“Survival of the Chosen, 8”

by Brianna G. Harte

I held onto her firmly, not wanting to let go.


The next morning, the sun shined through the windows and the cracks of the wooden walls. Its rays gently awoke me. Hoots of the owls echoed through the forest as though emphasizing the fact that it was nearly devoid of life. With creatures hibernating or gone south to avoid the cold, the days seemed lonely though our entire community, however small, remained. I later stood in line with all the other children, ages seven to eighteen, listening to one of the few snobby invaders with his manufactured suit and egoistic air. As he counted us by number rather than simply learning our names, our people seemed even more insignificant.

“8!” he yelled in his hard, scratchy voice.

“Yes,” Johanna said, dissatisfied.


“Yes,” Paol responded with a blank look on his face.

“10!” No response. “10!”

“Yeah,” Herold finally said, his arms crossed.

“Don’t give me that attitude, 10. Keep doing it and you know what will happen,” the instructor, if he can even be called that, warned without empathy.

Herold stood firm. “No. What?”

“Don’t give me sass, 10.” The instructor shouted to one of the others dressed just like him, “Give 10 work in the mountain.”

We all exchanged looks. He didn’t mean on the mountain, felling trees and such. He meant inside it, looking for gold, or something precious. We shook for him. Not only would the itself Earth be damaged, but also the digging could. No. It was too much. Working on the pipes was far better.

With confidence torn away from his face, Herold pleaded to the sky.

As he was led away, the instructor continued to count off.

Copyright © 2016 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.


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