The Last Bastion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 11 (v.1) - Bliss?

Submitted: March 22, 2013

Reads: 113

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Submitted: March 22, 2013

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Chapter 8 - Bliss?

”This is really good Terrence” The words came out of Aprils mouth but registered more to the others as a series of grunts when she exhaled. The food was really good and Terrence had, once again, worked his culinary magic and turned a mundane pot roast into something very good. Hannah laughed at April who were clearly showing her son how not to behave at the dinner table. Gabriel stuffed his mouth while chuckling at his mothers antics.

”Aurora helped me so its on her aswell” The gentle giant said as he delicately cut and ate some of the meat. He looked at Aurora who was leaning back in her chair enjoying one of the two bottles of wine they had opened for this occassion.

She raised her glass and looked around the table.

”To friends, old and new, we might be in hell on earth but atleast we've got our good health..”

”And enough ammunition to chase thoose bastards back to where they came from” Christian said loudly. The gathering broke into laughter at his statement.

”True Christian” Terrence said and lifted his glass. ”To friendships” he said. Everyone took a sip of their drink apart from Gabriel who had no idea what was going on. Slowly it dawned on him and he took his glass of coke and raised it euphorically into the air.

”To Gandalf” he proclaimed and took a sip. Terrence laughed and cheered with him.

”To Gandalf little man” he said and gently touched Gabriels glass with his own.

”So how are we looking, stockwise” Christian said while looking at Aurora. She sighed under her breath and started thinking.

”Well... Were on about enough meat for a few more days, so you boys need to make a run to the farm to get more I reckon”

”Me and Rick been thinking”

”That must have hurt” Aurora said jokingly. Christians cold stare was letting on that he was not amused by this joke.

”Go on” Terrence said to try and break the tension.

”Youve got a big mouth for such a frail body Aurora, keep it up and see where itll take ya”

”Christian I just..” she held one hand up in front of her evasively.

”I know I know.. Hell Im just playing with ya woman, a little humor to lighten the mood” He took a big bite of meat and rested his elbow on the table. Hannah and Terrence exchanged looks with each other. Martin caught Terrence eye and tried gesticulating with his eyes that the mood was turning abit too dark.

”Anyway... Weve been thinking about taking the livestock over here, this farm is fit for animals and it beats going over there all the time... More control for us aswell” Christian said.

”Yeah itll be easy to get em over here, we'll just use the horse transport we found over at the other farm” Rick said. Terrence looked at the pair and nodded in agreement.

”If you need any help Id be happy to assist”

”You know about farming? Not sure theres an awful lot of a similarity between selling dope and herding cattle son” Rick said while chuckling. Christian found it amusing aswell but they stopped laughing at themselves when Aurora loudly sighed. Terrence cut her off before she started formulating a defense for him.

”Im a farmboy, fresh out of Conroy, its a few kilometers from here, Im more unsure of your skillsets” he said with a big smirk on his face.

”What you mean?” Christian looked bewildered.

”Well... Herding cattle and pigs and the like aint exactly the same as chasing down niggers” Everyone went dead quiet. ”See for one, you wont be holding a pitchfork screaming at the top of your lungs, there are no white hoods and robes involved and well...”

”Well what?” Rick looked at Terrence like he was genuinely interested albeit abit angered at the statement.

”Well your sister aint exactly around for you to fuck you know” Terrence looked at his plate and there were a few seconds of numbing silence. Gabriel sat like nothing had happened and the first one to break the silence was April who burst out laughing. Soon everyone followed suit and even the two brothers joined in.

”You sure talk the talk T-dog” Christian said while regaining his breath.

”And I walk the walk aswell, but its Terrence not T-dog or anything with dog in it” He said as he took a sip of wine. He looked at Martin and whinked. Martin's face was fire red and he was trying not to spew soda and food all over the table.

”So... Id be happy to help” Terrence continued. The fact that people were laughing hadnt phased him one bit.

”Its appreciated, we gotta look out for each other in theese times” Christian said. ”Just promise me one thing” his face turned serious again.

”Sure”

”If push comes to shove you shoot me in the face before I turn into one of thoose things” He said while staring into Terrence's eyes.

”Ofcourse dude”

”You can cook up my remains afterwards if you want to, god knows youre a damn fine chef”

”Im not exactly sure anyway can make decaying flesh taste good, but its noted, ill bring pots and pans tomorrow”

A few minutes passed while everyone ate in silence. Hannah and Terrence was sat across from each other and were exchanging looks ever so often. April, who sat next to Hannah, picked up on this and gently pinched Hannah in her side.

”You two lovebirds... Youre making me all jealous now”

Hannah blushed and Terrence laughed. He looked at April with a sly expression.

”Well you can maybe join us later”

”Oh hell no” April said while laughing. Terrence tried his best to look offended but failed miserably.

”Whats wrong with that?” He said.

”Oh well” she pointed at Gabriel ”Ive already had my fair share of love, and besides I want Hannah for myself” she pinched Hannahs thigh but she was too busy being embarassed to notice.

