The Escape

Jade Menchaca

    Her heartbeat seemed to roar in the silent night. Her hands were numb from the snow that she was forced to dig through in order to escape. Her short legs could only carry her so far until they gave out and that is where she found herself. Lost, she was lost in the forest that surrounded the log cabin that housed the monsters. The only trail she could see were blood drops that had fallen and bounced onto the pure white snow. Her body craved warmth, but her mind told everything within her to keep walking. She could hear the hound dogs breathing down her neck. She cursed at the sudden outburst of courage felt before she broke out. She didn’t have a plan, she didn’t have anyone to live with, and she most certainly didn’t know how to make it on her own. She was prepared to die out here.
    She managed to find a cave that had been abandoned by some sort of pack animal. Finally sheltered from the chilling winter air, her stomach rumbled with hunger. Her mind warned her body to stay awake, yet her eyelids seemed to be weighed down too much to listen. Soon she found herself adrift in some dream. He hovered over her bed, red eyes glowing with anger, and teeth bared like a rabid dog. Her screams could be heard in the living room; however, the wife was almost as terrible as her husband. She loved the illusion of control more than she loved her husband. Their marriage was fast, because why would he say no to her with a gun pointed at his temple. The wife often found the young girl in the yard, tending to the garden. The wife’s elastic long arms gripped the girl’s hair, yanking her down to the earth so hard an earthquake would erupt. The girl could taste dirt for weeks after an encounter with the wife. The woman had two heads. One for the delivery man, brave enough to carry the packages through the woods to the haunted house, and the second was for the girl. These people were monsters, and no one even knew how terrible they were.
    She had woken to tears in her eyes. She was terrified that she would have to return home to the monsters. She was hopeful to find her family. She hadn’t always lived with those monsters. The rain poured that day, so her school had moved recess into the gym. There were two new helpers and one of them happened to be the wife. Recently losing her own daughter, the wife ached for someone to have. She saw the young girl and stole her away from the life she knew. The wife didn’t love the original daughter, so she didn’t love this new one. She planned to work the new one to death just like she did to her daughter. The young girl could remember pieces of her old life. She still could hear the sweet musical voice of a woman that would hold her when she cried out about the monsters under her bed. If only she knew then that there were worse monsters in the world than the imaginary ones.
    The night was coming to an end fast, and that meant they would soon find out that she had left in the middle of the night. She was too tired to move, but her heart knew she must get up. She stumbled to the entrance of the cave. She would take this journey one step at a time. Her clothes were torn and tattered, but she imagined the perfect outfit that would be bought once she was safe. Her stomach ached from the beginning stages of starvation, but she concocted the delicious meal that would soon be devoured. Her muscles were sore and her skin was dirty, but her mind went to the warmest bath that would not only clean her but also her soul. She had made it another mile past the cave. She could hear the cars zooming on the highway. She was close to town. She was close to her happy ending.
    The couple awoke in the night from a feeling in their gut that told them to check on the young girl. They slithered down the hall only to find their maid had vanished. The hound dogs were gathered to collect the scent and then they left. They walked all night, but couldn’t find her. The husband yearned to touch the young girl once more while the wife desired to hear her yelps once more. Too tired to keep searching, the couple was about to give up on the search. They would simply steal another girl. That was until they saw her staggering through the forest. She was headed straight for the highway. She would be lost forever if they couldn’t stop her. The hounds were released to stop the young girl.
    She froze at the rage filled barks that were coming from behind her. She wanted to cry, she wanted to break down, and she prayed for death to come. Her legs didn’t agree with that kind of mentality. She was running toward the highway, and no one was going to stop her. The couple ran after, stopping at the sea of cars that she was running through. She was like a fish weaving through the rocks in a river. The couple followed, needing to keep this one. The husband’s pant leg had gotten caught on rubbish. He cried out for help, but the wife smirked as a car rammed into the man that she never loved. The girl was almost to the end of the highway, but the wife was only a few feet behind her. She shouted at the girl to stop, but nothing could stop her. The wife somehow managed to shove the girl onto the ground, but she didn’t see the massive truck hurtling towards her. The wife died with a scowl painted on her face. The girl’s body was too weak to get up. She made it as far as she could. She was released from those beasts, and she could die happy. She smiled up at the sky as the life was taken out of her. She had finally received her happy ending.

For The Love of The World

Christopher Acevedo

Yesterday, the United States of America was the pinnacle of the world. Freedoms that extended beyond the Third World of various voices and beliefs. Our technology surpassed others who’ve never even heard of a telephone. The country I knew, the country I lived, was just a distant memory until now. That was yesterday. Today, it’s a wasteland of pestilence, destruction, disorder, and violence.

When did it happen? We were just happy to live. It didn’t matter who was in charge of the free world. We still had the freedoms of expression that other countries would strive to have. Not anymore. All I saw was a blinding flash. All I heard was a deafening boom. All I felt was shaken ground. All I knew was that we were nothing. You can keep a smile for as long as you want. It is until others realize your true intentions, that they see your lies, your tricks, and your lack of morality.

Today, we are all that is left of the United States. The bustling freeways of San Antonio were now littered scrap piles of metal. The many shops and venues of the past were picked clean for the dust to occupy the now-empty shelves. Craters littered the landscape to the point of undertaking the cityscape into heaps of tall metal beams and glass. The crowds that loved their city are now begging for mercy of what the world has become. Cloths of the past are a rarity. Makeshift tents and blankets are our present and future. Morality has changed to where a 6-year old is recommended for firearm training. The passive ones are long gone. It is the tough and aggressive that rule the wastes.

I look at the sky every day to see if I can see a sky vehicle. I mean airplane. I barely knew what one looked like. It is difficult to see with the smoky skies and black skin-piercing rain. I do not know if it’s just my gas mask playing tricks on me, but I just saw a bird. Flap flap flap. Oh, it just fell down on the ground. Now the other scavengers are fighting of ownership. And who gets to cook it over the fire. I remember a stove, but forgot what it did. Also, a dryer. I’d like my fashioned rags to have layers though. Well, we all can’t live in paradise right?  

I am Chris and I am writing this as I hear distant gunshots and the occasional scream. I am urging those of the future to fix what the world has caused. Maybe you all can change what has become of this land. Maybe water could be bottled or food can be warm instead of cold. I urge you to shape the world to make it peaceful for everyone. I do not know if this reached far, but all I can say is take action and bring order back to this world.

Have a good life.