1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

The First Decision (2nd Prize Winner - Group II)

March, 2011
Leave a comment 1869 views

It was just a plain, ordinary day. The weather was fine, with a trace of water here and there. Little Darius’s alarm clock went off at exactly 8:00 AM – it rang every day at 8 o’clock, even on weekends. Little Darius got off his bed, went to the bathroom, washed his face, brushed his teeth, and changed into new clothes for the day. It was pure routine; every boy in the city did the same things at the exact same time. He was halfway finished brushing his teeth when another alarm clock began to ring. RING! RING! RI-WHAM! And with that happy note ringing in the air, Small Kimi crawled off her bed. It was what she did everyday - but not what other girls would ever dare do. She was different in quite a few ways from most girls. She seemed to laugh when others chuckled, and she always shed more tears than the people around her, and the teachers always tried to find out why. They had to do it – it was explicitly described in The Book of Decidere that they had to make sure everyone was absolutely the same. The Book, as far as anyone knew, had been just plain there for millions of years.

Little Darius was a blonde haired boy with a dome-shaped haircut. His eyes were blue, with hints of gray. Small Kimi had slightly darker hair that fell just to her shoulders. Her eyes were gray, but full of vivacity. She didn’t care much about her appearance, which according to The Book, was ‘fine but should be corrected’. This was just the opposite of Little Darius, whose hair was always neat and tidy, trimmed and ready to go. The slightest ruffle in his hair would make him act like someone ran a lawn mower over him. Every other boy in his neighborhood also had perfect hair, so if his was messed up he could end up in trouble for not matching the others around him. Small Kimi couldn’t care less. She would always be the one to mess up his hair, and she would just laugh as she watched him fuss furiously.

After vigorous combing, Little Darius gently walked down the 20 step staircase (that every house had) to greet his mother, Kimi, and his father, Darius. Darius, as always, put down his newspaper and crossly asked Little Darius: "Where is your older sister?" And Little Darius would dip his head and faithfully reply: "Getting ready." What else was to say? He sat down at the breakfast table, and stared into his bowl of cereal. "I don’t feel like eating cereal today” he thought, "but what can I do?" So he started to eat his soggy cereal. Small Kimi came down the stairs the way a bowling ball would bounce. She ran to the breakfast table, gulped down her cereal, nearly choked, grabbed Little Darius, said good-bye to Kimi and Darius, and dashed out the front door. As the door slammed, you could hear Little Darius whining and Small Kimi’s ringing laughter.

In school, Little Darius and Small Kimi’s curriculum were based on a section of The Book of Decidere. Everyone in the same grade learned at the same pace, acquired the same knowledge, therefore knowing the same things. Every school was identical. There were no enrichments to choose, no lunch choices, and no free time. Lunch was the same for everyone. Classes were the same. If they finished lunch early, they had to read. The Book they’d read would be specified by The Book of Decidere; they were not allowed to read any other book. Literally everything was dictated in The Book of Decidere.

And Small Kimi was absolutely, completely, downright, sick of it.

Small Kimi had always been different. She was the one living flower in a desert. Everyone else around her stuck to The Book because they had to. No one ever doubted The Book; no decision was ever made whether to follow the rules in The Book or to destroy it and live freely. Everything just was. There was no name choosing - the rules for getting a name were all in The Book. She always thought that it was wrong, that as intelligent beings (she got that term from The Book) we should all be able to decide things. When she was but 5, she questioned Kimi about this. Kimi told Small Kimi to give her a second, and Kimi dashed off to the library, where The Book was held. She came back and told Small Kimi that if she mentioned that ever again that she would be prosecuted under Decidere Law. And so, with the fear of whatever prosecuted meant (she was only 5), Small Kimi kept quiet. Now, as a teenager, she began to think further. She began to question The Book, something no one had ever dared to do. Who wrote it? Why did they write it? Who did they write it for? When was it written? Why did people completely follow everything inscribed in The Book? Were there more Books in this world? She kept a plain journal, which she had received in school, full of questions like these and possible answers for them. She tried looking at The Book during her library time (everyone had one, it was for a few minutes once a month) but no matter how hard she searched she could not find the author. Everything seemed hopeless, as if the whole world was trapped in The Book, unchangeable. Small Kimi knew this was wrong. She tried to talk to adults about this issue, but they’d always avoid her, or tell her to read The Book. There was nothing left to do - she’d have to take everything onto her own hands.

She reasoned that if everything could be found in The Book, then the answer to the question "How do I get rid of you" had to be in there somewhere. She flipped through every single one of the countless pages in search of the answer - and she found it. But it could have been the most unsatisfactory answer one could ever get; The Book’s answer was:

Find Decidere.

The Book gave the vaguest notion of an address - ‘Where this book was written lays the most powerful thing of humankind’. Everybody knew that The Book was written up on the peak of the Mountain of Kiosan. It would be a treacherous journey up the slope and back down. Everyone knew that it was nearly impossible. But, she knew that she had to take this risk.

It took Small Kimi 3 weeks to get all the information she needed to climb Mount Kiosan; the research on different trails she could take, the possible climate changes, and on the wildlife that may appear. Now, she could finally set off on the journey to get the answer she had awaited. She told Darius and Kimi that she would be taking a trip to Mount Kiosan and they agreed, as The Book had stated that no one should be forbidden to do so. That was the last time they ever saw her.

"So this is what nature feels like…" thought Small Kimi as she stepped off the bus. It was undoubtedly one of the stranger days of her life. "Maybe I should just stay home with Little Darius…" She quickly shook her head, trying to shake off the feelings of fear and regret about leaping only with hope. She stared up at the unforgiving peak, and she set off. 

