The Void

The Void

A Story by Cupofwords
"

Meet Perpetua, Tiptoe, Rush and Chivy as they stay on the move from the Void.

"
"Mommy, why did they tie that man to the ground?"
"I told you not to ask me about that. He can't go with us anymore."

The young girls' legs moved quickly to keep pace with her mother. The village, now numbering three-hundred and twelve, lived on its feet and never returned to a place it had left. The soft ground beneath their feet was a reassuring sign that they had traveled far enough for the day. 

A horn sounded and the ragged caravan of ox-pulled carts stopped rolling. Weary tribespeople dressed in a patchwork of dingy fabric and animal skins dropped the loads off their backs and untied them.

Rush stuck his hand in the sack of wood and stone tools first. "I'll look for water," he said. Rush was a skinny fourteen year-old, brown hair and brown eyes, the son of Perpetua. For him, the fun was just starting. For his mother, the work had just begun. "Go west, not too far," said Perpetua. She knew Rush would stick with some of the other boys in the camp but his sister Tiptoe was only five and had to stay on sight. Tiptoe was learning the routine- every four days the camp pulled up their stakes, packed up their carts and headed out. For two days they would make distance between them and the Void. Tiptoe would walk for a bit but she would be the first to tire out and ride on the cart. Perpetua taught her and Rush that there was no stopping. Some others would stop but, eventually, they would have to catch up. The only other option was to get pulled into the Void. Tiptoe had not yet made the connection about why some "bad people" in their camp where tied down and left behind. 

Perpetua kept an eye on Tiptoe as she unloaded the bags from the teetering cart. She tossed a dusty sack down to the ground and it landed with a crack. Tiptoe crouched on the front bench-seat of the cart and gnawed on a piece of cured rabbit meat while watching her mother investigate what made the cracking sound. 
"Oh no! I told your brother not to pack the latel in here," Perpetua said. Tiptoe was too young to leave the camp but she could still help with some of the small things. "Tiptoe, go ask Mosey for a new spoon. This one is cracked."
 "Okay!" she cried. Mosey the woodcarver was everyone's old friend, including Tiptoe. She steadily eased herself down the side of the old wooden wagon, careful not to get another scrape like the one she got on her arm the last time.
 
Rush headed out with a long pointed staff, a knife, a trowel and a bucket. He looked around at the camp to see if any of the other boys would get ahead of him. Maybe they are going in another direction, he thought. Because the region they traveled to- or which technically came to them, was a desert-like area, no one knew exactly where they would find ground water. Rush was the first to find it on the last search and was determined to do it again.
"Rush! Wait up!" yelled another boy. His name was Chivy. Patches of sweaty black hair painted stripes on his forehead and temples while the rest bounced in the dry air as he ran. Chivy carried the same implements as Rush. "Is anyone else coming this way?" Rush asked.
"No. Just us this time," said Chivy.
"Good. Let's go before anyone tries to follow."
The two walked briskly, poking the ground and keeping their eyes peeled for some kind of clue. When one slowed abruptly, the other would try to sense what the other felt, as if they were divining water. Yet, there was no true way to know. The fact is that they would perform this "art" for about five minutes and then Rush would decide on a location and they both would just start digging. 
"Here!" Rush said.
"Yup, this is it," Chivy confirmed. He poked the chosen spot. "I can tell. Look, it's soft and there's a green thing growing. There's got to be water here."
The boys dropped their buckets and started jamming their staffs into the earth. The dry crust broke up after a bunch of stabs and revealed softer soil beneath. 
Rush paused while looking at their find and put his hand up toward Chivy. "Okay, get your trowel. You dig there and...Did you hear that?"
"What? Hear what?" Chivy asked as he puled his stake from the ground.
"It was a yell or a scream. Listen."
After a moment, the boys suddenly became aware of the cattle calls and other familiar but now subdued sounds back at the camp. "I don't hear anything." Chivy said in a whisper.  
Rush remained still while looking off further to the west. A shrill voice called out once more beyond some hills to the northwest. Rush looked at Chivy. "I heard it," Chivy said. 
"Let's check it out," Rush suggested.
"Uh, what if its a stranger?"
"What if someone needs help?"
"What is someone doing over there? What if it's a trap?"
"It sounds like a kid, our age," said Rush. 
Another cry rang out. "Somebody!"
"We'll take our stuff. We can run back if it's a trap."
Chivy stalled for a moment. "Okay, but I'm not staying over there if there's trouble, even if you say to stay," he warned.
As they approached the first hill, the ground seemed to make more noise while they walked than it did before. They weren't trying to sneak up on anyone, then. As they rounded the north side they spotted a boy tied to the ground with rope and stakes.
"He's fixed," said Rush. Fixed was a term used to mean the death sentence. No one wanted to be stationary for too long. You had to keep moving away from the Void. If you were fixed to the ground or a tree, you would travel back toward the black hole in the earth that everything was pulled into and nothing came back from. As you got closer to the Void, the ground would harden and crush whatever was in it. All the world with it's living creatures moved toward that huge hellish spot and fell in- mountains, oceans, even the clouds and birds that flew above were pulled in and never returned. 
"He's a kid. What did he do to get fixed?" said Chivy.
Rush looked around. "I don't see anyone. How 'bout we go ask him?"

