Na podzim školního roku 2016/2017 se naše dvě studentky sexty, Kája Kobrová a Zuzka Vrbová, zúčastnily literární soutěže "National Literary Award for Young Writers". Je to literární soutěž pro mladé autory píšící v anglickém jazyce, je určena pouze pro osoby žijící na území ČR a Slovenska a jejich mateřským jazykem není angličtina. Na stupně vítězů sice naše talentované reprezentantky nedosáhly, ale o jejich krásné povídky na téma "In Ten Years" bychom se s vámi chtěli podělit. Enjoy!
Mgr. Michaela Viktorová
Ilustrační foto: www.pinterest.com
THE END OF THE WORLD
I didn´t want it to end up like this. Nobody wanted it. Now we must hide to survive. The end of the world should had to been fast, but it wasn´t. Some fanatics contended that the end began on December 12th, 2012. And they were right. It began and we didn´t even notice. First, the birds stopped singing, simply in the middle of spring it was suddenly silent. Few years later there was a huge earthquake that struck each continent. Already, for people this was very strange. There were several years when nothing anomalous happened. But last year in almost every country a huge hole opened that ended with a pitch-black darkness. Then the hole came alive. Every day all sorts of monsters and demons appeared. Hell exists, those were my ever recurring thoughts, when I was fleeing into the woods with my sister. We were lucky not to have met any of the creatures. But I have heard that they looked like the worst human nightmares.
I checked the traps, which I put up on a near by meadow next to the rabbit's holes. We were lucky today, one fat rabbit was caught in. I made my way through the thick spinney, which was around the meadow. Cold evening´s wind petted my cheeks and played with my hair. My steps were gentle, I concentrated on silent walking not to attack attention on me- not one, even the smallest branch should be broken! Suddenly I heard some strange noise in a treetop above me. I lifted my head to make sure that nothing was threatening me.
Just quiet, it was just a bird, I calmed myself, despite my heart beating wildly. At the same moment I was looking at the treetop I stepped into something. It scrunched weirdly and perforated my sole. I thought that I had just stepped into a rotting stump, but the sight of my leg made my free hand cover my mouth not to cry out. My leg was immersed in the chest of somebody. I stepped into the skeleton of a human, a human who was breathing and walking around the world just like me. His bones were completely bleached. I didn´t want to think about the way he died- it was obvious- half of the skull was missing. A groan escaped from my mouth when I in one swift movement pulled the leg out of his chest and thus I cut myself by the sharp bone fragments. Without looking back to the skeleton or showing some respect, I had to set off and meet my sister. But the image of the skeleton lying on the ground delved deep into my brain as a disgusting worm into an apple.
I spotted the ruin of a cottage after a few steps. I didn´t want to frighten my sister, so I knocked at the door lightly before my entering. Claire was lying wrapped up in a duvet and her breath was deep and symmetric. I put the rabbit on a small table and approached the bed slowly. All seemed so peaceful, when she slept so calm, neither strain from fear in the face, nor tears … (as it was the day on which our family was killed by the earthquake). I shook her with self-denial to wake her up. She mumbled something and a soft smile flew over her lips. She turned around.
"Wake up, sleepyhead. I brought dinner." Hunger is the best sauce, so Clare left the bed. I did not even tell her what to do. I took a bucket and a knife and I went behind the cottage. While I worked, I heard Clare breaking sticks for the fire. The entire time I worked on the rabbit, I had a strange feeling. There were delicate shivers running on my back, someone was observing me attentively? But when I looked back, there was nothing to be seen. Peace and silence around me … I had to shake my head to clean my mind, peaceful moments were like a honored gift.
After a while the rabbit was prepared. I came back to the cottage. The fire blazed in front of the door, Clare was sitting nearby, gazing into the flames. I went in and wanted to wash my hands. Suddenly a frightful roar cut through the air. Not from a human, not from an animal. It dug to my very bones and resonated through my whole body.
