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Land of the Sea
“Arya, could you please just pay attention,” Mrs. Hemsworth snapped, grabbing the tiny girl with red curls out of her daydream.
“I’m sorry, what?” the girl asked groggily as she averted her eyes from the darkened window.
“Honestly, some times it feels as though I might as well be talking to thin air, the way you pay attention.”
“I do pay attention!” Arya insisted.
“Oh you do, do you?” Arya nodded. “Then what was I talking about?” Inquired Mrs. Hemsworth.
The girl swallowed. Honestly? She had not listened to a word her teacher had spoken, but she was too stubborn to admit her crimes.
“History,” Arya answered flatly. But the older woman was not amused.
It was not Arya’s fault she just didn’t think her teachers lessons were credible. She tried to listen, tried to learn, but every time she did she found herself questioning everything and just gave up.
“Ms Stewart, if you ever want to accomplish anything in your life, I suggest you pay attention,” the teacher snarled, she had had it with this headstrong teenager who only seemed to pay attention to what was outside that blackened window.
“Honestly, I don’t see the point,” the redhead retorted as she saw Mrs. Hemsworth’s nostrils flair. “How am I to believe any of this is real? Yes, I have your word but it could also be that you just don’t know any better and accept the stories written in those ancient books without questioning,” she rambled matter-of-factly.
She’d done it this time. She had finally pushed Mrs. Hemsworth far enough that Arya could actually see that she was considering unemployment.
Arya felt sorry for the woman; it couldn’t be easy teaching someone who was unwilling to listen. And she knew her teacher preferred the easy way out because otherwise she would not just believe everything those damn books told her like all the other morons roaming the earth.
“These books have been written by the survivors of ‘the great flood’; the very people who have created our lands-“
“I’m sorry, but lands?” Arya interrupted with a smirk. “You’re calling this land? And okay, maybe they were the only ones to survive the change of living above to living in water but only five of the fifty were smart enough to write down the lost history. I’m not calling those five stupid but, honestly, we have no idea how old this earth is. It might be thousands, maybe even millions of years old. No one can recite that much history. What’s more, who’s to say they were any good at history? Maybe they flunked that subject at school, maybe they just weren’t very intelligent and you don’t think we should even consider fact-checking our only sources of information?”
It was dead silent. Arya could feel her teacher’s eyes locked on her; examining her; wondering if she was abnormally clever for her age or just stupid. Arya guessed it was a bit of both. She was clever enough to question whatever she was taught, yet stupid enough to not go fact-checking herself.
“Our lesson is done, you are dismissed,” Mrs. Hemsworth said quietly.
“Great!” Arya said with a fake smile planted on her face.
She slammed the door shut behind her, feeling only slightly guilty by doing so. It isn’t Mrs. Hemsworth’s fault- she kept reminding herself. Everyone was like this. Everyone believed the writings of ‘the survivors’ without question. It made Arya so mad. How could they believe anything if they had not seen anything besides the glass bowls they lived in? How could they be so naive?
She wanted to go exploring more than anything. To see the ancient world her great ancestors had left behind. To find out how it was possible that one single wave could wipe out almost an entire race of said to be high intelligence. But to do that she had to leave the safe perimeters she lived in, and that was against the law.
She entered her bedroom and fell face forward onto her mattress. She despised the world. She despised the ridiculous laws that forced her to live in uncertainty. And most of all, she despised her ancestors for leaving the world with so little knowledge.
The teenager grabbed her diary from under her bed and opened it with utter disgust. It was so absurd that they were obligated to record their lives in these little books. But that was their government: a bunch of illogical human beings. Their theory was that one day the day they lived in would be history; therefore it was their duty to inform the future generations about the ongoings of the past. The only problem with this hypothesis, however, was that what they were doing was not living; it was merely staying alive, and Arya could not see why that would interest anyone.
After writing about yet another dull day, Arya crossed her room towards her only window. As she watched the fish swim past her, she was overcome with a painful churn inside her stomach. It was the same churn she got whenever someone mentioned leaving the glass globes. It was the thriving longing living inside her that, more than anything in the world, wanted to be anywhere but where she was. Somewhere out there she knew were the ruins of the ancient cities, full of untold stories and unraveled mysteries. Oh how she wanted to go on an adventure and discover all the secrets of the world that used to be so full of life.
But how could she go outside? It was a question that often lingered in her mind. As far as she knew, there was only one exit. Only one door that lead to the blue nothingness that encaged them. Only one way out to freedom. She knew that if she ever wanted her freedom she would only have to open that door and reach it. But that was easier said than done. For the door was always protected by guards.
Arya had thought up many ways to escape, each more ridiculous than the last. She had long given up all hopes of tasting that extreme saltiness she had read about in one of her books, but she could never give up dreaming. As she watched the sun shine through the ripples of the water, like flames dancing through smoke, a thought that had never occurred to her before meandered its way into her mind. She let her eyes unfocus as the thought unraveled itself further and further. This might actually work- she thought to herself as she let her eyes focus again.
That night the young girl sneaked out of her bedchamber and headed towards the door. Her heart was pumping adrenaline through her veins at the speed of light. With every step she took she could feel doubt tugging at her stomach, but there was not a chance in the world that she would head back now. Trying to be as quiet as possible she had to control her heavy breathing, causing her head to feel light.
She arrived at the glass-encaged hallway and studied the two men standing in front of the door. She gasped for air, as she could almost taste her freedom. You can do this; three, two, one. She screamed as loudly as her throat would permit, letting out the little air that was captured in her lungs. The guardsmen startled and she started running. She could hear them running after her. She could not help but smile, thinking about how confused they must be.
She knew these hallways better than anyone else- for she had roamed them uncountable times as she dreamed of a more excitable life. In near to no time she was standing at the edge of the glass encaged hallway again, only this time she was standing on the other side and there was no one there. She panted as a crooked smile formed on her lips. Now there was no one to stop her. No guards. No Mrs. Hemsworth. No one. Slowly but defiantly she neared the door. She reached for the knob, it felt cold on her sweaty palms. Turned it, until she finally heard a click. Opened it, anxiety and thrill now taking control of her body. She stepped inside the compartment between the two doors and repeated. She reached for the knob. Turned it. Breathed deeply. Opened it.
Water rushed towards her allowing her near to no time to close her mouth. She gulped and before she knew it she was surrounded by water. The cold waves caressed her skin and welcomed her into the never-ending world of adventure. Arya kicked off of the floor and pushed away the water with her arms. Tiny fish tickled her arms as little bubbles of air burst free from her curled lips. For the first time in her life, Arya Stewart felt happy. For the first time in her life, Arya Stewart felt at home.
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"Happiness can be found, even at the darkest of times. If one only remembers to turn on the light." -Albus Dumbledore
"We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?" -the Eleventh Doctor
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