The cold, hard ground felt like it had drawn every degree of warmth from my body, while sound pounded across my head, booming through the fresh air. Pain traced my eyelids as they opened, just like when I’d cried the entire night after coming home from a week of bliss with the woman I could no longer bear to think of.
A new day had started, the signs obvious in the chilled air, the sky brighter than when my head had first rested, exhausted to the cold ground. I looked around, taking in the narrow picture, but turning my head and body together I could get a full view despite the tyres and a thin spear of something hanging down near the front. Turning to the other end of the van, I saw a body, or what remained. Bone and ragged fatigues drenched a dark shade told me what lay by the rear. I hadn’t needed the reminder, the moments still as fresh as if they’d just happened.
Wandering feet, some with shoes, some not, hung around in the distance, but were few and far between. The noise still lumbered in the air, a pounding, rapid battery of pressure. A helicopter, I said to myself. Pleased my mind had jumped back on the track, pleased I’d woken to conscious thought and I’d found my groove despite my eyes drifting back to the body every other moment. I knew there was only one way to get past this and I fixed my eyes on the remains, listening to the sensations radiating from my head.
After a few moments I knew I didn’t feel guilt. This had not been my choice. She should have to bare the pain. The regret hers, not mine.
Pleased with my conclusion, I turned away from the skeleton, flitting back to the noise of the helicopter, but fixing on what stuck out from below the engine.
Crawling along the road on my elbows to the rhythm of the battered air, soon my eyes caught the long shape, the white of the bone stripped of flesh, only sinew remaining to hang like thick white hair. With my right hand I took hold, first noticing the blood streaked across my fingers, nails jagged and broken, then wondering at the lack of pain, the return of definition in my touch as I gripped tight. Face distorting with the effort, I felt the pull of something across my skin, but didn’t need a mirror to know what had dried, soaked into my pores.
With the bone removed, rattling to the road as it dropped, I rolled from under the van, my blood brimming with energy as I stood. I felt invigorated, could feel no pain, no aches, the cold air so refreshing as I pulled it deep into my lungs. My eyes caught on the helicopter, now a dot in the distance as it lowered, the sound shrinking as it fell behind the far away buildings. I smiled, dried flakes falling as it cracked on my skin, pleasure rising from my chest as I knew I hadn’t lost my cause. She was still mine for the taking, she still had to pay. Jordain just another victim of the crime I would make her account for.
Pulling my t-shirt over my head, the cold air sending shivers of sensation across my bare chest, I did my best to wipe my face, but I wasn’t hopeful, the t-shirt already too far from its original colour. The dead still paid no attention as I walked around the van and I stared, taking a moment to linger on the bare bones close up. The body stripped clean, fatigues shredded, the laden holster at his side. I dragged it away from the door. No need for Ryan to see what had happened. Kicking the holstered gun under the van, I pulled up the handle, the creatures around only taking notice as tapped a light request on the metal.
Ryan’s bleary-eyed reaction paused much less than I’d expected, his look going from my face, from my chest to beyond my shoulders, returned to lock eyes again, my breath stopping as he spoke through the crack.
“Do you feel better now?”
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Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.
Not read Season One? Here it is.