The Answer to Existence

Shortlisted for the 'More Than This' short story writing competition.

Marie has always been different.

To everyone else the world seems to be it; our life on Earth all there is, but Marie knows differently. Marie sees more.

Her classmates believe that what you see is what you get, and don't waste much time over pointless philosophical questions like: 'what is the meaning of life?'

But, as I said, Marie is an original. And, for some reason she can't explain, she has answers.

After so much time walled up in her own world can Marie knock down the block between her and the rest of society?

Can Marie really pass on her answers to a fellow teenager? And, can Marie hold a grasp on the answer before it consumes her?


2. The Incident A.K.A. The Day It Happened A.K.A. Saturday Morning

I woke to the light from the moon streaming into my bedroom through the curtains.

I wasn't aware of the time, or the weather, or my lack of clothes. I just knew I needed to go outside - now. So I tiptoed out of my room, past my mother's, and down the stairs, where I grabbed the keys and opened my front door as quietly and slowly as I could.

To say it was pouring would be an understatement - a huge understatement.

I was pelted with buckets upon buckets of water as I stepped out in my front garden, causing my bed head to soak to rat-tails. The stoney raindrops hammered off the sidewalk and smacked against the concrete until it was gleaming red raw; whilst my oversized t-shirt and boy boxers clung to my moonlight-illuminated skin and made walking quite uncomfortable.

I wasn't cold and I didn't rush back into the comfort of my house. I instead walked onto my front lawn and lay down.

I felt content - safe. Happy.

I kept my eyes closed - I didn't want raindrops falling into them! - and concentrated on my breathing.

And in, and out, and in, and out, and in, and - why was I feeling hot?

I snapped my eyes open and jerked up into sitting position as my skin began to burn.

I stood up quickly. Still burning.

I rubbed my bare arms. Hotter.

I looked around for the source of my sudden heat. Hotter still.

I started running back for the house. Scorching, scorching, scorching!


I was bulldozed backwards by nothing but air.

The pain stopped.

And my head was pounding with answers.

So, I scampered back indoors, locked the door, and tiptoed upstairs into my room. I cocooned myself in my duvet and fell asleep.

I woke up the next morning a different person.

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