Kamika Cooper and Chandra Achberger

Chandra Achberger
Inspiration piece

“Will You Come?”
By Kamika Cooper
Response

The journey to Restoration Valley had taken two and a half days. The weather had been perfect: clear skies, pollen-free breathing, and the temperatures reaching a high of 65 degrees during the day. Amina and Fir had packed just enough food and water to sustain them along the way. But sustenance and weather were never the paramount concern. Every time they thought they found a new, safe place to live, they soon found themselves among the hunted, requiring them to go on the run once more. They wanted the safety, and freedom Restoration Valley was rumored to provide. Though they had no idea what that meant – there were only rumors – anything had to be better than their current reality.

Amina, Fir, and some 40,000 other people who looked like them were in grave danger. They had been for some time but were blinded to the truth when the hunting began. They were among those who, for a few generations, were lulled into a false sense of safety by their wealth, privilege, and education. Believing themselves to be equals with the very people they were running from now, they allowed themselves to become too comfortable, letting their guard down too soon.

They cleared the cover that the trees had provided for the last day of their journey and exited the woods to find the lush, steep green hill said to be the valley’s entryway. It was so tall and wide; It looked as if they would need to reach the sky before descending. A reassuring voice entered their minds: You only need to make it to the top. Once there, you will be safe.

They heard yells behind them; Hunters were near. Tired – so very tired – and nearly out of steam, they began to run up the hill. They were halfway up when the first shot rang out. Fir looked as if he might give up. Amina pulled at his elbow, nudging him upward, knowing that she could not descend into Restoration Valley without him. Fire spread across the back of Amina’s thigh. Though she had never felt a gunshot before, she knew this is what had occurred. Fir’s arm abruptly wrested from her loving hand, and all hope was lost. They were in pain, bleeding, vision blurred, and gasping for air when they reached the valley’s top.

All the gunfire stopped.

Light surrounded them, lifted them, and carried them down into the valley. Their wounds began to heal, and as they regained their vision, they saw the most beautiful, smooth structure before them. It looked to be constructed from hematite. The benevolent, soothing voice entered their minds again.

We have healed your injuries, but we understand that some scars do not heal as swiftly. You are free to return the peak if you wish, but know that you are welcome on our ship and our planet. If you are willing, we have come to take you to your new home. There may be many new challenges, but we can promise that they will not be the ones you are facing now, and you will never be among the hunted again. Will you come?

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One Comment

  1. Robert Haydon Jones
    Posted September 14, 2020 at 2:32 pm | #

    All of a sudden, this seems like a modest proposal.

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