© 2014 Cupofwords


Author's Note

Cupofwords
I needed a distraction from my other writing. What do you think? Interesting? Keep going?

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Featured Review

I really like this story. It has a good skeleton to it. I would love to read more, especially about the culture of this nomadic people. I want to know why this situation is happening and what they can do about it. I think that if you kept going in that direction, you could do great things with this story.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I really like this story. It has a good skeleton to it. I would love to read more, especially about the culture of this nomadic people. I want to know why this situation is happening and what they can do about it. I think that if you kept going in that direction, you could do great things with this story.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I have to ask you one question my son. Is it still a void if there is stuff in it? the word void means empty so can something be empty yet have stuff in it? Think about it my son. Your poem smells good. Like perfume

Posted 6 Years Ago


Cupofwords

6 Years Ago

From the perspective of the people, it is like a void. They are simple people but they may grow to u.. read more
The first sentence that I wrote suddenly vanished like the caravan must have from the "bad" people tied to the soft ground. Only infants can be tied to soft ground. Adults would sink in it or escape. Last sentence of first paragraph - "where' - should be - were. That's nitpicking. The concept is interesting if the earth could last more than a mili-second with a black hole at its center. Did you know that the latest speculation is that numbers could surround a black hole. Wow! My Akashic Record could become more viable. I guess you gave up when you reached the chin fans because there was too much hot air fanning your logic.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Fellow Desperate Writer

6 Years Ago

first, it is absolutely possible to immobilize someone in standard earth that is not hard packed. I .. read more
Cupofwords

6 Years Ago

Sorry Arnold. I posted my reply on the wrong thread. Here it is....

Thanks Arnold. It's.. read more
Arnold

6 Years Ago

Cupfull: It might be interesting to email each other directly. What do you think? Arnold
Looks pretty good! Now I want more! The vagabond society you created here seems pretty plausible and well defined, I like it. You paint a good picture that leaves me wanting to know more.

The only thing that threw me was the term "latel" but I soon figured out you meant "ladle." Seems like there's a few extra commas here and there, but I do that too ;-)


Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Cupofwords

6 Years Ago

Thanks Arnold. It's true I did not consider the ground to be that soft as they were only a few days .. read more
Fellow Desperate Writer

6 Years Ago

Honestly, I'm wondering if Arnold was thinking of mud or sand when you said "soft ground." I figure .. read more
Cupofwords

6 Years Ago

Yes, that's it. It's better to be specific when your breaking the rules of physics. I think Arnold h.. read more

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Added on August 20, 2014
Last Updated on December 1, 2014
Tags: fiction, fantasy, short

Author

Cupofwords
Cupofwords

Taiwan



About
A man, who writes, for fun. Sometimes.I also write english articles for TESOL. But where's the fun in that? I'm married and my wife is beautiful. I'm from the States and moved to Taiwan in search of s.. more..

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