”Well youre gonna have to settle for me Im afraid” Martin said while putting on his most self assured ladies man face.

”Oh you kids... Now lets talk about strategies for tomorrow!” Aurora cut in and Christian sat straight up in his seat. Gabriel laid down his utensils and tucked at his moms sleeve.

”What hun?” She said softly.

”Can I be excused?” He said at such a low volume that it was barely heard.

”Yes ofcourse.. But no tv, youve got homework to do!”

He got out of his seat and walked into the living room where he grabbed a bag and unloaded some books onto the coffee table.

”Homework?” Martin said while looking at the young mother.

”Yep... I made sure to get some school books for him so he wouldnt fall behind. It might be the end of the world but education is the way forward”

”Im impressed” Terrence said while leaning back in his seat. ”Genuienly impressed, not alot of people would think that way in theese circumstances”

”I guess not... Its perhaps my blue eyed hope that the world will return to normal after...” She didnt finish her sentence before Christian cut in.

”After the culling” he said in a ominous tone. Aurora sighed.

”Here we go again”

”I dont recall asking for your opinion Aurora. Its plain to see, its the culling”

Terrence looked puzzled ”What you mean” but he already regretted feeding this insane delusional mindset.

”The culling. The government institutes a virus that kills off most of the population. Then they gather everyone in camps and rebuild society they way they want it. Its genocide, the polite way”

”Christian we've been over this a hundred times”

”AS I SAID” he said harshly ”Its plain to see, thats why they unleashed it on a small scale at first and shipped all the victims around the country. Strategically placing them where it would get the maximum effect”

”I dont think that thats what really happened” Hannah cut in.

”Really... Now can you tell me girl... Exactly how long before the military cut to drastic measures”

Hannah went quiet for a minute. Despite the sheer insanity of what he was saying there was still a grain of truthfullness to it all.

”I dont know, a few days”

”And what exactly did they do?”

”Well they bombed the infected areas of my town” she said softly but Christians unrelenting speech about conspiracies continued in the same harsh tone.

”Now down south. They shot everyone who tried escaping town. The military went door to door and gathered everyone at camps. Then they let a few of thoose suckers in there and it was a regular bloodbath. Now why would a benign military command do something like that”

”I dont.. I dont know” Hannah said. She could feel her paranoia kicking in. She needed to calm down.

”Because we in the south were not deemed worthy of this so called new world order”

”Christian youre making everyone uncomfortable” April cut in but he looked at her like he was gonna eat her alive.

”Look.. You can all go about your merry ways and think what you wanna think. But you werent there when it happened. I was in that death camp and I had to fight for my life and my lil brother here”

”Its true” Rick said ”Things went out of hand down there so fast you cant imagine it. One moment it was all fine the next moment there were riots in the streets. We were forced into thoose camps after only two days and the same day we were there shit hit the fan”

Hannah took a sip of wine and looked frantically at Terrence. He got out of his chair and went over to grab her hand.

”I think were gonna excuse ourselves” he said while helping Hannah up. He could feel her body twitching and wanted to get her away from the situation that was provoking such an extreme response.

”Im gonna go with you, had about enough of this gibberish” Aurora got out of her seat and slammed her napkin down. Diego and Martin got out of their seats and moved towards the living room.

”Im gonna help Gabriel with his homework” April said and went after them.

”Oh so youre gonna leave us two gents with the table to clear, is that it” Christian reached to the sides with both of his arms as if he was pleading for his life that was now in the hands of a crazed gun nut.

”Yeah... Seems like all I ever do is clean up your mess, how about you clean up mine for a change” Aurora said. She picked up an unopened bottle of wine and the corkscrew before she joined Terrence and Hannah on the front porch. Christian and Rick started clearing the table but Christian seemed less content with this delegation of work than his brother did.

”Are you alright Hannah?” Aurora sat down on the chair across from the bench where Hannah and Terrence had taken a seat. Terrence was holding Hannah tightly who had a distant look in her face. She was breathing heavily and seemed a bit distant.

”I guess so” Terrence said. Hannah didnt register anything around her.

”I brought some wine to lighten the mood.. Sorry about thoose two, they can be quite a handful once they get going”

”Yeah, well we all react differently in a crisis” He softly stroked Hannahs shoulder.

”You okay girl?” He spoke softly and tried to get Hannah into a sitting position. Her body was tense and seemed to want to stay slumped across his chest. Hannah was miles away, lost inside her mind. Frantic imagery of police and military shooting at will into crowds of people, the walking dead coming for her, explosions, nightmarish landscapes in which famine and plague roamed. She could feel the tears streaming down her face but they seemed but to echo reality which at present time felt so far away. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she could hear herself breathing heavily, in fast bursts which only made oxygen reach her brain quicker thus furthering her manic state.

