I recently went through my collection of stories, and I found one that I absolutely loved. I honestly can’t believe that I haven’t worked with it more than I have. Here it is, slightly edited, and slightly revised from the original version. I’m calling it “The Scratch”!
The day the sky broke was barely worth remembering. Nothing changed in the way we lived, and the way we did things. We still had light. Our days were dimmer, and our nights were brighter. We could still grow food, we could still farm, and we could still see. My parents saw it when it happened, although I was inside at the time. They were outside playing baseball with my little brothers. One minute I was gulping down a glass of lemonade, and the next, everyone was in the streets, screaming, yelling, and arguing about the crack in the sky. When I saw it, I was struck with one question. A question that everyone has asked themselves at least once. What is it?
The sky had split, a deep black line running from horizon to horizon in a wavering, jagged line. It glowed orange around the edges, as if it had been pierced with a hot knife. But what was it? The government responded immediately, telling us that everything was under control, and that they would find out what was wrong. Conspiracy theorists and survival preppers went crazy with it. Hundreds of thousands of Americans ended up leaving their jobs and building bomb shelters or moving to remote locations.
My mom and dad took us out to the woods for a camping trip. Although we were only a few miles from the nearest Wal-mart, it felt safer than being at home. Of course, nothing happened. The black line glowed red at night, bathing the earth in orange hues. A few weeks after the sky split, my family got back into a daily routine. Nothing much changed after we settled back in. There were significantly fewer people on the roads, many of my friends began to trickle back into school, and life carried on. The government never figured out what was causing the shredded line of orange and black. After a while, everyone took it for granted. My parents had another child, and he didn’t know anything was different. The crack didn’t appear to have any adverse affects to the human race, it was never considered a threat. We gave it a name. Life carried on. We called it The Scratch. Most of us forgot about it. Most of us took it for granted. We lived with it, and it lived with us.
It was six years, 11 months, and fifteen days later that things truly began.
I turned seventeen just sixteen days before the seventh anniversary of the crack. The world was bland for me, and my birthday wasn’t that exciting. I tried my best to celebrate, but there wasn’t much to be happy about. I’d barely passed any of my classes that year, and I hated going to school. Everyone had made a big deal about the graduates, and it did nothing but annoy me. My mom and dad barely got along. I mean, they tolerated each other, but I never sensed any love. My little brothers were growing up, and being with them was always a blast. I had a couple of friends I hung out with, but nobody special had ever caught my attention. So as it was, my birthday was quite a lonesome one. It was on a Monday, and I had nothing to do. My mom made my favorite breakfast, giving me a big smile. My brothers sang and my father clapped my on the back.
“You’re doing well Keep it up!” He said as he headed out the door. He didn’t speak to me much, but his words were kind and he meant them. My mother asked me what I had planned for the day as I at a couple of her thick pancakes, to which I shrugged and mumbled. After breakfast, I got into my car and drove around until lunch, where I sat in a lonely diner and ate a greasy burger. I got a couple of texts with happy birthday wishes from my friends. I got home later, ate dinner with my brothers and opened some presents. I fell asleep early, feeling exhausted even though it’d been a light day.
I awoke some time in the middle of the night. My stomach felt like it was tied in knots. I wondered what was wrong. I stretched and walked to the window. The sky and earth below me was bathed in that deep orange light. I was gazing at The Scratch when it moved. Well, it didn’t move, it grew. Little orange lines, like tree branches, or worms, slowly etched their way out of the jagged line, making their way across the sky for miles. When they finally halted, the world was a bit more orange and a bit brighter. Man… I thought, What is it?
There’s a little bit of it! Like I’ve said before, I’m always a bit hesitant to share my work, however small of an amount it is. Hope you guys enjoy that small piece!