Reads: 211

 

The sun is rising up from behind Kirk, the yellow slowly peaking through the gaps in the buildings. The group has finally shut up, over the past few days I've just wanted to escape the endless moaning and groaning of them. My feet move heavily beneath me but my eyes are fixed. I want to run straight for the city, breathe it's air, feel it's heart beat and listen to the under-working hum of the streets.

 

But this heat has drained me, all the days spent in this oven has caused even the very air in my lungs to ache. All I can do is stagger forward next to these dusty tracks.

 

“Hello.” Alex says in a curious voice, appearing beside me. I look ahead and I see why he's curious. The railway station in front of me has it's storm doors open and more than that I can see a man,

“Hello!” Alex shouts, “Hello!” he shouts louder. The man turns and I hear him call,

“Dave? Is that you? Have you found them?”

“This isn't Dave and found who?”

“The missing college students”

I open my mouth and try to shout but my voice wheezes and I cough violently. Alex puts a hand lightly on my back and I feel myself start to tilt forwards.

“Who are you?” I hear the man call as he starts coming towards us.

“That doesn't matter and yes, yes I have the students” Alex calls. I bend forwards more and feel Alex's grip tighten on me. I hear voices coming towards me, they pass me and they all collide into one voice. I can't tell who's voice is who's, I feel my lungs move heavily in my chest as the air wheezes in and out.

I can feel myself being led forwards, voices grow louder and I can neither see nor hear individuals now. A familiar feeling finds itself beneath my feet, the train travels smoothly and I know we are heading for the hospital. Heavy breathing passes by my ears and people brush past me.

I feel several people help me down onto a bed. I hear a muffled conversation going on between who I think is Alexander and a nurse, but I'm not sure. People move in front of me, several people touch my hands and I feel sleep wrapping around me.

 

“Kai?” It's Alex. As the blanket of sleep lifts off me I feel Alex standing in front of me. I pause for a moment, I feel refreshed, awake, alert and focused.

“I need to get to the Rock” I say. I stand and step towards Alex, I feel his warmth as he comes forward. Ouch.

“Hey, slow down.” Alex says as I feel something fall out of my arm.

“No. Get off me. I need to get to the Rock.” I push past him and start walking forwards. It's harder than I imagine, my legs are stiff and heavy. I pass people, bumping into some and I can hear Alex apologising to them behind me. As I make my way through the hospital, I become aware of the endless blackness as I search for a way out onto the street.

“Kai. Kai. Slow down.” I don't listen to Alex. There, yellow. I stagger towards the open door, half running, half walking.

“Kai!”

 

I take a deep breath. I feel the heat on my face, the air in my lungs, the voice calling me to the Rock.

“Kai.” Alex takes my arm. I shove him off, turning I see it. The wall of dry shrubs rising above all the buildings. I walk quickly towards it.

 

Soon I near the edge of the rock. I stop and look up searching for a way in,

“Kai!” Alex shouts from behind me. I don't reply, “Kai.” he pauses as he catches his breath, “you know you won't be able to scale the walls.” I turn a fraction towards him. “You might want to try looking inside.” I hear the slight sarcasm in his voice but keep listening, “I've read of a way into the monarch's palace, the slave families and them were the only ones who knew a way in”

“So a secret door?”

“That was invisible to the rest of the blind population. Yes. That would be my guess.”

“So it would be under the rock somewhere?”

“Somewhere.” I turn and walk under the rock, I follow it round as we circle the oasis. The chatter around me doesn't fade as my sight starts to fail me.

“Alex I can't see.” I say as I begin to panic.

“Don't worry” Alex's words strangely enfold me just like they had done in the blackness of the desert.

“Alex” I move my eyes and the darkness seems to part as people pass before me. “I can see them.”

“Night-vision, takes a bit of getting use to.” Alex whispers over my ear.

“What are we seeing for?”

“Looking for. To see is to perceive with eyes but to look is to direct ones gaze in specific direction.”

“Fine. What are we looking for?”

“I'm not sure.” Alex replied, the voices start to dim as the people fade away.

“This door won't be different to the walls if the blind can't find it.” My mind starts churning out the possibilities before I finish the sentence.

“Except the families.”

“It could be anywhere under the Rock.”

“But there could be more than one entrance,” My pace slows.

“How do we know we have one and not just a wall?”

“I was thinking about that. They would have to have some sort of marking on the wall, my best guess is something in the paint I found in the ruins.” We walk on and the air starts to cool. It was getting later in the day. I keep my eyes fixed on the walls, “Here.”

“Where?” I turn to see Alex a fair way away with his hand against the wall.

“What is it?”

“The owl. It's hard to see in the blackness but it's clearly there.” I come to him and I have to look hard but I see it too, drawn onto the stone in the same substance that lies on the 2nd signs above the shops.

“Handle? Where's the handle?”

“Blind. Remember.” I let out a disapproving groan, stand back and let Alex use his eyes. He squints and feels around the wall. “Ah, ha.” he jolts his hand, grunts as he pushes forwards and in a lengthened silence he smiles. “Got it.” The door slides silently to the side and yellow hits the floor.

 

I grin.

 

Finally.


Submitted: May 31, 2015

© Copyright 2022 SE Howie. All rights reserved.

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