"Taissa!" screeched Clare. A bowl of water fell from my hand. I knew what was happening. They found us. I imagined this moment almost every evening. I grabbed the knife and ran out of the cottage. A horrible smell struck into my nose and my stomach started to turn up. It was weird, I could find neither Clare nor monster. In a sheer panic, I ran into the woods.
"Clare?" I cried desperately. I ran up to the meadow where I had set traps for rabbits. I did not see her. Out of desperation, I burst into tears.
No, this can´t be real…. I looked around me, I found some traces. The meadow was quiet- as always. Then something emerged from the forest. My knees buckled and I fell down on the wet grass. My mouth was opened with a silent scream when my eyes met hundreds of eyes of this monster. They gazed at me from an ugly, bald head, its mouth was full of teeth, sharp like a razor and long like my fingers and….. oh my God….. the blood on them has not caked yet. It is too late. I sank my hands into the mud so forcefully that some of my nails got stuck in it. No pain, only my failure filled my mind. I didn´t save her. I didn´t make it. I lowered my head with resignation. Their arms equipped with claws sounded terrible. My whole body vibrated, but I was prepared to accept my fate.
"Taissa!" I have heard her still. "Taissa!" Somebody grabbed my shoulders and put me back on my feet. Clare stared at me. I hugged her very close.
"Run and hide," I directed. The monster was approaching. Clare shook her head in refusal. "No! I will be with you!" I turned her towards the cottage. "Run! I´ll be back soon!" I insisted on it.
Clare looked at me the last time and started running.
I turned rapidly and so I avoided the attack of the monsters´ claws. I couldn´t find my knife. I caught the nearest stick and waved it around me. The monster moved away and clicked its teeth.
I felt a stream of sweat on my back. Something crackled in the bushes. It looked back. I knew it was Clare. I used this opportunity and hit it on the head to catch its attention. It growled and snapped at me. This time, he hit me hard on my chest and hurled me several meters away. The fall on my back took my breath away. The monster apparently enjoying it, it leaned its head on one side and fluttered his forked tongue. I wanted to get as far from it as possible. There was a knife on the ground just a few meters away from me. I reached it and grasped it quickly. The earth shook when the monster attacked me.
I waited a second and at the last moment I turned on my back with the knife raised to strike. The enemy jumped and its huge body fell on me and blocked me underneath its ugly body.
The enemy jerked several times and croaked more than before- I almost lost my hearing. Suddenly its body weakened. I KILLED IT! I started laughing. I rolled the heavy body away and stood up.
I turned towards it- and suddenly I felt a great pain in my chest. I looked down at myself. The large red stain spilled around my heart and I could see four black claws sticking out of my chest. I turned back slowly and saw a second enemy who withdrew nasty, bony fingers from my chest. My legs betrayed me and I collapsed. The monsters disappeared.
A thin stream of blood was flowing out of my mouth. My breath became sore and heavy. What…. What happened- Damn it! How could I have forgotten- they hunt in pairs.
I wanted to call "Clare". But only death rattle sounded left my throat.
It seems the time slowed down. Someone is softly taking my head between her palms softly and putting it on her knees. Clare … who will save you now my angel?
I give up perceiving her. I feel how my vitality is escaping slowly. I held out for ten years. I looked after Clare, I protected us - ten years. I think - to die for someone you love more than yourself, to protect her, it is big-hearted. I drew in my last breath and let the darkness carry me away.
It's cold January evening and I'm going to prophetess, who was recommended by my best friend. I can't believe that I let myself be persuaded to do it. When I come into her house I feel pleasant heat, a small fireplace stands in the corner, when I look at it I feel comfortable here. I'm sitting at the table and I'm waiting…
"So Miss, for what reason did you come to me? "An elderly kind woman asked me.
"There was my friend a week ago and she's praised you. I want to know something about my future.
"Well, let's start. Put both of your hands on the table with the palms up and close your eyes."
