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Just One Walk
Morning of September 13th of the Year 2149
My plan is set. I take one last look in the mirror. My dark brown ponytail contrasts with my pale skin. My red crew neck hangs loosely on my slender build. I grab my combat boots that I got for my 17th birthday last spring and lace them up. I look calm on the exterior, but on the inside I’m screaming in fear. I need to keep my composure long enough for the video I’m about to record. Calm down. Calm down. Remember why you’re doing this. I sit at my desk and press the record button.
“Hello to whoever is watching this. The date is September 13th, 2149. I’m here to tell you about the people of my time. No one cares. They’re not sentimental. All they care about is the new technology, efficiency, saving time and being the best. Perfectionists, really. High-tech perfectionists, as in teleportation tech. In my time everyone has a teleportation wristband called STAE. STAE stands for: Saving Time And Energy. It used to be so exclusive that only the couple most powerful people in the world had one for a massive cost. Now, the government gives STAE to newborns for free because it’s considered a necessity. Once STAE became public, they used to make you wait until you were 15 to get one, but time went on and they lowered the age requirement. 15, 13, 10, 9, 6, 4, 2 and soon, straight out of the womb. Like newborns need to teleport anywhere, but it’s not my choice;it’s required by law that newborns get teleportation devices. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s our life.
We’ve been taught to be perfectionists, just like our parents, and their parents, and their great-great grandparents and so on. The government required schools to give us lessons about how horrible Earth’s flaws are. That’s the thing, we were taught to despise Earth, but we’ve never had a chance to have our own opinion. We aren’t even allowed to go outside. Why? It’s scary, it’s disgusting and we are safe in our perfectly constructed buildings. It’s what we’re taught, but it’s also the opinion of the same government who thinks newborns should have teleportation devices, so it’s not very credible. One flaw my people have made is that they put doors to the outside in our homes. They believe it’ll make our dull, windowless houses more “homey.” That flaw is going to cost them because now, I’ve decided today is the day I make my own opinion. Today is the day I go outside. I will make another video when- if I come back inside. Goodbye.”
I shut the camera off and sit back in my chair. Here we go. It’s only morning, so I have to wait for my mom and dad to leave for work. I need to put on a calm face if I want my parents to think everything’s normal. My mom’s a teacher and my dad works for the government so they leave really early. Luck is on my side when I realize they’re getting ready to teleport.
“Bye, hunny,” my mom and dad say in unison. They teleport, and I waste no time getting to the door. The door. Untouched ever since I remember. Reaching for the doorknob, I stop. Is what they say true? I grab the knob and my breath hitches. Is it dangerous? Is it as bad as they say? The fearful thoughts are creeping into my mind until I can’t think. Out of impulse I yank the door open, I close my eyes, run outside and pull the door shut behind me.
I feel my wristband vibrate and I know I messed up. I’m tense as I wait for something to happen and… nothing does. I unconsciously open my eyes and let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding. I couldn’t think again. This time it wasn’t because I was scared, it was because I was amazed. Two thoughts couldn’t string together. I couldn’t help but have my mouth agape. I didn’t know what to do, so I just started walking.
Colors I’ve never seen before, smells I never could have imagined, and feelings I’ve never thought could be possible. Everywhere I look I see beautiful views as far as my eyes can see. I look all around me until I see it. For the first time ever I see my home from the outside. The contrast of the bright variety of colors with its dull, boxy figure. It’s sad, really. I’ve been stuck in that box when I could’ve been free in the outside. Enough, I need to do what I came to do. What is outside?
I feel some tingling on my body and I look down to my arms and see bright beams of light, warming my pale skin. I take my gaze to where they came from and “OW,” is all I could manage. I shut my eyes and make a reminder to myself: Don’t look at the big light. After my eyes have a quick recovery, I open my eyes to something I didn’t notice earlier.
A Thing. It was huge and it stood out immensely. I cautiously walked closer to it. When I got right next to it, I couldn’t even see the top. It had to have been at least ten times taller than me. I had a daring thought, and hesitantly reached my hand out. It didn’t move when I touched it. “Ew,” I thought. It was super rough. The Thing looked as if it were in two pieces. The first being the rough piece, it was brown, thin and tall. The second piece was on top and consisted of many little green pieces. The little green pieces made one big misshapen ball. A giant, green misshapen ball on top of a brown, rough, tall thing. Tall Thing. I’ve decided that’s it’s new name, it’s only name that I know of. I grin from ear to ear, Tall Thing.
In the midst of my thoughts about the Tall Thing, I realized something.The outside is such a wonderous place, so why does no one come out- “CRACK.” I feel a sharp pain in my back and I can’t help but let out a small yell. What the hell? I grit my teeth as I reach out and touch the area of my back where it stings. As soon as I make contact I feel a warm liquid. When my hand comes forward, it confirms my thinking, blood. I quickly realize there’s blood seeping through the front of my shirt. Was I shot? I spin around as fast as I can, and my jaw drops when I realize who I’m looking at. “Dad?” I barely choke out. I see him gasp and start running toward me.
I let out the last big breath I have and drop to my knees. My body tips over but before I hit the ground I feel him catch me. I’m dying. I see him saying something but I can’t hear him, I can’t hear anything but ringing. How many other people has he shot? Feeling tears on my face I try to wipe them off but I can’t move my arms. He shot me. I’m not even sure if the tears are mine or my dads.
Despite the negative thoughts about him in my head, I know what I should say. I can’t breath. “I love you,” and I’m not even sure if the words made it out of my mouth. My eyelids are heavy. There’s a sense of relief when he nods and tries his best to smile sadly. Keeping my eyelids open feels like I’m lifting skyscrapers. I let them relax and they shut. Darkness. Even as I’m slipping away I have a realization: the only danger outside, was us.