Writing Prompt: Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game”


Petra plonked herself down in the commander’s mess, next to her toon leader. Her legs ached from the morning battle against Rabbit Army, which they’d won, but only by a fluke at the last minute. Two of her mostly frozen soldiers and had managed to get their helmets onto the last two point of the gate, with another sailing through just in time.

She pulled her tray closer and forced herself to eat the gloop they were serving today, knowing she would need the energy for tomorrow. Or even later this afternoon.

Word had gone around the school fast that the Dragon Army was up for two battles a day and Petra figured it was only a matter of time before the rest of them were scheduled to do the same.

Bastards, she thought, though would never say it out loud or to anyone else. Something was going on, though, something she couldn’t put her finger on. Maybe the buggers were getting closer. Or maybe they were trying to push Ender until the end, until he quit or died or begged to return to Earth.

She gazed over at him, sitting at one of the far tables, spooning food into his mouth like a robot, his eyes fixed straight down. He looked worn and alone, and where he had once seemed curious and willing to learn and grow, he now only wore the resilient, hard stare of a commander. She was one too, of course, but she was nowhere as brilliant as Ender.

Somebody tapped her on the shoulder.

‘Ho, Dink,’ she said. His hard, towering form stood over her.

‘There’s trouble,’ Dink said and for the first time, Petra saw something different in Dink’s pale face. Normally, he didn’t care about anything. He walked around with the strut of a jock too big for his skin, badmouthing the teachers and the games, but going along with it all anyway. Like they all did. But now she saw something different. What was it? Anger? Fear?

‘What’s wrong?’ she asked. ‘The teachers?’

‘No,’ Dink said. ‘It’s Bonzo. He’s gone off the end for sure.’

‘Did he get iced?’

‘No, worse. Listen up. I need you to get a message to Ender.’

Writing Prompt: Write a short scene from the point of view of a character in Ender’s Game that covers an incident or moment not in the original narrative.

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