”Sweetie you need to breathe slower” Auroras voice penetrated the void of deranged thought patterns. The next moment Hannah felt a warm hand grab hers. The hand was Auroras and she was gently but firmly squeezing the life back into her. Slowly and steadily her breathing shifted from highly erratic to shorter and deeper lungs of air. A few minutes passed while Hannah slowly transcended from the aether into her body and faded back to reality again. She could feel Terrence's firm grip on her shoulder and how he gently stroked it with his thumb. Her eyes seemed to shift from the blur induced by tears and to stare into Auroras face. The gentle blue eyes seemed a welcoming sight on her return trip back to earth.

”There we go” Aurora softly stroked Hannah on the hair and got back up and went to her previous seat. She opened the bottle of wine and took a sip. Hannah sat up and now only leaned slightly on Terrence who was looking at Aurora like he had seen a ghost.

”What?” She said holding out the bottle towards him. ”Its the end of the world, who needs glasses”

Terrence laughed and took the bottle. He took a big gulp and handed it to Hannah. She took a small sip and gently placed it in between her thighs. All eyes were on Hannah who seemed calmer albeit still abit out of it. She looked around, slowly realizing what had transpired, she tried hiding her face but to no avail. The keen motherly gaze of Aurora had struck Hannah and penetrated the smokescreen she had hid behind.

”Hannah... What is going on?” She said calmly and softly. Hannah sat up straight and took a big gulp of the bottle of wine. She had never liked confessing what she essentially saw as major defects, and especially not to strangers. Terrence had been different, somehow he had penetrated her facades faster.

She took another big gulp before handing the bottle of wine to Aurora, then she fetched a cigarette and lit it. She leaned back into Terrence's awaiting arms and placed her naked feet upon the armrest on the bench.

”Well.... Its all a long story really” she said with the suaveness of John Wayne. Aurora smiled at her and took a sip of the wine.

”Care to tell it pilgrim?” She said while pointing her fingers like a gun towards Hannah who took a drag of her cigarette and a large breath of air to follow it. She slowly exhaled the smoke.

”No not really” She said. Aurora handed the bottle to Terrence and looked abit like someone had popped her favorite balloon.

”Well I respect that... But you strike me as someone suffering from something severe” she said in a more serious tone. Hannah looked at her and put on a brave smile. She was still recovering from the panic attack and was on a shaky truce with her emotions at the present time.

”Its just.... Its boring really...”

”Hannah do you take any..... medication?” Aurora wasnt ready to give up the fight.

”Well yeah Im on the pill, been hard to get thoose damn things since you know, the whole debacle with the end of the world, 24/7 pharmacies my ass”

”Hannah Im being serious here” Aurora sat up straight and looked at Hannah like she was determined to get an answer.

”Aurora I dont... I dont feel comfortable talking about it just yet”

”Look its alright if you dont want to talk girl” Terrence held her tightly. Having his support in this made it less hard to have to reject Aurora.

”I just want to help... But if you two have it covered then I wont butt in, but please Hannah, if ever you want to talk about it then we can... I have alot of expertise in theese things, been dealing with trauma patients for years and what I saw was a full blown panic attack” Aurora leaned back and grabbed the bottle. The questioning seemed at an end.

”Well it was just that, but no worries I have it covered” Hannah said while finishing off her cigarette. Aurora smiled at her and took a sip of wine.

”Well that is good news.... Now... Tell me about the two of you!”

The three of them shared a laughter that seemed to alleviate the tension caused by the situation. Hannah moved around so her feet were in Terrence's lap and then took the last drag on her dying cigarette. The trio talked to great lengths about Hannah and Terrence's chance meeting in his kitchen in Conroy about a week ago. It all seemed like a great big coincidence, perhaps abit too coincidental for Hannahs paranoid mind. It didnt help that she had hit it off with Terrence in a big way in such a short time. It was like when you went to camp in school. All of a sudden the normal life was turned upside down, you were away from your parents and couldnt seek comfort in your room. Her first brush with love had happened at one of theese camps. She had always been different from everyone else, or atleast always felt that way. And when Kimberly Matthews asked if she could sit next to her by the camp fire, that very first night of a week long camp, it had seemed like such a normal escalation of things. They hadnt been more than 12 years old and Hannah hadnt had any interest in love before that. But that night Kimberly kissed her. Her very first kiss, and then from a girl. Her friends had thought it to be the coolest thing in the world but Hannah had felt how fast you can go from soaring in the heavens to being pulled back down to earth by gravity. A camp counsellor had seen them kissing behind a shed. They had both been good at hiding their affection for one another but as the camp drew to a close they had gotten careless. They knew that their sort of love was frowned upon by the school system and when the counsellor had seen them making out he had acted as any self righteous christ junkie would do. Parents were called and a speech that was your average brimstone and fire speech rained down upon the two girls. It all resulted in the two getting pulled from the camp one day early and being reprimanded to never see each other again, which was a little hard seeing as the two were in the same class. But when camp ended so did the flirt and when Hannah approached Kimberly in the schoolyard she was barraded with insults and then shoved away from Kimberly and her friends. Hannah had always felt bad about that and the result was that she didnt allow herself the sweet satisfaction of falling in love ever again. Ironically enough Kimberly approached Hannah years later at the end of their school time together. It was at a graduation party and Kimberly had come up to Hannah and asked if she could have a word in private. The two had gone outside for a cigarette and Kimberly had apologized for the hurtfull comments on that day and for starting rumors that had greatly ruined Hannah's school years.

