I can't save the world | Teen Ink

I can't save the world

June 30, 2014
By leftblank SILVER, Essex, Other
leftblank SILVER, Essex, Other
5 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
'I don't hate people. I just feel better when they aren't around.' - Charles Bukowski

A warning: before reading know that this isn’t our Earth.

Time slows when you think of all the time that has passed; what you have done... what you should have done... what you haven’t done...
Realising how ridiculous your own existence seems from those thousands of years of evolution and our own technological development, that we have actually done nothing. Individuality is non-existent when this earth is no longer even considered a planet, as a copy invades and puts us all down like dogs, taking us back to their planet to keep us as pets – not the fluffy family pet kind, but the insect kind kept inside a plastic case.

This is exactly what happens in the year 2020, after the finding of a new star in space ten-years prior and the further discovery of it actually being a planet unexplainably moving towards Earth, a new race invaded and did what we do – destroyed.

The knowledge and progress we were making till that day was what they were had already learnt, while we were still in the caveman era, they were real aliens making us their test subjects.

Life changed, too fast for us to even notice it had changed, however, life went on exactly as it did in 2014 – slowly, painfully but, with less people around. My name is Liam, an Earth-one, seen as nothing but dirt in the eyes of our gods while simultaneously trying to work out what to do with my life, deal with my alcoholic mother and do what most boys aged 17 try to do: get a girlfriend.

I have no part to play in politics or time to play as soldier-hero in the army, so don’t expect a story of how I changed this world and saved humanity. This is how I was saved.

I was sat in the abandoned park opposite the small apartment me and my mum shared with another couple and their daughter who was eight-years-old. It was cramped like this for everyone, even the rich, with most buildings, towns and cities now completely annihilated, finding a place to live was hard and money was meaningless.

Laid spread-eagle on a small slope of green grass thinking thoughts, when I started at the sound of footsteps softly hitting the ground as they grew closer. Shutting my already closed eyes tighter as they stopped near my head; a stranger approaching you was never a good thing, you were going to be taken and hurt or, worse, taken away and sacrificed to the ‘gods’. More shuffling and padding was heard as the stranger sat down, making themselves comfortable.

Without even twitching I grumbled out, ‘What do you want?’ in a low, threatening tone. Survival was everyday routine after all; it’s threat or be threatened.

‘That’s no way to greet me Liam,’ came the girly, high-pitched ring of Alice’s voice. My eyes snapped open, as I nearly gave myself whiplash from turning my neck so sharply to get my head facing towards her. She giggled at the bewildered look in my eyes, ‘What’s up?’

‘N-nothing, just looking at Mount Olympus,’ It was our own little joke in comparing the invaders to the Greek gods, in thinking so highly of themselves, nevertheless they soon fell just as the invaders will – one day, maybe.

‘Ah, I’ll join you then,’ she shuffled down on her bum, probably getting grass stains on the seat of her jeans, so as she laid down her head was levelled with mine. It was silent at first, the dry deserted air blew Alice’s hair out of her face and into mine, tickling my nose and eyelashes but, I didn’t bother to move the soft strands.

‘It’s ironically beautiful isn’t it? Mount Olympus,’ Alice suddenly piped up, reaching her arm out straight pointing to the darkening sky and the planet that looked distant but wasn’t. Cocking my head to the side as I contemplated the realistic ‘irony’ of the pure terror those ‘other humans’ bestowed on us, slaughtering us, insulting us and then caging us. Insult in every meaning of the word but...

‘Yeah it is pretty,’ I mumbled in a gruff way as I tucked my neck under my chin to shut my eyes and real life out.

‘I hate it though, the way it’s completely covered the other stars from our view, how it’s home to such disgusting beings. I hate how beautiful it looks and how you can see it wherever you are in the world...’ She was ranting. She did it often, coming to me and tirade on and on about what she hates, she’s just voicing everyone’s thoughts.

‘I want to leave,’

This comment caught me off guard.

‘What! How? Where would you go? Everyone and everywhere is controlled by them,’

She sat up to look down at me, ‘I can’t escape them, I know that, it’s just a fleeting dream that’s all,’ Turning her head away, her eyes now sad, she stared back up to the sky that promised freedom and flight but housed our jail cell.

I surprised myself by saying, ‘We’ll get out one day,’

Alice swivelled her head back just as quickly, I’m surprised her neck hasn’t cramped yet and stared at me in shock, ‘You really think so?’ As it was coming from me, the most serious and depressing boy in the neighbourhood with a lot of baggage, who just waded through whatever came at him, accepting the fact that we were puppets, test subjects and nothing else... I can understand her disbelief.

‘Yeah, I really do Alice,’ and she laid back down.

‘So do I, I just lied so you wouldn’t tell me off,’

... ‘Oh’


I didn’t bother replying, she can just as good read my mind and know it was okay.

‘Let’s do it Liam,’ she suddenly exclaimed, jumping to her feet in a hurry, ‘let’s leave here and run away!’

‘Wha...’ was my only response at the unexpected wide grin spread over her face.

‘I want to leave this place Liam, I want to be standing as close to the edge as possible, where I CAN see the stars,’ she said this with arms out stretched to her sides, neck tilted back and glistening the planet’s rays of light of her flawless skin, ‘Out on the edge you can see all sorts of things you can’t see from the centre, beauty not horror,’

I just looked at her, it was like she was on stage with wild hair and brilliant eyes, exaggerated arm movements and well-composed lines. She was wrong, I was looking at beauty right now...

A warning: never forget your place. A crucial piece to remember in the current scheme of things, but I forgot. I forgot that this was no longer our Earth and I couldn’t be an average boy just looking for a girlfriend, trying to deal with his alcoholic mother and having no goal in life. The brief thought of escaping swept through my mind at that moment and I was punished for it – Alice was taken. Whether it was purely coincidently that this happened after our promise, or our ‘gods’ knew, I don’t know.

Time passed after our promise that we would leave, never once did I utter my feelings to her which is why... I have to find her, and free her from behind the plastic shield our gods have put her behind.

Alice was not a pet to keep, but a wild cat you would find in those mystical jungles that prowl and hunt and prowl – king of their world with no captivity.

I can’t save the world, I’ll never forget that but, I’m going to save hers, then we’ll finally be free.


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This article has 1 comment.

on Jul. 2 2014 at 12:57 pm
dsturnea2015 SILVER, Brunswick,
9 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change."

I really enjoyed the paradox and ironies surrounding space in this story.  It shows a wonderful allegory on how society is opressed in an entire universe.  I hope the story is extended!  Great story!