One Bright Day (Not A Spidey Story)

Foolsfolly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
1,137
One Bright Day.

Part One:
Riders on the Storm.

“Wake up, son,” he heard. Through the haze of early consciousness her son replied, “Ok, mother.” The mother stood there in the doorway smiling as her son rolled over and went back to sleep. “Son?”

“Hmm?”

“You got school today, you know?” She smiled.

“I don’t want to go, Mom. The teachers are mean and the students pick on me,” he said. He pretended to sleep and not notice that his mother was getting closer to the bed. She stood looking down at her son and absentmindedly parted his hair the way she liked it.

“If you don’t go to school there are certain chores that need to be done,” she said. He did not move or say a word. “You know you could help me around the house; help with the laundry.”

“Ok, I’ll go to school,” he said. His mother smiled.

Downstairs the daughter was feeding her youngest brother while her father ate a small breakfast and read the morning paper and her grandfather was gardening outside. “People don’t like to say it,” the father spoke, “But the war’s not going well, you know?”

“I know, dad,” came his reply.

“I was speaking with one of my friends at work about it and we think that we’re in for some hard times; the city might be bombed you know?” he asked. His daughter nodded and continued to feed her little brother his baby food. “The city’s never been attack before. I don’t know how--” he stopped.

“Dad,” she said, “Stop worrying so much. If you don’t get ready soon you’ll be late for work.”

“He better not be late for work,” the mother said walking down the stairs with a basket full of a laundry. Her husband put his paper down and stood to greet his wife. He tried to kiss her check but she brushed him off, “Don’t touch me! I’m busy!” He smiled and followed her towards the laundry room trying to touch her again and again despite playful threats of bodily harm.

“Don’t you dare grow up and be like them,” the daughter said. “Don’t be crazy.” The baby just stared back at his older sister. “Be someone important like a scientist or a doctor; try to do something that benefits the world.” As if answering her statement, the baby blew a snot bubble and gurgled something.

“On the other hand, maybe you’d be better suited as a fisherman,” she said.

“Get back!” the mother threatened her husband. He smiled and went back to the his breakfast and his newspaper. She just wasn’t in the mood for him right now; she wished he’d just leave as soon as possible. Their marriage was in a bit of a rut and he was completely oblivious to that fact. She didn’t hate him, she couldn’t, but most days she couldn’t stand him being around her. She would not leave him, what would her family think? What would God think? She was devote Catholic and one thing Catholics did not do was divorce. She folded the clothes in silence and when she was done she would stay there waiting for her husband to leave so she could clean his plate.

The daughter sat her brother down by the front door and gave him a toy boat, which had been past down child to child, and walked past her father. “Thank you for helping out with your brother,” her father said. “Your mother and I need all the help we can get with him.”

“He is an armful,” she admitted, “But he’s fun and I enjoy it.”

“Nonsense. You’re a young woman and you should be enjoying life before life gets complicated,” he said. A few seconds past on and the daughter started to go back to her brother when her father told her to stop. He reached into his pocket and gave her some money. “Thank you, daughter.”

“No, dad! It’s fine. I understand,” she said. She walked out of the room and sat next to her brother and began playing with him. Her father watched them and loved them both deeply. He couldn’t always properly show his affections for them and he knew they all thought he was clueless, maybe he was. He sighed and put the meager amount of money back into his pocket.

“I’m going to work,” he announced. No one said a word. He said goodbye to his daughter and youngest son and left.

It wasn’t that she didn’t like her father, she just couldn’t connect with him in any meaningful way. She loved him but didn’t know how much of that love was due to honor, respect, and the fact that he fed and sheltered her. In some small way she pitied him and in doing so pitied herself. He walked out of the house with a small goodbye which she returned and the day went on.

When the older son came down the stairs he found his mother busy washing dishes and his sister playing with the baby. He said his greetings to both and made his way outside to his grandfather. His grandfather smiled at him and said good morning.

“Why are you already out here gardening, grandfather?” he asked.

