Just Like You

by Josiah Pohl

The greenish blue atmosphere filled the horizon of a flat wasteland. On that horizon you could see the existence of some other mysterious worlds and moons. A large, sun like star shone brightly among the wasteland and along the other worlds. I looked out over the bright horizon all at once and tried to process what I was viewing right before me. However, i didn’t know why i had arrived in such a strange place. There was no meaning at the moment.

Maybe I had a purpose here but I wasn’t exactly sure what this purpose was. All I knew is that I had to urge to discover the elements of this wasteland.

Perhaps, I could find a trace of other human existence. There was no way I could be the only living creature here.

At the thought, I began to take a few steps forward. I felt my hands violently shake and shudder. I was nervous to venture out but I knew had to explore the elements if I wanted to prove to myself that I do actually have a purpose here. I just desperately wanted to know. I took a few more steps feeling my heart skip a beat. I began to have the thought of, “what if something bad had happened to me. Would somebody know if something had happened to me?” No. But maybe, it all just matters if there is more life than just me here again.

As those thoughts had continued to be embodied my head, i knew that i would need to brave the land to discover the elements and figure out my own purpose.

I took a deep breath and shut my eyes. At this point i could even see the wasteland when my eyes were closed. I opened them again and began to straddle along. Any of the bad thoughts that i had about my exploration, they were tossed aside. For now.

I began to move forward again, taking more steps until I was walking on the delicate, but strange soil that the wasteland composed. I glanced at my left and my right, in the distance I saw small cliffs but everything else was a flat, light brown plateau. This world was much like Earth, except everything was sandy. That’s the thing I noticed the most about it, and it was set on my interest as ( continued my exploration.

The day was now dying away and I saw the large sun-like star setting on the now yellowish orange horizon. Everything was virtually the same. Except, the sandy wasteland had turned into a grassy, vegetated field. The grass had gone all the way up to my knees and it surprised me. The grass was the exact same as the grass on the earth, except i didn’t hear the sound of crickets or wildlife that are associated with earthly sunsets.

I stopped to look out over the fading sunset. I began to worry that i didn’t hear the sound of chirping insects or creatures rustling around in the tall weeds. All I was hearing was the sound of dead silence. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do from here. However, I remembered that at some point I was given a travel pack and pulled it out using my telegraphic tablet.

In the travel pack was an inventory of flashlights, spare batteries, space food, drinking water, and many more items that would be necessary for human survival. I took out the flashlight and tried to shine it on. The bulb didn’t budge, so then I took out the spare batteries. Trying to hold the pack, the batteries, and the flashlight at the same time caused me to drop the batteries into the tall grass.

I gasped and scrambled down wildly through the grass. “No…..No…..No” I hesitated. There’s no way I could’ve dropped the batteries that quick. It was getting darker out and I knew the days here were much shorter. The grass was very patchy at the bottom and was quick to conceal the batteries. Without them, I will be wondering in the dark of the cosmic night. I knew I should’ve thought about the travel pack when it was much lighter out.

The skies had darkened completely within 20 minutes and I had given up trying to look for the batteries. The best part about the darkness here is that it wasn’t complete darkness. There was an eerie, dark brown tint on the line of the horizon and above a multitude of constellations and distant galaxy clusters.

I had dreamed of a world with no light pollution before and suddenly this was it. The night sky was beautiful and thrived and I had completely forget about dropping my batteries by then.

I walked through the tall weeds and stared up at the sky. It was absolutely the best feeling i had ever experienced. To be in such a quiet desolate land with no light pollution. It was all silent.

I fell back slowly to rest in the grass as I continued to look up at the stars. By the time I had counted every visible star in the sky, my eyelids slowly began to shut and i fell into sleep. This would be the first of many nights that I’m actually able to sleep. I had not dreamt of anything,  although it was almost the perfect sleep until I had heard a rustling sound nearby.

My eyes shot open. I saw the starry piece above and heard the rustling sound again along with it. I sat up quickly and gazed around trying to figure out where that noise was coming from. Suddenly I felt my heart begin to race and I was losing the feeling that I wasn’t the only living creature here. The rustling continued once again, this time closer and louder than before. I darted up from the ground and was now on high alert, with the thoughts of something bad happening to me re-entering my mind. The other thought was, “Damn, why did i leave my travel pack behind in the grass.” I had remembered that I got so caught up in the night that I left my travel back behind a couple yards away. There was no way I was going to be able to find it now with the approaching noise.

“Who’s there?!” I howled. “I have a weapon and i’m not afraid to use it!” That wasn’t true, I knew darn well there wasn’t a weapon in my travel pack and I didn’t know what I was talking about. A travel pack with no weapons, how convenient for survival. Not.

The rustling was awfully close this time and I stood back, prepared for whatever was going to come out of the thick brush near me that the sound had came from. However, the rustling stopped. It had gone back to the silence again.

“What?!” I enraged. “Show yourself! I know im not the only one here, SHOW YOURSELF!” It was still silent. Could it be me hearing things? There was no wind to rustle the brush. I knew there was something alive in there, but it refused to come out of the brush. “I really wish that travel pack had a sword,” I thought to myself.

I sat back down in the tall grass and laid my head to rest once again, looking back up at the sky. I feel back into a sleep and hours had passed. The night was more peaceful this time but in my sleep i had anticipated that a creature was going to reveal itself from the brush. But then the rustling noise began once again from the same brush.

This time when I had waken up I was even more alert than the last time and resulted to screaming. “SHOW YOURSELF!” “I’m not afraid! And you shouldn’t be either. Please show yourself.”

The brush unfolded, and a small black slimy sea-like creature appeared. It had no eyes and its mouth was open wide with what appeared to be millions of pointy razor sharp teeth. My heart began racing and i timidly stumbled back.

I had complete fear in my eyes as the slimy beast approached me. It let out a terrifying hiss and soon I was dashing like a track star through the thick grass.

“I should’ve never drawn attention to that beast.” I thought to myself as I continued to run. Soon my legs began to feel sore from running. I felt that the beast wasn’t chasing me anymore. The sun also began to rise. I sat down on a small boulder to rest when i heard a voice. It was a human voice that called out “Hey!” I stood up and violently turned my head.

I wasn’t the only one here! Now all I could remember is the significance of that human voice. I heard it say, “Is anyone there?” “Help me!” I dashed again towards it, ignoring the fact that my legs were still in pain. When i reached the voice, I was stunned. It was a large male, that looked just like myself. Only, it had the same teeth as the beast i saw last night. It was wearing exactly what i was wearing. I was very confused but I was speechless. I couldn’t believe I was looking at a replica of myself.

I had asked about his teeth. “Why did you run from me?” he asked. My heart instantly started racing and i had realized that this was the same beast that had chased me earlier. I stepped back in horror. “Don’t be afraid. I mean no harm, I’m here for the same purpose as you,” he responded. I was still speechless.

“There’s no need to fear,” He said as he stood up and approached me. “I’m here to search for existence of my species as well. Just like you. Me and you are very alike.”

“But…. why were you scared then to remove yourself from the brush then,” I had asked.

“Well it’s because I was also scared of you. You were so threatening and i knew you weren’t of my species. Since we’re both so different, let’s continue our quest to find our species and unite.”

I had agreed. Although it initially was regretful doing so, we aided each other on our exploration and went on to explore the elements and find our species together.

Jeffersonville High School, 2019