The Giver Alternate Ending

February 27, 2018
By harperkole BRONZE, Memphis, Tennessee
harperkole BRONZE, Memphis, Tennessee
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The unruly, snow-covered path in front of them was winding with a thousand hills, one after another. Each one had a tipping point, a second when you stood tallest before you're next step brought you a view of what lays ahead. It was at those points that Jonas truly discovered what hope was. Each time he would stop, and feel, with every part of himself, that he would look down and see elsewhere. It was such a solid feeling, even though it was not arrived at by logic it was infinitely more truthful. For that second he would expect elsewhere and every step forward would show him only snow and hills. He soon discovered that disappointment stung in ways that only the return of hope could repair. Jonas had lost track of how long they had been traveling. The days ran together in an expanse of hunger and cold. The thin tunic did little to stop the icy burn from digging into Jonas’s skin. He pulled it tighter around himself. His chapped lips bled from the cold and his body ached for food, but the deepest pain was felt when he looked at Gabriel's frail body. It shook with violent shivers and his glossy eyes were clenched tight against the cold. He was such a small thing. Jonas remembered Gabriel's tiny fist squeezing his hands earlier in their journey but now they rested limp, dangling from his wrists. His face had first been red against the frosty air but it was now a dull grey, dark against the snowflakes on his cheeks. Jonas briefly wondered how he had gotten here and was stricken with a feeling of being completely, and utterly alone. Loneliness, that's what it's called, he thought. He could feel his memories fading. His mind blanked on words he knew like they had been pulled from his brain leaving holes in their wake. It felt like an itch he just couldn't scratch. It made him feel the pain of anger. No that wasn't the right word… Frustration! That's it, he thought. He remembered less and less as the days went on. At the tipping point of each hill, he would feel less hopeful, and less hopeful, until there was no hope left at all. The cold white powder around him was nameless no matter how far into his head he dug. The world had slowly been dimming, the powder was grey now like Gabriel's skin and it ran together with the sky and the trees. Jonas pulled the last piece of food out of his bag, a small apple. He noticed it was the same shade of grey as his hands. He brought it to his lips and took a bite of the flavorless, tasteless, blob. Jonas stopped. He knew he was losing his memories and if he took one more step forward all of his humanity would be lost. He would never feel loved, or go sledding, or see a Christmas tree but the community could do it all. They would be full people, really and truly living. With the last of his strength, he pushed himself forward, sprawling out on the powder covered ground. He tried to remember Christmas and love but they were just empty shells, he had a vague trace of them in his mind but what they meant, what they really were, no longer remained. they continued to fade until even the casings were gone and only blankness was left. Jonas looked down into his arms at the small child he held and tried to remember its name but it was too far gone. The child's lungs heaved slowly, more time spanning between breaths until his chest stilled. His mouth hung open, the last of his air leaving him, and Jonas felt nothing. Jonas could feel the cold enveloping him, burrowing through his skin and into every cell like a wildfire of ice. The hunger dulled as if his body knew that it was the end, he looked into the child's dead eyes and saw himself in them. he took his last breath; a desperate inhale followed by his lungs deflating, it fogged up the air. Jonas’s eyes slowly closed and the world faded into darkness and silence.
He woke with a start. Confusion muddled his brain as his eyes adjusted to the light. It was warm. He was sitting on a grassy hill with the sun heating his back. A pleasant wind brushed through stirring the leaves and he could feel blades of grass itching his legs. The sky was blue, bright blue. The clouds were white against it, and the sun was yellow! The apple tree in front of him was brown and the branches carried juicy red apples. He felt a weight in his lap and looked down to see a chubby Gabriel sitting on his legs, a grin spreading his rosy cheeks. Jonas reached out a hand to touch him and felt his warm skin. He could see Gabriel's chest breathing naturally, not a trace of pain anywhere on him. He was overcome with a happiness more intense than he had ever felt before. He swooped Gabe up into his arms and in one swift motion pressed him against his chest in a heartfelt embrace. Jonas could feel himself breathing in the air, it was not heavy or cold, now it was light, and warm, and fresh. Jonas turned his head to the side and say a figure to his left, he pulled his eyes upward and to his surprise saw Rosemary. She looked so different from the video, she was so much older now. her skin was no longer pale, and her hair was full and thick.
“Am I dead?” Jonas asked, he had died in the snow, hadn't he?
“No” Rosemary replied. Her mouth twitched in a slight smile and her eyes wrinkled ever so slightly with the motion.
“Come with me,” she said after a pause. She extended a hand to him to help him up. Jonas eyed it wearily but did not reach out to grab it.
“Where are we going,” he asked.
“Elsewhere” Rosemary replied, her lips spreading into a full grin. The twinkle in her eye promised adventure. Jonas paused and bit his lip. He took a deep breath and grabbed Rosemary's hand.

The author's comments:

this is an alternate ending to the giver set while Jonas and Gabriel are nearing the end of there journey but have not found the sled or seen the lights yet. I wanted to play off of the idea of elsewhere and refresh the symbolism of the apples and color etc. I also wanted to wrap up Jonas's character arc because I thought the bravery and courage he had wasn't very well expanded upon in the book. enjoy, and please review!

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