Hope, A Short Story


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A human form floated down a large river, unmoving and seemingly lifeless. It drifted up onto the beige shore head first, skidding slightly before coming to a stop as the rough ground slowed its movement to a halt. The male body was bloody and bruised, and what was left of the bluish-gray clothes he once bore proudly were now tattered beyond recognition. The man laid there for hours, as still as if he were dead. Birds landed near the body, inspecting what may be their next meal.

Suddenly, the two small eyelids flickered open, only to be quickly shut again as the sun blinded what they protected. The birds fluttered away, aware at once that the meal they greatly desired was still alive. Slowly, he opened them part-way again, waiting a while before opening them up slightly further. He repeated this action until his eyes were fully open and used to the sunlight. Looking around, he moved his head in slightly different directions to examine his surroundings.

He found that in front of him there was the face of a cliff on the other side of a large body of water, and to the sides of him only sand as far as the eyes could see. He tried to move his body so that he could see behind him, but found that he was unable to. It was then that he saw his arms and body covered in blood.

What happened? he asked himself repeatedly, wishing to know what brought him to this state. Flashes of being held in a dark cave filled his mind, but try as he did he could not remember anything else. Abandoning his attempt to regain his memory, he once again focused on his body, this time trying to just lift his arm. He lifted it a millimeter, followed by another, until he had raised it an inch off the ground. He let it fall as an overwhelming weakness overcame him.

Tears filled his eyes as he started to lose hope, wondering if he would ever be able to move again. No, he demanded to himself, I will get up. I will make it home. It was with that that he finally remembered her — the one he had loved. The one he still loved. I must get back to her, was the one thought continually going through his mind. That was all that mattered to him.

His breathing became heavier as he tried again and again. Finally he was able to turn his body to the side, only to have it turn all the way over and cause his face to become embedded in the sand. He lifted his head slowly, and shook out the sand from in his mouth and on his face. He moved his arms out in front of him, determined to push himself up. But as he pushed off the ground, his arms faltered beneath the weight of his body, and fell back down to where it was before. But his mind had been made up. He would get home. No matter how hard it was or how long it took.

He tried again, only to fail a second time. “No!” he yelled in frustration. “I won’t give up!” Placing his hands out on the sand again, he pushed up with all his might. His arms failed a second time, and he fell back down on the rough sand as tears began to fill his eyes once more. He hit the ground with his forehead out of anger, still determined to get back home. But as he tried and failed again, he knew he had to rest, turning his head before lying it down so as to not get any more sand in his dry mouth. He longed for water and food, and started to question how he would ever get home.

But he put away these thoughts, knowing they would only do him more harm, and focused once again. He finally managed to get his arms and legs into a crawling position, and started dragging himself little by little off the sand. Minutes flew by before he finally grabbed a small bit of grass in his fingers, ripping it out of the ground and looking at it with joy. He raised his head to see a valley before him; the shore of the God-forsaken river left behind.

At least I know I made it this far. I only hope I can go the rest…

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