The Light Within the Dark | Teen Ink

The Light Within the Dark

January 11, 2018
By tdkelly09 BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
tdkelly09 BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The family, the Lysanders, make do with what they have. Despite the lack of wealth and little amount of food, they manage to laugh. They truly are a light within the dark. 

Chapter 1: The Light Within the Dark

The Light Within the Dark
In all truth, if one were to consider the bleak structure as beautiful, those around them would consider them an idiot. For it only consisted of two rooms, both grim in size and appearance. If more than four people were to be in the same room at the same time, they would find little room to breathe. Despite this, the five-member family, the Lysander’s, managed to make it their home. Very little light crept through the single window that faced the first room. Some sort of liquid dripped from a hole in the thatched roof and created a small, wet spot on the floor in the corner that would cave in should one press on it. Two cots, worn with holes and stains, took up the space on the floor of the second room. The only thing the family had to keep warm at night were three blankets. A small table with a simple oven took up the other room. Though the oven did emit some heat, it was expensive to run, so it was only used for cooking. Around the corner from the house, was a small pump, where the mother collected the water to wash, drink and cook with. A bustling city surrounded them, each citizen poorer than the next, all trying to make enough money to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Most of the men were stationed at the port, either helping to pull in boats, or trading fish at the market stalls. There were three children that made up the Lysander’s; Hilari, Fortis and Cessabit. The other families often looked down upon the children with the strange names and tattered clothes, but the children never minded and kept to themselves.
“Goodbye, Mother!” called Hilari, smiling as she shut the door. Running after her brothers, Hilari laughed out as she chased them towards the nearby creek. The creek, like their hovel, was unattractive and dismal in appearance. The water was brown and murky, and there was little to play with there. A thin line of trees were situated alongside the creek, but they too were dead and dark.
“Cessa! Cessa you cheated!” cried Fortis, hands propped on his hips as he glared down at his brother.
“You’re only-“ Cessabit paused to catch his breath, “saying that cause you lost”. Fortis crossed his arms over his chest and placed himself next to Cessabit, still glaring.
“Oh, don’t mind him Fortis, we all know that you are the fastest of us all,” said Hilari, grinning. Fortis often tried to hold himself above his siblings, seeing this, Hilari often tried to cheer him up by complimenting him. Adjusting her boots so that the laces would not come undone, Hilari bounded over to the water, admiring the small stream.
“How can you be so utterly cheerful about a bloody swamp? This place is as dreadful as a nightmare,” said Fortis, wrinkling his nose. Cessabit groaned and became recumbent on the ground, not minding the mud seeping into his clothes.
“Mother will have you for that, you know,” Fortis smirked.
“She’s got to worry about the food and Papa, you know she won’t spare a glance,” muttered Cessabit, shutting his eyes.
“Oy! I bet that you lot can’t beat me to that tree over there!” shouted Hilari, and quickly the boys were running after their sister, attempting to surpass her. Soon, the children were called back for dinner. Reluctantly, they walked back, not wishing to enter the cramped home once again. Their mother placed small bowls of cabbage soup in front of each child and kissed each of their heads as she did so. They tucked into them quickly. Hunger was not an uncommon feeling within the family. Though their father worked very hard in his job at the port, there was not enough money to provide a satisfying meal. However, after a long day of running and chasing, the children were grateful to have any food at all. Their father sipped his own broth while muttering small pleasantries and questions to their mother. The children talked of their day that had consisted of games of tag and races along the creek. As the children laughed, recalling their adventures, the house seemed to glow despite its dark atmosphere. From the outside, one would think that the residents of the hovel with their torn clothes and dirty faces, would be unhappy. Yet, as though a candle had been lit within dark cave, a small light burning in a storm, the family was fulfilled with happiness.

The author's comments:

Each of the children's names are symbolic of their personalities; Fortis attempts to be strong and tough in comparison to his siblings, Cessabit is not easily bothered and remains calm around his brother, Hilari is always cheerful, and attempts to make everyone around her cheerful as well. 

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