Weekly Short Story Contest–Radio

I have been very busy so I am sorry for not posting in awhile. Hope you like this story:

Static and Silence

“Come here!” she whispered sharply, motioning to him with her hand, fingers held tight.

He rolled his eyes, but clambered over the broken concrete floor to her, careful to keep out of sight, under and behind the fallen walls. They had been bombed last night and were hiding for their lives; the soldiers were looking for survivors.

She was hunched over a small, black device, a tarnished silver rod sticking up from one corner. This we was fiddling with, waving it around, her green eyes narrowed and her tongue sticking out of the corner of her mouth. Her dark brown hair was matted and curled around her face, giving her a wild look combined with the light that seemed to always shine through her green eyes, bright against her dark skin.

“Ah!” she exclaimed in hushed tones.

The black box in her hand began to fizz and sputter until they could just make out a voice speaking through the feedback, “…nd in this next hour we have just a list of names of those who have checked in. We will not broadcast anyone’s location in case this broadcast is heard by them, but if you are looking for family who’ve survived, you’ll know they are alive. Alphabetically now: Aaron Stern, Becca Goldman, Christine Hof…”

The names continued and while the list was short, they both felt relieved that they were not the only ones, not the only ones to have survived the bomb.

“That concludes our broadcast. The station tomorrow will be 88.1. Remember: you are not alone.”

Static followed as the broadcast ended. She looked at him, her green eyes glistening with unshed tears, “They haven’t checked in.”

He moved and held her close, not saying a word. Not hearing their parents’ names did not mean their parents had died, but it was another reminder that they were all they had at them moment. She didn’t need to hear that from him. She knew it. So he held her tightly, rubbing her back in an attempt to reassure his sister.

After awhile, she broke away from him and stood, holding the radio limply in one hand, “We need to find them.”

“Where would we even begin?”

She shook the black box, “They’ll know. Find the station; find our parents.”

“Nevaeh, we don’t even know if they are alive, let alone that the station would have any idea–“

“They hear from people all the time! Of course they would know! More than we do in any case!”

Silence stretched between them for a moment.

“Okay,” he nodded, “What we’re going to need to find something to protect ourselves with and that will be difficult and dangerous.”

“A gun or a laser blade would work?”

“Sure thing. Any we find might have a malfunction and could end up hurting us before we get to use them, though. Worth the risk?”

“We all die sometime,” she shrugged.

“So, we should start out tomorrow. The signal from the broadcast is weak here. We’ll need to pick a direction and try to make our way at least several blocks. Tomorrow night, we’ll see if the broadcast is any clearer. That should help guide us. I’m sure we can find some weapons as we go.” his own eyes were dark brown and they seemed to shine with confidence that made Nevaeh proud to be his sister.

“Tomorrow.” she nodded and hugged the radio close to her body. This little black box with its little silver rod would be their guide. They would find the station and then they would find their parents or at least discover their fate.

She snuggled down on the broken concrete, softened by a layer of dust, and held the radio as a child does a teddy bear. Tomorrow, she thought over and over again until she drifted of to sleep.

He watched her until he was sure sleep had completely overtaken her. Nevaeh was strong willed and he could never keep her safe if she continued to try and find their parents. They were safe here and he could find ways of getting them food and water. He could protect them here. Out there, where the soldiers combed the streets with their drones, searching for life, they would be spotted immediately. Why did she not understand that? He had told her that the power lines he had draped around their hideout blocked the drone’s heat sensors repeatedly and yet she seemed to think that they would be just as safe anywhere! As soon as they crossed that threshold, it was over. It wouldn’t matter how many weapons they assembled. They were stuck here  until the war was over.

Softly, he lifted the radio from her hands. He looked at it, studying its shape, determining the best way to break it. FInally, he took the silver rod and snapped it clean off. Turning the volume low, he tested each frequency. Silence. Static and silence. He smiled and slipped it back into her arms. Tomorrow would come, but they would stay right here. Safe and sound. No radio to guide them; no trip. Safe.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Short Story Contest–Radio

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  1. This story made me so sad! To see the guy just take away all of Neveah’s hopes, was crushing and made me worry about how she would feel when she found out in the morning. It was a really emotional story!

    Liked by 1 person

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