1000 words / Story Treasury

Holding On


A/N: I was sort of hesitating to post this, but in the end I gave in. If this story is really not one of my best works, it still holds lots of layers of feelings and memories for me. It is dedicated to a certain someone. He or she know who they are. If there are any typos ar mistakes please let me know in the comments! Okay, so here we go…

I run faster and faster, my breaths coming out in choking sobs. My lungs burn for air and my hair whips around my face but I do not stop.

Why am I running, running like death itself is after me? I ask myself. I am mad. The sole survivor of a terrible earthquake left to survive alone in the wilderness for months might as well have lost her senses.

But even though I try to close my eyes to this, I know what I am running from. I am running away from my life. Running away from the truth. Running away, to leave behind the grief, the facts I so want to forget. The thorny brambles and branches tear at my bare arms and legs, but the scratches cannot possibly hurt more than the unbelievable pain my heart is feeling now, the pain of love and guilt crashing down on my like a thousand tons of concrete.

The sunset paints the valley in a thousand shades of color, beautiful colors, but for me they are shades of sadness, bursts of my agony. Though time has passed – almost two months – the sadness still pulses through me like a fresh wound. My parents are dead. My sister is dead. Everyone whom I love is dead. So why am I alive? Why is only one girl chosen to be the only one who survives the attack of her village, so she is left all alone, lamenting and starving for love? What is there left to live for?

I keep on running till my lungs feel like bursting. Then I stop. I am done running. I am done trying to forget. I am done. There’s only one thing left to do. It’s time to end my life. Then suddenly in front of me, my little five year old sister Lily appears. My heart skips a beat. I touch her, but my hands slide through her. An illusion and figment of my imagination. “I’m going to join you” I tell her. She does not say anything.

I am at the edge of a lush green cliff, miles below me thriving greenery. Beside the cliff is a waterfall, crashing down, leaving white foam on the lake it lands on. But I don’t notice the beauty around me. All they are, nothing but insignias of the people whom I loved. Once my mother had brought me here to the waterfall for a picnic. It was here from where my dad got the herbs from when my sister was sick. And it was me and my family who had watered that tree by the waterfall. I step forward to the edge of the cliff.

It’s an act of weakness. My parents would tell me to be brave, to strive. But what choice do I have? It’s better than starving to death in the wilderness. If not that, then the wolves will get me. And I do not think that I will be able to survive the guilt and sadness anymore.

A pebble slips off the edge of the cliff, falling, falling, and falling for what seems like eons. My breaths are shaky, but I calm myself. I will no longer be alone. And with that, I prepare to jump, trying so hard to ignore the trembles my body was giving in the fear of the gravity which would very soon be the end of me. But I stop.

What will do I have to live, after all that is left to live for lost? A single tear rolls down my cheek. I will jump. I will jump. I will jump. So why don’t I jump? Do I still cherish a hope, a desire, to keep my life? If I do, why do I?

All these questions eat away at me. Questions I will never be able to answer. Maybe I can live through this, grow up, get a job and settle. But will I ever forget?

Another question. Will I forget the giggles of my sister, the love my parents gave me without the memories, bittersweet memories haunting me day and night? I look at my sister once again. The hallucination gives a small sad smile. “You don’t have to do this, Anthea.”

“You don’t understand Lily. Why shouldn’t I? We can be together.” As I speak, my voice cracks. It is empty – hollow.

She doesn’t say anything but only points at the waterfall. When I see it, I gasp. For I catch sight of the most stunning flower I have ever seen. Beautiful and beggaring description, it is regal and as white as the foam on the bottom of the waterfall, its edges rimmed with a rich violet. The rare rose stands firm and erect, as magnificent as royalty. But it’s not this which made me gasp. It’s where the rose stands.

It stands at a place I would have thought impossible for life. At the toughest patch of rock it grows, directly under the brunt of the waterfall, at a small ledge which stands precariously on edge with just enough soil to let it survive. Is this another illusion? How can the rose bear to survive under that much force?

Looking at it, something in my heart changes. If this rose can survive, and blossom so beautifully under such harsh conditions, why can’t I? This rose is not so different compared to me. And if a plant can do it so can I. If this rose won’t give up, then I won’t either. I stand up, feeling much lighter than I have in a long time. Because nature has given me hope that I had abandoned a long time ago.

I can escape. I can escape from this deserted island.  I will escape. The hardest thing in life is not letting go. It is holding on. It is holding on to what you believe in. It is holding on to your life.

It is holding on to hope, and striving no matter what.

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12 thoughts on “Holding On

  1. The story held such great emotion and overall it was a good story, but I felt the story was a bit choppy at some parts especially when you switched points of views. Great job though! Keep up the good work! 😊

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  2. This -> “The hardest thing in life is not letting go. It is holding on. It is holding on to what you believe in. It is holding on to your life.”. Well said – I like it 🙂

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  3. This is wonderful story, so powerful and full of emotion! Good for you for posting it–it is often the stories that are most difficult for us to share that are most important for us to do so 🙂

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