¡Hola, estimados lectores!
Today, I’ll be sharing some more writing. 🙂
Loren, I used:
Misty, I used the prompt word, “Silence.” 🙂
There were three of us – Etta, Celia, and I.
Our hair was dark and straight. Our eyes were the color of dust. Our faces rarely held a smile. We, like our parents, were quiet and solemn.
But Etta was different.
Her eyes were green, the color of life. They sparked with emotion. Fair curls framed her round face. She sang as she did her work, as if she had found a little ray of sunshine in our dark valley.
Tall, foreboding trees surrounded the edges of the valley we called home. They marked the unspoken border that we dared not stray past. Once, when we were very young, Etta wandered too close to the trees. We found her stroking the rough bark of a towering pine with her pudgy hand.
My sister and I took her hands and led her away, our hearts pounding. That was when we realized our sister was different. We knew that we must keep her safe.
The years passed. It wasn’t long before I was no longer a child. Celia was twelve years of age, and Etta was ten. She had not changed. Sometimes, at night, she would awaken me to tell me of her dreams. They unsettled me- she said she had visions of a land filled with light and joy.
I told her that the world wasn’t safe anymore. We were secure here in our valley. Everywhere else had been destroyed. I didn’t like to bring up the bad memories- but I needed to remind Etta of what lied beyond our fortress. I told her of the terrible war, of the brutal men who tore us apart. They hunted us with cunning and relentless anger. They broke so many hearts.
We needed a hero to stop them- but no one came. So we became our own heroes. We gathered whoever was left and fled to the valley where they could not find us.
Etta never argued with me- but I could see the doubt in her eyes. She believed there was something worthwhile beyond the valley. I dearly hoped she would never try to leave.
My hopes were in vain.
The morning was warm and humid. Celia and I worked in the fields while Etta tended to the younger ones. As I toiled in the hot sun, soil clung to my face and hands.
Suddenly, I heard a gasp.
I looked up to see Celia running across the fields, her work forgotten. She was chasing someone. I dashed after her, my heart pounding.
My sister had nearly reached the edge of the trees when Celia and I clutched her arms. Celia gasped for breath, anger and shock on her face. “Etta! What are you doing?”
Etta smiled at Celia and I and flung her arms around us in a warm embrace. “I love you.”
She wrenched suddenly from our grasp, turned and disappeared between the trees.
I froze, my hands trembling. Celia clutched my arm, her face white. “That little fool.” I squeezed her hand quietly. There was nothing to be done now. Etta was gone.
The days passed. I knew that Etta had left, that she would not return. Celia and I did not speak of her, yet I saw the pain in her eyes. I shared the feeling in my heart. Etta seemed to fade from the memory of our silent parents. The pang in my heart grew stronger when I realized the truth. Etta was our sister. Try as we may, Celia and I could never forget her.
Celia and I were lying in bed one night when she suddenly threw back the covers, a determined sort of fear on her face. “Etta.”
I choked back the sob that suddenly swelled in my throat. “We can’t, Celia.”
She clutched my hand. “We have to. I must know if she is alive.”
I nodded slowly, my stomach churning at the thought of what we were about to do.
Etta was tired.
She had been working her way through the thick pine forest for two weeks. Water was plentiful, and she had food in her bag. She wasn’t starving, but she was exhausted. Her feet ached and her face was streaked with dirt.
Etta was determined.
She could feel the hope and love- it filled her mind and heart, spurring her on. She knew it was close. She didn’t know how, but she knew that somewhere, someone was waiting for her with open arms. Someone who loved her. Someone who had hope for her and her family. They didn’t realize it, but everyone in the valley needed a hero. So that’s what Etta had become.
So she trudged on, ignoring her aching legs.
A day passed. Etta ate the last of her food, and a spark of fear grew in her heart. She would die without something to eat.
But she carried on. The joy she anticipated kept her from failing.
Finally, after three more long hours, she spotted something up ahead.
