Alone Together

Cover Image

Gross. Her nails were dirty again. She had just bathed a week ago and already they were grimy and disgusting. There wouldn't be enough clean water to bathe for another month at least, so they were just going to stay that way. It shouldn't bother her really, considering...everything. But it did. She had cut her hair off only because she was still vain enough to be tired of it looking so unkempt. Besides, she liked the short cut; strangers they met were too thrown off to make assumptions or worse, advances.

The sun was setting gloriously in a tidal wave of vermilions, burnt oranges and lime greens. Even if it wasn't natural, it was beautiful, so that was a comfort. "Where is he?" she muttered, viciously stabbing a pocketknife into a dirty piece of styrofoam. It was terrible when he was gone this long. But supplies were hard to come by these days. She needed to protect her feet and her boots were worn through. The woods were still and silent, not even a breeze to make what was left of the trunks creak like they should. Occasionally she'd see a beetle marching across the dirt. Occasionally a group of scrawny ravens would burst out cackling and fighting over an overly exposed bug.

She turned away and watched the sunset, fear bubbling in her stomach. She could feel the cold gaze of the crows. "I'm not dead yet, you bastards." Knuckles white, the girl tried not to look ahead, just kept her back to the cold rock. Finally, just before it grew dark, he appeared on the edge of the clearing. A flood of relief swept across her, as cooling as the wind. He was smiling and waving a pair of old tennis shoes in the air. "Got 'em!" He was smiling like an idiot.

She ran, barely remembering to grab her pack, and straight into his arms. He laughed and pulled her close. "We can go now."

Created: Feb 28, 2012


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