Thirteen days left

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short description and further impression of the strange, destroyed world our narrator lives in.

Submitted: February 22, 2010

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Submitted: February 22, 2010

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13 Days left
 
I slept restlessly that night. My dreams were dark and yet I could hardly make out what happened in them. I wake up to the first rays of sunlight, finding their way through the broken window. Trying to raise my head lightly I groan some when my entire body feels heavy and sore. My eyes scour the room for anything I might recognize. The walls are entirely empty, the paint blackened and burnt. In a corner I see my jeans and the few other clothes I was wearing. My hands trace across the rough woolen upside of the blanket I’m under, the very bed I’m in seeming to have come straight from a war.
 
Voices come what I make out to be a long hallway, followed by footsteps. A girl, no older than sixteen enters the room. Wearing simple farmer’s clothing and a cap backwards, her features are barely to be made out through the thick smears of dust and I think oil on her face. She barely gives me a look while she checks the previously unseen water on the worn nightstand next to the bed. Turning to me she proceeds to feel my temperature without the faintest sign of acknowledgement, yet I faintly recognize her touch from the moments, or hours after the explosion.
 
Her voice, far gentler than her actions make her seem, eventually breaks the silence. “How are you feeling?” I let myself fall back softly on the pillow, another faint groan escaping me. “Fine, who are you?” She eyes me for a moment with a perked eyebrow and then opens her left, so far unused hand. A small pill in it, she places it next to the water and leaves the room with only two words. “Take it.” A million questions race through my mind yet tiredness comes quickly. My vision turns to a blur as I try to reach out for the glass of water, without succes as I manage to push it off and hear it break on the ground with a faint bang. The last I notice is a pair of fingers pushing the pill into my mouth and some angry mumbling in the background before I pass out once more.
 
Slowly the pains fade away. When I wake up again the sun is low on the sky again as far as I can make out. My leg still feels heavy but the general stiffness is gone and I sit up, finding everything in the room the same as before. I lift the rough, thin blanket to find that my right leg is lightly wrapped in some old pieces of cloth before I manage to move my legs with some effort but little pain and sit up. Footsteps echo through the small doorway and the farmer’s clothes and their companion appear again, chewing idly on what appears to be a toothpick.
 
She crosses her arms and cocks her head in a most curious manner, eyes barely made out to be narrowed at me. A long silence follows, my sense of self awareness creeping over me. Just as I intend to break this pressing quiet, a deep voice comes from the hallway. “And?!” She continues to stare me down until at last: “How are you feeling?” she asks me in barely more than a whisper, yet perfectly audible. “What the..?” I think as I stare back, clearly confused.
 
“I eh.. Who are you? Where am I? Wha-..” She cuts me short by raising a hand in a stop-sign, head turned to the corridor and yelling back. “Awake an’ talkin’!” Another brief silence follows before a bag is thrown into the room, landing just before my feet. “Two days’ supplies an’ something to keep you goin’.” She says with a nod at my leg and her back already turned to me the moment after. “Wait!” I manage to utter, my confusion etched on my face.
 
“Who are you? What’s going on? Wh-..” I never get any further as she answers me quickly, hurriedly almost. “We saved your ass yesterday. Bag contains supplies for two days an’ a little something to make you feel better. We’re moving on.” With that she leaves while I stare at the wall, trying to make sense of it all. Slowly I pick up the bag and rummage through its contents without realizing what I see, hearing a door creak open somewhere in the building, to be slammed shut moments later. “Really gone then..”
 
Inside the bag I find a note, scribbled hastily.
 
We’ve gone already, we’re needed elsewhere.
The bag contains some food capsules
 and medication for your leg.
 You should be fine in a day or two.
Not that it’ll matter.
Remember us, as long as you can.
Make your peace.
 
“Why would they.. Help me..?” This question runs through my mind a thousand times as I eat some and with a fair bit of effort, manage to get clothed. My search through the house yields nothing but an idea of the surrounding area. A neighbourhood with single houses like the one I’m in, all burnt and some still smoldering I think. “I suppose one night I can manage here..”  I think to myself as I make sure my room is barricaded. They’ve left me an old, worn baseball bat it seems, or perhaps it just belonged to the house. Either way I take it, finding little comfort in its companionship.
 
The night is long and I wake up many times now, then because of my leg and the other times thinking I heard someone outside. Once I hear a scream, far off, and a gunshot right after. No crickets, only the cold wind and the moon to keep me company and I start to think. To wonder. “Who were they..? Where did they go? Where are you..?” Where is she.. A question I ask myself too often while I drift off.
 
The next morning I wake up to total silence and for a moment I wonder if I’ve gone deaf before the situation dawns on me. I think back to the previous days, too many questions unanswered and yet only one on my mind. I pack up my things, a quick and meager breakfast all I have before I turn to my thoughts again. “Alexroad..? No hmm.. Alex.. Alexton.. Road..? Lane..? No.. Alexton Avenue.. Yeah.. That must’ve been it.” And so I pick my destination.
 
Looking about me for a moment I realize my ponderings have taken me outside already and I turn to look upon my shelter. I smile for a moment, forgetting all the world’s pain as I remember the kindness I was shown by these strangers. Then I turn and slowly make my way, my leg still stiff and remotely sore, but the sun slowly climbing the sky reminds me that it’s not over. Yet. “So.. Off I go.”


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