the short story project


A Chain-Linked Fence

A group of boys unknowingly await tragedy. Gifts sent by God grant The Boy the means to escape.  



His old friend, the sun, was setting between the stars above and the ground below. A few loose clouds elongated across the setting sky. He stared up at the atmosphere, breathing in. He stared not in admiration, or joy, or fear. He simply just acknowledged the close of day. The boys below the heavens stood patiently against a chain linked fence without saying much. Nobody, not even his best friend next to him, who he loved so dearly with all his heart, seemed to know what would be happening. This frustrated him. They were all of or around the same age, the crowd of boys, nearly 10, or 11, some about 7. He knew that there must have been a reason they were separated from the rest, but the handcuffs provided no relief. He stared now down at the railroad tracks a few feet from the fence. The incoming train approaching from the horizon moved something in his small gut. His frustration caused him to call out. He yelled to the skies, “HELLO? HAS SOMEBODY SENT FOR US?” Just then, a face appeared just between two clouds, where the area was clear. The disembodied head revealed itself in answer. The voice from the head grumbled as it spoke, but its lips never moved. A voice only distinguishable to him, and a face only visible to him, He sees and hears the head respond in a low rumble “What’s done is done, but there is still little hope.” He lowered his head again and looked at his cuffed hand, which to his surprise, no longer bore the metal ties to the fence. In the same second he raised his little head to the train’s growing silhouette. He grew excited and turned to the other boys, only to be reminded of the restraints around their small wrists. He wondered what to do in this very moment, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere appeared a set of pliers, spontaneously in his hand. He began with his best friend next to him, twisting away at what he could. The train was now so nearby its clanking metal pieces rung in his ears. And so, he took on a different approach. The pliers now suddenly a handsaw, He cut around the chain linked fence where his best friend was tied. In that exact second the train rolled up next to the boys and he and his best friend ran and jumped onto the train, which barely slowed before picking up pace again. The boys, who had fallen to the ground in the aisle of the train-car, stood themselves up, and looked at each other. He, realizing the rest were still bound to the section of fence, looked out the opening, barely catching sight as the train rode by. This made him feel small because all the questions he had from before were answered just then. He knew there was no saving them, and nobody was coming for them. He almost cried until a tiny hand placed itself on his shoulder, turning him. His best friend smiled slightly, answering the final question, that everything would be just fine for the two. 


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