In the beginning, there was darkness. Endless darkness and void, not a star, not a speck of dust. And then there was light, a blinding light that reached beyond every boundary. The universe exploded, silent, as if he tried not to wake his mother up while sneaking in after midnight. The universe was a perky thing.
For millions of years it was silent, only lights and darkness, until we humans found our voices. And we started building and at the same time demolishing everything we built. But we kept going. Did you know that in our cells there are molecules that come from the stars? When stars die, they explode, and we are made from their dust. We are creatures made of stardust and hopes.
Whatever I was doing, when I needed it, I looked up at the stars and found what it was I needed most: the realization of the immense universe I am part of. Comparing myself to the hugeness of space, made me feel, instead of small and expendable, like I could do anything. Those sparkling lights that stared back at me, in silent admiration, were always there to comfort me.
When I was laying there, with a tear-stained face, in the damp grass, it felt like all those molecules found their place again. They longed for space, and I could never feel completely comfortable when I was surrounded by noise and people.
I lay there until the darkness that was above me surrounded me and the clouds rolled in. With a little defiance, I get up eventually, my clothes are getting wet and my feet are tingling. Summer is ending, you can feel it in the chill in the air. Summer is ending, which meant that I had to go back to school soon. Summer is ending, and I hadn’t lived at all, I just existed. On that first day of school, people will ask me “How was your summer?” and they will expect stories of adventures and summer romance, but I wouldn’t have any stories. Most of my time I spent in my home or working for the local sandwich shop. I barely talked to my friends, I barely did anything.
When my feet reach over the doorstep of my parents’ house, my eyes fall on the keys of my old rusty but still loyal car. I got it last year after working all summer at that same sandwich shop. It was hard work, but it was worth it, because this car was my freedom on wheels. In an instant the keys are in my hand and I am making my way up the stairs. I filled a bag with clothes and everything else I could possibly need for whatever I hadn’t planned on doing, but was apparently going to do anyway. In the envelope on my desk are my latest earnings, I hadn’t counted it but it was at least a couple of hundreds. Enough for gasoline and food for weeks, if I would be frugal. I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t even know where I was going. Maybe to the next town over, but I could also go as far as I could imagine. I feel freed from everything. No responsibilities, just the road and me, and maybe even… Yes. Let’s do that.
Ten minutes later, I was tapping my fingers nervously on the steering wheel, before I made a decision. The phone rang four times before someone picked up.
The person on the other end yawned before answering: “Hello? Who is this?”
“It’s me. Pack your bags, we’re leaving.”
“… We’re going where?” Confusion filled Jamy’s voice, “It’s three in the morning!”
“Come on, J! I’m waiting. Pack some clothes and money or I’ll leave without you.”
“Okay… See you in five. I don’t know if I’m coming though.”
A beep let me know that they’re gone, the silence surrounding me again. The wait takes longer than I would have wanted it to be, my legs were eager to drive, my hands eager to steer, and my head clear and eager for adventure. It took fifteen minutes before J walks out the door with a large bag on their shoulder. I push away the tendency to honk, because I can’t wake J’s parents up. The car door opens and suddenly there’s a person sitting next to me. “So… What’s the plan?”
“Do you have plans for the rest of summer?” I don’t look at J, but I can see the reflection in the front window, they’re playing with the string from the sweater. That’s what J always does when they’re nervous.
“Well,” J thinks shortly before continuing, “there’s my nieces birthday the 26nd, but that’s almost two weeks away, and the neighbors asked me to baby sit their daughter next week but I can cancel that. Why? What’s the plan?”
“We just drive,” I say.
“We just drive?! That’s your plan?”
“I wouldn’t really call it a plan, more of an idea I made up half an hour ago.”
J is silent, their eyes wide and in awe. “You, who plans everything, who never goes out before checking the weather, even though it’s summer and the weather is the same every single day, you just went with an idea you made up half an hour ago? Who are you and what did you do to my friend?”
I laugh, my head bouncing against the headrest. “Ouch,” I rub my head with the palm of my hand, before offering it to J. “Nice to meet you, I’m the new and improved version of your friend.” J ignores my attempt at a handshake and shakes their head. “What happened to you…?” they say rhetorically.
“So, are you ready?”
I shoot my eyes at the stars, as if to ask for their permission, before turning the key. The motor starts and are on the road, the road to freedom and adventure, and who knows? Maybe even summer romance.
*Pictures from weheartit.com*
I hope you enjoyed reading my first ever finished short story, I’m so bad at finishing these. I have one that I only need one sentence for, that is it. But I just can’t find the right one. My experience from this first week is in three words: surprising, difficult and enjoyable. I really enjoyed writing, but I was struggling a lot with my story. I had a completely different idea and wrote about three fourth of the story before I got completely stuck. I just wasn’t enjoying it and decided to turn it 180 degrees around and start all over. That was this afternoon. So I wrote this basically in one night because I’m way too good at procrastinating.
Fun fact: this story is exactly 1000 words long.
How was your experience with Short Story Society? Got any tips for improvement of my story?
I’ll repeat this tomorrow but please send me your stories / links to your stories so I can create an overview post so everybody can read each others’ stories!