Well everyone, I am now attempting to write a second book. This time around, I hope to take a whack at the genre of allegory. After reading C.S. Lewis a lot over the summer, I think it might be one of the better ways to get the things I've been thinking about over the past year down on paper. So, hopefully, if I can keep this book going, I'll continue to post the first draft of each chapter here to get some feedback. Do show your friends! :-)
Joshua stumbled through the streets of the great city. He gazed up, then down at the crumbling buildings around him. He had watched, years before, as his father had supervised the construction of the city. He looked left and right at the houses that were once pleasant and contained people who were grateful to reside in them. Now they were old and rotted. He was proud to be his father's son, but was greatly saddened and disappointed at the way things had turned out. He knew this city was meant for greatness, but now that dream was all but dead.
This was now the last hope. Joshua clutched the instructions his father had sent with him closely to his chest. He knew they were as monumentally important as every building in that city combined. His strength was leaving him, but he knew he couldn't stop yet. He hadn't yet reached an occupied building. If he could just see one person, he could then stop to rest, but not until he knew he had done what was asked of him.
The air was hazy. It had been years since the incident, but it was clear that one could not survive in this city for long. Sure, people lived there, but it was only a matter of time until they had to move on. Move on... or die. But they couldn't move on... no one could. The fact that most of the residence had grown older along with the story of the incident they had lived through made them able to live longer than one who was new to the city. However, life was fated to be far too short for even one who had lived there since the beginning. Joshua hadn't set foot in these streets since he was a child, before all this happened, so he knew his visit would be short. Not only short... but most likely the last thing he would ever do.
He pressed on. He stumbled at times, but he was never one to give up. Just as his father had seen this city through to completion, he would finish this great, though simple task that he had accepted. His legs were beyond tired now. His lungs burned within his chest. He knew he didn't have much longer. He prayed that someone, anyone would appear before him, that someone would look out a window, or come from the door of any one of these hideous buildings.
He knew that the first few miles into the city were abandoned, but he hoped that somehow there would be someone to receive him before it was too late. At times, doubt would begin to creep into the back corners of his mind. Could he make it? Would someone find him in time? Would he find them? He swiftly shut these thoughts out. He would not waver. This had to be done. If this plan failed, there would not be a next. He made his way through side streets. He knocked on doors, but the city remained silent. Finally, he reached the first street he had heard there were still residents. However, he worried that they had moved on as well. The air was still thick, even this far into the city.
He desperately knocked on each door as he worked his way down the street. No one answered. His breathing was now more difficult than ever. He continued. “Hello!” He shouted. “Is anyone left on this street? I must speak to someone!” As he approached the final door of the street, he felt his legs fail beneath him. He fell to his knees. He began pounding on the door as hard as he could. “Is anyone here!” He shouted. “I can't go on! I must see someone!” He tried to pick himself up, but he simply could not muster the strength. His eyes began to fade. He leaned back against the railing outside the door and continued to knock.
When he was ready to fall to the ground and sleep, when his hope was nearly at it's end, he heard footsteps behind the door. “Is someone there!?” He shouted. He then quieted himself and listened, slowly the footsteps approached. The doorknob turned, and the door swung open. A young man stood in front of him, no older than thirty. “Who are you?” The man asked, half frustrated and half in shock. Seeing Joshua's state, he bent down and put his arms around him so that he wouldn't fall completely. “What are you doing here?” “My name is Joshua. “Well, Joshua, answered the man, you look awful. Have you just entered the city?” “Yes.” He answered. “Didn't you see the signs at the city limits? This city has been quarantined for years! No one is to come in, and no one is to leave! Why would you be so foolish as to enter it?”
Joshua gathered his last bit of strength. “My father sent me. He founded this city. He saw that it was built properly. Now that this horrible incident has happened, he has sent me to bring instructions to those that are left here. I've carried them all this way.” “Instructions?” Answered the man. “What kind of instructions? What on earth would the founder of this city want with us? The last I heard, he took off as soon as things went wrong. There's nothing left to be done here but to leave us to our fate.” “Your wrong!” Shouted Joshua. “Take these instructions, gather everyone you can. Follow what's written to the letter.”
Joshua paused... “What is your name?” He asked. “Peter.” Said the man. “Well Peter, whether you like it or not, you are the one who has to start this work. I've done my part.” Peter responded, “I don't even know where to start!” “It's all in here.” said Joshua as he handed over the instructions. Peter took them and looked at them. It was a large stack of papers. He wondered what on earth this all meant. “Don't stop until the work is done.” said Joshua. Peter looked at him and knew that if Joshua could, he would spend the rest of his life doing what these papers said. Joshua's gaze remained fixed, even as his eyes began to close. “Please, please do what I've asked you...” After saying this, he closed his eyes and said “it's done... now I can rest” He put his head back... and breathed his last.
To be continued...