She is slowly running her hands across my palms and I feel really weird. For a while nothing was happening, but suddenly the movement of the prophetess ceased. I opened my eyes and cringed. I just lay my eyes on something that I expected to be prophetess, but her white staring eyes are convincing me she is not. I just want to stand up and leave, but my I can't make my legs move. And suddenly a sound like howling came from the prophetess's throat. I start slowly shifting to the door, but I am stopped by a voice.
It was enough to make me shiver; now even I have staring eyes. I am afraid. The prophetess stands up and slowly comes directly to me. She puts her hand on my belly and says:"In ten years this will destroy your life, get rid of it while you can."
I don't want to hear more, in two steps I overcome the distance that stood between me and doors and I run outside. When I am sure that I'm far enough, I stop and put my hand on my belly.
"Don't worry little one, I will never hurt you."
Tears begin to run from my eyes. When I come home I am calmer. I make my way to the shower and I don't think about it. Half an hour later I am lying in bed and trying to fall asleep. But I can't, in my head there are many thoughts. How can she think that the little creature that is growing in me will destroy my life? What so terrible will happen in ten years?
The day of my childbirth is approaching, me and my husband made a decision that, despite the prophecy we let the little one live. I hope that we made a good decision. I'm looking at our little guy at the ultrasound scan and I'm amazed. It's absolutely the best moment for me, my husband and our little boy. Our little Samuel.
Ten years later
I have no time. I'm running around the house and I discover that nothing is done. Calm down I'm saying to myself. I take a deep breath and go to attach the decorations. When I'm done with all the things I'm proud of myself. It looks perfect. So I'm going to go to prepare lunch. Lunch is done and I have no idea what the time is. Suddenly I hear a bell. I open the door and behind it I find Samuel with his friends.
"Mom, do you mind that I brought friends?"
"Of course not, do their parents know about it?"
"Yes, they do."
"Well, go to play, I'll call you later."
I'm sitting in kitchen and I'm preparing myself for the evening. I look at the clock and get frightened. My husband is an hour late. I comfort myself with the thought that my husband is still at work. After half an hour Samuel comes and asks where daddy is, I start to worry. A take my phone and try to call him, in vain. I send Samuel back to his room and try to calm myself down. Two hours go by and my husband isn't here, there is nothing else to do.
"Boys, dinner is here."
"Mum, where's daddy?" asks Samuel.
"He's still at work."
Nobody says anything so we begin to eat. There is a tense atmosphere, which is disrupted by ringing phone.
"I'm calling about your husband."
"I don't understand."
Suddenly the man hangs up. I just cannot move I'm in shock next to the phone. I know I heard this voice before but I don't really know where. I am trying to stay calm, I send Samuel with his friends to open his birthday presents in the living room. At this moment the phone starts ringing again.
"Are you alone?"
"Good, you are going to follow my instructions."
"Why should I do that?"
"Because if you don't, your husband will die."
"10 years ago we told you, to get rid of that thing you call a son."
I can't breathe. It can't be true.
"What do I have to do?
"Go to the bedroom, under the bed, there is a box. In this box, there is a gun. "
"What? Gun! For what? "
"Don't interrupt me! "
"You will take the gun and call you will your son. "
"I won't do that! "
"Are you sure? "
"I will never hurt my son in my entire life. "
"Even if your husband's life depends on it? "
The man on the phone says it so calmly, I start to hesitate. Tears are running down my cheeks, my hands start to shake. Should I sacrifice my son or my husband?
Suddenly the voice starts speaking again.
"Time is up. "
"I don't know, can we talk, I won't kill my son and I won't sacrifice my husband. "
The silence was interrupted by a shot. I fall on the ground in the kitchen; my body is shaking because I can't stop my tears. Ten minutes later my phone vibrates. I have got one new message. I click on it and it shows me a photo of my husband with his head shot through. A few minutes I looking at the photo and I make a decision. I come into the bathroom; I look at myself in the mirror. If someone saw me now, he would think that it is Halloween. I fill up the bath and slowly put a razor near my wrist. I have no idea why my life is so terrible after ten years, I love my husband so much and now I lose him. My last thought before death is for my husband. I AM COMING…And then there is only darkness.