Posted in Writing Prompts

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #277-What Happened to Better Days?

Our challenge was to choose among an assortment of quotes for writing inspiration. I chose the one below.

“There was rarely an obvious branching point in a person’s life. People changed slowly, over time. You didn’t take one step, then find yourself in a completely new location. You first took a little step off the path to avoid some rocks. For a while, you walked alongside the path, but then you wandered out a little way to step on softer soil. Then you stopped paying attention as you drifted farther and farther away. Finally, you found yourself in the wrong city, wondering why the signs on the roadway hadn’t led you better.”
― Brandon Sanderson, The Emperor’s Soul

Guilda turned off the radio and sighed. When, or more importantly how, had the World gotten turned upside down?
Was she just too old to understand what progress looked like? Were her childhood memories tainted by innocence?

She closed her eyes and rocked with her hands in her lap. It felt like a curse that she remembered going straight home from school where her mother was waiting with a snack and then quickly changing out of school clothes to play clothes. She always did her homework first thing then ran outdoors to play until called for supper.
Her neighborhood had at least a dozen kids who did the same. Bicycles zoomed and games of ‘Kick the Can’ sprung up on every sunny day. Nobody worried about what they wore or being liked or lonely. If she wanted a cool drink, her neighbors- every single one of them- had an adult at home who would oblige her. Dogs roamed freely and never needed to go to the vet. And no one felt the need to lock their doors, ever.

The drift away from what seemed an ideal time period had happened slowly. Families started having fewer children. Mothers needed to work away from home, babies were sent daily to day care centers, and never-before-heard-of ailments and cancers started killing dogs who routinely had often lived to 19 or 20 years old. Step by step changes came. It didn’t feel much like progress to Guilda, though.

Then she pondered if anyone could have magically changed the course that had led to this present. If she had had a crystal ball, which things would she have kept and which she would have left alone? There had seemed a clearly marked path forward, once upon a time… grow up, finish school, get married, raise children, etc., but now? No wonder people say that they feel lost, lonely, and purposeless today. All former paths have become enveloped in fogs. The fogs have names too, “Nihilism”, “Self-Centeredness”, and “Greed”.

She wasn’t eager to leave this world but wondered if, perhaps, it would be for the better for her to fade away just like those better times. People can’t miss things that they never have known were possible and she would no longer have moments of regret that those former days are forever gone.


I love a well told story. If it makes me laugh, all the better.

13 thoughts on “Reena’s Xploration Challenge #277-What Happened to Better Days?

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