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Wandering Soul

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.”
“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 »

Join the Discussion

This book has 127 comments. Post your own now!

Medina D. said...
Jun. 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm
for something written on the spot, this is not bad at all. In the first chapter or two, i would just suggest about the dialogue----i didnt think it sounded like people in college (like Natalya squealing, for example) but then i thought: well its their FIRST year in college so i guess their dialogue is alright. This story just completely sucked me into another world. I can practically FEEL Rose's loneliness as i read it. Also dont worry about your last chapter being so short---the first 3 were a ... (more »)
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm
I understand what you mean about the dialogue. I'll read over it again, maybe make some changes as the story progresses. I'm so glad you liked it though! I was hoping to get a reaction like that. Thank you! :)
leah1027 said...
Jun. 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm
Omg this is so good! Please keep writing this story. It's really cool and creative. :)
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 1:37 am
Thank you! That means so much. I’ll be writing more soon :)
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm
Just posted a new chapter! I'd appreciate feedback. Thanks! :)
kkayla3897 replied...
Jun. 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm
GAH!!!! I like how you paced yourself that chapter.... And now it's time for them to go back. I'd be interested to see what'll happen when they see her body.
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm
Oh yeah, I plan to write that soon. I have an idea for how they'll react :)
fairlyquirky said...
May 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm
Are the numbers 927 or 937? because u changed it....?
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm
Oh my gosh! I didn't even notice. That was a complete typo. I meant to put 927 again. I don't even know why I typed 3. Thanks for catching the mistake! I'll be changing that on my document :)
writeamongthestarsThis 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...
Jul. 1, 2011 at 11:18 am
Wow I just realized you replied to this because I didn't post this under my profile. Anyways, other than the number typo I thought it was a really good story, and I'd definitely like to hear the rest of it. :)
lovelycheese said...
May 24, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Here I am for a critique: 

I'm writing this along as I go, by the way.

First off, I'm confused about the sentence "… compelling me to turn away from my engrossing text message and instead focus my attention[/] on my soon-to-be-best friend." It's kind of confusing and instead of drawing the readers in, it's slightly confusing. 

As you describe Justin and Natalya, I suggest putting in a small hint or something to connect some idea together. I'm not sure wha... (more »)

Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 25, 2011 at 2:49 am

Thanks for the review, I really needed that. And I know I need to fix that first chapter, I just didn't know how to. This will help, so thanks. And it just went so quickly because I really only came up with the story as I went along, and I only had a clue as to what I was writing at the end of the first chapter. Now that I have a better idea, I think the writing will flow much more easily. (And it shouldn't be so confusing) Thanks for the feedback! :)

Ashley_Tucker said...
May 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm
I really like it! Though the whole world ending thing seems a bit rushed and unexplained. Also I think it would have been more likely that they would have been running around the town looking for survivors rather than being somehow positive none survived. I like the conversation though. I think it should just be saved for the following day. After Natalya looks around and David has tiime to walk back. Just a thought. Check out my novel Shaya's Story, please(:
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 25, 2011 at 2:47 am
Thanks for the comment. Well, the story isn't really about more survivors, but I am going to explain it more. But I appreciate the feedback, and I may just use it when editing the story :) I'll check your novel out when I have time. Soon, hopefully.  
AddictedToWriting said...
May 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Wow.  I just love this so much.  I can't wait for the next chapter!!

A huge congratulations, by the way, for taking the number one Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel position so quickly.  That's not an easy thing to do!  Great job!  You earned it!

Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm
This means so much to me! Thanks a ton! And I kind of can't wait to finish writing the next chapter. Sorry it's taking so long! Thanks again! :)
Deepsi said...
May 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm
I like your writing style so far. The plot is very fast-paced, though I feel you should avoid introducing too many characters at once. Still, I like this so far, and I can't wait for an update :)
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 24, 2011 at 2:50 am
Thanks for the comment. I think those are the only characters I'll be adding to this story, but I can see what you mean by introducing them too fast when reading over this. :)
kkayla3897 said...
May 23, 2011 at 8:21 am
Great! This is one of the most climatic, unexpected pieces of writing I've read in a long time. I would never have thought of something like this happening.
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 23, 2011 at 8:28 am
Well I'm glad of that! I was working towards having something unique. Thanks :)
taylorf463 said...
May 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm
First things first. This novel is voted #2... it must already be pretty darn good. And it is. The story doesn't go into great detail about what's happening which is good, it keeps focus on the plot. But also sometimes leaves gaps. I like the way you have talked about the characters but maybe a little more of an into expansion. Just a thought. The spelling as well as punctuation is very good. I didn't notice any grammar or tense mistakes and I think this novel has great promise. The plot is very ... (more »)

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