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Author Topic: Mercia (a working title)  (Read 1805 times)
Bebbet
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« on: April 03, 2005, 10:48:57 AM »

Not entirely sure what's to become of this yet, but I plan on it being big

Emily Dickinson once wrote, “Parting is all we know of Heaven, and all we need of Hell.” Never has loss been expressed so succinctly, or so beautifully.

   I see it all around me, in the eyes of those left behind. In their hearts; in their souls. It pains me to the core of my being, and it sickens me that all I can do is watch.

   My Lord tells me, “It is done.” As if I am to take comfort in his indifference. But I can’t. He should know that better than any other, for why was I created if not to free others from their suffering?

   Purpose. That was once His gift to us all. Inspiration, guidance, protection, hope, life and death…and mercy. We were His hands and His voice. What are we without purpose? We are even less than those He has turned His back on.

   And if that is so, then purpose I must find for myself.

1.

It was dark. It was always dark. It had been dark for as long as she could remember. She ran through the darkness; the tears in her eyes blinding her all the more.

   She was alone. She’d never been alone. She hadn’t been alone for as long as she could remember. Her parents had always been there. Never would she see them again.

   Even her pursuers were familiar. Neighbours, friends, her aunt. Her aunt who’d taken care of her when her parents were at the Stand; who’d read her to sleep or gently sang to her when the screaming and crying was at its worst. Her aunt who, as her own brother lay gargling and bleeding on the soaking ground, had laughed.

   She ran through streets she’d always known. Streets that had been her home since the day she was born. And yet nothing was familiar to her now. Her world had become a strange and frightening place. Lonely and desperate.

   Turning into another of the endless number of dark, sodden streets she was halted by a figure: draped in dark cloth; hunched; braced on a long staff. Face hidden in the shadow of a deep hood. The child stared for a long, breathless moment.

   The figure looked back… She felt like the figure looked back. Then up, over her head to something behind her. The girl turned.

   They’d stopped, as breathless as she was; staring towards the figure.

   “Ours, woman,” her aunt said from the base of her throat.

   The woman said nothing and instead pulled a gun from beneath her shroud. The young girl’s pursuers were cut down in a deafening hail of gunfire as she curled up on the ground, hands clasped tightly to her ears.

   The sound ceased. The girl gingerly opened her eyes, wiping away the blood that trickled in. She was covered in blood. She turned to look down at the bodies: still; their torsos open and filling with rain water; their expressions cold and neutral, as they had been when they slaughtered her parents.

   She turned to the figure, unsure whether to smile or to run. She approached cautiously, waiting for a reaction. The woman had let go of the machine gun, allowing it to fall back beneath the shroud, and now stood perfectly still once more.

   She stepped around the figure, giving the weakest of smiles as she did. She then turned and ran on.

   The hood followed the girl until she ran. The figure took a hand away from her staff and reached back beneath the shroud, this time producing a large revolver. The girl heard the click of the gun’s hammer as it was drawn back… Then, nothing…

   The echo from the shot faded…and I replaced the gun.

   “Ooh…” a voice growled from one of the burnt-out shops somewhere in the darkness. “Evil bitch!”

   When my hand again emerged from the shroud it was holding a thin cigar and a petrol lighter. I placed the cigar in my mouth and attempted to light it. I got nothing but spark.

   I turned towards the source of the voice. A skinny young man had been pinned to a wall with a knife through each hand. His left arm dangled from the wall; the flesh just past the elbow ripped and shredded. Bite marks covered the elbow of his right.

   “Got a light?” I asked, my voice light and even. The man shook his head, slowly at first, then faster and faster, getting more and more excited; the wound in his right hand opening up as his body began to shake with his head. “Then is there a garage around here anywhere?”

   He stopped suddenly and answered in a calm, polite tone. “Carry on down the street, right at the bottom and you should see it about two-hundred yards up on your left.”

   “Thank you,” I said.

   “We’re going to fuck you good, whore,” the man replied.

   I turned and walked towards the young man - limping slightly, bracing myself on my staff. I took the cigar from my lips and placed it gently between his. I then stepped to one side, took out the revolver and fired a shot against the end of the cigar. The man cried out as he was deafened by the shot and the flash seared his eyes.

   I caught the lit cigar as it fell, raised it to my lips and took a short draw. “Thank you again,” I said.
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It's strange the way things work out, but they do work out in the end.
Bebbet
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