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Wandering Soul

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Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 10 Next »

The Connection

Hands rummaged in toppled and singed garbage cans; eyes searched frantically for anything that could be called edible, but all in vain.
“There can’t be no food,” Natalya complained.
“We’re going about this wrongly. We need to scour the forest or something if we’re hoping for something to eat. I could find a couple of berries. We could eat insects.”
“But—“
“Natalya, it’s our only option.” David’s grey eyes tried intently to convince her, and
This chapter is short, but I just wanted to show more about David and Natalya, and I couldn't really think of anything more to add. Please tell me what you think!
I saw her will crumbling. “Come on. It won’t be anything too disgusting. We used to do this in boy scouts all the time.”
I followed them slowly, lingering behind while David talked about some of his adventures. For some reason, I didn’t really want to hear. If he’d been talking to me, I would have been all over him, trying to remember every word he told me because I loved the sound of his voice.
But he wasn’t speaking to me.
The sound of Natalya’s laughter drifted towards me, and I was confused as to how they could even smile in their situation. But then again, they weren’t a soul without a body, longing to be seen again. I would reverse Justin’s experiment, no matter the consequences. If David knew I was alive, life wouldn’t be so bland anymore.
I finally let myself catch up to them.
“…never understood you and Justin,” David was saying.
Natalya blushed in the heat. “Right,” She whispered.
I reached out to her mentally, trying to express my concern. What could she be going through? I knew they had been close. What had Natalya been suffering as she had to listen to David complain about losing me? What could she be thinking, with Justin out of her life forever? They’d been close…
“You don’t have to say anything, if you don’t want to,” David said.
Natalya’s smile looked forced. “I don’t mind. Justin was… something of a mystery to me when I first met him. We were kind of forced to hang out at first, what with you and Rose always wanting to be alone. And then… I don’t know. It happened so gradually that I didn’t even realize I was falling for him.”
“How long?” David asked, mirroring my thoughts.
“Just a few weeks. We weren’t sure what was going on, but we had planned to tell you the night you got back… That is, before the world…” Natalya shrugged painfully. I couldn’t help the sorrow rising in my imagined chest, and the hurt I would feel in my throat if I had been in my body.
David nodded in understanding and brushed his hand against some plants. “I would have thought the plants would be more… destroyed, if you know what I mean.”
“They withstood the wrath of the human race,” Natalya said, a hint of melodrama in her voice.
David laughed and plucked a berry from a nearby tree, popping it in his mouth. “This is good. Try one.”
Natalya looked skeptical as she took a few, chewing slowly. “A little bit sour… But good enough. There’s not point in complaining.”
“Let’s go back to the school.”
“Back?” Natalya looked a bit frightened at the prospect.
“Why not?”
She gulped visibly, and I wondered why she would balk at the idea, especially since she was so sure there were survivors. Natalya shrugged. “Okay. Let’s go.”
“Wait, I want to know why you don’t want to go.”
“It’s… I mean, think about it. I don’t want to face it. It’ll just remind me. Here, it’s so much more unrealistic. I know it’s stupid. Don’t judge me. I’m just not ready.”
David looked relieved, but he said softly, “We’re going to have to face it eventually.”
Natalya nodded. “Let’s just not make that day today.”


With their bellies somewhat filled, Natalya and David went back to perch atop their rocks. I longed for the day they would be ready to go back to the school. They would need to enter the exhibition, and they would need to understand that my body still lived.
Only then would I be satisfied.
I wanted to travel to the exhibition myself, as if I were living in the world of a computer game and I needed to turn back to reality, to my real self, my body. But I didn’t feel ready either. Besides, it wouldn’t do me any good.
So I stayed some more and let myself watch Natalya and David, the two people I cared the most about in this lost and lonely world.
“If anyone should have survived the blast, it should have been Rose,” Natalya said.
I always perked up at the sound of my name. It seemed to come up in every conversation. With a shake of my invisible head, I wished I could knock the backs of the two survivors’ heads. “I’m alive!” I said. “What do you think I’m doing here?”
Natalya went on, “It’s almost as if I can feel her, you know? And I can feel her judging me. She was my best friend. She knew me better than I did, and I just… I don’t want to disappoint her.”
“You’re not disappointing her,” David said. “Why do you even think that?”
The words caught in Natalya’s throat; I could tell by the way she seemed a bit flustered and had to clear her throat before continuing. She was right, though. I did know her well. “I feel like she knows my every thought. It’s just… scary to think about.”
David gave her a tight smile. “Don’t worry too much.”
Natalya giggled to herself and swung her hair over one side. “So much for our freshman year at college. How did you enjoy yours?”
“Um… I loved every moment of it.”
“So did I. It was much more different than I thought it would be.”
“In what way?”
Natalya gave David a look as if to say, really? I actually need to explain this to you? But she said anyway, “You watch all those old movies about people finally going off to college, and they get drunk and party and do stupid stuff. I guess I thought it would be like that for me. Only… it wasn’t.”
“I think I see what you mean.”
“Yeah. It was more of a wake up call,” Natalya said, her excitement growing. “My parents… Well, I love them, but they could be a bit much. They didn’t approve of my choices. They always told me to never choose sports over grades. But I did. It was my passion. When I was in high school, my parents had more control. They almost made me change my mind.”
“About choosing sports over grades?”
Natalya nodded. “Then I came here. Everyone has goals, you know? My love for sports only got challenged with the competition, but I got to love it even more because of that. I think I would have liked to join the Olympics one day.”
“That’s a pretty good goal,” David said. I wasn’t sure if it was out of kindness or because he was simply speaking the truth when he said, “You would have won first prize all the time.”
Natalya put her face in her arms and shook her head. “That’s why my parents were so annoyed.” She looked up again. “They knew that, for me, it was always about the glory of being the best. And I can’t just deny it. They’re completely right. But I just can’t help it.”
“It’s nothing to be ashamed about. I mean, look at me. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. At least you had a goal. At least you had somewhere to go.”
“You don’t see it, do you?”
“See what?” David’s confusion almost astounded me, even.
Natalya explained, “You didn’t have a huge goal to follow, one that you’d envisioned about every night to put yourself to sleep. I did. And now, that dream is shattered. It’s gone forever, because the world is over. There may be survivors, but until we find them, we’re stuck. Do you see what I mean?”
“My loss isn’t as great as yours,” David admitted reluctantly.
Natalya looked a little bit sheepish, as if she hadn’t meant to bring up any hurt, but I understood where she came from and even I had to say to myself quietly, “Perhaps my loss isn’t as great as yours either, Natalya.”
Natalya lifted her brown eyes to look at me. Or, rather, through me, and it was as if, in that split second, we came to an understanding. And then her puzzled eyes dropped to stare at the ground and our connection was lost.
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 10 Next »


