The Vault: A Short Story

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Summary: A story about a man who is chosen as an overseer in a high-tech bunker called vault, hundreds years after the apocalypse.

It was a merry night. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves in a party after the annual overseer election had been held in the vault. Usually, the newly elected overseer would walked around there delivering his/her gratitude to everybody who elected him, but tonight, the new overseer seemed to be found nowhere around the party. Instead of joining with the rest of the vault’s inhabitant in the party, the new overseer chose to spend his night alone in his room. He said that he was exhausted to everybody in the party who ask him why he leaves so early and those people just plainly believed him. Inside of his room, the newly elected overseer remained silent and sat on his bed, wondering what he should do next. This overseer was not like any other usual overseer. He did not feel pleased of being elected as an overseer. Otherwise, he was trembling in fear. He was afraid of the fact that every person who had been elected as an overseer, when he/she entered the overseer office, he/she would never be seen again going out from that place.

An hour later, after a long brief discussion he had with himself in front of a broken mirror, the new overseer finally decided to go out from that so-called safety “rabbit hole”. He did not want to uncover the truth that lies beneath the overseer office. He just wanted to live. He did not want to disappear from this world. When he was packing his stuff into his old Oakley, all of a sudden, someone knocked on his door.

“Daniel, are you there? May I come in?” asked a gentle voice behind the door.

“Umm… Yeah, wait a minute!” answered the newly elected overseer nervously, when suddenly the person behind the door disobeyed the overseer’s request to wait and entered the room.

“I said, ‘wait a minute!’ Didn’t you hear me?” shouted Daniel angrily.

“Oh, I-I’m sorry… I’m…”

“Close the door” cut Daniel. “What do you want, Vita?” asked Daniel gently while sighing.

“I just wanted to make sure that you’re okay.”

“Do I look like I’m okay, right now?”

“Well, at least you’re in one piece” answered Vita humorously. Her eyes gazed around the room, exploring every corner of it. “Where are you going?”

“I’m leaving.”

“Leaving? Leaving your room and going to the overseer office, right sir?”

“No, Vita! I’m leaving the vault and stop joking around, please.” said Daniel lightly while grabbing Vita’s shoulder.

“You’re serious, huh? I thought that was a mere joke,” replied her while trying to remove Daniel’s hand from her little shoulder.

“I told you. I meant it. I don’t want to die. You know the stories, right?”

“Yes, and that was just rumors, for God sake! Don’t tell me you believe that kind of story!”

“Those overseer, Vita, they never show their asses up again when they entered that room. What do you think happened to them if they were not killed? They were freed to the surface? C’mon!”

“Most people do think so. And I have the same belief just like them.”

“No, you don’t” Daniel took a deep breath. “I know you. You are not that kind of person who believes craps like that.”

“And so are you.” Vita walked to Daniel’s bed and sat down. “I don’t believe both versions of the story, Dan, but I admit that I believe when we don’t send people to that room, we all are going to be doomed.”

“Hey, that rhymes!” exclaimed Daniel while chuckling.

“And now you’re the one who is fooling around.”

“Come with me, then.”

Vita did not say anything. She was thinking, considering Daniel’s offer.

“If you come with me, you’re not going to die, which is good. And we can start a new life on the surface!” Daniel tried to convince her.

“And what about my friends? My family? I can’t just leave them like that.” argued Vita.

“What about them? If you stay here, you and they are still going to die, but if you come with me, at least, you’re not going to die.”

“How could you say that?!” answered Vita angrily.

“Okay. I’m… I’m sorry.”

“You’re a monster! You know that.”

“No, I was just…”

“Shh!” cut vita while putting his little finger to Daniel’s lips. “Look. You can leave this place and let us all die, and you can live as a monster. Or you can just stay here, be the overseer, and uncover the truth beneath that room. And if what you told me is true, you can die as a human.” said Vita with her gentle voice. “Think about it, Dan. If you leave, your entire friends, those little kids who always cheered when you come, and I are going to die. All your loved ones are going to die. Can you live with that?”

“I don’t know, Vita. I really don’t know.” answered Daniel in his trembling voice.

“Is your life worth a thousand lives of other people who are going to die tomorrow?”

Daniel could not answer. No words came out of his mouth.

“I want you to think about it, Dan. Good night.” Vita got on his foot and left his room.

Daniel still remained silent. He was confused. He did not know what to do. Suddenly, there was warm liquid pouring down from his eyes. He was crying. “Oh my God, what should I do? I don’t want to become a monster.”

***

Vita was walking down the living quarter aisle, when she heard a deep and big voice calling her name.

“He is not going to leave. He always hears me. Always.” said Vita in her gentle yet trembling voice.

“Well done.” said the man who was standing behind the shadow.

“What will happen to him?”

“He’ll be okay.”

“Don’t you lie to me!” exclaimed Vita.

“You return to your room now, Vita, before I change my mind.”

“Y-yes, father.”

***

“No, I won’t stay. I will leave. I’m sorry Vita”

Thank you, Muhammad Bahmaniar, Ferlanti Nailasuffa, M. Fadilla Pratama for proofreading my work.

Thank you for my PC. Thank you for all the crazy ideas that come to me at midnight! (You jerk!)

Thank you for my fish that always jump every time I get to near them. (They are very lovely :3)

Thank you for the stable internet. Thank you for Bethesda Softworks. (You guys have to make more game like this.)

References:

– Vault 11’s story in Fallout New Vegas. 2010. Bethesda Softworks.

– Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery (1948)

Word Count: (1000)

Link for dramatization.

2 thoughts on “The Vault: A Short Story

  1. 180410120140/G

    The most interesting things that concern me in this story are about characterization and setting. Characterization can be seen very clearly from conversations conducted by Vita and Daniel in this story. The parts that I like best are when Vita and Daniel quarrel inside Daniel’s apartment and when Vita talking to someone whose identity is not yet known. The end of this story makes me curious. It is when Vita talks to this stranger and actually calls him “Father”. She looks afraid, and I can see it from her answer, “Y-yes, father” I would say that there is possibility that the story will be continued.

    Like

  2. 180410120133/G

    Throughout the whole story, you described every tiny detail of the situation and the conversation very thoroughly. It’s very easy for me as the reader to imagine how the situation is occurred and what the characters are feeling. That is one great ability and asset as a writer.

    But I have to say that there is one little flaws, that very likely relatable with my experience. For a short story with word limit of 1000, it’s way too “big” to fit in the whole story, resulting in ending the story hastily, though it wasn’t really anti-climatic. But all in all, it is such a brilliant idea of a story and the foundation is terrific. You know that there is an old saying that I vaguely remember, “One small jar does not simply handle one big wave of idea.” Keep it up bro!

    (or perhaps I just made it up)

    TEEHEE

    (Word count: 150)

    Liked by 1 person

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