Run to Hope

This is a short story I wrote upon hearing the song "The Fingerlakes" by Tommy Emmanuel. It inspired me, and it also reminded me of the 'Write a Story from a Single Song' challenge on HolyWorlds. So here it is. (I tried writing it long enough so you could hear the whole song in the time it takes to read the story!)

Run to Hope
By BushMaid

I held my breath, trying to still my heart that was hammering against my ribs. Leaning against the building swathed in the dark shadows, I watched as the spotlight circles scanned the ground not two meters from where I stood. I breathed a sigh of relief as they moved away. Suddenly the light was full in my face and coming from a different direction across the street. There was a shout, but I didn’t wait: I ran.

Arms pumping and feet pounding, I ran from my pursuers. As I fled, the contrast of my past life to now flitted through my mind. A simple life, my family and I had lived in a hut by the sea where my father and I spent the days fishing for our provisions. The government paid us little mind, until I found that book...

“There! After him!” Another voice shouted from the alleyway to my left. Desperately I sought a place of refuge up ahead, but there was nothing that would offer a hiding spot to a young man on the run. Rounding the corner of a building, a large, dark form suddenly jutted out into my path. I made to swerve it, till I realized it was a burnt out hovercar on its side. It would have to do. Dropping behind it breathlessly, I tried to catch my rasping breath before my hunters found me. Hunted... My wild eyes watched through the burnt windows of the car, waiting for my pursuers. My mind slowed, and thoughts of the past returned.

We pulled the book up in our nets two mornings ago. It was wrapped in plastic to protect it against water damage. Obviously the book must have been lost ages ago, otherwise it would have been wrapped in fyllicon, a thin silvery substance like cloth that protects anything from the elements. After the net was hauled in and stowed in the tanks, I threw the lever turning off the electric current that kept the fish frozen whilst the net was dragged aboard. I then took the time to inspect the book.

The simple plastic crumbled in my hands as I tore it off, revealing a book bound in an interesting brown, wrinkled material that looked curiously like shaven animal skin. I let the book fall open around the middle. Written on pale sheets of foreign material, I read words of old fashioned English. I read. I read the words of a Truth I had never heard before; words of a future, and a hope in the hands of a man named Emmanuel...

The bark of a dog snapped me back to the present. This was not the bark of your friendly Rover. This bark had a sharp metallic sound: the bark of a Rohond, robotic dogs with highly sensitive hearing, sight, and smell that could locate a squirrel up to five kilometres away. Scrambling to my feet from behind the busted hovercar, I sprinted down the empty road, my strength renewed slightly by my brief rest.

The government wanted me. Wanted the Truth I knew to be obliterated. I didn’t know how they knew about the book I found until they turned up on the doorstep of our hut and tried to take me away. Tears blurred my vision as the image of my father falling to his death from the shot of plasma rifle rose before my eyes. His death bought me the time to escape.

I now understood that this Truth was something the government wanted no one to find. The world the government wished to bring about was one of lives without hope, hence hope must be destroyed. The hope in me; the hope I found.

I stumbled, drowsiness overcoming my feet for an instant, bringing me to my knees in the dusty street. I took a pause; trying to control my shuddering breaths. The blood pounded into my head; slamming through my blood stream, causing my hands to twitch with each heartbeat. My hands subconsciously gathered fistfuls of dirt, soft and dusty. My fingers rubbed the gritty soil; real, and tangible. It’s funny how something so down to earth like dirt never changes. It was then it clicked in my head: the Truth never changes either. Time doesn’t change it, and I was the only one who knew it. All of a sudden my heart filled with a surge of energy, strength returned to my muscles, and hope to my soul.

I heard distant shouts as the soldiers found my trail, but I didn’t look back. I looked ahead; to the horizon where I could see the sun pinking the sky towards the east. Coming to my feet, I took to the road that wound east. Towards a future... towards a hope.

My legs surged beneath me, sending up puffs of dust as me feet pounded the ground. I sucked air into my lungs with deep breaths. I was alive. There was nothing I could do for those I had left behind, but there was something I could do for those up ahead if I made it. I could share with them the Hope, tell them of the Truth, and trust in Emmanuel to get me there.

I ran.

Running on the road that led to the light.

And I kept running.


Note: I just realized as I pasted this here, that it looks like I chose to use the name "Emmanuel" for God after the artist who wrote the song. Actually, that didn't come to mind whilst I was writing it, I just wanted to choose a different name for the Lord!

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  1. I've never read a story while listening to the song that inspired it, so that was fun to do. :)

  2. It is fun to do. :) Only sometimes I get mixed up when I concentrate too much on either the song or the story. :D


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