”Look Im sorry” Kimberly's voice rang through Hannah's head. Her first great love and her first great tumble down from that peak of emotions. She could picture how her former crush's eyes welled up and tears streamed down her face while her voice was breaking.

”Its okay.. Really....” Hannah had said. A lie that had seemed uncomfortable but Kimberly seemed sincere in her apology.

”I love you Hannah I really do..... Maybe...”

”Maybe what?”

”Maybe you can give me another chance? I wasnt ready then, I am now” Hannah felt the surge of energy come back to her as she recalled her answer. Even though Kimberly had been sincere and Hannah could have easily done something nasty to her, have sex with her and dump her the following day. But that had never been Hannah, not now not then.

”Kimberly... Youre sweet, but I dont think it'll work out”

”But Hannah” She remembered how Kimberly had leaned in and grabbed Hannahs face, pressing their lips together in a desperate attempt to invoke the feelings of so long ago. Yet it was to no avail and Hannah had left the party in a bad mood.

The memory burned for a while in Hannahs mind. It seemed that theese days all they were was memories. Memories of a life long lost, a life that they all wanted to get back to, yet they had adapted to the new ways of life in the wasteland and she wondered whether any of them could return to their former lives. They might want to, but the realities were different. Once a killer, always a killer.

”You alright girl?” Terrence brought her back to reality once again. Her mind seemed to prefer drifting theese days.

”Yeah sorry... Kind of spacing out” she said while stretching. Her body was aching, the long night and the wound didnt exactly help her energy level. She changed position so that her head was lying in Terrence's lap. She looked at him while gently nodding off. Her eyelids felt heavier by the second and she needed to rest soon. Terrence gently stroked her hair and let her embrace sleep.

”So Terrence” Aurora said while leaning forwards, holding on to the bottle of wine by the neck with the delicate touch of a few fingers.

”Its nice to think that in all of this... craziness... You and her just seemed to hit it off” She said then taking a sip of the bottle. She handed it to Terrence who grabbed it and pressed the mouth against his lips. The sweet and sour drink removed the burdens of the world by every sip.

”Yeah, its crazy to think that its all sort of... just happened” He said.

”I know what you mean, I was thinking I was stuck with the two brothers, but then we met April and her son”

”Hows he....” Terrence said yet knowing that he had already asked that question. He was half wishing a more realistic answer this time, something different than the old ”he's fine”. Aurora seemed thoughtful for a minute. He handed her the wine back.

”Well... He seems to not let it get on his nerves, he seems sort of untouched by all of this”
”But how is he really?”

”Well” Aurora looked at her feet before looking Terrence in the eyes. Her eyes were misty and reddening. ”I dont know what to tell you. All of this shit will put its mark on such an impressionable mind. For gods sake he's a kid. I cant begin to imagine all the things that is going through his head. All of this insanity he sees everyday. It was really bad before we got here” Aurora dried off her eyes. Terrence grabbed a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and lit one. Now seemed like a perfect time for some extra relief. Aurora reached for the pack and grabbed one.

”You smoke?” He said curiously.

”No... Only in sort of tight spots, gave it up when I became a nurse, it doesnt go well with the whole message of health and personal well being to pulse away on theese innocent looking cancer sticks” She laughed a somewhat strained laughter. Terrence handed her the lighter. Hannah grunted abit but didnt seem to wake up.

”All this stuff... I wonder, I mean before Hannah I didnt know what to do. Just stayed in my birthplace and kept doing what Ive always done. She took me away from that place and into some bad stuff” Terrence looked off into the distance while the realities slowly dawned on him.

”You angry at her for that?”

”In a strange way I felt my life was better before she came along, Ive never been much for the whole relationship thing and I've never been known to travel anywhere but our old cabin up in the mountains. But somehow I feel relieved that she just took me by surprise. This whole thing is surreal enough as it is and then she just.... Blows my mind”

”Yeah, April was the same, just holding her own in an old abandoned villa down south, then we came around. The boys always say we liberated her, but somehow I feel like she was better off before we came along”

”She does seem like a good parent for that kid, if anyone can survive in this mess and still keep a sense of purpose and humanity it'll be her” Terrence took another sip of wine. The bottle was almost at an end.

”You should have seen it before we got here. It was a mess, we drove into this city a while back and it was just crawling with thoose things. Christian and Rick really pulled their own. Its where we met Diego”

”Is this the same size group as always?” Terrence looked Aurora straight in the eyes. She sighed slightly.

”Fortunately we have never lost anyone, we've crossed paths with other groups but we all had conflicting goals. Or so I tell myself”

”What is your goal in all of this?” Terrence scratched his face. He needed to shave.

