Prequel to Mother Nature’s Empire: Short Story

Prequel to Mother Nature’s Empire
By, Samantha Chicoine
Astrid’s Version:

“Are you in bed Astrid?” my dad asked from the other side of my bedroom door.
“That’s a difficult question to answer dad.” I replied
My lack of an answer should give me an extra few minutes. My toys are lined up in two parallel lines, ready to engage in battle. Most of them are dinosaurs ready to punch each other in each other’s faces and chomp at each other with their huge teeth. One side stole the other sides gold and now this crazy battle seem to be the only way to settle this. Suddenly my door flung open,
“What’s this?” my dad asked, kneeling down to look.
“An epic battle.” I said scratching my head, feeling my short blonde hair. My mom liked my hair long and pretty but I found it just got in the way.
“It is post-poned until tomorrow, honey.” Dad said lifting me up and swinging me to my bed. My dad is super strong, and although he’s not tall, I’m certain he could protect my family from any bad guy who comes to the premises.
“Let’s get those glasses off.” He said as he took my glasses off and placed them on my nightstand. Instantly I jumped to my feet.
“But how will I be able to contain my lazar eyes without my safety glasses?!”
My dad pulled me down and tucked me in.
“Be quiet, please do not wake up your brother, we finally got him to sleep.” He kissed my head goodnight.
“I love you Astrid.”
“I love you too dad.”
He left my room, leaving me alone with my night-light. All I can think about is my epic battle. I sit up and sink to the floor, staring through the intense darkness at my toys. I can feel the carpet beneath me itch my legs as I crawl across the floor. Without a moment for me to think, a piercing light took over my room. I could smell that the air was thick with the scent of pine trees and I can feel a breeze hit my pale skin. I quickly jumped up and threw myself under my covers, trying to gain warmth and protection.
“Astrid.” A deep and booming voice arouse through my confusion. Causing shivers to tease my skin and tingle my spine. I felt like I needed to take off the blanket and look out. Standing in my room was a tall, large man with dark skin and grey hair. He looks about 60, very Morgan Freeman-esque. He wore a long green cloak that dragged along behind him as he moved towards me and took a seat on my bed.
“Hello Astrid.”
“Hello Stranger.” I spoke, annoyed that this person insisted on sitting on my bed.
He chuckled, shaking my whole house.
“You should be quiet, my whole family is sleeping. My brother is only four and it takes forever to get him back to sleep.”
“They cannot hear me my dear.” He replied as he cocked his head and stared me dead in the eyes. That sent another chill straight down my spine.
“What do you want?” I asked. Despite my confusion I didn’t feel afraid, I felt comfortable. He looked at my epic battle.
“Do you like battles, Astrid?”
I nodded my head, analyzing his expression and counting the lines on his face.
“A battle is coming Astrid, and we want you on our side.”
“An epic battle? When??” I couldn’t contain my little bit of excitement. He looked at me and put his hand on my shoulder.
“It will be strikingly epic my love, and it begins here tomorrow at dark.”
I smiled but then furrowed my brow and met his warm green eyes.
“Does everyone know?”
“No, only select people have been chosen.”
“Is everyone from Gothenburg?” I’m stumped as to why he chose Sweden, out of the whole world.
“One person from each country has been chosen to remain. If any additional people are able to survive what’s coming, so be it. But essentially the human race will be exterminated and nature will become in control.”
The excitement suddenly turned itself into butterflies thrusting themselves against my stomach.
“I’m going to save my family and my friends.”
He met my gaze and didn’t budge.
“If you can then they are worthy, but human nature is to be ignorant to anything they cannot visualize or process, thus the destruction they have caused to this planet so far.
He pulled a safari hat from behind his cloak and handed it to me. I quickly put it on; I’ve always wanted my own safari hat.
“At dark tomorrow you must follow your instincts, and that will tell you where to go.”
And just as quickly as he had appeared he was gone, I quickly turned on my lamp and scrambled to get some paper and markers. I’m not sure how, but suddenly it was morning and I had drawn 29 pictures dictating what was to come. There was fire, light, nature rising and humans falling.
My mother came in first; saw all I’d done and left the room to get my dad without saying a thing, although her expression had said it all. They both approached me cautiously.
“Did you sleep last night?” dad asked warily walking towards me.
“I couldn’t after the ghost came.” I replied, seeing the confusion wisp across their faces. “There will be an epic battle and humans will lose.” I used the pictures I drew to explain what was going to happen.
“Maybe you should stay home from school today.” Mom said.
“No, no, no, no, no!!! I have to go!” I screamed.
“Why the sudden interest?” my dad asked.
“I just have to.”
I got in the car and triple checked that I remembered the pictures I had drawn. I need to warn them, they must listen. Arriving at school, I ran towards my friends, waiting for school to start.
“Look at these and listen, the world is ending tonight, well humans are anyway.”
My friends examined the pictures and asked many questions. I tried to explain everything as closely as I could. Some of them started crying because they are cowards. I warned them to get their families to somewhere underground, somewhere more sealed off than a basement. As the day went on, everyone in my class took turns asking me questions and getting upset about it. The teacher got mad at me and when I tried to explain, she wouldn’t listen. I had to sit outside the classroom and do my assignment away from the other kids, and my pictures were confiscated. I feel utterly frustrated that despite my many attempts to warn, I’m overlooked and scrutinized. My fear is that the ghost was right, and I won’t be able to save anyone. Hot tears welled in my eyes and collapsed on my cheeks. The warm, salty streaks wouldn’t stop as sat alone finishing my math.