A sudden burst of energy propelled her forwards and she began to run, her feet skimming the forest floor. There was an end to these woods- she could see it in the distance, illuminated with light. She kept her eyes locked onto it as she moved closer….closer…
Etta burst from the trees with a strangled gasp. She took in the sight before her with unspeakable joy. Finally. She was home.
I twined my fingers around Celia’s as we took the first tentative step past the trees and into the forest. I held my breath. Nothing jumped out at us. Nothing moved except my pounding heart.
Celia turned to me and whispered my name in the silence, her voice trembling. “Julia?” I took a deep breath. “Don’t be scared.” We trudged forwards. The forest was quiet and still. Pine needles crunched under our feet. I wished I had a map- I had no idea where we were going. We just wanted to find Etta.
We walked in silence. Sometimes Celia would start a quiet conversation, but it would soon fade as we both trailed off into our own quiet worries. The bag grew heavy on my shoulder as the day wound slowly on.
Finally, we stopped to rest.
A thin, trickling stream wound through the trees, supplying us with water to drink. We each ate an apple from my bag. The heat was almost unbearable, even in the shade. Our valley had been much cooler than this. I wiped the sweat from my face and took my sister’s hand.
We traveled on. Our pace was slow and weary. Once, I thought I saw a thin white creature slip through the trees, it’s translucent legs like a spider’s. I shook my head and stepped closer to Celia. The heat was getting to my head.
By the end of the first day, my legs ached and my feet burned. We walked by lantern light until my legs wouldn’t take another step.
Celia looked worried. “Where will we sleep?” I sighed. “I suppose on the ground. Pine needles are soft… right?”
Celia and I tossed and turned on the rough and scratchy ground all through the night. Every little noise made me jump in fright.
Morning came. I was sore and aching, but the cool morning air reinvigorated me. Celia and I ate quickly and began to walk again.
By midday, the sun was hot and bright once more. Celia stumbled an moaned. “We can’t go on like this, Julia. I’m too tired.” She was right. Our determination to find Etta had driven away our common sense. We couldn’t survive in the woods alone.
I tried to ignore the guilt that rose in my chest. “We’ll have to turn back.”
I’m sorry, Etta. The silent words replayed themselves in my head. Celia nodded, a broken look on her face. Slowly we turned to find our way back home.
As we began to leave, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. There was a bright light barely visible in the trees ahead. It looked like an opening in these never-ending trees. An escape. Maybe, just maybe, Etta had found her way out there. Celia had spotted it too. She grabbed my arm, new excitement on her face. “Come on!”
We dashed forwards, our skirts billowing around our legs. As we reached the clearing, I gasped.
A town. A real town, with people. We weren’t the only ones left. Etta was right.
Slowly, we made our way down the hill and to the outskirts of the town. Everything was shining white. Harmonious music floated from the open doors of a strange building with a cross on the front.
Suddenly, I saw Etta.
She was holding the hand of a young girl, and they were chattering merrily. Etta wore a flowing white gown, and her face was illuminated with a strange light. Shimmering butterflies hovered around her, making her seem all the more beautiful.
She turned and saw us standing on the hill. She smiled and ran to us, her curls flying. “Celia! Julia! I knew you would come.”
I flung my arms around my sweet sister. “Oh, Etta.” Celia fought back tears.
After a while, I pulled away and looked around. “What is this place?”
Etta twirled around, her dress spinning with her. “This is Elior, the city of light. Come with me, sisters. Come and meet our Father.”
CALLING ALL WRITERS!!! I would LOVE if you could give me some constructive criticism! It would be very helpful. 🙂
Also, I thought you all should check out this AMAZING article. Back when C.S. Lewis was alive, a young writer in America sent him a letter, and he wrote back with writing advice! 😮 See the article here: >> LINK << 😀
I guess that’s it! Thanks for reading. 🙂
8 days until the day of doom. I’M GETTING BRACES. 😮 😦