”Christian and Rick are the ring leaders. At first we were just trying to get some distance between us and the south. It was really bad down there. Then we got here and now our goal is to stay put and rebuild I guess. And youre gonna go to that Union City place?” She took the last drops of wine and sat the bottle down on the porch.

”Yeah. Its Hannahs idea, Im just here to help out any way I can”

”Its a good plan. God knows I dont want to sit here for the rest of my life” She yawned and stretched her arms. It wasnt particularily late but theese days seemed endless.

”You should come, all of you”

”We just might Terrence, all I know is that I'm gonna go and sleep now” She looked at her watch ”God its only 8pm, Im getting old” She laughed.

”Well Im gonna get Hannah into bed and then probably sleep aswell. Thanks for the talk, I appreciate it” He gently lifted Hannahs head and stood up slowly. She didnt wake up and he carefully lifted her up into her arms. Aurora sat in the chair and looked at the two, a big smile on her face.

”Dont mention it. I might take you up on your offer” She said while peering off to the side. Terrence smiled at her and slowly walked with Hannah in his arms into the house. It had been a long day for all of them.

Her heart was beating a million miles an hour. She felt how her skin became more and more numb, as if someone had administered powerful sedatives. Her legs were stiff and hard to move as she attempted to shamble down the stairs. She could hear them in the kitchen, in the living room. She heard how Aurora and Terrence were talking, no doubt she was trying to steal him away from her, she heard April and Gabriel chat, it all seemed so close yet so distant. She looked down on her arms, her veins were blackened, no doubt from the pollution of her blood from the wound, she could hear herself grunting as she shambled into the hallway on her way to the kitchen. Aurora noticed her right away, with a high pitched scream she took a step backwards and grabbed unto a kitchen knife, Terrence turned around but it was too late. Hannah clasped her arms around her lover and kissed his neck furiously. She felt her teeth sink into his neck and the warmth of his blood flowing freely and caressing her tongue.

Dawn had come and gone when Hannah awoke. She was slowly waking up and tried mustering the strength to sit up straight. She leaned on her damaged arm but instantly lost the support from it as a burning pain and utter lack of strength became apparent. Her arm needed more time to rest before she would make a full recovery. The dream of her biting into Terrence was still fresh in her mind in the way a dream tends to settle. Flash images wrapped in mist plagued her mind and the more aware she became the more the dream became disturbingly more detailed.

She sat up in the bed and grabbed her clothes. She desperately needed to get new clothes, one of many luxuries she now realized to have taken for granted previously. In the ”old world” it would have been a simple matter of ordering something online, you didnt even have to leave your home. In this world it was not as much a question of how patient can you be before the mailman arrives with your package. Its a question of whether or not the mailman was a stiff and would attempt to gnaw your face off. She laughed at the thought. So bizarre to sit here and joke about the realities of life, but it seemed fitting to hang on to the last shreds of humanity, just for now. She already qualified as a mass murder and despite the fact that the rules had changed it still seemed abit arrogant to rule over life like that, or unlife.

”Hannah you up yet?” Auroras voice came from the other side of the closed door. Hannah grabbed her clothes off the floor. With a tired look in her eyes and a voice that was still reving its engine she responded.

”Yeah.. Ill only be a minute”

”Okay... The boys are leaving soon so I thought you might want to go say goodbye to them”

Hannah froze for a minute. Goodbye? What was that supposed to mean? Would she see Terrence again, was he leaving for good, or was it just a painfull reminder that in this day and age humanity were fighting for survival, and you might have people to care about one minute, but one wrong move and they would be buried under a vast horde of the non-living. Hannah gushed as she got up to open the door. She was met by Auroras warm face and a smile that doused the fires of anxiety inside of her.

”Where are they off to?” She asked in a hushed tone.

”The other farm, remember, they talked about it last night”

Hannah immediately woke up, her mind completely clear. The farm, ofcourse, she remembered.

”Oh yeah... I'll come down with you and say goodbye”

Aurora took a few steps back and Hannah stepped out into the hallway, she was still abit groggy after sleeping and somewhat aware of what was real and what was fragments of her dreams hanging on inside of her. An unearthly feeling hung in her bones, a feeling of being awake on the primal level, registering other people, the need for food and being able to move, but beyond that her mind was still firmly locked away in the dreamscapes. She yawned and staggered into the hallway. Aurora put her hand on Hannahs back and the two of them walked down the stairs. It was apparent that Hannah was very much still asleep somewhat and Aurora felt the need to support the young woman down the stairs as to prevent her from coming to further harm on herself.

”We need to look at your arm” Aurora said softly. Hannah muttered an acknowledging reply. She hadnt felt this way in a long time, so groggy and so out of touch with reality. It used to happen alot when she was really ill, she would wake up and spend the first hour of any day staring into the wall while smoking cigarette after cigarette. She felt it now, the ravenous hunger for caffeine and nicotine. She could feel her stomach twisting and every fiber of her being pulling back. Her skin felt tighter than usual and it was no doubt due to the massive wound on her arm and it being in the proces of healing itself. They reached the bottom of the stairs and the urge to smoke grew into a full blown state of nausea, anxiety was rearing its ugly head. She quickly dashed to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Etiquette and proper behaviour had gone out the window at this point. Terrence was in the kitchen doing the dishes with April, he put down a clean plate and walked over to Hannah.