She had only hiked about 3 hours when the trail came to an end. Ahead was a barely visible path right through some woods. Small Kimi heard a twig snap and turned around to face the road that had brought her here, and immediately regretted it. Behind her was a bear. It was large, brown, and some might say fuzzy. Her natural instinct was to run, but from her research, she knew better. The bear appeared to be calm, and it seemed to not notice Small Kimi. She stepped aside, and the bear lumbered past her. Small Kimi watched as the bear shuffled through the woods. It seemed safe enough, so she followed the bear. Cautiously at first, she tip-toed behind it, but soon enough she was walking normally beside the bear. The bear took some glances at her, but made no move to stop her. They walked about another 2 hours until they reached an opening. The light was blinding, and Small Kimi gasped as the ground before her came clear. There was a huge ravine and two bridges, one old and one new. The bear clomped noisily to the old one. Small Kimi instinctively trailed the bear, but after some thought she decided against it. She safely walked across the new bridge, while the bear painstakingly creaked its way past the rotten wood planks. Small Kimi sat down in the shade of a tree, while waiting for the bear, and recalled that her mother had once hinted to her during a bedtime story: After walking the path, some have never returned. She wondered if this was the part about not returning.

After what seemed like hours, the bear finally came across. It continued up the slope, which was getting steeper. They came upon a split path, one leading up and one down. The bear took the one going down, which seemed to defy logic. But she followed nevertheless, and reached a smoothened track. It seemed to reach the heavens.

When the sun finally went down for the evening, Small Kimi could just barely see her destination. She took out her flashlight and continued up the route, which appeared to get evener and sandier. As she reached the peak, the moon was already full and bright. She was too tired to find any shelter, and she fell asleep lying on the even ground. The last thing she heard was the bear snuffling in her bag for something. She saw it pull out her journal of questions, and reading it. And with that, she slept.

When Small Kimi opened her eyes, she found herself in the clouds, floating high above any land. She sat up, admiring the beauty of it all, though still in shock. A man with a wrinkled face and a small beard turned to face her, and drifted over to her. “I see you have awoken. My name is Decidere. I was the one who wrote The Book.” He spoke. His voice was not the raspy old voice of the grandpa he appeared to be; it was full of vibrancy and energy, like a 20 year old man. His white robe drifted along, like a second cloud. “Congratulations, child. You are the first to exceed the world of unchanging rules.”

“But…How? I didn’t do anything yet! I just…came up the mountain…! I wanted to find the truth, but I couldn’t, so I…followed a bear up here…and I…my book…the bear…” Small Kimi stuttered.

“Yes, child, you came up the mountain alright. I saw your book – I read it – and those were fine questions. You were the first of your kind to succeed. Others have wasted their lives here. When you made your first decision of trailing the bear, you had already escaped the firm grasp of The Book. All the others that have attempted to come have gone back in search of answers from The Book, such as ‘What to do when a bear walks past you’ or ‘Which bridge is safer’.”

Small Kimi was spellbound. “So, Mr. Decidere…is this the truth behind The Book; that if we don’t decide for ourselves we will never…really live?”

“Yes. That was the point I was trying to make with the book, but nobody found out – until today.” He laughed. ”Your job now, is to go back to your world down there, and to enter the minds of everyone and to get them to make their first decision in order to destroy The Book. No longer will they have the book to rely on – they will rely on themselves.”

“That sounds fun – but how long will I do this? And…how should I guide them? Do I talk to them, or do I whisper, or write, or …”

“Calm down. You will guide them at first by speaking with one person, any person. You must get them to make a decision. For every decision that is made by your people, one page of the book will disappear. To complete your task, all the pages of the book must vanish. Then, you will be able to lead humanity into the future of freedom. But you will never see your family until you succeed. They will come to you – if you try to find them you will push them further away.”

“O…OK. But…why don’t you do it?” piped Small Kimi.

“I was forbidden. It is a tale of long ago, a tale no one remembers… Now go, child. Go save your world.”

With that, Small Kimi awoke with a start. She looked down upon herself, and she was in the same clothes as before. She stood up and stretched her sore legs. The bear, which had awoken some time before, shuffled over to her and nudged her to go back down the mountain. Laughing, Small Kimi picked up her bag and said, “Alright, let’s go!”

When she returned to the city, she quickly spotted her first target. A small fruit stall owner was standing behind his counter, waiting. She walked up to his stall, and his eyes watched suspiciously. She scanned the stall. Apples were 30 cents each, oranges were 45 cents each; the same price all year round. She grabbed an apple and orange, looked directly at the owner, and asked: “Which one do you like best?” He quickly replied: “I like them both the same.” Hmm… thought Small Kimi. This was harder than she thought. That answer was directly from the book. A tiny light bulb lit, and she dashed off across the street. The owner shouted, and ran after her. Laughing, she tossed both fruits in different directions. The owner was shocked, and dived to save the costly orange. The apple split on contact with the cement sidewalk. She walked up to him, helped him up, and said “Congratulations, sir. You have made the first decision of your life.” Placing a dollar bill in his hands, she skipped off, leaving him staring at the money in his hands, mystified. As Small Kimi traveled around the city, leaving in her trail people that were astounded, she could feel the aura of freedom happily growing and glowing above the city.

Over the next few weeks, one by one, the pages of The Book fluttered and vanished, leaving an empty book cover on the table. It never disappeared completely, always reminding those that glanced at it of the boring life they had led before.

Small Kimi had made the right decision. 

By Eugene Lee,

International School of Beijing

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • MSN Reporter
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz

admin Competition, Story, Student Scoop

Related Articles

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.