Skip to main content
PBS logo

The Eclectic Pen - FOREVER 744 wds.

By: CJ B. (cjwrites)  
Date Submitted: 11/4/2010
Genre: LGBTQ+ Books » Literature & Fiction
Words: 1,361

  CJ Barrows

We walked around the dead apple tree, kicking through the

crispy leaves. We were hoping to find some apples to eat.

It was a still, cool day and we were having fun. Suddenly, a loud boom

pierced the silence. Bark splintered and flew off the tree trunk.

We stood like statues for a second, shocked. Then Alphie shouted, “Run, Missy, run into the

woods!” We ran as fast as we could, trying to stay together, but with so many trees, we were

forced to split up. I heard a terrific boom…then another. An awful scream cut through the

field …I thought my heart had stopped. My chest heaved and my muscles were beginning to burn. I

ran through an opening in a fence and saw a small shed with a huge brush pile leaning against

I quickly ran behind the building and peered through the brush pile. I could see no

movement, hear no sounds. I stood resting my body against the rough wood of the shed for what

seemed like an hours, afraid to move. Maybe it was over… maybe the violent ones were gone. We

could never be sure.


It came like mist before my eyes… memory, a memory I had buried and hoped never to

resurrect. Was it only a year ago? Yes, with summer’s end seeping into the ground, and autumn

following, slowly it seemed. We had been walking through fields, watching the young ones run and

play…enjoying each other’s company. We had been together since we were babies--except for Daisy,

who had joined us the year before.

Daisy had lived with her family in the clan of their childhood, over the mountain. Her

family had lived in that valley for as long as the oldest ones could remember. She told us all

about it, describing a peaceful, beautiful place to live. Then one day, the violent ones came

with guns. Daisy and the others began running. They heard loud booms that seemed to shake the

earth. She looked back and to her horror saw her mother and her sister lying on the ground. She

knew they were dead. She said it felt as though her heart had folded up inside her. She ran as

fast as she could.


When exhaustion forced her to stop, she didn’t know where she was. But she knew she

couldn’t go back. She walked for three days, following a stream. The stream led her to us. She’d

thought she would be safe then… until this awful thing happened.

I started walking again, looking for the others. I saw movement in the trees. It was

Alfonse. I joined him, and one by one the others gathered. We walked for days. We found a place

that seemed peaceful, and there was a stream to drink from.

We stayed there for weeks. Then one day, Alfonse was making his way to the stream when

suddenly he let out a horrific scream. We’d heard no sound. Still standing, he raised his head

as though it were a great weight and looked at me. I could see shock and pain in his eyes. He

fell then, awkwardly, to the ground. We saw an arrow protruding from his side, blood flowing

from the wound.


We endured many days of chaos, hiding as best we could, never able to see the arrows

flying between the trees. We watched in horror as

members of our families and friends dropped to the ground when the deadly arrows struck them.

The rest of us would run and hide, then watch in shock, trembling with fear as the violent ones

dragged the bodies of our loved ones through the woods and heaved them onto their trucks and

drove away.

Weary and confused, we headed deeper into the forest. The only sound was leaves crunching

under our footsteps. I heard a barely audible “swoosh,” and looked around just as Daniel fell to

the ground. The strangled sound he made cut through me. He struggled to get up, to raise his

head off the ground that was turning red with his blood. He couldn’t do it. The weight of his

magnificent antlers was too much… his strength was gone. I watched his eyes, as the light faded

from them. It was over. We heard yelling and running feet. We scattered and ran hopelessly

through the bare trees. There was no place to hide. This is our lives,


The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by CJ B. (cjwrites)

Member Comments

Leave a comment about this story...

Comments 1 to 1 of 1
Yumiko O. (sierramagick) - 12/4/2011 1:30 PM ET
Loved your story!
Comments 1 to 1 of 1