”Morning you” He hugged her. She quickly got loose of the hug and smiled back at him. His warm embrace was always welcome but at this minute all she could think about was getting some relief in her system. She took out a soda and was about to turn around. Terrence looked at her, he seemed to understand that this was just one of the many ways that Hannah acted in a stressed situation, though it seemed like there was no stress at all in the comfort of the farm house. She looked at him with an apolagetic smile.

”Im fine, just really need some air” she said under her breath. Terrence squeezed her arm softly and let her be on her way.

She stood still on the porch. Counting to herself. 1 2 3 4... 1 2 3 4.... For each count she took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, just like she had been taught to do. It eased the tension abit and the big moutfuls of oxygene made her body relax. 1 2 3 4... She sat down with the soda and lit a cigarette. ”Get a grip Hannah” the thoughts seemed alien, something from a past she had hoped to leave behind in New Nottingham. She was better than this, breaking down whenever things didnt go her way. The cigarette helped her relax, an oddity as nicotine would excite the system and make you more restless, however the pulsating glow of the ember at the tip, slowly eating away at the filter and tobacco, the puff of smoke when she exhaled, the slight warmth and tingling sensation from smoke filling her lungs, it was all part of a ritual of the past. She sighed and leaned back into the chair, as the last remnants of the panic attack lost its grip on her and faded away with the smoke, rising into the air and dissapearing entirely seconds later. ”Youre safe”.

”Hey girl, you want some breakfast ?” Terrence had popped his head out onto the porch. He smiled at her as she sat there enjoying herself.

”I wouldnt want you to cook me up something now, Ill get around to it myself” She said and smiled back at him. The strong man in front of her chuckled and scratched his now non existent beard.

”You shaved?” She said again.

”Yeah, Christian had a bunch of razors so I borrowed one, looks good dont it?” He walked over to a vacant chair and sat down. She grabbed his arm and caressed it softly, tilted her head to the side and pulled a leg up to rest on her seat. Terrence pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and lit one.

”So me and the guys are gonna go over to that other farm today” His voice had shifted to a more serious tone.

”Yeah dont remind me” She said. The thought made her uneasy.

”It'll be quick, they say there arent any stiffs around these parts”

"And the one in the woods ?"

"I dont know, freak occurrence" He smiled at her, the smile that she loved, yet there was a sense of doubt that distorted the loving gesture.

”Just promise me to be safe” She stroked his arm with her hand. The warmth of his body put her mind at ease somewhat. The strong man to her side, the way she had always wanted it. His smile set her ablaze and a vast myriad of butterflies seemed to simultaneously flap their wings inside of her. He wasnt like anyone else she had ever been with. For one he was a proper adult, secondly he was strong, muscular and a working man, used to tending the fields and repairing heavy machinery no doubt. When she thought about it all it seemed odd, out of place, rather uncommon, for her to fall head over heels in love with anyone was an amazing feat for the person she fell for, but to feel this strongly about anyone, the thought frightened her. What if she would loose him? A rather real possibilty in this world gone mad, she couldnt bear the thought and quickly tried to forget about it.

”I will, you know I will” He spoke in a soft tone. She was calm, though she knew that his promise would do nothing to keep him safe in the event that the farm got swarmed.

”I dont know why you wouldnt be, but it just bugs me” She stretched her body backwards, the aftermath of a night spent tossing and turning still plagued her, body wrecked by not getting the necessary sleep, something she could never get used to, the days of comfortable uninterrupted sleep were gone and replaced by feverish nightmares of limbs being torn from bodies and the walking dead, the dead, the ever present threat that loomed over them at all times, it wasnt far off even, a wrong turn down an alley could be more fatal than before. Used to be that fear of rape was on her mind, even though she didnt think so herself she had come to understand that men found her attractive, attractive enough that her mere presence would inspire a man, caught in a drunken stupor, to try and cling to her like his life depended on it. It had happened before, the parties back in school and the odd social gatherings she was invited to. There was always someone who couldnt keep his intensions pure. Hannah cringed as she thought about a particular occurrence a few years back.

It had been a regular party, or regular for anyone but her. There had been a charming young man, his name was Erik or something along those lines, no doubt an exchange student or just a verbal pariah whose english lessons had not done him any good. He had been the smooth talker all night, riding high on his European looks and heavy accent, the girls had swooned, but as is the case with many men, he did not crave the fruit which he could so easily pick, instead he had turned his attention to Hannah, who had gone to the party with intent to drink herself to an early grave. It was in the start of her decline and thoughts of a suicidal nature kept creeping into her mind. Drinking was a cure for the malevolent thoughts and if there was one thing that she knew how to, it was to drink, fast, in plentitude and more than likely in a way that most would find unnattractive. She hadnt a care in the world as appealing to men was the least of her worries, numbing the senselessness of her life was the primary goal that night.

