Trying to write a new world is fun and exciting, but once the world is being written it becomes harder to find a plot that will push the story or character into the pathway. It takes time to see where the story should go, but once it is discovered the story becomes alive.
Posted a new short on mother's day and it's a sad tale, but enjoyable to read. Well, that's just me saying that it enjoyalbe.
We Are Alone
The chirping of birds singing in the morning woke me up. I stared at the white ceiling with its cracks and fading paint. It was six years since that day when everyone vanished, and we never knew why or how it happened. I laid there thinking about it, and I turned my head to notice that Meg was not next to me. I sat up and listened for her footsteps outside the hall. The sound of a pan moving was comforting because I knew I was not alone. I got up and walked to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. The black hairs on my head were almost gone as more greys appeared in their place. My eyes stared at an old man, who wished that this never happened. I rubbed my face with my hand and feel the stubble. Thinking about shaving was not essential for me, but Meg never liked kissing me when it was growing. She said that it was as if she kissed a cactus. Thought made me smiled and I began to brush my teeth. Afterward, I walked into the kitchen and was welcomed by James and his daughter Ophelia. They were the only ones that we found in the city and were happy to have others around. I greeted them and sat next to James.
“So, are we going to move to another place and see if there’s anyone out there?”
“I meant to tell you that?” James ate a spoonful of beans. “Maybe we should split up to search two cities faster, then come back here or some other place.”
“You think that is wise?” Meg spoke from behind the counter. “I mean your daughter is only seven and…”
“She’ll be fine.”
“I agree with him. There’s nothing to worry.”
“Aram, she’s only a child and being in a group is better.”
“We haven’t encountered anything dangerous, except for the wildlife.” I looked at my wife and saw that she was not pleased that I agreed with James. “The two cities are nearby, and it will only take half a day to get to them.”
“Like I said, Ophelia will be fine. She’s a brave kid.” James rubbed her brown hair, and she smiled at him.
After breakfast, I marked the location that we would return to and keep in touch on the radio, which was the only electronic things that worked. We headed off, and I saw that Meg was worried about being away from Ophelia. I comforted her and said that they would be fine. We reached the other city and like most of the others we been through, it was empty. The vegetation had claimed most of the sidewalks and windows were broken by the recent storms that came. There was no one around to repair or maintain the streets or buildings. The empty cars filled the streets, and it seemed like a scene from a movie. I walked to one of the vehicles and searched for anything inside. There was nothing useful, but Meg found a doll, and she smiled to herself.
“Do you think Ophelia will like this?”
“She hasn’t seen one of them in a long time, so I think she will be glad to see it.”
Meg placed the doll in her pack, and we headed deeper into the city. It was a strange thing to hear our footsteps echoing. For most of my entire life, I never thought that hearing my own steps scared me. I reached out for Meg’s hand and held it close to me. She stared at me with a worried face and placed her head on my shoulder.
“Do you ever think about why this happened or how?”
“If there were a few still around, then I would think it was the rapture.” I laughed.
“I would think so too, but seeing Ophelia changed my view on that.”
We searched the city for about a few hours and headed back to the meeting place. James and Ophelia were not there, so we set up camp and spend the night. The next morning, they still had not returned, and Meg was worried about them. She told me that we should head to the city and see what occurred to them. We gathered our things and walked. It took us about a few hours to see the city limit. Just like the one we went, it was in the same state. I surveyed the area and noticed something that shined on the ground. We walked to it and found an arm that was resting on top of a pool of dried pool. Meg recognized the tattoo on the forearm and told me that it was James. We looked around and spotted Ophelia’s backpack.
“She might be in trouble.”
I told her to stay calm and that we would find them. We followed the trail and located more blood. Meg became more worried as we entered a warehouse and found shredded clothing. I took out my gun and went in first. It was quiet inside, and only our footsteps echoed in the building. I stopped and grabbed Meg by the arm and told her that a mountain lion was by a doorway. Inside we heard someone sobbing and knew that it was Ophelia. I looked at the ammo I had, which were two bullets.
“I’m not a great shooter and if I miss that lion is going to kill us.”
“We have to do something. We can’t just wait for it to go away.”
I looked at her, then around the place and saw a forklift. I slowly walked to it and examined if it was still functional. It powered on, and the lion did not notice us.
“Okay, I’m going to scare it away, and you go get her.”
“Right and be careful.”
I drove the lift towards the lion, and it snared at me, but it would not move away from the door. I pulled out the gun and fire at the lion. It reacted to the sound and walked away as I chased it with the forklift. It ran into a large container, and I quickly closed the door, then ran back to Meg. When I got there, Ophelia was holding Meg by the leg, and she was bleeding.
“What happened?” I asked as I pressed my hand on her leg.
“When I opened the door, something cut me.”
I looked at the object, which was a rusty blade. I tried to stop the bleeding, but the knife cut the main artery. For the first time, I cried and was not sure what to do. Meg held my hand and told me to watch out for Ophelia and to protect her. I found James’ remaining body and buried it next to Meg’s grave. We stood there looked at the graves, and a thought came to me, being alone was frightening. I reached out for Meg’s hand, but she was not there to hold and instead it was Ophelia, who looked at me with a worried face.