Sundown | Teen Ink


August 28, 2014
By Icithra PLATINUM, Arlington, Massachusetts
Icithra PLATINUM, Arlington, Massachusetts
26 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

“Hi, grandfather. Whatcha doing?”

“I’m waiting for it to show.”

“Do you think it will, tonight?”

“Hopefully. There’s a little hole in the clouds, you see it there?”


“I bet you’ll be able to see it through that.”

“Can I watch with you?”

“Aren’t you supposed to be at the fire tonight, son?”

“I didn’t want to go.”

“And why not?”

“Teacher is going to be there.”

“What did you do this time?”

“I put one of those frogs in his water pitcher. He drank it, and then spat it out all over his stack of paper leaves. We got excused early.”


“Grandfather, I’m bored. How long will it be?”

“A half hour more.”

“Will you tell me a story, then?”

“What of?”

“You know, the time before. Of the war! Things like that.”

“Hmm. Well, you see those ruins up there, on the bluff overlooking the ocean? That was my home. It was a lighthouse, and it used an old technology, electricity, to shine onto those rocks out there, so ships wouldn’t hit them.”

“I know this, grandfather. Get to the good stuff! How did it become ruins? Was it a storm? The war? You’re stories need some work!”

“Sorry. Well, at that time, we knew of the war’s existence, but it was part of another world, the European world. We never thought it would come to us. But, one day, it just came over the horizon.”

“What, grandfather? Stop pausing! What came over the horizon?”

“One of those American machines. It was big and flat, but with odd bulbs protruding from it. It floated, I don’t know, in the air, making a ghastly, roaring noise. It came over the ocean- the first to come here, to Russia. It was day, and it was blocking…you know…it.”


“Right. And then, the whole sky lit up red, and these bright streaks filled the sky, crashing into the bluffs, carving out this very beach. We ran out of the lighthouse, me and my family, running for the woods, and then one hit the lighthouse. My sister got hit by debris and died, and my mother and father stayed behind with her, waving me on. They didn’t make it. The lighthouse was on fire, or what was left of it, along with the woods, and smoke filled the sky. The machine flew overhead, red streaks still shooting out from it, into Russia.”


“It was chaos. Two small Russian machines shot through the sky, shooting these little, corkscrewing black pellets that exploded into flames. The machines fought for hours, and I hid beneath a boulder. Twice shots landed near me, but the little cave beneath the boulder went deep, and I was fine.”

“Which boulder was it?”

“You can’t hide under it. The cave collapsed.”

“I wasn’t going to hide under it.”

“Don’t lie.”

“I wasn’t! Keep going with the story.”

“Okay. Finally, the two machines drifted west, and I was safe. I crawled out from underneath the boulder, frightened as a rabbit, and went back up to the ruins of the lighthouse. I lived there for a month, ducking under the boulder again every time a machine passed overhead.”

“When did the sky turn black?”

“Well, at the start there was already some clouds, but it still rose and set every day. But slowly, the black clouds started in from the west. I didn’t pay them much mind, I had bigger worries. But little by little, they filled the sky. I always assumed they were just emissions from the machines.”

“Grandfather, it’s raining.”

“Oh. You go back to the fire, it probably won’t show.”

“But what about you, grandfather?”

“I will stay, just in case. I always stay.”

“Right. Grandfather, what did they use to call it?”

“The Sun, but its bad luck to say that. Hurry along now. Let Teacher have his justice.”

“Grandfather, no! I want to stay! Teacher is going to kill me!”

“No, he won’t. You’ll get what you deserve.”

“But, please! Please!”

The old man smiled, and put his hand around the boy’s shoulder. “You can stay, but don’t tell.”

The boy looked out at the waves. “It’s like watching a fire, isn’t it?”

“Sure is, son. Sure is.”


The author's comments:

I  came up with the idea for this at a beath, coincidentally, imagining two people waiting for something, and trying to think of what they would be waiting for.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Oct. 8 2014 at 6:16 pm
Icithra PLATINUM, Arlington, Massachusetts
26 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Thank you! This is definately one of my kinder stories, but I think it still has a decent twist.

Catcher GOLD said...
on Oct. 8 2014 at 11:00 am
Catcher GOLD, Edinburg, Texas
14 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
I can't explain what I mean, and even if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it.

I've been going through getting a pretty decent sampling of your work, and this is my favorite I think. It was very enjoyable to read. The grandfather's story provides action and keeps a mostly dialogue story very engaging. My favorite part was when the grandson asks him where the boulder is, and his response is, "You can't hide under it." I feel this said the most about their relationship and really showed how well they knew each other and how close they are. I liked this concept a lot. All-in-all i loved this story! 

on Sep. 25 2014 at 8:10 am
Icithra PLATINUM, Arlington, Massachusetts
26 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Thank you for complamenting, and thanks for pointing out the spelling errors - I'll fix those.

on Sep. 24 2014 at 10:08 am
Extraterrestrial SILVER, Singapore, Other
9 articles 4 photos 66 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it's a plan!"

Oh, I like this! I like this one better than 23 Seconds. This is a really, really good piece of fiction. It's all dialogue, which really should be hard to do, but somehow you make it work. There's palpable tension and a lingering worry for the future. I started guessing what they were waiting for right when the grandfather said, "It was blocking... you know... it." And I'll admit I got chills when my suspicion was confirmed at the end. You have a few minor mistakes ("You're stories need some work!" should be "Your stories need some work!" and "The Sun, but its bad luck to say that" to "The Sun, but it's bad luck to say that"). Regardless, this is still a very good story. I am thoroughly impressed. Well done!