“One has to great each and everyday. The older you get the more you need sleep but the less you like it,” he said. “Besides I’d like to get done before the heat of the day.” The old man worked quietly and his grandson decided to help in any small way he could. The older man began to teach how to take care of a proper garden and the younger man listened and politely kept quiet.

At the same time mother, father, sons, daughter, and grandfather were enveloped in a bright light which would seep in even when their eyes were closed. The light took everything and everything was bright. No one in the country had ever seen such a light.

Part Two:
Ashes to Ashes.

The only thing the son could remember was that he was flying and he could only remember this because he landed in the river. His eyes bolted open and he saw that he was not alone. The whole river seemed full of people some moving and others not. He started to kick and swim to the surface but people blocked his path. They seemed to be diving, descending to him, and although he was not clear why they were doing such a thing. It took mere moments before he realized these people were dead.

He kicked stronger than ever to get to the surface. He fought off body after body while getting his stomach under control. Worse than the bodies were the people, the people were fighting and clawing for help and only managing to drown more and more people. His eyes were sore his muscles were weak and his lungs were out of oxygen. He was going on pure instant which roared through his very being fighting for survival.

He broke through the surface and inhaled a deep breath which tasted sweeter than anything in memory. People were screaming and crying all around him and for the first time he had wondered what had happened. He looked person to person but could not recognize anyone from all the blood on their faces.

What had happened?

He looked around to see where he was. He appeared to be in a river adjacent to some oddly constructed garbage heap. There were piles of granite, wood, and just garbage all strewn about without any care to reason or purpose. He had never seen this place before and had wondered where that light had taken him.

People started screaming louder and all pointing in the same direction. Something in their voices scared him and he turned to see what they were seeing. A giant wall of flame was rushing towards them. In future times everyone would call this sight a mushroom cloud but from the ground it looks nothing like a mushroom or a cloud. It looked like a pillar of flame ever growing and ever consuming everything in its path.

The son dove back under the water along with everyone else who could. They had no hope of understanding or survival. They all swam as best they could and none of them knew what it was they were trying to escape.

His sister hit the wall with such blinding speed and force that she was rendered completely unconscious. When she awoke it was to a different world. The rubble on her was light and she was able to push it aside. The sight that awaited her took her breath away.

Hiroshima was gone. The world was gone. In all directions there was destruction on a scale no one had ever seen before. There was no evidence that her house was ever there, no evidence that her life ever existed. There were charred bodies everywhere and to her horror many of them were trying to speak, trying to cry. Her first thought was to cry out for her mother but her voice was completely gone. She desperately needed something to drink.

She took a few steps forward and saw people moving. One of them was a child, it was impossible to tell who or even the child’s sex from the amount of burns on it. The child had no eyes and was stumbling forward crying for its mother. After five steps the child fell to the ground and spoke no more.

People were looking for their relatives and friends but no one could tell anyone apart from the amount of burns and the swollen heads. The daughter had no understanding on why these people looked like this. She looked down at her own arms and saw that not only had she been burned but that her left hand was forever altered.

Fear could not creep into her system as her whole being was enveloped in a nameless overwhelming sense. She was crying and in too much pain to ever describe and then it all went numb and she stumbled forth whispering the names of her family. There were no roads, no paths, nothing to distinguish one place apart from another. There was just ruin and in that ruin she walked with barely a thought or care in the world. It was as if she was on autopilot.

She wandered in a daze, for how long? She could not say. The next thing she could remember after that initial moments of consciousness was the rain. She had somehow found a group of survivors who had gathered around a scorched tree. The group was dwindling each second as person after person died. She thought that she would be next and felt nothing about such a thought. She sat next to the tree and watched as people tried their best to help one another.

Then the rain fell. The rain was black and despite herself she couldn’t help drinking in some of it. The blast dehydrated everyone and the rain water helped. She found herself laying down and licking what water she could get off of the charred bark of the tree. She felt weak. She left her body give out and the blackness overtook her.

Part Three:
Fade to Black.

