Today's Five Word Wednesday story comes compliments of my friend Lea, who suggested a YA Post-Apocalypse scene. Here were her five words:
“Put the fire out.”
I shoot up from my seated position and kick dirt over the flames. Rebels haven’t been seen in this part of the state for months, but still my heart ricochets inside of my chest. I bend my ear to the woods, then back to Dell. “Anything?”
He stays silent a minute, then shakes his head. “No.” He stomps on top of the already dead fire and grabs our dinner. “Let’s get going anyway.”
Dell starts jogging, and I follow him out of the woods and back to the edge of town. The streets have been deserted since the war. It’s been seven years, and some buildings still stand here half crumbled, their rooms exposed like a girl caught undressing. Dell tosses one of our fish my way. I grab it, its skin not cold but not warm either. We’d been halfway through cooking them when Dell heard noise. I bite into the half cooked meat. Not exactly sushi. I choke the rest of it down in three bites. "How far until we get there?"
“A few more miles.”
Easily covered before nightfall. Maybe we’ll get some better dinner, though who knows what the people at the hub have. Crops sell at ridiculous prices now, meat even higher. I glance at Dell and his swift form and run faster. Do your best Caiden. You know you can go this I think to myself. Geez, it sounds like a cheesy inspirational quote, the kind my sister Nan and I found in an abandoned gift shop once and giggled over as we binged on two year old jelly beans we found in a display.
I’m part of the Net now, no longer a baby helping out in the kitchen at our village, but part of a network of runners, getting information from one point to another, like some twisted slow version of text messaging.
Dell slows to a walk. “We’ll have a few hours of extra time.” He turns to me, his eyebrow arched in an unspoken question. His breath is a nauseating mixture of lake water and the mint gum he chews all the time, the gum he bribes from girls at the hub in exchange for a romp behind the building. Gross.
I roll my eyes. “I’m with Ethan, Dell.”
He chuckles. “You sure you don’t wanna mix it up? It being the end of the world and all?”
I smile, despite myself. Dell’s sarcasm and humor make him easy to work with. But work is all I’m interested in.