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Fallen from Heaven

"everything was bright around him when he could see her"

By Victor ChavarriaPublished about a year ago 9 min read
Fallen from Heaven
Photo by Ion Fet on Unsplash

Liam adjusted his noise-canceling headphones. Picking a big piece of scrap, its form lost many years before the coming, he threw it as far away as possible. His hands were bloody and dirty. He had already lost four fingernails. His sight was blurry from the tears and his breathing was heavy. He searched desperately, lifting and throwing pieces of metal, many of them with sharp edges that kept making cuts to his skin.

He didn’t care about the blood spilling out of his skin.

Suddenly, he stopped. Falling to his knees, he reached for something buried between the scrap. A little piece of tin, loosely shaped as an L. With his free hand he reached into his shirt and pulled a similar piece, an E.

He screamed.

His lament reached the sky but could not pierce into heaven. There was no one to listen. There was no one to help.

Liam, giving up, looked up at the sky. Drops of water were starting to fall. Water was not enough to clean the sadness off his face. Closing his eyes, he fell forward and passed out. Only thinking of her.

Thinking of Emily.

His Emily.

Emily.

It was noon, and there was still almost no light reaching the surface. The few rays of light that could cross the multiple filters of the sky cities streamed on the surface like rivers of light on a sea of darkness. Twenty-three years ago, ships from space had suddenly appeared on the earth’s orbit and in short weeks, humanity succumbed.

The few that remained on the surface, not yet found or maybe not considered fit enough to be taken to the cities over the clouds, were scavengers. Twice every week, the great cities opened their gates and a flood of tons and tons of their waste fell upon the earth. Whatever food they could find there was the difference between life and death.

Death usually was their fate.

But today, death could take a break. Its time would probably come soon enough. Today, Liam was sitting across Emily. It was mostly dark but for a shy and thin line of light that cut the space between them. Through it, he could see her, beautiful and graceful. Smiling and looking far away into the dark, probably deep in thought as she often was. Her eyes were the source of his light. For him, it seemed as if no light came from the sky but everything was bright around him when he could see her.

Why was she here? He always wondered in his mind. She was precious and without defect. Why would the ones who came, as people called them, would not take her? Their loss, he thought.

She realized he was deeply lost within her face. Looking at her but looking much more than what she herself could see in a mirror.

She laughed.

He laughed.

They were happy.

Emily reached to her side, far from Liam’s view. She produced an old piece of metal. Its original purpose lost many years ago. The piece of scrap was full of grease and dirt. Emily with her finger started tracing figures over it. Liam tried to peek but she covered it with her body.

He had to settle with looking at her. Deeply concentrated on what she was doing. Biting her tongue and almost not blinking.

How beautiful was she.

Soon after, she gave a little celebration jump that brought Liam back from his fantasy. Back to earth, to his real fantasy, the one in front of him.

Emily turned the piece of metal so he could see. With her finger she had traced roads around the dirt and the shapes were now words. Smiling, Liam read aloud.

“U hungry?”

He smiled and stood up. He searched into his pocket and took out a little bone. There was still some meat on it, he was saving for later. He smiled proudly.

She laughed.

Emily put her hand on her pocket and produced a red fruit Liam had never seen before. It was red and shiny. His eyes were wide in amazement.

Taking the piece of metal, she started writing again.

“Aple” he read.

After biting it, she offered it to him with a sincere smile. Liam took the apple and bit it cautiously. The sweetness took him almost instantly, the juiciness almost escaping from his mouth was amazing.

They looked at each other again and laughed.

They were very happy.

It was night, or maybe daytime. It didn’t matter, light had not come in months. Food was scarcer than ever and there were less people every time. None of this mattered to him. He ran desperately, face full of tears and body full of bruises from his many falls.

About an hour ago he walked to the place where he met Emily every day. He had been late. Ever since many weeks ago when they had shared an apple, he had made a great effort to find something that would make her smile so wide again.

When he arrived, he did not find her. He did find her piece of scrap. On it, it was written, clearly: they coming.

She had been taken but the ones who came. Those who no one had ever seen. Those who never send someone back. They had taken her Emily.

So, he ran, as fast as he could. He ran towards the great pile. It was the great pile; the only place were trash and debris had grown so high that reached the city skies. He was going to climb the great pile. He was going to get Emily back.

He ran, then walked and many times ran again before he reached his destiny. He was hungry and thirsty. He was tired and sad.

He was angry.

He started climbing the hundreds of meters of accumulated debris that for years had kept growing. The beginning was the easiest. The slope was the less steep there. Although, it would be almost vertical climbing at the end. The years of undisturbed rest of the debris on the base made it even easier as it was mostly solid.

