By: Noah Morales

Boy is Alone

Boy is alone. He lives on an empty planet. For thousands and thousands of miles, all that surrounds him is darkness. All he’s ever seen beneath his feet is the same colorless gravel. And all he’s ever breathed through his lungs is the same smoggy air. He never had anything to do — there was nothing he ever could do — except walk.

All his life, Boy had been walking around in search for something. Anything. In all his life Boy had never seen another human, but he always felt in his heart that there were more people out there — maybe he just couldn’t see them past all the haze. All his life, he’d lived this way, but today he had enough of it.

He was tired of walking, and he grew weak with the feeling of hopelessness. He laid down and rested for the first time in ages, running his fingers through the fine gravel under him. He reached his hand deep down and scooped out a handful of pebbles; he flicked them away, one by one, watching them fly into the distance. He looked back at the ground and noticed the small hole he just made. He scooped his hand into the dirt again and made an even bigger hole. He kept going. All his life, Boy had been travelling north, south, east, and west across the planet, but never once did he consider going down. He dug. And he dug. And he dug.

He dug so deep that the hole became a crater, large enough to fit his entire body. He kept scooping up rocks and throwing them over his shoulders. For the first time in his life, he was having fun; for the first time in his life, he had a purpose. He needed to reach the bottom. He dug. And he dug. And he dug.

He dug so deep that the earth grew darker, harder, more compact. As he continued his descent, his hands started getting blistered, but Boy stood determined. For the first time ever, he saw a clear path — there was no fog down there to block his view. The more he dug, the more of the world he could see. His heart started beating faster. He was excited to keep going. He continued to dig. And he dug. And he dug.

He dug so deep that he started to see a color glaring through the crevices of the rocks. It was a bright, orange color — the first color he’d ever seen in his life. He dug even faster now, even more eagerly to see where that color came from. With each rock he picked, the color emerged brighter and brighter. It also started getting hot, and it wasn’t long before he started to sweat. He felt exhausted, but he was determined to keep digging. He dug. And he dug. And he dug.

He dug so deep that the warm, orange light completely engulfed him. It was blinding; it was all he could see; it was just like the fog at the surface, but this light was comforting. It was a constant reminder of his achievement and a constant motivation to keep digging. The rocks felt hot to the touch, and they were too heavy to be picked up anymore.

Boy was running out of options, but he wasn’t about to quit. He started punching, kicking, slamming, and jumping, trying anything he possibly could to break through the rocks. He was knocked back by the bright light, but he kept swinging. The ground wouldn’t budge. Boy started to burn in the intense heat, and his body told him to climb back up to safety. But his mind was set. He kept kicking.

Finally, with one strong blow, he cracked apart the bedrock and slipped through to the planet’s core. He fell for thousands and thousands of miles as beaming energy flowed into his heart and filled him with life. He looked back up through the hole and watched as his empty world drifted away.¬

He dug. And he dug. And he succeeded.


Noah Morales is an 18-year-old student born in Queens, New York. He is currently a first-year at MIT, and loves playing chess on his free time.
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