When the daughter awoke it was nightfall. There were screams all around her and she could not determine which were her own or not. The smell was horrid and the pain was far more than she could bare. She doesn’t like remembering that night.

When the sun rose things were very still; the only thing moving in Hiroshima were the flies of which there were many. She found herself alone of that whole group she was the last survivor. She decided to stop caring and lay their and let the flies eat her away.

After hours of drifting asleep and awake she decided to get up. Walking hurt. Breathing hurt. Life hurt. She wandered aimlessly among the bodies and skeletal remains of a city that had despaired in a flash of light and the fury of sound.

She found survivors and would stay with them. Days came and went unnoticed. When she finally got to see a reflection of herself she happy to see that despite some ugly and painful burns and infections and her left hand which had been largely melted off she was alright; certainly not as bad as some of the survivors. The sight gave her some brief hope but it emptied quickly and she continued to live in pain amid the mindless destruction.

There were some doctors and when she found them they helped her as best they could with so many bodies piling up and too few supplies.

When the Americans arrived there was no place for their base or airstrips. The bodies were to numerous to be cleared in time and so they flattened all the bones and bodies and houses into dust and built their airstrip. The daughter cried.

American troops and tanks entered the remains of the city and those who could walk made their way to greet them. The Americans past out water and foods and candies to a shouting crowd. The Americans smiled and waved as they past out the food obvious to what the crowd was shouting. People were angry and were begging to die; asking to be killed.

A soldier made his way to the daughter and gave her a chocolate bar. She screamed at the top of her lungs, “Why? Why did you do this? I’m Catholic! My parents are Catholic! Why did you take them?” He smiled and went on to others. The daughter cried and ate her chocolate bar.

It was forty days before the son awoke in a hospital bed. He had no idea how he survived or what had happened. The doctors had no way to treat the problems he had, his bandages alone had to be changed every three hours and each time they changed them it ripped more skin off him. He begged to be killed and swore if he had the strength he would do it himself.

Other survivors told him what had happened. A bomb, some American super-bomb, was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan had surrendered. Rumor had it that nothing would grow one hundred miles around Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

The one good thing that happened to the son during his stay in the hospital was that he finally met his sister. Neither could visually recognize one another and it took a few minutes to make sure they were who they thought they were. The two had little to say to one another but they weren’t alone anymore. The sister felt joy and pride from not being alone while her brother felt shame and depression from the constant reminder on how life used to be.

The two went everywhere together.

Part Four:
Scar Tissue.

One day they were told to leave.

The two waited for the train which would take them back to Hiroshima. They were homeless and without anyone to care for each other. People were staring at their burns and pointing. The very sight of them offended other people and brother and sister stood there looking down at their feet waiting for the train to arrive.

When it did the brother cried the whole four hours it took to arrive in Hiroshima, the sister just stared ahead. Neither had to say a word.

To say life was tough in Hiroshima was an understatement. Brother and sister lived in a pile of rubble which leaked constantly with eight other people. There was little food. They had all survived but there was no way any of them could live.

Despite being the least scarred and burnt of the two the sister fell under a mysterious illness. The doctors in Hiroshima had no idea what it was that was happening to her and the countless others who were falling under its effects.

She lost a lot of hair and began bleeding from the gums. She would pass out often and would have trouble seeing. She relied on her brother to bring her what little food he could find and help her move around the slowly rebuilding city. At night she hoped for death.

One day both were out for a walk. They visited the makeshift hospitals to see if they could find any lost friends or family members. They visited the river were the brother told about how he had found himself floating in it when the bomb went off. Then they headed back to their small shelter. To get back they had to cross a rebuilt railway and had to stop as a train was approaching. Her brother seemed transfixed by the sight of the oncoming train.

“What is it?” She asked. He continued to stare as it came closer and closer.

He jumped in front of the train. Once the train had past she continued limping her way back to the shelter. She was too tired to cry and too weak to look for her brother.

