Home of the Brave

For the "Divergent: A Writing Competition" contest.


Father, Brother, and Daughter live on the Edge of the World. After a nuclear fallout, they are the last survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. This is the story of how it all ends.


1. The Edge of the World

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Father says we live on the Edge of the world.

            I don’t know what he means. There is a sky above our heads and a ground beneath our feet, but there is no Edge that I have found. I have walked through the Valley and climbed the Mountain that overlooks the City, and all I can ever see is the sky and the ground, stretching on endlessly and forever.

            Father says that Brother has seen the Edge, and I think I believe him. Because one day many years ago, when the sky was not so gray and the pond outside of our house was not so black with oil, Father took Brother into the City. I was small at the time, my head barely reaching Father’s chest, and I wanted to go. And so Father locked me in our house, a little single-room shack with a fireplace and a chair and a cot, and left me to cry in the silence they left behind.

            When they returned, Brother was different. His eyes were darker, sadder. He carried himself different. I hugged his waist and asked him what the City was like, but he only shrugged me off and retreated to a corner of our house, where he sat and stared at the wall for hours and hours.

            Father, I remember asking, my voice a frightened whisper. What’s wrong with Brother?

            Father stared at me for a moment, his gray eyes thoughtful. And then he said: Brother saw the Edge.

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