The Haven

Merit in the 'Writers Wanted - July 2011 - Step Write Up' competition

At one time or another, everyone came to Haven.
Haven was located in the very center of the new world. A place of peace and joy, they were told. A place away from sickness, war, death and betrayal.
Mary's family came to be rid of the poverty and war that raged through the land, brought upon them by men desperate for food and homes that resorted to invading the

country of their allies. They left everything behind to come to Haven, their friends, their family, their jobs, their old life. But it would be worth it.

It was raining when they arrived, but inside the sun always shone. Haven was surrounded by walls hundreds of feet high and topped with a roof that could withstand the

force of a rocket. Why bother? Mary wondered. Why did must Haven be so secure? It was necessary, she was told, the people of Haven needed to be secure. So they

entered their new city.

The streets of Haven were perfectly paved, not a single crack or pothole was to be seen on the roads. The grass on the nature strip was thick, springy and pleasant to touch.

No two trees were alike, every species of tree had been brought in from each corner of the globe, from the commonest apple tree to the most luscious and unpronounceable

bush.

It was, in every appearance, a sort of heaven.

Mary and her family were taken to their home, a house ridiculously large for a family of three. Mary hadn't always been an only child, but old wounds would soon be healed.

Meeting people wasn't hard. Citizens wandered the streets all day, for fun, they said. They walked barefoot and left without shutting their front doors, for there was no fear of

crime and no need for security. Mary remembered the roof made to withstand rockets.

She soon met a group of children her own age, barely conversing, rarely even looking at each other. They seemed to have grouped together simply to be around their peers.

When she inquired, they told her life was perfect in Haven. "Absolutely perfect", said one girl. "But...".

"But what?" Mary asked. The girl shook her head.

"Nothing, it's perfect here". She finished, frowning.

Days passed, and it all seemed as wonderful as they had been told. But over time, the cold steel walls grew maddening. Nothing happened here. Nobody new arrived, nobody

ever left. It never rained, there were no celebrations, no festivals, no games. Haven was lifeless.

However, it was not so easy to leave Haven, not when Mary's parents were not as fit as they once were, not when they were made to give up every dollar they earned to live

here.

Yes, Haven was a place away from sickness, from war, and from death. But it was also a place away from joy, from hope, from excitement and adventure.

At one time or another, everyone came to Haven. At one time or another, everyone tried to escape, but not even a rocket couldn't pierce Haven's walls.

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