He was rushing as much as he could paying little attention to what he was doing it. It was a mistake. Something was sticking out of the pile, something he could have seen had him been more careful. He got a cut on his leg that made him fall flat and slip down a couple of meters. He was bleeding, but he didn’t care. He took off his shirt and put it around his thigh. Making a knot with it he pressed on the wound as best as he could to stop the bleeding. He succeeded partially but it was enough.

He kept climbing for hours. Twice he found something he could take a couple of bites from. Once he stopped to catch his breath, but guilt made him keep going. How could he be resting when she was up there, scared and alone.

Why was she alone when they took her, when he should have been there with her? If he had arrived at the right time, at least they could have shared a destiny.

So, he kept climbing. Without rest and no slowing down. He climbed until his arms and legs went numb. He welcomed that. The numbness replaced the pain.

And so, he reached the top. It had been hours, maybe a day or a couple. But he was finally there and was going to get her back.

His Emily.

Emily.

It was dark. Darker than night. It was a deepest kind of void. Not only was light not there but something else was sucking everything away from her eyes.

There was no silence. At least not a deep one. She heard whispers, incomprehensible whispers that sounded very low on her ears but were very close. As it someone was talking just next to her but the voice was lost in the little space between them.

Something, not physical, pushed her forward, so she took a couple steps on the darkness.

Suddenly, she opened her eyes and she was falling. She could see the blurring lines of color around her, and the shapes on the ground growing bigger and getting closer. But she could feel nothing.

She opened her eyes again. She was on earth again. Her clothes were different than then ones she had before. The necklace Liam had made for her was gone. But she was alive. She started walking. She would find him.

On the top of the pile, he found he could not stand up straight without hitting his head on the bottom of the structure above him. He looked for the gates that were used to expel all the waste. These had not been used in years as the pile below was too big already.

He found the gate soon enough and was lucky enough. A big chunk of trash had it stuck open. He had to go around it to be able to climb it. But, once he did it, it was easy to get inside.

Liam found himself on a great metal hall, so big he could not see the far end’s wall. But again, he was lucky, just a little walk away from the whole through which he had come in, there was a stair. He climbed the stair and found himself inside sky city.

If he had taken a little time to observe the world around him, he would have probably had a hard time ever going back. The sun shined directly on the city, trees and birds danced to the tune of a warm breeze that carried a sense of calmness and security. If he had just stopped for a second, he would have realized there was no people out, not humans and no others. He would have realized the city was empty.

He kept his noise-canceling headphones pressed tight and his hand covering as much of the eye burning brightness as he could. He walked through empty corridors all leading to more corridors. There were no signs or doors. Nothing that made one place different from the other so he suddenly felt very tired.

He kept going.

After almost an hour of walking aimlessly. He found a different room. On it, a bunch of colorful substances were arranged on crystal plates. Almost fainting from hunger and the blood loss, he threw himself at the closest one and quickly ate it full. It reminded him of the juiciness of the apple, but there was no sweetness.

He woke up a while earlier. He had recovered a little so he started walking again. His body felt better but his mind was dangerously walking on the edge of a knife. The fear of slipping out of sanity grew on his mind so he rushed to find her.

He heard a scream.

He ran again, through halls and more halls he ran until he came front to a glass wall. On the other side he could see many things. Many wonderful things he could have seen, had him not been focused on just one. On the middle, a necklace with a loosely shaped L on it. The necklace was there, right next to a great opened gate.

He screamed and hit the glass. It shattered and he had to hold himself to the edge of it not go stumbling into the hole. Doing that he sent the necklace down and got a pair of brand-new cuts.

It took him several hours to find the stairs again. And a lot of more to go down the pile of trash that had led him into the heaven.

After that, finding the place were Emily had fallen was easy.

He started looking for her among the debris.

Emily heard his cry. It didn’t need to reach the heavens. She was on earth, and she was close to him. She ran and quickly found him. She tried screaming but she had no voice. He wouldn’t have heard anyway.

She ran to him and saw him fall down, face down on the ground.

She threw himself on the ground next to him and turned him around. There was blood everywhere.

She was afraid.

He coughed. Hope grew on her heart.

He opened his eyes and saw her.

How much did she liked his eyes, always smiling when they looked at her. So full of joy.

He put his hand on his pocket and when he pulled it out, he stretched it to her.

An apple.

He smiled.

She smiled.

They laughed.

They were happy.

The world was right again.

FantasyShort StorySci FiLove

About the Creator

Victor Chavarria

I'm a writer not cause I write. I'm a writer cause I'm truly myself when I do.

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Comments (1)

  • C.R. Hughesabout a year ago

    Such an interesting read! The post-apocalyptic theme is one that his been done many times and can get pretty redundant after awhile, but you found a way to make this interesting and unique. I was getting worried towards the end that Liam and Emily would not be able to find one another, but I'm glad they did. Great job!

Victor ChavarriaWritten by Victor Chavarria

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