All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The sun was beginning to set over the desert and the wind started to pick up, gathering sand in its hands and blowing it across the land. There was no color in the landscape but that of the burnt red sand and the black of the petrified trees, the only plant life left. It was desolate and dreary, but with a sort of austere beauty.
Shadowy airplanes suddenly appeared in the sky, with bombs falling underneath them, smoke curling around their tails.
They crashed into the sand, creating miniature storms. Trees caught on fire, turning even blacker than before. Nobody seemed to notice or care.
Sophie looked out the window of her shanty at the changing sky as the silhouettes of airplanes flew overhead. The bombs had been going off since she was born. They were second nature to everyone since the Fall.
Sophie gathered her school supplies as the sun began to sink. She found it difficult to find her things as her room was crammed full of her treasures, things she had managed to find in the desert. There were bits and pieces of fabric: oranges, purples, and greens that hinted at the colors the world had once held. Sophie had found jewelry, books, and even an old computer, useless without electricity, which hadn’t been used since the Fall. Her prized possession; however, was her record player.
She had found it in an abandoned home that had been halfway blown to bits. The record player had managed to survive, though it was old and rusted. Sophie had only found one record so far, but it didn’t matter. Whenever she was home, it was playing.
“The sea, the sea,
Reflects the broken sky,
Angels dance the waves,
Gods look on with tired eyes,
The sea, the sea,
Mirror of the sun,
One day, we will join the sea,
And return home, one by one.”
Sophie looked out the window as she listened. The sun was low and the airplane shadows began to dance across the desert, like black and red waves.
Sophie slowly got up from her seat by the window and grabbed the rest of her supplies. She would need to hurry to school before the sun disappeared completely and she would be forced to find the school by the light of the moon.
Schools after the Fall were forced to go underground and education had to be obtained surreptitiously. Schools were hard to find and ran the risk of being bombed when discovered.
Sophie hurried through the small complex of houses and over to a cluster of ashen trees that partially blocked the sight of a red trap door in the sand. She opened up the door and jumped inside, plunged into the darkness as she fell.
She landed shortly after in a room lit only by candles. There were a few other students of varying ages and their teacher, an old woman named Mrs. Dietrun, who had been alive before the Fall. She passed on information that had been forgotten or forbidden. The small underground school room was full of shelves with books and the students’ desks, made out of whatever material could be found in the desert. Candleholders were everywhere.
While they learned, the students could hear bombs bursting above them, rattling the candleholders and makeshift desks, but they were used to these interruptions. They were more shaken by what they learned then by the bombs.
They studied all night, about philosophers, art, and true history. Those in charge of the Fall had rewritten history. They had rewritten a lot of things.
School always finished when the sun began to rise and the students could once again make their way home. The sun was rising now, pulled up by invisible strings into the cloudless sky. Sophie climbed up the ladder and pushed open the small door slightly to make sure that there were no planes. Assured by the sight of the empty sky, she climbed out and made her way back to the complex.
The bombs had begun to drop again. This time they were getting closer and closer.
Sophie began to play the record again and sat by the window, watching the bombs fall. They seemed to move slower when the music played. She could see them glistening as they fell to Earth, catching the rays of the morning sun.
Suddenly, the house was completely shadowed. Sophie stepped outside, along with the other residents of the complex. The shadow began to grow bigger and bigger. A bomb was falling slowly, slowly above them as smoke curled from it like gray ribbons.
People began to cry out, reach for one another, and pray. To Sophie, they appeared silent and in slow motion. She could only hear music.
“Should I die before I reach the sea,
Will the Gods deliver me?
Let me dance in the sea,
An angel for eternity.”