Thursday, January 26, 2017


This weeks terribleminds challenge - Hope in the face of Hopelessness.  I've continued using the same world I created for the Apocalypse Now challenge.


Beryl is where I live now. I’m not sure what’s happening in the lowlands. Sometimes there are reports of descent that a few travelers report to us. At first, over a year ago, mail carriers would deliver an official envelope with information about the change that was happening. Our Mayor, Cinnabar, would read every word of the file and then put it in a public folder so we could all read it. A cheer would go up at the end when it congratulated us on our important part in the whole plan. The plan had some number to it that I have forgotten.

Thursday evening is our gathering night. I love it. When I visited, Beryl, before the plan was enacted I would stop briefly for one more use of a flush toilet and buy packaged food before heading into the wood to camp and fish. It was on my last return trip from camping that I moved to Beryl. Actually, I didn’t move here but just didn’t go home. The store clerk informed of the plan and he’d been waiting for my return. He and his wife took me in and I live in their cabin they’d built for grandchildren to stay in when they visited. They don’t know where their kids are now.

Back to Thursday night. It was mandated that each Village of Preserve (VOP) should have a social evening and keep the collective memory. Beryl’s is a party. Everyone brings food and Wolfeite created a band. Tonight, one of the best hunters has made barbecued meat. I’ve made a pig of myself. Sipping on some kind of alcohol recently brewed, I listen to the music and enjoy the evening air which has a hint of winter in it.

“Thorite, is this seat taken?” asked Niter.


“You notice the stranger?” He jerked his head to the right.

“No.” I look and can’t tell anything about the person except that the backpack was bigger than the person’s upper half.

“I think it’s a girl. Remember the last stranger told us of a woman who was rescuing people from the horrors of the lowlands? Wonder if it is her?”

“What? In Beryl? Why would such a legend be here?”

“Because that guy said that she said she was heading to VOPs. Beryl’s a VOP, remember?”

“You’re fantasizing. That guy was telling tells. His story is what people tell when they want to have some kind of hope. This is it, Niter. Enjoy this Thursday. Tomorrow there might not be one.”

Niter mumbled and took another drink. I kept looking over at her.  I wondered, did she know that she is welcome to food? To drink? Did she have information about anything beyond the mountain?

Then, I watched her and her backpack titter and fall over. Wolfeite reacted faster than all of us and in two steps, he was off the stage and kneeling next to her. “Amber, Amber,” he said and touched her cheek.

A crowd formed around them. Wolfeite starting giving commands. He was that guy who always knew what to do. Amber? Was that the name the stranger said? Could Niter actually be right and this is that woman?

“Thorite, get her some food,” Wolfeite said and I saw that her eyes were open. “Everyone move back. She’s going to be ok.” He started to get her backpack off and I went for food.

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