The next day she returned to the spot her brother had died and waited for another train to pass. She remembered the days before the bombing; how her father would tell her funny little jokes when she was sick, how her mother always worry when she didn’t come straight home after school; how her brother always looked after her despite being two years younger than her. She then remembered the baby. The baby that would never get to talk, never get to try chocolate, never get to do many things, never get to be anything.

She noticed a train coming and stood. She took a deep breath and tensed all her muscles. She arched her legs and closed her eyes. It would only hurt for a brief moment and couldn’t hurt more than anything else she’d been through. It would all be over.

The train past her by and she stood motionless for minutes after it had left her sight. She slowly turned and started back to her shelter. She was far to afraid to die. Despite everything she’d been through and seen she was too afraid to die. She was too weak.

She had to stop and rest after vomiting blood. There were a few people near her all of which were too caught up in their own worries to help or acknowledge her existence. She sat there feeling sicker than she’d ever felt and ashamed that she could not have the strength to die. There were people far off digging and trying their best to rebuild the city. She watched them out of a vague sense of wonder. “Why bother?” she thought, “It’s all gone.”

She watched them continue to work. They were survivors and workers from America and Japan doing what they thought had to be done. The city could not stay in ruins forever. It had to be rebuilt simply because it had existed and it had to always exist.

As she watched she began to understand that what her brother had done and what she had done both showed great courage and strength. It took courage to do what he had done and it took courage to do what she had done. It was different courage but courage nonetheless and upon realizing it she stood and walked over to the workers.

She was determined to help rebuild this city. If she died along the way then at least she did something to help instead of laying around crying. She would do whatever she could.

Part Five:
The Weight.

The sister had survived. She saw the city rebuilt the new Japanese government established and she kept on living. But life was never easy for her. Over the course of her life she had countless tumors all over her body, some of which scarred and disfigured her body or bones. She was always on medication and unable to hold a job or afford proper care. It took the Japanese government decades to provide healthcare for the survivors and many people never lived to see it.

Although the bomb was some sixty years ago she carried it with her everyday. In Japan the survivors were treated as second class citizens. In the early years of the 1950’s it was believed that their illnesses were contagious and so they were often left alone without healthcare and sometimes with other survivors to keep company. The sister never married or had a boyfriend due to the stigma of their children being born with mutations.

She would live to see people’s understanding of the nuclear weapon degrade into simple taunts of who people should nuke without any knowledge of the lasting damages such weapons produce. She would live to see the government money and the free healthcare. She would live to see wars come and go without Japan’s involvement. She would see many things and have many stories of humanity’s horrors and great achievements throughout her life. But she would never get to tell her stories of such things. The sister to some, the daughter to two, and the faceless statistic to others never got to live to a time where the Hiroshima survivors were not ostracized.

Today the survivors are avoided and the government is waiting for them to die out so they could stop throwing money at the problem. The children of the survivors are avoided out of fear of mutation and illness. These are people who’s only crime was surviving and them and their offspring are treated as less than human. In a world of minorities struggling for understanding their voice goes unheard and the world likes it that way.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
25,007
That was beautiful. Terrifying and chilling, but beautiful. Your description is wonderful. There were a few errors, but only minor ones like their instead of there, shifts of tenses, awkward sentences etc. But a nice job and a very good effort. This is one of the first stories in a long time that's actually been meaningful.
 

Foolsfolly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
1,137
Thanks, I'd seen this section for months and just decided to write something and put it here.

A lot of the awkwardness comes from the lack of names, IMO. But I really wanted the reader to bring in their assumptions that this was set modern day with a white American family. Of course, not everyone will do that but most will.

Again, thanks.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
25,007
I actually immediately thought of London during WWI for some reason.

Oh, and the fact that you have to clarify that this isn't a Spider-Man story and that people probably won't even look at it because of this makes me sad.
 

Planet-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
11,645
Location
Toronto, Ontario(by way of the Kepler Verge)
I read it. It was good. Very descriptive. The line that stuck out to me the most was the line about the mushroom cloud from the ground, but I think the "what it actually looked like" needs a more terrible, all-consuming description to it.
 

Latest posts

Top