A Story by Faithy

Change doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. - Barack Obama


“With that being said, I want every one of you to use your abilities and perfect your skills because you are the future of America.”  The television quickly clicked off after that and I was left speechless.


            This wasn’t the first time he told my classmates and I that we were the future of America.  In 2009, he told us to earn good grades, be involved, and become cogs to work in his machine.  Now, I realize, he just wants us to be puppets in the War.  Be another number added to the causality count.  Be another headstone in Arlington National Cemetery.


            This want came from the President that won the Nobel Peace prize for doing nothing.  He was the one that promised to end the War when he came to office but instead sent more troops over and increased the death toll.  He wants parents to let their children fight for ‘freedom’ while his get to sit in the lap of luxury and get a pass.   He’s the one that started free health care and because of that, four people I’ve known had died while waiting for help.  Yet, he is “hope” and now “hope” is starting a draft.


“I can’t believe it.”  The voice brought me to the present as I saw everyone starting to get ready to leave for the day.  Ethan sat there in awe next to me.


“Hey, come on.  Let’s go get on the bus and not let it ruin our day.”  I grabbed his hand and pulled his limp body toward the door.  He was my best friend and I was not walking around a foreign country without him.


“You’ll feel better when you finally get to see the Eiffel Tower like you wanted.”  I promised him.  I knew he was afraid that he was going to get pulled into the war.   Unlike some of the other boys on the trip, he didn’t worship the President like he was a god. 


The government would throw us a bone once in awhile like gay rights or passing an animal cruelty law just to distract us from the bigger things.  The ignorant will keep him in office for another term and he will keep getting the country pumped for big changes that will never happen as Congress and Senate throw every moral and good thing about The United States of America down the toilet backstage.


“I’m so happy we were watching that over here and not in America because I really feel like stomping on the flag right now.”  He said with a smirk and I laughed as I prayed no one heard his comment.


There had been an act passed a year ago to “keep down on terrorism”.  Any unpatriotic act like stomping on a flag could get you in jail or a big fine.  Even mentioning something like that could get you in big trouble.  One guy from school shouted ‘I’m a terrifying terrorist!’ down the hallway and was quickly cuffed and questioned by the police officer.  He didn’t get into major trouble but was left with a hefty fine.  If only people would notice our rights are flying out the door quickly then they are coming.


I was going to scold him quietly but I just shook it off.  Ethan needed to learn how to keep his mouth shut so I wouldn’t worry about him as much.  But he somehow never gets in trouble and talks his way out of it.  Maybe he was just too good to ever get caught.  It’s probably become a game now, like having marijuana when it wasn’t legal, an angst thing to do without killing your brain cells slowly.


We quickly made our way to our seat as fellow friends and students talked excitedly about the plans for the day and what the President’s recorded speech had said.  I slumped down into my chair closest to the window. 


It was too much information to take in at seven in the morning but Ethan found some way to fall asleep and his head somehow found my shoulder even though he was a foot taller then me.  I laid my head onto his and I got settle into his brown hair.


I was so close to drifting up into peaceful sleep when I felt my phone start to vibrate.  I didn’t feel like talking right now so I let it go even though something in my gut told me press the green button and pick up.  I fell in an out of sleep till we arrived at the Eiffel Tower.


I was about to wake up Ethan when a sharp shriek shattered my ear drums and Ethan’s head flung straight up and hit my nose.  Everything was happening at once and the hit to my head made the situation even worse.  All I heard was the teacher in charge sobbing quietly as students started to panic.  Ethan was singing a chorus of sorrys until I saw his eyes go wide and turn to listen to the others.


“Oh my gosh…”  “There is just no…”  “But everything was…”  “That’s impossible because…”  “Everything I had was…”  America’s too great to…”  “That means my parents are…”  “Are we going back to…?”  “Mrs. Grove this means we are…?”  “Are we still…?”  “Everything I own is…”  “But it can’t be…”


“Boom.”  Ethan whispered under is breath.  I turn to look at him since the chaos began and he began to chuckle. 


“They just said some country nuked the entire United States.  They just said our parents our dead, the whole country is dead.  They just said everything is gone and you are laughing.”  I choked out slow and evenly.  


I felt tears starting to form at the rim of my eyes at my realization.  I knew America was going down the toilet and was slowly taking away our freedom but it was still home, somewhere to go to, and somewhere that you felt safe.  Now all comfort was gone.


There is no war anymore.  There is not an Arlington National Cemetery.  There is no economy.  There is no death toll.  There are no jobs.  There are no rights.  There is no hope.


“Rose, sometimes we just have to laugh at things.  I can’t even wrap my mind around it.  I was just wishing that I could burn a flag and now all of them have.  I…  I don’t know Rose.  It’s just so unimaginable I just have to laugh.”  He said and I saw emotion flit through his brown eyes that didn’t match his smiling face. 


“Everything’s gone.”  I whispered as the chaos carried on.  Then I remembered my phone.  I quickly flipped it open to find a voicemail from my Mom.  I felt my stomach drop.


“Ethan, please listen to this.”  I pressed the play button and put it up against his ear.  His smile fled and he just sat there, listening to whatever the message was.  He shut the phone and handed it back.


“They loved you.”  Was the only thing he said about it.


“Did you hear…?”


“Every single little thing that happened.”  He said and he laughed.  “It’s funny to think about.  It’s just… impossible.”


“But it happened.”  I said firmly as everyone on the bus continued to panic. 


He just looked at me and choked out, “Just let me think they are joking.”


© 2010 Faithy

Author's Note

This is one of my short stories for a creative writing class. I was just curious what everyone thinks about it. I won't be hurt because you don't like it. I just want an honest review. Thanks!

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I very mcuh enjoyed this story. I think it was handled with tact, but still managed to make a point. The emotions here are very real. The contrast between the two characters really helped to acheive that. I like that Ethan laughs about it. I have someone in my life who is very similar in that way so I could really relate to Rose. I would be just as upset. But it is a valid statement. Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Posted 8 Years Ago

This is quite the story you have written here. I like the action and drama in this. I found it cute in places as well. Very well written.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on January 8, 2010
Last Updated on January 11, 2010
Tags: government, laws, rules, army, draft, unfair, bombs, nuke, think, hope, gone, death, economy



Medina, OH

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