Hey everyone, this is my first short story. It was written two mornings ago when I woke after remembering a dream while walking downstairs. The TV was on, and my little sister was watching the movie 21. The only scene I sat down to watch was where the professor spoke about variable change. After this, I decided I wanted to write a story and ran upstairs to start writing A Simple Edit. Please go easy on the criticism.
A Simple Edit
The first time he had been, Frank had become a believer, notably strong in the faith. Although not necessarily fond of the lifestyle that often came along with being labeled so, he thought it to be the truth. After all, the book he had devoted his life to claimed that the lifestyle it demanded would be quite rough, the road to the end being very narrow. However, none of this had deterred Frank from believing, until the end, until now. Sitting in the corner of the tent at the 231th Refugee Camp, he read his holy book, given to him by one of his brothers in the faith. Although he often read this book, tonight he was merely questioning its credibility. The book he held answered many of his questions regarding life and death, of the beginning and the end of time. Despite his past experiences with the book, it gave him no more answers, no more comfort.
As Frank was closing the book, a man came up to him and sat down in the corner. Frank tried to ignore the man, but the man started to ask,
"What is that book?" Frank looked at the book, as if examining it,
"It's nothing, nothing at all."
"Nothing? Well then why have you been reading it?" At this statement, Frank again looked at the book, asking the same question to himself. After some time, he responded,
"I was looking for something, but I can't find it" The man suddenly looked puzzled, as if something was irritating him.
"Well, I wouldn't want to keep you from reading nothing... Enjoy skulking in the corner," with that, the strange man got up and walked off, seeming to be looking for something.
The short conversation with the man had made Frank think about the book once again. Sadly, he came to the same conclusion: things were not going according to the book's plan; the book that had once brought peace and comfort did nothing for him. Frank started to realise that his life may have been the result of naiveté or some sort of misled notion that the book would have all of the answers to everything. It would seem that the book has pulled some sort of queer trick on Frank, taking his world and turning it upside-down. Frank suddenly had no sense of right or wrong, good or evil, anything; his knowledge, or lack of knowledge, came from the book that seemed to be deceiving him. He sat in the corner of the tent, crowded with many people he had never seen before, and wept.
Minutes later, a man in military clothes somberly walked into the tent, getting ready to announce information that had just come in. As people started to gather around him, Frank remained hunched up in the corner. He figured that at this point, any news was bad news and he would have nothing to do with it. And minutes later, Frank found out that he was right, the news the official had announced was indeed very grim; it seemed that everything was coming to an end. The clouds were overhead, and the fog was slowly crawling to their location; there was nowhere to go, they were the last people on earth, hope was lost. The mood in the tent changed; groups were huddling together, some praying, some crying, others trying to comfort one another.
After sifting through the book for the last time, the book he had once held so dear to his heart, he did the one thing he vowed never to do: he ran from his faith. He took his book, slowly left the tent, walking to the nearby field. Frank then lay down in the tall, dancing grass being whipped by the ice-cold wind gently brushing his face while looking up at the black clouds, slowly shifting in the sky. At this moment, Frank forgot about all of his problems, yet just when the serenity of the landscape was rocking him to sleep, Frank heard something in the grass. Slowly getting up and hiding the book in his jacket, Frank noticed the man he had talked with earlier was walking towards him. The man now had a very calm air about him; although the wind was picking up and the grass was nearly bent in half, he seemed uneffected by the elements. The man, with a sad expression on his face, waved his hand in a greeting, calmly saying,
"The plan has changed."
With this statement, Frank's blood ran cold, and he felt unable to move. What plan? The book's plan? How could this man know? Frank quickly asked,
"How do you know? The book is a lie!"
He slowly walked closer, gesturing for Frank to take the book out of his jacket. As Frank reluctantly handed over the book, the man said,
"I wrote the book, and I am editing it. My book as been spoiled by the characters that created themselves. I am sorry to say that in this disasterous event, in the editing of my 'book', you will perish as well." Frank's mind was moving at a thousand miles an hour, trying to get a grasp on the situation he was in; he just couldn't figure out what was going on. After a brief pause, he asked,
"Who are you?" The man then opened Frank's book, flipped through some of the many pages, seeming to be searching for something. After closing the book, smiling and laughing, he responded,
Frank looked at the man, and the man just continued to smile; not a smile happiness brings, but a smile brought upon by something unknown to Frank. For minutes, the two men just stared each other down. Then suddenly, the wind picked up and a sheet of rain that felt like small needles when they hit Frank's skin peppered the ground. The strange man, looking up at clouds, slowly walked towards the mist. After a few steps, he turned, while still walking, whispering over his shoulder,