Don’t forget to vote for  The Bridge!  It takes 2 clicks and really helps!

I’ll be providing the entire story here for free for a limited time.  In return, I ask that you tell a friend about Chapter 1!  The only way others find out about my work is through word of mouth.

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“Elliott!” I shouted as he came into view from around a corner, Ruth and Hannah at his side, and Tom behind him. I’d passed through dozens of wanderers before finding him, yet sounds had emanated from each fork I had passed, sounds from people diffusing into every possible direction. And while I knew I had not covered the breadth of the expanding crowd, by finding Elliott, I had reached the deepest end of it.

“Horatius!” he answered, leaping forward. “What’s happening? Why did Airomem shut off the power?”

“She didn’t do it this time,” I answered. “It was bad timing. According to her, we are out of it, like a glass empty of water.”

“I didn’t realize it would come so soon,” responded Elliott, “or at such an inopportune time.”

“Neither did we,” I said, “or we would have been more prepared. But now we have to herd everyone towards the bridge. We can’t leave anyone behind, not after they trusted us.”

Elliott shook his head, his eyes sunken.

“We’re scattered from end to end, Horatius. Even with hours, there’s no way we could find everyone. We’ve done our best to contain the line ahead of us, but even so, there are those that could have looped behind us.”

“Well, we have to try,” I said and felt my throat closing. “I can’t, I can’t lead them to starvation. Not again.”

Elliott gripped my arm and spoke, his voice low and steady.

“You did what you thought was right, Horatius. Had we only followed tradition, had we never strayed, we would never have made it this far. Mistakes are impossible to avoid when striking a new path, and we are stepping away from one hundreds of years old. Leaping away from it. And we’ve had our fair share of mistakes. But now, now we have to continue pushing forward. To save who we can and to recognize that those who we can’t are those that the mistakes have claimed.”

“But –”

“Change cannot happen without resistance. Now, Horatius, you’ve traveled backwards to find us; let’s travel forward to find the bridge. And save who we can before it’s too late.”

He leapt forward, pulling Hannah and Ruth behind him, and leaving Tom and me to follow. Despite his size, or his lumbering characteristics in normal gravity, Tom exhibited more grace than any of us maneuvering in weightlessness, using light touches against the walls to steady himself and maintain his momentum. The only other place I’d ever seen him so at ease was in the heavy room, back when I had joined him as a porter, back before disaster had struck.

And after a moment of silence, Tom spoke, his eyes straight ahead.

“Tom strongest man on this side of ship,” he said, his voice reassuring. “But even Tom cannot carry everything. Horatius can’t carry everyone.”

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Chapter 67

Don’t forget to vote for  The Bridge!  It takes 2 clicks and really helps!

I’ll be providing the entire story here for free for a limited time.  In return, I ask that you tell a friend about Chapter 1!  The only way others find out about my work is through word of mouth.