The streets were quiet. In the distance I could still hear the whine of jet engines. I could still smell the gasoline and kerosene, the fumes, and her fragrance.
Now, my tears ran more freely.
I paced, my eyes flitting from tenement to tenement, my movements twitchy, glitching as I tripped over my feet and sprawled across the tarmac. A guttural moan moved up my throat but I was reluctant to release it. I froze and gazed about me, terrified I might have woken one of the waiting demons hiding in the shadows.
I had no idea what to do.
It was too late to convene at one of the final terminals – the exodus had finished – and I had no one to run back to. I’d be able to hunker down in the apartment for a few more weeks, but after that? And on my own, without her, how would I even cross the threshold into our home again?
I pushed my hair out of my eyes and got to my feet, snapping out of my stupor to hurry on down the street. The eerie silence compounded my fears and my footfall echoed between the tall buildings. As I ran down the centre of the road, I slowed and stopped. There didn’t seem much point in running anymore. For a moment, in the unearthly quiet, I grinned and let a small laugh escape my lips. It wouldn’t be long before lunacy slipped into my mind. What was I running from when there was nothing left to run to?
My breath lightened in my chest, and a feeling like helium invaded my head, and I dropped to the floor. The damp road seeped through my jeans, but I didn’t care, and as my head spun for once the cold asphalt beneath my fingers was the only thing that felt real.
There was nothing left in this world for me. My last foolish mission had seen me trapped for too long, and I’d known even before I escaped that she’d have gone. Our pact determined our actions and I’d been the one to ruin it. I stared up at the sky, grey and overcast without even a chem trail to follow. I knew she’d be angry, furious even, but maybe one day she’d remember me with sadness rather than ire, and recall our love with passion and reverence, but I wouldn’t blame her if it wasn’t for a very long time.
She’d start again in another country with the rest of our refugees, with everyone who’d escaped. Woozy with emotion and despair, I pulled my knees up to my chest and sat there in the road. In the periphery of my sight I knew they were coming. I didn’t care.
Unwilling to watch the gloomy shadows vacate the cover of the tenements, I buried my face against my knees, my fingers threaded over my head. I didn’t want to see what was coming for me.
Scratchy sounds dragged themselves across concrete and I tried to think of her, tried to imagine her soft arms holding me close. Groans echoed in the still air and my own moan mingled with theirs.
Then the sound of metal unsheathed whirred about my head and I cowered into my shell, as it sliced through rotten flesh and meat thudded to the ground.
“Get on your fucking feet!” she screamed, and I sprang from the ground, my head spinning.
She was here, beside me, her wakizashi swinging through the air and severing an infected head from its shoulders. I yanked my katana from its sheath and joined her, suddenly invigorated. Together we fought, until the bloody mass at our feet stopped writhing.
“I waited!” she spat at me.
“I can see that…” I replied as she threw herself at me. Relief flooded my system making my legs go weak. She kissed me, violently and fiercely, then extricated herself and stared at me.
“You prick!” She slapped me, hard across my cheek, and it blazed with fire. “Don’t you ever give up.”
“The plane?” I began.
“There won’t be another. We’re on our own,” she said, as I nodded. “Just us, that’s it.”
“That’s enough.” She grabbed my hand and we ran, flames now flowing through my body with the intense desire to live. “That’s enough.”
Really enjoying getting stuck into some more short fiction for Mid-Week Flash Challenge, which you can find on Miranda’s blog. This week’s photo prompt is Surreal by Alfonso Leon and drew me right in…
Write up to 750 words inspired by the prompt photograph.