Five Fingers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   The place was dying. It wasn't completely dead yet, but it wasdying. She didn't know exactly what was wrong, but she knewshe had to fix it. It was her job, for she had been chosen.Sometimes, when she looked out across the dead land, she feltas though she herself was dying. All she could see was brown,dry earth, and she was always inside looking out. She longedto get out.

When she was born, her birther had beenshocked. The people who took her in and called her their ownnever spoke of the birther. They tried to care for her, sheknew they did, but it didn't work. How could it, some asked,with one who had only five fingers on each hand? But she hadgrown and proved herself as capable as all the seven-fingeredones. All her life she waited for something to happen. Shefelt so different from the others. She looked different aswell. She knew it; they knew it. She could never be one ofthem. Once, maybe, she had thought she could, but now she knewit was impossible. She was never attached to the people aroundher. She went to the teachers to learn about technology andmachines with the other young ones, but that didn't workeither. She had dreams at night of a world filled with greengrowing things, and when she woke up she was so frightened ...and there was no one to comfort her.

So she decided tochange it. Just thinking about changing it comforted her. Theman who came at night and gave her the dreams told her all shehad to do was find the pit and she could step away from itall. She could return to where she had come from. The manfrightened her. He never showed himself in the dreams. Hespoke to her, though, and his voice filled her with dread. Itcut like a knife.

But she understood his words, sheunderstood what he was telling her. She began to search. Themore she searched, the more she saw of the place, and the moreshe hated it.

Endless miles of parched, barren earth.It was cold and hot and dry, yet it drowned her. When shelooked at it she felt her eyes burn with the deadness, and shecould hardly believe the people were content with it. Theplace in her dreams, filled with green growing things andcreatures that looked nothing like the people, terrified her.But it didn't burn her eyes. It felt good in a strange way. Itwas there that she learned the meaning of home. She didn'tfind it, though. The man in her dreams gave up and pointed herin the direction, saying, "Walk! Walk to the end of the placeand find the pit." She did and there it was, in the middle ofthe deadness around her. She could see her reflection in itand a pool that shimmered with green and gold. She looked deepinto it and saw life. She saw the creatures in her dreams, andthe green growing things. And she was happy. She put one footinto the pit. The man laughed. "Go," he rumbled. She lookedup. "What about the people?" "They brought this uponthemselves," the man told her.

She was dizzy. He wasinside her head, disrupting her thoughts. She searched thehard, yellow sky, wondering. The sky inside the pool was blue.She had never seen anything so beautiful.

They needgreen things, too, she thought. She was confused. The peoplehad never been kind to her, the five-fingered one. But theydidn't deserve a dead home, did they, when they could have alive one?

"I found it. They did not eventry."

"Go. Take what is yours."

She took anotherstep, almost convinced. The bubble enveloped her and she couldsee all the life, waiting deep in this other world that shehad always longed for. She smiled.

The man waswatching her, though she could not see him. The people willnot care, she thought. They will not miss me. But again shelooked into the deep pool.

There were all sorts ofbeasts and four-legged ones with fur and beaked ones withwings. The creatures spoke to her. "If you bring your people,"they said, "you must train them carefully. They must not harmus."

"I do not want that job," she told them, and wasready to jump all the way into the pool. But suddenly she sawthem, all of them, living in a dead world and not evenrealizing it. They were blind. She was filled with pity and inthat moment she knew. She climbed out of the pool and lookedup, trying to see the man.

"No, you must go." His deepvoice filled her mind.

"I must bring them." They werestill her people. Even if they had never wanted or loved her,they were still her people.

The man was angry. "Go!You must!" She shook her head and began to walk. Back to thedeadness, to bring her people to a living world they didn'tdeserve. A world they had killed.

She could hear theman commanding her to stay, but she did not listen. Sheretraced her steps carefully, knowing that she had found itand it would not disappear. She did not hurry. She knew whereshe was going. She knew what she had to do.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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J1029 said...
Jun. 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm
You should proof read more. It kinda got annoying to stop and split up the words. The plot was good though :)
 
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