Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sad (07/26/07)
TITLE: Just In Time
By Trevas Walker
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“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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