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This book has 127 comments. Post your own!

Timekeeper This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm:
Excellent! Your characters were relatable and grounded, even the "unrealistic" parts of the storyline were handled perfectly!
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm :
Thanks so much! I was aiming for that :)
 
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AddictedToWriting said...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm:

Wow.  Great job with this, it just keeps getting better and better.

I think the ONLY error I caught this time was when Natalya was saying that the needed new supplies or something, you used 'knew' instead of 'new'.  Very different words.  :P

Amazing job, definately one of the higher caliber pieces here on TI.

 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm :
Thanks for catching that, and it means so much that you like this so much!!! Thank you :)
 
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Love.Hate.Passion. said...
Aug. 4, 2011 at 11:35 am:

This was awesome !

I feel so bad for Rose though :(

 

Keep up the good work !

 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm :
Thanks so much! :)
 
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JustAnotherOwl said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 11:04 am:
This novel is so interesting! The idea is so original. It's written very well and easily keeps attention. I've only read the first chapter so far, but I'm really looking forward to reading the rest. I have a question, though...Does this take place in the future? (I was wondering...because in the summary, it says the year '1290'...). Why can't novels be favorited? :)
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 4, 2011 at 2:20 am :
Yeah, I actually posted a comment somewhere below that it was a typo. Haha, the year is supposed to be 2090. Thanks so much for the comment. It means a lot :)
 
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AnnaBanana said...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 4:58 am:
I really enjoyed the character development between David and Natalya.  You can develope this even further.  I like the fact that they are so different from each other...I also like the fact that David experienced the deaths so quickly, ie his brother, his parents and the others...this can really be a character builder.  It is really good, please keep writing!!
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 4, 2011 at 2:18 am :
Thank you!!! :)
 
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DelictiousThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm:
When is the new chapter coming up?? I'm dying to read it(:
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 29, 2011 at 1:33 am :
Soon! I really want to finish chapter 6 so that I can post two chapters at once, but I'm kind of having trouble finishing it. I will try to get around to posting in the next week. Sorry for the wait! 
 
DelictiousThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm :
They are AMAZING! I love this novel. For some reason, I keep on having flashbacks to The Host (If you've ever read it) and some characters/plot. It's VERY different, I just somehow think about that(:
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 18, 2011 at 9:02 am :
I haven't read it actually. But I'm glad you like this so much :) I'm working on the last few chapters and I'll try to post all of them in the next week or so. :)
 
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Danealle said...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 8:08 am:
I love this story! You took an old topic and put a fresh spin on it! Great job!
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 8:21 am :
Thank you! I'm glad you like it! :)
 
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MissDarkCross said...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 7:25 pm:
I really liked to topic in this..I really don't like this genre of books..nor movies..but I really liked this story..keep writing <3
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 1:55 am :
 Thanks   :)
 
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leafyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm:
omg this is sooo good! i've only read the first chappie and im hooked. the only problem is just some flow issues, but by the end its so suspenseful that it doesn't even matter :)
 
leafyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm :
ok just finished it...and i love it so much! the only thing i suggest is just to add something to the plot...maybe they find another person/people, something mysterious that may have to do with the impending nuclear war, or (if you want the story to be kinda short) rose's body? or you could have rose go off somewhere (maybe the white house or russia's equivalent). idk, those are just some ideas, but you probably have it all figured out :) keep up the nice work!
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 1:55 am :
Thanks!!! I'm glad you liked it. And I will be adding something. I kind of have to write it first, but hopefully, I'll have something posted soon. :)
 
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