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The Hero of the Story This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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The vibrant sunrise begged his eyes to open, to view the blending of a crisp blue and a warm and fluffy pinkish orange. The clouds all seemed to originate in that center point—where everything came from. The night sky, the morning sky, the clouds, the stars, the sun, the moon, and life. That point was responsible for the beauty of the world, the ugliness of mankind, and the original sin. Everything from that one, single, lonely point.


The morning sky stirred a slight feeling in his stomach, and he thought that day might have been the day. It wasn’t. A growl of his stomach relieved him of his thoughts, and slowly led him to slide one leg out from under his constricting covers. His second leg followed the first, and both feet had been firmly flattened on the chilled hardwood floor in his room.


It was winter. His house was frigid, yet his bed was warmer than his heart. Once the covers had detached from his slender body, the frosty air nibbled on any exposed skin. A slight chill manifested in his neck and crept down his back, caressing his shoulders and his lower back until it dispersed into the atmosphere around him, travelling back to the center point. He hoped the chill would bring about a feeling within him. Nothing. He made an attempt to walk out of his room, but the warmth within his feet was quickly absorbed by the greedy, frozen floor. He was stuck. He hoped for a feeling of panic, of desperation. Nothing. His feet were fused to the floor, and he decided to calmly wait until he would have the opportunity to move again.


He waited for a brief four minutes and thirty nine seconds until he was ready to move once more. The house was silent, and he wondered if his mother and father were home. “If not,” he wondered, “where would they be?”


Even though he regained the ability to walk, he stood in the same spot and begged for something to happen. He begged for something that would propel him to move. Nothing. Instead, he himself would have to create a motive to exit the four congruent, deep blue walls of his room.


He forced the creaky door ajar and was hit with a gust of cold air, dragging every last morsel of heat out of his blood.


The boy gathered enough strength to escape the room he once felt safe in. Yet he still could feel nothing at all.




The boy entered the bathroom adjacent to his room. Desperate to feel something, he performed a daily routine in order to attempt to release emotion. He opened the mirror reflecting the face he detested so much. He grabbed the blade he kept stowed away and pushed it up against his pale, heatless skin. He proceeded to dig the blade deep down into his arm; all the while his face was blank. He felt nothing, wanted nothing, knew nothing. What I know, and what I will inform you of now is that this boy was the hero—the hero of the story. And yet, he did not need to be saved.


Deep red blood coated the blade as he continued to push it further and further into his arm, clenching his teeth as tight as they could possibly be. A slight growl formulated in the back of his throat, seeking the sudden release of emotion he knew would never come.


He felt faint, and he thought it might have been the release. He was wrong.


All that he felt was his heart beat slowing down…stopping.




He felt warm.



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