Later that day, the evening was present and the sky teased the disappearance of colour to be replaced by the darkness of the end. My parents were mumbling in the kitchen, musing my sanity. I was in my brother’s room, allowing him to build his own epic battle. He was 4 and his cheeks held a pink to represent his innocence. A storm began outside and rain showered the window and a branch struck the outside wall periodically. I saw flavorful bursts of light splatter through the curtains as lightening threatened the vulnerable. I saw my brother shudder every time and I love him. He will survive with me, I need him, he’s my partner in crime and the person I am most protective of in the world. I made my mind up on a plan, quickly I ran around his room collecting a few of his things for him to bring with him. I collected food by asking my parents for snacks and then wrapped them up and snuck some more granola bars when they weren’t watching. I got him and I all dressed up in warm clothing and good shoes. The kitchen is near the front door, but the backdoor should be a safe bet.
“Do you trust me Alvar?” I asked gently. He looked up at me with fear in his eyes and whispered that he did. He is only 4 years old but I know that he is brave. “Follow me.”
I grabbed his hand and we quietly snuck out of the house and into the rain.
“What about mom and dad?” he asked.
“They’ve decided to do something else. Trust me, I will keep you safe.” I could see that he was crying but I continued pulling him around. I remembered a storage bunker near the washrooms in the park near by. It was built strong to withstand rough weather. Some how I was able to open it, as if something was routing for us, and I knew it was from the help of the ghost. We both went down the wooden stairs. I found some flashlights and put them all on to illuminate the little nest. I set down the blanket I packed and set out Alvar’s toys.
“I’m going to need you to stay here alone, just for a little while.” Alvar freaked out and started bawling, his eyes puffy and red and his nose leaking. I wiped his nose and gave him a huge hug. “It’s only for a while, I promise.” I paused. “If you stay here you will be safe, and if you don’t you will not be safe. I need you to listen.”
After about a half hour, I needed to leave him and he promised to stay put. I climbed out of the bunker and locked it behind me as best I could. I’m not sure what has come over me, but it feels like I have been possessed by something much stronger and wiser than myself. I am only 9 years old and it feels like I am centuries older and decades stronger.
I began sprinting, through the rain I could hardly see a thing but I knew where I needed to go and kept running. Adrenaline pumped through my entire body and I couldn’t stop. Eventually I came to a clearing in the midst of homes, a hill next to a small children’s playground. The sun was floating below my view and the sky was blackened. I stood with purpose and looked down at the homes from my spot. So many families, homes and purposes and within minutes they would all be gone, and they had no idea. Maybe it’s better that way, for then they didn’t need to fear, they didn’t need to muse in the madness or dwell in the doomed, all they had to do was do as they do with the same tame routines and experience their daily lack of emotion. Numbed and brainwashed by technology and artificial screens. At the same time, maybe they are being restricted from closure; maybe they are leaving things off on a bad note and will never have the time to correct their mistakes. Each and every one of us should at least have a chance to correct our concoctions and bloom new beginnings. I began to ascend into the sky, but I wasn’t afraid. As I gradually floated higher I thought of my classmates and their families, I thought of my grandma and all the babies on this planet. I thought of all the happy people and all the lonely people and all of the people who are hungry and sad, and death may taste like a sweet release. My mournful thoughts were interrupted by a loud crash that sounded like a million dishes falling to a hard floor at once. A blinding light illuminated the darkness. I watched as a gorgeous fire seared the vast if homes, cars and anything man made. It looked as if it danced, as if the world was a stage that needed to be set. The fire was fearless, which contrasted humanity in everyway. The fire climbed and chose where it would land and what it would eliminate. I heard screams, but the screams quickly faded as everyone was turned to ashes within minutes. I stayed high in the sky, floating above all of the destruction. I felt glorious but that made me feel guilty, as I knew that I am truly no better or different than anyone else. Now everyone I know is gone and there is no way for me to get them back. My heart was using my chest as a punching bag and my tears slid down my warm cheeks effortlessly. Could I have saved more? It’s possible, but in reality no one would believe a 9-year-old kid talking fantasies.
And then it was over. The earth was black and I started descending slowly. I landed upon the ashes, where all that remained was the plants and the animals. Without hesitation I sprinted in the direction of Alvar, hopping and hoping that my instinct is correct and that he is alive. I ran for a while and finally arrived at the park bunker, struggling and finally succeeding to open it. The flashlights were still on, and in the corner I could see Alvar shaking and sobbing. He was alive. I almost tackled him, as I was so excited to see him and comfort his 4-year-old body.
“It’s you and I now Alvar.” I said and he nodded. “You must continue to trust me, as we continue this adventure.”
“Okay, Astrid.”
After 15 minutes we had to depart. Quickly, I packed up all of our stuff and left the bunker. It was time to meet some of the survivors from the neighboring countries. We walked for days in a direction I knew instinctually. Alvar was terrified and complained in abundance, but he put his faith into me and I was proud of him
After many weeks, we came to a group of 3 survivors, one from Finland, one from Norway and the other from Russia. As we came together we barely had even the slightest instance to get the vibes of one another, when a tree broke through the earth and grew. The tree was majestic and maddening. We all stood in astonishment, all of us so young and suddenly very afraid.
“Welcome home you have been chosen by I, Mother Nature.” Boomed the tree.

Establishes Setting                                        VAKSING/ Imagery
Coneys the message of the piece               Interesting Title
Cohesive Ending                                           Dialogue

Personal addition#13

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Recently my friend and I tried to be napoleon and kip from napoleon dynamite and roll each other into town. It was a charming evening. We had no rope so we had to tie a shirt and pair of pants together from my boyfriend’s backpack.

Personal addition #12

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I picked this because I really love my dog Daisy, as she is my best friend (sorry Annie). And it’s okay to not want to be around people and just want to be around animals because there’s something about animals that is so genuine and honest.