The Awakening | Teen Ink

The Awakening

June 9, 2022
By James-D, Harleysville, Pennsylvania
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James-D, Harleysville, Pennsylvania
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Author's note:

When I was writing this piece I wanted to make it a long novel following the adventures of a boy and his friends. Then, as my creative writing processes was along its way I got to deep thinking. While writing I had some profound ideas that I wanted to convey and question in this piece. The problem was that I didn't want to take all my time developing a plot and characters instead of developing the deep thought provoking questions. So I decided to shorten my story and leave a lot of it up for interpretation of the reader. Finally, leaving me off with my goal of my audience pondering and questioning.

As time passes everything gets old. No matter its biology, everything is constantly aging. Some look at death as freeing, some look at death as the final stone, a stone so heavy that there is nothing worse than to lift it. As you look out at society you can see many different beliefs, but no two people could agree on exactly what death is because no one truly knows. In society people try to define everything, but something that can never truly be looked at in the same way is death because it is not something that you can define. Even if someday someone could learn what death is and what happens after, are we sure what they saw was true or maybe it was something specifically seen by them. It is so unknown that people try to fill their lives with different meanings to make up for the fact that they don’t know what lies before them. If you look out at the meanings that each person tries to fill their life with, it is fueled by emotion. Emotion is not something that I can FEEL!

“Mom! I am going outside to talk to Jake,” shouted Sarvio to his mother up the stairs.

“Wait before you go, don’t forget to take out Pliffy,” his mother shouted back.

Unfortunately for her she had not realized that Sarvio had raced to the door, not being able to postpone his excitement to talk to his friend. As Sarvio reached for the heavy birch front door it swung open with a huge amount of force. Behind the door emerged his father with a bundle of firewood in his arms. He stepped inside with a firm stomp as if you asked his son to move without saying it. Sarvio quickly scampered out of his way, scared of the powerful stomp that continued to ring through their wood paneling.

“Sorry Dad,” said Sarvio quite sheepishly looking down at the floor for something to warrant his eye contact-less posture, “ I was just about to go and talk to Jake”.

“Have you taken out Pliffy yet,” His father replied in a very deep and gruff voice, showing little emotion.

His father didn’t even bother to look down at his son, instead he just continued to come inside pushing past him and went to finish the task he was previously working on.

Sarvio responded, “Well you see….”.

His fathers attention snapped from the fireplace where he was shoveling wood right back to the door. You could hear the crackling of the wood burning in the fireplace.

“You have very little to do in this family and you can't even do those simple things,” his father was now in a less than happy mood.

His fathers gaze cut through him and all the red drained from his face. He was so pale that he matched the color of the birch door behind him.

“I… I have to go,” he announced as he slowly turned to the door.

“Not after the stunt you tried to pull! You think I am stupid, go get Pliffy and take him outside,” his father screamed.

He was so loud that you could see the veins on his neck popping with perfect definition. His fathers tone was so deep you could feel the vibrations through your lungs.


Sarvio replied back softly, “I never called you stupid…”


“Go get Pliffy and take him out now,” his dad boomed, cutting off the light tone of his son.


Sarvio quickly ran into the kitchen, passing his father stacking the wood up into the fireplace. He saw his father slowly shaking his head in disappointment. Seeing this cut through Sarvio more than the previous heated exchange had. He got into the kitchen and threw his back to the wall. He slowly slid down clutching his chest, unable to breath. As his breaths got shorter his grip tightened. He couldn't figure out why he could not catch his breath. He tried to say something, but the lack of air in his lungs prevented him from doing so. He started clawing at the wall behind him in hopes of breaking his unstoppable breathlessness. Sarvio felt something cold touch his hand he looked over and saw Pliffy pushing his nose against his bare hand. Pliffy stood there continuing to shove his nose into his hand as if to see he was ready for his walk. The more Pliffy pushed the less Sarvio could feel his hand. As the short breaths turned into last ditch gasps for air his hands went limp, now completely numb to the nuzzle of his pet Pliffy. Sarvio felt his lungs burning and contracting as small as they could with the loss of air. As his lungs lost all of their oxygen, so did the rest of his body, and without the necessary oxygen to support himself he slowly slid down the wall. His head hit the stone floor with a heavy amount of force, but he was unable to feel the blow because his whole body was now numb. The last thing he saw before he nodded off was the extremely flickering of the fireplace. The light of the fire sometimes reached him as his head lay partially in the doorway.