Erik had been suave in his first advance. Calmly walking across the room, chatting up the it girls on his path that was doomed from the start. He had tried to catch Hannahs eyes as she periodically scanned the room. Unfortunately, for her, at one point they had connected and the desperate foreigner had advanced more aggressively across the battlefield that is a late teen party. He had sat down with a bump next to her, no doubt too drunk to gauge the speed at which he sat down with. Hannah had been somewhat drunk, but a nasty side effect of dousing ones pain with alcohol was the resistances one was bound to accumulate.

"So... You come here often?" He had said while leaning towards her, his head nestled against his shoulder and his arm extended, smoothly, behind Hannahs head.

"No" she had said. Best not to give him any hopes right off the bat as he would no doubt take any sign of friendlyness as an acknowledgment of his efforts. The standard issue pick up line had made it even more easy for her to decline him in such a cold manner, but she had had trouble not laughing.

"I'm Erik..." he had said "Listen.. I dont say this to just everyone, but you have the sort of eyes that just enve.... envlelo... takes a man away to a better place"

Hannah chuckled. Really? Was this how it was gonna go down, a man that tried chatting up a girl with the skill of a monkey and english skills so poor that he would have probably have had to redo the fourth grade a dozen times.

"What are you laughing at babe?" Erik started gently touching her hair in a way that he probably deemed sensual. Hannah had always had an issue with the whole hair touching thing, she was proud of her well kept long brown hair and it went through rigourous routines each day to keep it fresh and alive. But the comment and the hair touching was all too much for her drunken self to take. She tried to contain the laughter but it burst out of her like vomit was bursting out of the "too drunk to fuck" teenagers in the garden.

"Whats so funny?" Erik said, he had withdrawn his hand, possibly a sign that this prowler would go on to seek new prey ?

"You obviously dont know me" Hannah said while looking him in the eyes with fierce intensity. In her days of being in poor mental condition she had often resorted to playing along with these kinds of games, especially when alcohol was involved.

"I know youre hot" Erik's pathetic attempts were unrelenting.

"Listen, dude, its not because I dont like you or anything..." Hannah leaned closer towards him, held her hand around his neck softly and approached his ear. Erik had responded by resting his hand on her thigh, a bit too close for comfort. Hannah softly whispered into his ear. "I just plain dont like you, get your hand off my thigh and go have fun"

She then retracted with haste and grabbed her beer. Erik sat in the couch looking at her like she had deeply hurt his pride. After all this was the token foreign person, the one that was guaranteed his fair share of easy bimbos that would bent over for anyone that sounded exotic.

"But babe..:" Erik complained but Hannah had already made her exit. She had gone out through the sliding glass doors and into the garden, she needed air and she needed a cigarette. Much to her dismay her packet was empty and that usually meant that the night was at an end, the nearest gas station was close to her appartment so better to go home and talk to Invocator as he was always online at this hour, he no doubt had interesting insights to share about the latest development on some over hyped game, or perhaps a funny anecdote about a concert he had gone to.

She gazed around the garden, in the far off corner a girl was sitting with her back to the fence and her legs spread far open, no doubt in order to unobstructedly spew the cumulative contents of tonights consumed beverages unto the grass, a little parting gift to the parents who were unaware of a party being held in their home. She crumbled the empty packet and threw it on the ground, best to just leave now, her friends were no doubt locked in a heated discussion about the finer points of the works of Isac Aasimov or the many many meanings of Blade Runner. The minute she spun around to face the door she heard it slide to a close. In the garden was a familiar face, and not the face she had hoped to see. Erik stood with a half empty pack of cigarettes in his hand, gesturing to Hannah to take one.

"A peace offering" He said softly. Hannah looked at him suspicously, but ended with taking a cigarette, she lit it and took a deep breath, continuing her examination of the dark garden.

"Look Im sorry about that before" Erik said. His demeanor seemed to have changed somewhat, not the over confident foreigner from before.

"Its allright.... I dont respond well to people making passes at me"

"Look... I find you... pretty and I wanted to tell you....."
"Aww... Well call me flattered, but look I have to go"

Erik came closer to her, he was calm and collected and just stood beside her.

"In sweden we have a saying" he said "the eyes of a pretty lady is like the stars in the sky"

"Do they really say that ?"

"No... I made it up... But I mean it... You want to go sit on the grass for a minute?"

Hannah sighed, it wasnt the plan but she might aswell humor him if it made the fool happy. They made their way into the garden and sat down. Hannah pulled off her zipped down hoodie and sat on it. Erik sat on the grass wet from the evening dew. It was the height of summer and the warm breeze was soothing.

"Can I..... No its dumb" He said. Hannah was intrigued, he probably wanted her number. The man who at first had come off as a blundering idiot now seemed a rather coherent and intelligent individual.

"No what?" She said

"Can I kiss you?" He said while leaning inwards. Hannah had half expected it, but wasnt in the mood to raise his hopes too far, a phone number had been easier, that way she could ignore his calls and he would have to go back to sweden eventually.

