The Struggler

By Jake, Year 9

Written as part of Factory Feedback

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Trembling, guilt ridden hands are all that is in my eye-view. The faint sound of steam built cars driving from a block away is all that I can hear, but I wouldn’t dare to run for help. I smell the strong smoke of multiple factories, making me envious that people are currently working away hand in hand together while I lay on an unclean street, isolated. From what I know of now, ever since I had gotten out of that trivial place, this city now runs on technology. Steam powered technology at that as well. It’s a new development stage that has brought new changes in society. But as I think about the current setting, my mood switches as I remember how I missed this vital transformation of life. Something I couldn’t see as I was “used” by someone. Tears slowly descend from my eyes whilst I stand alone, surrounded by nothing but the feeling of anguish. My knees crush onto the ground, knowing that blood oozes out as nothing but skin touches the surface. I cry out in pain not from my sudden wound but the pain that I had committed. No one hears me out but the birds who dart away from hearing the despair in my voice. I guess that’s a good thing though, the living are safe out of my arm’s reach anyway. 

“I don’t want this,” I sadly chant under my breath with my eyes trembling with incoming tears. 

I continue this chant whilst looking around my surroundings, staring at the stray clothes on the ground next to me, that were once on people minutes ago. I slowly get up, gaining back my balance and start to get out of this unnerving place. Once I walk, I look down at my hands but I see no blood or any trace of the act I had committed. A curse, this is a curse. 

Months go by and the curse doesn’t go away but slowly and patiently I’m able to understand this unwanted power I have. Disintegration. The story of how I got this curse is a long and unhappy one but it also had a sense of hope involved. That hope however was crushed into many different pieces when I learned that I had become the reaper, an unfortunate plague for humanity. The first time I used this curse made me suffer. As I was ignorant of my ability I laid my hands on people who were close to me, and seeing them vanish before my eyes made my eyes erupt in hopeless tears. It was like I was a reaper, caster of death, killing others easily as if I was stepping on ants. The death continued countless times until I finally was able to find

a way to cover my hands’ touch and understand my curse. But I now have a goal in mind to stop this. Determination to take part in this goal flowed throughout my mind and body knowing that I have to commit to it to stop the death and the curse from being given to another person. The important objective is to find the one named “Hope” and end his life as he was the author of my downfall. Revenge was all that was on my mind as I planned on how I was going to take part in my objective. Assassination? A full blown attack? How was I going to find “Hope” anyway? He had always worn an unnerving mask but for some reason that mask had led me to believe he was someone from out of this world that I could trust. I had trusted him enough to “help” me, only to find out that trust would be broken afterwards. A wound that would never be fixed. But one that would be calmed, calmed in the storm that is life, calmed enough so it would never be used again. Once my objective is finished, I’ll forge my own path afterwards. I can’t be a burden to others and I can’t fall into the traps of unreliable people. I need to take up my own arms, it’s time to find my own hope, one made by the flame that is raging inside of me. And once that flame vanishes, I’ll know I have succeeded and there’ll just be pure white ash.

Factory Feedback was created with, and generously supported by, the Dusseldorp Forum.

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