So for a college application (for their annual fest magazine) I had to write a short story with me as the protagonist!
Here it is! Enjoy:)
I rub my eyes as I wake up. Two girls lie beside me. We’re in a jungle. And I don’t remember a thing.
A wave of awakening must have passed us, because the girl with brown curly hair opens her eyes as well. She scans the area, but her vision hasn’t found me yet. Even though I’m lying right next to her. To my other side the girl sleeps with a gun curled up in her hand.
I hear a gasp, and I know now, even Miss Curly Hair is shocked to see the gun. I turn to look at her, but she’s already eyeing me. And I realize she had been staring at me the entire while. Not at the other girl, but me.
I follow her glance and look down, at my body. I have a rifle strapped across my chest and one question in my mind.
While I’m busy thinking and wondering why the heck are we… here? Curly Hair takes out a bow, from I don’t know where, and strums an arrow into it, pulling through. She’s about to attack me. Like I might kill her before she does.
Yeah, right. I have hardly any breaths left in my body. And I’m not even on my feet. How can I be anything other than a prey?
She squints and I know she’s taking an aim.
I rip off the rifle with all the strength I can and push it away from me. “I’m safe,” I breathe out, trying to utter my first words. “No harm!” I sound worse than a frog.
But she lets the arrow fly, anyways. In my desperateness, in my will to survive, even though I don’t know how much harm an arrow will do, I crawl backwards, wishing my legs would do what they were born for. Stand. Walk. Run. But they don’t. I don’t. And in that pathetic attempt of saving my skin, my fingers reach out for the rifle I threw away. Dear rifle, why did I abandon you?
The arrow whizzes past my left ear, beyond, like an annoying bee. And suddenly I’m thanking the skies for my luck, or for her faulty aim. You decide. I pull the rifle closer, gripping tight. But then I hear the most extraordinary sound in the place. A laugh. Her laugh. Miss Curly Hair is laughing. “Look at ye face!” she guffawed. And I’m pretty sure she’s talking about my half-opened mouth.
“Christina… Christina…” The other girl with the gun began to stir. “Christina,” she muttered again. She tried sitting up straight, her cheeks flushed and red… with delight. I’m not even going to guess what dream she was having. “I’m Christina. And you are?” But when sleep left her eyes and she could finally see we weren’t any Prince Charming, she probably didn’t want to know who we were.
“I call me self Nia,” Miss Curly Hair said.
Ah! At last I had a name for my attempted murderer. I realize they’re looking at me. But… Why are they looking at me? My name! Oh, of course. I stutter. I don’t know what I look like or who I am. But surely a name I was called for an entire life would be easy to remember. Or mutter. “Sally,” I say. And I feel confident.
I try getting on my feet and it pains. I think it’s because of the slack, and I believe so, because I don’t want any bone to be broken.
“Where the wailing sharks we be?” Nia says. I think she speaks like that for entertainment.
“I don’t… I don’t remember a thing,” Christina is a pretty girl. “Do you?”
I find mine and Nia’s head shaking a ‘no.’
All the three of us are wearing black clothing. “Maybe we’re some sort of a hunting team?” I suggest. Amounting to the weapons and all the slots and pockets in my clothing to hold them, I can’t come to any more of a logical solution. Christina looks at me, skeptical of my words, but doesn’t say so. But Nia wags her head, pleased. She likes the idea of hunting. I don’t doubt that.
“Arr! Ain’t we be a-calling ourselves somethin’?” she asks, enthusiastically.
“The organization of the Central Nervous System!” I say before I could help it. They look at me disoriented, and I don’t blame them. I’ve always been bad with naming.
“Hunters!…” Christina threw her hands in the air. “And now surgeons? What’s next?”
She seems dubious of my intentions. “We’re CNS,” I explain, which if they attended school, will know is the acronym of central nervous system. “Christina. Nia. Sally.” But the explanation doesn’t cover my dimwitted brain or how weird I am, or that sometimes I don’t make sense and they don’t take it anymore well than before. So I continue with my nervous rambling. Between them and me, I don’t think there would be any need of a fight; if it had to come down to one. I’d die off my anxiety. Definitely. “We’re in a jungle. With weapons. And no memory. All alone,” I state the obvious. Right at that something falls from the trees above, to prove me wrong. No, scratch that, we’re not alone. Even Mother Nature likes messing with me.
With that thing falling, hitting the ground, everything around vibrates from the impact. Next I hear a shot, a gunshot. I see Christina’s hand poised towards that thing, sparks sizzling from the gun. All this within a blink of an eye.
The thing, which by the way looks human, collapses.
