Short Story: “Hope”

By Sophia Bronson, Correspondent

Running, don’t know where just running. The pounding of the feet as they hit the cold hard ground, paired with the heavy breathing makes an almost melodic nightmare soundtrack. After what feels like forever, the pounding of feet only becomes one pair. They belong to Dakota, who has been running from a beast that destroys all that it touches. 

Dakota slows and leans against a boulder trying to catch their breath, listening to the forest around them. Waiting for a rustle of leaves or a snap of a twig. After getting their breathing under control they grip their two hook swords that were passed down through generations in their family.

Once the coast was clear, Dakota started climbing the closest tree to get some high ground and for scanning the landscape. Using their hook swords to climb, Dakota made it to the highest branch in no time. 

The sun started setting. Determining that this is a good spot to camp for the night, Dakota secured themselves to the tree and fell into a light sleep. Sleep never came easy after Dakoto left their family to protect them, as the beast has always been after them.

A couple miles away from where Dakota lay in the tree, a broken family shares stories around a fire. The family has been on the move as long as Dakota has. No matter where your life takes you, or whether you want your space, your family will always be there as Dakotas family is there for them if they may need it. Just as Dakota does not realize their family is trailing them and watches Dakota from afar, family will always have your back.

Dakota awoke from a howl at the break of dawn. Recognizing the howl as coming from the beast, they quickly descended the tree and towards the direction the sound emanated from. Realizing the beast has cornered their family, Dakota did the only thing they knew how to do – defend what they love.

Dakota gets the beasts to distract it from attacking their family. After making sure their family is out of harm’s way, Dakota attacks with all their might. Recognizing that this may be Dakota’s last stand against the beast, Dakota does all that they can to make sure that beast falls with them.

Taking one last look at their family, they take their hook swords and dig them through the beast and the beast strikes back. Both Dakota and the beast fall, as Dakota breathes out their last word. 

“Hope.”

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