She stumbled towards me….and now she’s done for.
Three days, no food, no water.
Starvation and isolation made us the equivalent to castrated polar bears.
Her weak frame fell into my steady arms. I noticed how thin her neck felt as my finger checked for a pulse.
She still has a beat…thank God.
Sweat rolled down my eyebrows in relief.
Her silence startled me, she couldn’t even constrict a syllable.
The frail shell of a woman laid out amongst the rocks, her pale skin glowed like aging cheese against the reflections of the water.
I begged to kneel next to her and accept the same fate.
God the pain….the suffering….the hunger…
An animal, any animal, could be the difference between life and death. The simplest being could bring restoration to her body.
I knew better. I knew nature doesn’t just go out of its way to give you a warm meal. It hadn’t in three days, why start now? Why doesn’t it just suck out all of the oxygen from my lungs? Gahh…
A damn miracle.
Keeping me alive to suffer…
…when my organs wanted to slice themselves upon rusted knives.
I often think death would be pleasant. I can feel hunger, but I wouldn’t die of it….at least not yet.
She will always be hungry. She will always thirst, but unlike me…she will always bleed.
She doesn’t have the Antax, she doesn’t endure the pain like I do…and one day…she will be allowed to die.
I‚Äôd long to know if death was possible. Who knows….I’ve made it this far haven’t I?
Why don’t I crawl out from my grave and yell,”Here I am! Shoot me now you sorry dictator bastards! Load me with lead and iron!”
I long for that….I long for death, I crave it…I am it…
But then the nostalgia comes…
I am who I am….nothing more, nothing less.
Victoria’s body skims the gravel outside, her hair laid out like blood stained carpet as I pulled grass from a nearby patch of greenery.
The crumbling dirt had a soft feel to it, loose grains slipped through my fingers as I pressed it against her tongue.
Those green stained lips start to tremble. Her jaw shook violently as I watched the Earth vanish into her body.
“Come on! Breathe!”
I put my lips to hers, pulsing air through her lungs. The taste of mud was just…horrendous….but I could faintly taste her sweet scent on my filthy tongue.
Even with a mouth full of Earth she was beautiful, never such a gorgeous creature. After a moment I realized that I wasn’t giving air, but rather stealing a kiss.
….A kiss of hope.
She came to life with a jolt, her head missing a low hanging stalactite.
Her pale skin didn’t look any better…but then again I couldn’t expect much.
Her lips shivered . It was hard to tell if she was attempting to speak or stay warm.
“Just stay still, I’m working on dinner”.
My finger sealed her lips.
I was thinking it too.
How did I manage to get anything that remotely resembles a meal?
I didn’t go endure boot camp to sit on my ass, I can hunt with bare hands.
It was a windy evening, full of fluttering leaves and grayed out stars. The smoke from the industrial plant irritated my lungs as I ran through the forest, exploring beyond the caverns, into woodlands near Alexandria and DC.
Most days yielded no food, but this evening a colony of rabbits sat exposed on the countryside.
I didn’t anticipate the Antax, it makes everything much easier.
I think the savory flavor of the chewy meat was enjoyable to her, she appeared to be content with it.
She didn’t complain much, but would often question why she would taste dirt, or where the strange green stains on her face came from.
I pity her too much. I told her she fell…which isn’t a lie…
Victoria hated grass, especially the way that it smelt, so I knew she wasn’t pleased about this.
At least the Rabbit tasted like real food.
Strength returned as her eyes resumed the light green tones they normally carry.
Her cooked rabbit legs began to look like half fasted murder weapons.
She spoke nothing for half an hour.
“This isn’t worth it anymore…”
Her eyes lowered onto my suit. I swear she wanted to rip the symbol off of my chest.
“This means something to people…” I pointed to my heart.
“…they need a leader.”
She broke the stare and turned to the cavern roof for inspiration.
“Is it worth dying at his hand?”
“Nothing seems worth it when it’s this intense. Voltaire knows I am coming for him, he knows I can take him!”
Victoria gave her agitated sigh.
“You can’t feed your own wife…how can you inspire victims who spent life knowing nothing but obedience? They won’t follow you Damien, they‚Äôve been trained to see us as the enemy!”
I wish I could show her how far we’ve come. She fears the present, but was oblivious to the future.
“Charlemagne doesn’t mean ANYTHING in the real world.”
“….. it means something to those who believe in the strength of the human spirit. ”
My breath paused to await her response.
I watched her throw rabbit bones towards a stream of water near the cliff.
“I’m sure he forgot about you. He has thousands of men to worry about…he can’t spend much time chasing you…can he?”
I could hear the despair in her voice, there was no way to avoid it.
Only part of her soul believes revolution is possible, she doesn’t understand the unity that can come out of desperate times, and the victory that it can bring.
….Not yet anyways.
But soon she will.