But it has fangs instead of teeth, blood all over his body and eyes which no human could posses. I look at them, and they bear the same expression as I do. “What was the last thing you remember?” I trail cautiously on my question. But I already knew the answer.
We might not remember anything. But with their looks, I know we share one un-erased memory.
We all killed a person each before today.
A scream barely escapes my mouth, when I push Nia backwards and grab a knife from my belt. I throw it straight, not knowing where that ability came from. Another one of those monsters descends from the tree. Definitely not human. The knife jabs his flesh and I direct my attention to the arrival of any other of these creatures.
The three of us form a triangle. I don’t know what age we are in. Which century. Or whether we were dropped into a movie. Or slammed into a book. But with whatever weapons I was provided with, I throw them, fling them, shoot them, whatever, to stop these things from approaching us. Christina and Nia press closer, I can feel their adrenaline in the air.
When I glance at the side, I see Christina’s searching her pockets for more bullets. She searches frantically, and I drop some of mine into her hands. At the other corner, Nia slices off one of the creatures’ head with a sword. I honestly don’t know where she produces these weapons from. They seem to appear from nowhere. I glance back at my part of the arena. My brows furrow, my pulse halts. Where did those creatures go?
My hand fidgets with my belt. A blue transparent gun-like weapon sits there. But it looks queer.
“Shiver me timbers,” Nia murmurs from one side. I might sound crazy right now. Or from the beginning. But a screen materializes in front of us. Just like that! A man, clad in a suit and a rather pointy nose stars on the screen. And then… to make matters worse, he begins to talk… and I can hear it. How can I hear him speak when I’m in a god forsaken jungle? When I finally pay attention to his words, which are, “Congratulations! You have passed the level. To proceed to the next level, two deserving capable candidates will have to-”
I never let go without interrupting. “Which year are we in?” I ask, which is among another thousand questions I want to ask.
“2307, of course,” he says, generously.
We must have hit our heads really hard to not remember anything. But I’ve had enough. I cannot let anyone kid me right now, or lie to me, or make me kill monsters that don’t exist. I take out the blue gun-like weapon and incline it. I never really liked his pointy nose. And that’s where I aim. The screen explodes.
“I’m sorry,” I hear Nia say again, softly from behind. “But Davy Jones’ locker it’ll be for ye.” When I turn to them I know my antic of screen blowing was in vain. Her sword is replaced by her bow again, aimed at me. Christina’s pretty face is now serious, grim and I don’t have to say at whom her gun points. The man said two ‘deserving capable’ candidates will participate in the next level. If I’m caught so off guard, then I don’t really think I’m deserving or capable. Especially if those two words mean killing a perfectly alive human.
I stand there, crossing my arms across my chest. I don’t resist, as I shift my weight off each my feet. But neither am I a pig for slaughter. I might have killed people in my past. To get till this so called level. I might have even killed my own teammates. But not having that memory is like a blessing to me now. I don’t share the same vicious thoughts with my alter ego anymore. I close my eyes and wait. I recall that the square root of 65536 is 256. Wait… Huh? Christina has speed and precision like no one on this planet, Nia is part pirate and an amazing archer. And I know the square root of 65536. Great.
I hear the gunshot. The whizz of the arrow. I feel the pain in my chest. Lifting. My nerves calm down. And there’s a sweet ache instead of me screaming. I hear the thud of a gun falling. The dropping down of a bow. When I open my eyes I see Nia shrugging. And Christina says, “You’d never kill us.”
I know that. Duh.
“I don’t be knowing ‘bout ye but I be tired o’ killing these scurvy rats,” Nia points to the creatures as it vanishes into the air. Christina nods. I smile… it creeps on my face. If these two say tired, I know they mean the only way of relieving it is by running. Christina starts sprinting in the direction opposite of what I’ll say is the north. Why aren’t they killing me? But I don’t voice it out. Just in case they change their mind. I take to my heels and follow them.
The wind enters my lungs, and it burns, the oxygen fighting the exhaustion. They’re still a little ahead of me when they stop. As I catch up, I understand why. We’ve reached the end of the forest. Down the harsh cliff, is the quaintest, a lot colorful, ancient even, village I’ve ever laid eyes on. The street bulbs glow lightly, and faintest hint of music could be heard.
“I can’t kill a friend,” Christina says, after a while.
I nod. Nia climbs a tree, the safe one before the edge. I follow her. I don’t know why we are here, how we came to be or in which insane mind I’d said yes to this. But now I had friends. Who’d have my back. And a lot more, too, I hope. Nia passed me binoculars, and by Jupiter, it’s itching me to ask her where she hides her equipment. But instead I peep through it and look at the village below. I smile. Then I pass it Christina to see.
And we sit there on the tree branch, looking at the stars and waiting for something suspicious to happen.