"Im sorry Erik but..." Erik planted a kiss on her cheek. The grabbed her head and forced another kiss unto her lips. Hannah tried pushing him away but apparently he spent a lot of time working out. He kissed her again and again, each kiss more vicious and ferocious than the other. He dragged himself closer to her and put his full weight unto her, pinning her and slowly laying her down. Hannah tried screaming but his kisses were unrelenting. When he finally stopped he took a firm hold of her neck and squeezed. She felt her neck tighten and tried hard to gasp for air. He was half choking her, enough to disable her ability to cry for help, enough that she could breathe.

"Noone rejects me" he said while thrusting his hand down her stomach and towards her pelvis. She instantly regretted the decision to wear a skirt that night. His fingers achieved contact with her pelvis and he quickly dragged her panties aside and proceeded to stick his fingers inside of her. Hannah was beating him in his head and on his back, but the burly swede seemed not to care, he instead climbed on top of her and whipped out his member, then proceeded to mount her. Hannahs mind was racing, this night has escalated into something she couldnt handle and tears were streaming down her face. The grunting of the man raping her would be seared into her mind for always and ever. Suddenly Erik stopped and pulled out. He looked at her with a devilish grin and she understood what was about to happen. Without any sort of preparation he thrust his penis into her ass and proceeded to grunt and huff while still asphyxiating her gently. The pain was excruciating. Hannahs sexual endeavours until that day could be counted on a single hand and she had never in her wildest dreams thought this would happen to her. She cried and tried kicking and beating her way out of the grapple, but for each move she made, Erik tightened the grip on her throat signifying that all effort was futile, he was hellbent on having his way with her. The grunts became more insisting and he was making weird noises.

"Oh Im almost there" He said as he licked Hannahs neck. Nausea started developing in her stomach. She needed a way out, but there was no escape. She tilted her head to the side and saw how the party had turned their backs to the display in the garden, a young blonde girl with an alcoholic soda in her hand was closing the blinds. She looked at Hannah, eye contact was made, but yet the girl kept shutting the blinds, apparently this was the sort of thing that were bound to happen, perhaps they even thought that Hannah was in on the fun. Erik caught her glare and peered at the windows. He laughed mockingly at his victim and pulled out of her.

"That will make this next bit easier" he said. He laid on his back, his penis still out. Then with a firm grip still around Hannahs neck and another one pulling at her hair he motioned for her to put it in her mouth. She refused but his stranglehold became stronger than ever. She felt as though her windpipe was cracking and rather than arguing she did as she was told.

"Youre a good girl, I think you like it" Erik said while moving her head up and down rapidly. He thrust his member far down her throat and a flood of saliva and muckus spilled all over it. Hannah tried her best not to vomit, he would probably kill her if she did and she fancied living, albeit now with a seriously scarred soul, but still living was prefered to dying. He kept thrusting her head back and forth and as he came closer to climax his grip around her neck loosened. He pulled her head back and then for one final time that night, thrust it down her throat. Apparently this was the deceisive moment and his grip loosened completely as he exhaled and exclaimed his joy. A load of gooey, poor tasting gunk assaulted her throat and she quickly decided upon a course of action. With Eriks hands completely off of her she slit the penis into her mouth again.

"Oh you want more" he said while laughing. But the laughter died as Hannah locked her jaws around his manhood and unveiled her teeth. She sank them as far into the thing as she could, the taste of blood touched her tongue and she quickly pulled her head back, teeth still firmly locked around the cock. Erik screamed and cried, the pain seemed excrutiating.

"You fucking bitch" he yelled and grabbed his wounded pride. Hannah quickly stood up and firmly let her foot ascend unto his testicles. Another scream of utter pain was heard from the swede. Hannah did not want to be there for the aftermath. She quickly took her hoodie and instead of going back inside the house she went along it, up the driveway and unto the street, homebound.

The thought of the incident sent shivers down her spine. She looked past Terrence unto the yard before turning her attention back to him. A quick reset was just what she needed. His broad smile still seemed ruined by the doubt on his mind. He had to know how uncomfortable it made her feel, to know that he might not return. It was how they died in movies, it was always a routine mission that went horribly awry.

"Ill be right back, dont worry about it, really its nothing" Terrence said, another attempt at soothing her.

"I know, you should probably go" She nodded towards the assembly in the yard. Christian, Rick and Diego were rearing to go, patiently, some more than others, watching the two lovers say their goodbyes. Terrence nodded at them and kissed Hannah deeply.

"See you when I get back" he said before getting up and leaving her on the porch. She could hear him chat to the guys as they all got in the truck but their voices seemed distant, she didnt care to listen, instead she focused on her cigarette, slow and small drags, the ember pulsating with each one. The truck drove off down the long driveway leading up to their little utopia, Hannah leaned back in her seat and listened, she couldnt hear anything, a blissfull feeling.


© Copyright 2020 KasperHorndrup. All rights reserved.

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