing; hopefully you'll be moving up soon. Good luck!
Joanne Sher 08/07/07
Very cool take on the topic! I love the sci-fi approach - you definitely got the voice down pat. This was completely intriguing. Excellent.
Caitlynn Lowe08/08/07
An interesting approach to the topic.
Sara Harricharan 08/08/07
Oooh, sci-fi! I like it! I wish there was more, I like that they did find the 'knowledge' they were looking for-and something much more valuable. Great job! I really enjoyed this. ^_^
Seema Bagai 08/08/07
Great story. You created a sci-fi world and described it well so the readers could imagine themselves there. Then you added a layer of Biblical truth. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/09/07
Congratulations on a "highly commended" story--a really excellently written story.
Sara Harricharan 08/09/07
***Congrats on your highly commended!***