“Wen, will you stop doing that, I know people don’t care, but it does seem needlessly destructive.” He looked over his shoulder, pale green eyes tired. “Anyway you’ll scare off any food.” He scanned the floor, hoping for something small, a rabbit maybe. He would cook it when they next took a rest, though he too was unsure of the time; it had become fluid weeks ago when they had started their trip to the city. His boots scuffed the ground, at least it was pretty flat around here, meaning that it was much easier to get her moving. He swung his ice pick in one hand, enjoying the to heavy swing; twirling it aimlessly at his side. Lyulf wondered how much longer he could keep the march going, soon she would tire and he would have to carry her the last leg. He would get them to the city today, he did not care what he had to do, what he had to steal to get there, it was going to happen. In truth he should have stolen those horses, they had passed them maybe three days ago, obviously they had been trapped in their field for days, rushing over to meet them with such joy. He had felt bad only letting them out and they had followed them for many miles.
“Fine, but I’m getting tired.” She tried her best not to seem whiny, knowing it would not help their already bad situation. “Maybe we could stop at the next farm? They might have a quad bike, we could make into the city by dawn… or dusk, whichever is coming..” She looked at him hopefully as she spoke, catching nothing more than the back of his head.
“Yeh we will stop at the next one, that sounds like a good idea.” He chuckled lightly to himself “If we don’t get there today, I fear we might both go mad.” He paused mid stride, waiting or her to catch up to him. He wrapped an arm about her shoulders, taking her heavy bag onto hi spare shoulder, along with his own.
“I think the sun might be rising if it helps, it defiantly seems to be getting brighter.” She smiled up at him, head knocking on his shoulder “We can rest once we get in, the airports on this side of the city; people will be there.” She let her steps fall into place with his, light finally hitting the land, trickling over it like golden syrup, thick, glossy and a little too much. She watched his face with care, taking in his expression of grim determination and nodded to herself; it was for the best. They passed the gates of another llama herd, pulling the gate open for the long necked creatures, hoping they could find water for themselves. Ahead of them to the left was a small looking farm, run down and quaint, with a small central cottage. The moved down the road towards it and for some reason felt dread. She knew it was unlikely that anyone was left alive in the house, maybe one in ten houses they had passed held survivors, but they knew they were unwelcome with the siblings. It was not that they didn’t like people, more that they lacked trust, especially when it came to strangers. So they moved into the courtyard with slight trepidation, steeping lightly over the cobbled stones.
“Oh, I didn’t expect that.” Lyulf stopped, eyes reading the note from over 100 yards away, stopping mid-step “They have left, look at the note on the door.” He sprung away from his sister, large feet barely touching the ground as he ran to the door, pulling off the note.
This home once belonged to the Blythe family and was loved dearly. I cannot bear to stay with my family gone and so I am heading to the city, I hope that here I can move on with my life and forget the grief I leave here. Please, if you need something that I have, take it; it will bring me peace to know it has found a new owner.
All I ask in return is that you leave our graves, our loved ones and our garden to itself; you are not welcome there. Please take care on your journey and I hope that you too can leave a little of your grief behind. I wish you good luck and hope that one day we might meet.
God bless you and all that may come,
They read the note together, silence falling; heads bowed in a moment of remembrance. He did not talk as he moved off, heading to one of the sheds to the side of the house and opening it with care. Sure enough there was a quad bike, key in the ignition and covered in crusty mud. He looked it over with a careful eye, checking everything was ok, though his experience with machinery was limited. Once he had gone over all the small checks, he looked at the amount of gas it had, the tank was full and a large fuel canister strapped on the back for luck. He sent out a small prayer to god, thanking the goodness of the poor woman’s heart, kind enough to help someone she would likely never meet. With ease he straddled the huge machine, legs draped either side; it had been a few years since he had driven one at the family home, but it seemed he had not forgotten. Kicking the throttle he started up, moving out of the shed at a trundling speed, small sorrow filling his head. The sharp rays of sun hit his face, making his sister’s form seem angelic, almost glowing where she stood. He frowned for a moment, was she crying? Cutting the engine beside her.
“Ulf, they had a baby and such small children..” She turned to him, tears streaming over her freckled cheeks. “How could she burry all of them? There are just so many..” She looked back over the small picket fence. Once it must have been a beautiful little garden, climbing roses bloomed along the side of the house, covering any rotting with its sweet scent. The boarders were packed to the brim with flowers, even some strawberries, so meticulously kept in order. There were six graves, the house obviously holding several generations, three adult sized and two children, the last was no larger than her arm, soil patted flat with such care and love. She tore her eyes away, folding herself onto the back of the quad and clung desperately to her brother. She stayed that was for awhile, ignoring the road that roared past them; tears soaked up by her kind brothers shirt. She sniffled, the roar of the engine taking over her mind, filling it to the brim. For that she was thankful, she could not bear to think any more, eyes screwed shut against anything she might see. For a brief second she wished she would never see another thing, but scolded herself, knowing that she should save her eyes for better days.
“This is the Airport.” He yelled above the noise, hoping that she would come around, he hated seeing her like this. “There are too many people though and we are running low on gas… Should we stop at a gas station and come back around?” He called back to her, red hair whipping about his face. He felt a small nod against his back, giving her ascent and gunned the throttle, sending them further forwards. The shot through the deserted streets, glad that most of the bodies were off the road, though the smell was overpowering. He did not feel sadness when he saw each face though, only anger; it boiled in his blood, racing on ever further. He was glad to have such a small vehicle, making his life much easier, swerving between abandoned cars and stray animals. The wind brushed through him, slipping across his features like the finest silk, cooling down his flesh from the incessant beat of the sun. He slowed coming near to a petrol station, their was one woman there, but she seemed unlikely to have any interest in them and he pulled in.
“Ly, I’l fill up in a sec, will you go get me a few things?” She spoke softly, her sobbing having subsided many miles before, leaving her unwilling to speak. “I’l be fine.” She reassured him, looking up through red-rimmed eyes. She sat still while he dismounted, her eyes sliding to the woman across from them, standing there with a smoke.
“Hey, can I nick a smoke?” She asked sweetly, sliding her leg over to get off, taking in the girls clothes; an obvious statement. “My brother will bring you one back, but I don’t really want to wait today.” She stood slowly, keeping her baseball bat in her hand, she would never let it leave her side; but this time she did not look menacing, holding it so loosely. She took small steps over, her light flowered dress blowing about her knees as she went, jeans beneath hot and oppressive. She kept her eyes on the other woman with care, taking in every small detail; knowing that she would look it over later, if given the time. What she took in first though, were the deep red eyes, like out of something she might have seen on TV, but she knew this time they were real. Her fingers itched for a paintbrush, the character before her so interestingly presented; she wanted a record of how she stood, posture showing everything.