I've just finished studying The Road in my English class. Despite the annoying lack of punctuation in the novel, I quite liked the book and now I'm starting my second fanfiction story on it. So please, enjoy! (Also, thanks to the readers who reviewed my first story even to the ones who didn't like it. The good thing about criticism is that you can use it constructively.)
'Oh, I am so glad to see you.'
The woman put her arms around the boy and held him. When she released him, the boy glanced over at the two children who stared back. The brother looked about one or two years older than him and was almost as skinny as the boy. The boy knew himself to be about eight years old but as far as he could tell, the sister looked to be about six. She shyly stared up at him with curious eyes before looking back down on the ground.
Now facing the man, the boy asked, 'Are you going south?'
'Yes,' the man said, 'we are.'
'Do you think it'll get better down there?'
'I won't lie to you. Probably not, but the point is to keep moving.'
Shuffling their backpacks onto their shoulders, the boy followed the family across the snow. During the few hours they walked, occasional glances were exchanged between the three children, and even fewer were the slightest of smiles. It came to a point where the sister could not keep up so the brother slung her onto his shoulders.
Eventually the sun gave in as well and the night began to form. The sky darkened bit by bit as the boy started to yawn, steam flowing from his mouth into the cold evening air. Amidst the silence, a tree collapsed somewhere far behind them. Not too long after that, the man stopped to peer into the distance.
'Shelter,' he said. 'Finally.'
Stepping closer to the lone building the man had seen, the boy slowly deciphered the faded sign that sat on the roof. "Corner Store" was all he could pick up from the disappearing red paint. The door swung slightly, unlocked in the increasingly harsh wind. Without further ado they entered the store, making sure the door was locked once everybody was inside.
The man stepped forward and pulled out a torch, shining it towards the darkness. Not surprisingly, the place was a wreck. Shelves lay broken on top of other shelves and bits of metal lay next to other bits of metal. The man sighed and took one more step before his foot came into contact with something that began to roll towards the shelves. Pointing the torch at the object, he eyed an intact jar of spaghetti sauce.
The brother finally placed his sister on the ground and joined in staring at the jar. He bent down and picked it up with one hand and observed it from its bright label to the tiniest of scratches. The sister walked past him and circled the room in a slight daze. She looked back at her mother and said, 'Maybe there's more stuff around here.'
The boy watched as the family searched the building, also finding a segregated bathroom somewhere in the corner. Random items were quickly found all over the place much to the sister's excitement. After a few minutes of searching, the spaghetti sauce was gathered alongside a bag of assorted candies, two cans of baked beans, a can of tuna and lastly found by the boy, a lantern and an undisturbed can of Coca-Cola.
The man motioned for everyone to sit around the items whilst staring at the Coca Cola. After a moment or so, he smiled.
'It's been a while since I had one of those,' he said.
The sister observed the can curiously. 'What is it?'
The boy stuck his middle nail underneath the clip of the can and clicked it open. He heard the same fizzing sound that came out when his own father gave him the drink. The boy sat next to the sister and handed her the can.
'Try it. You'll like it."
She hesitated for a bit, letting the can hover slightly below her lip. She looked up at her brother, then her father for some sort of advice.
'Go on,' the brother encouraged. 'He's right, you'll like it."
The sister slowly brought the can to her lips and tilted it. The fizzing as well as the taste caught her off guard and nearly choked her. Trying not to spit it out, she swallowed loudly and thought of the remaining taste on her tongue.
'It's bubbly,' she said.
After a short but content dinner, the parents unzipped their bags and handed out thick blankets to the children. Then laying out sleeping bags for themselves, the parents told the children to sleep. 'We have a big day ahead of us', they said. But before the boy could doze off, he noticed the mother pulling a book out of her bag. He lay listening as her soft voice began to read out aloud.
'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and the wind of God hovering over the waters, and God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light...'
Spacing out on 'light', the boy turned his back to the woman and began to weep. He buried his face into the blankets making sure that the family could not hear him. He wished his father was there. He wished that the blankets were his father's arms cradling him every time he cried. But as much as he wished, the boy knew nothing could ever bring him back.
When the mother had finished reading, she crept into her sleeping bag and gradually drifted off to sleep. The boy waited for a bit before he was sure everybody was fast asleep. His face finally dried but his eyes were still moist, being tempted to weep some more. Releasing his head from the blankets, he stared up and softly whispered to the ceiling.
'Hi, Papa,' his voice cracked. 'I told you I'd talk to you.'
He paused and bit his lip. What else could he talk about? His mind calmly searched for some sort of answer. Anything that he could come up with.
'I'm safe,' he assured. 'I'm with the good guys. They're really nice.' He paused once more before deciding there was nothing else to talk about. 'I guess that's it. Good night.'
And with that, the boy closed his eyes.