He awoke suddenly to a loud scratch pulling him out of his deep slumber. As he lay on the ground he took deep breaths remembering that he couldn’t breathe. His breaths were deep and controlled allowing him to regain some sanity. Now that he was no longer suffocating, he slowly opened his lazy eyes. He remembered the warm light of the fireplace as he started to doze off, but it was no longer there, just a gaping darkness into the rest of his house. As he became more conscious he remembered his fathers heated argument and the piercing glance he had been burdened with as he walked off. He slowly sat up, returning to the sitting position against the wall. The side of his head was pulsing in pain, so he quickly grabbed it. Immediately his whole body trembled as a sharp bolt of pain coursed through his body. His hand quickly returned to his side afraid of the pain. Examining his hand he saw something that did not look familiar, something was off in color, but nothing that was noticeable in the darkness of his kitchen. Remembering a candle on the counter that always sat there he got up and lit it using one of the matches in his pocket. The room came to life with its newly found light and he could see clearly what was wrong with his hand. The color was clearly off as his entire hand was bleached in blood. He looked at the floor where he was lying and the stone floor was drenched in it as well.

Realizing the severity of the injury he quickly called out, “Mom! Mom! Please help!”

Nothing, no response, not even a slight sound of movement, there was just dead silence, eerie silence. He started to cry not because of the pain, but because he felt alone and hopeless. He started to slowly leave the kitchen in hopes of finding his parents, he decided it would be best if he brought the candle with him. He slowly trotted out of the room holding the candle firm. Walking back into the place where his father was previously stoking the fire. With the light only being able to omit enough of the room to see very briefly in front of him he kept walking deeper. He looked around for some evidence of his parents, but he found very little. He walked over to the window and saw that it was pitch black out, and his stomach turned. He realized that he must have been out longer then he first thought and the tears rolling down his face increased. His father would surely punish him for being out of bed so late. Each cold tear was taunting as it rolled down. He hated crying because his father always showed him that it was never the answer. His father showed little emotion, so he always felt that when he showed emotion that he was failing him. As he regained his whereabouts he heard a loud thud coming from upstairs. Normally he would have been frightened, but under these conditions he saw it as a sign of hope. So he quickly climbed the stairs. The candles light only reaching a few steps in front of him. He was walking into the unknown or at least his unknown truth. He reached the top of the stairs and slowly turned the corner. He looked down his seemingly endless hallway. If it wasn’t for a light coming from one of the rooms the hallway would have looked endless. A door on one side of the hallway all the way at the end was propped open just enough for a sliver of light to peek through. It was as if the light pushed the door open just enough so it could escape. The light was viciously flickering out irrationally. The light was squirming all over as if it were in pain. He approached the doorknob and he was just to touch its enhancing golden polished surface when he heard a scream come from the other room across the hall. It was not a scream he had ever heard before. Its violent nature seems almost fake.

“Mom!……… Dad!……….,” nothing called back as Sarvio’s voice trailed off into silence.

The dark walls seemed as if they were closing in on him; everything in his body told him to run from the scream. Being alone he was even more enthralled to run, but something in him wanted to investigate. Not for closure but for the need of someone else. The person screaming might have needed help and so he couldn’t run. He slowly reached the other end of the hall where he had heard the scream. Every step he took shot shivers down his spine warning him to turn around. With each step he overcame a bit of fear, with each step he overcame a bit of sadness, and with each step he overcame a bit of pain. By the time he reached the door his mind was completely off any emotion, and just set on the scream he had heard moments before. The door now lay just a few inches in front of him, so he reached his hand out to open it. Again another scream, but this time he was unaffected by it. Something through the door had him in a complete trance. He slowly creaked the door open, and the shadows dissipated behind him. Light swarmed him and he was blinded.

He went numb not being able to move or see. Wanting to understand this dormant state that was cast upon him he listened intently. Being sure not to make a noise in hopes of missing nothing, not a creek. Nothing, not a single thing happened, just silence and darkness. At this point he was questioning whether he had gone blind. Then he saw, he saw everything, it was a mental overload of data. Blind to present life and the life to come. But his mind was flooded with his past life and he truly saw his life flash before his eyes or at least in his mind. Everything he saw had so little meaning. All the fights felt insignificant to the grand scheme of life, all the happiness, sadness, all his emotion felt so meaningless. As he evaluated his life he let go of these emotions. He saw there was no need and that is when he changed, never to be the same. He saw everything from the perspective of an emotionless processor similar to a computer. With him came a new generation of people. What is emotion? Over time he lost the feeling and meaning that once came so naturally to him. He yearned for this answer, but he could never find it. How could you determine emotion from human nature and necessity? There is no way to differentiate the two. Humanity was losing its prosperity and forgetting what made them so special. Sarvio was the start of the end. Humanity lost all understanding of what was so special about them and went. Emotions were nowhere to be found and people became the most optimal form and lived for the optimization. Someday, maybe someone will feel again, but until then humanity was lost among everything else in the universe. Emotionless. Empty.

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