You can’t be serious. Are you fucking kidding me? No. No NONO NO!! "YOU FUCK!" Pent up rage flourished over Rory as he watched the man walk out of the room, leaving him there once again.. with little options. “COME BACK HERE! COMe BAcK!” He was gone. That, Rory was sure of. Rory pushed himself onto his back, gritting his teeth in pain. Even deep breathing was heavy and hurt like no fucking tomorrow, but he couldn’t just lie there forever, and the pain wasn’t going to go away the longer he waited.
He had two options now. Play the game, or break the game. Break the game. If he were to try to get both the Med-X and the key, it would take incredibly careful consideration.. and precise movement and timing. One fuck up would seal his fate entirely.. and it wasn’t worth the risk. So play the game he would.
The sky was boiling again.
It was very annoying, it needed to stop. but looking up she could see the curves and bubbling of the surface of the world, clouding getting sucked into the flashes. very unseemly.
she/it/her/was walked along the broken concrete of the street. In her hands was a wooden board she’d wrenched from a pile of ruble. She could smell sap from it, it stained her hands with sickly sweet scent (so stupid so sinful sow). Shouldn’t smell sap, but the smell was on her now.
She stopped beside a building where a trail of men’s boot prints burned in the dust, the edges lit with fire by her sensors. It was intended to point them out instead in scorched her eyes with its slow strong sour burn. The bootprints walked outward, but there was someone inside. She could hear them. They were laughing. Franticly. For a splintering moment she thought it was in her head, but that laughter there was never frantic, and this new one did not sound cruel.
Four houses standing in the road by the church. Sharpened shovel split the tendons of the knee for the one with the dancing cylinders first before it could bite into into her dust caked skin. The dancing cylinders were rescued from the house’s hands and twirled in her own until they spent the last of their breath in the houseface. The other houses had raced so she retrieved her shovel and hit there there there and another house broke apart in shambles. The codes her father’s gift took over from her lifting her from angry spittle spewing thought and danced of her its own accord and she could see herself dancing too both trapped and free and once under their accord truth was freedom once more oh that old lie yes please this one more time.
Back to resemblance as one dug its own hammer into the rubble inches from her (could feel the air from its hollow) and she jumped upon the hammer onto its arm and up to its back and dug her own shovel into him between cervicals just so. Insert blade between C1 and C2 and crack. Jump off the tumbling house and smash the windows to kill the light.
That left the fourth house that smacked her with a wooden board. Rather than be thrown aside by the force she took the hug for what it was and grabbed the house’s wrist in thanks, then pulled the ring from the pack of lemonades on its side, flying aside as the insulation burst out from the side. The house had fallen over but was still intact, clutching at the leg and moaning. Her shovel ended it at the neck.
She looked on and the surges throughout her died down now that the immediate threat and ended and the water subsided, and she saw the houses as they were: human once. People that had been stretched and extorted and insulated while awake while screaming and then
filled packed BURSTING with things that weren’t them. Ragepainferocityhungerfirefirefirebloodlustsimpleness things until the people weren’t people they were just houses. Their living corpses. Now dead corpses. But they were still stretched out into forms that they hadn’t wanted.
She sat down next to the house-once-a-person and took its head in her arms. Placed her own forehead on its own. I’m sorry, she cried. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m so sorry, she wept.
She was there for a very long time, and mourned each of them the houses-once-people. Maybe still people. But then she got up, got her shovel and began to dig. Graves for the people-once-houses. Graves for the houses too. I’m sorry. Because truth isn’t freedom: it’s its own cage.
and you were stupid artemis for ever thinking so.
memories were tricky, like trying to catch specks of dust in your hand
she wasn’t sure how she came here. she remembered leaving the woods when she found light and cold air and the unspoken seam where the trees broke forth into dead and empty grass. she remember finding cement ruins of buildings that were now nothing more than rocks bursting up from earth. there were bodies and bones and nothing new. in her hand was a long black shovel; she wasn’t sure where it had come from. perhaps she had been born with it.
she could see the city ahead, looming beyond. the obelisk lingered over them all, the spire a monument to a long forgotten god. she trembled on, bare feet treading broken earth. the shovel dragged behind her, each pebble and scattered touch of earth echoed in its metal cave (itsthereitsthereitshereitshere). above the sky was blanketed in a faded piss-yellow crumpled sheet of clouds that threatened to swallow her whole with its emptiness like a drop of water losing itself into the sea. her throat was cold.
two men saw her approach and approached in turn with the song hey sweetheart wanta play and the shovel flew, its sharp edge slicing the one’s neck. before the other could grasp the sight her arm (the shovel as much part of it as her own hand) struck a blow that crushed his chest. he lay on the ground gasping in air that enter both through throat and punctured lungs for a couple seconds.
she watched his signals trickle than crumple into themselves before dispersing and fly away. she stood, watching the empty vessels before setting the shovel to work again. two holes, seven feet long, two feet wide, six feet deep. then she was done and continued forth in her unhallowed pilgrimage, into the new wilds man had made and laid waste. she had been to this place Before, when she still had a name.
and so she lumbered on, slouching towards bethlehem.
I AM STRONGER
I say, to m y s e l f
as I try not to break
a p a r t