Friday, August 1, 2014

Flash Fiction Friday #24 - Contessa

Pieces of Earth drifting into space. A scene Contessa was accustomed to, and yet still alarmed by. The sounds of war had died out, leaving in its place an eerie silence that she didn’t realize she had ever known. As the Dark Army fled, leaving Earth nearly uninhabitable and scorched by war and soaked in blood, Contessa struggled with a desire to stowaway on one of the Master Vet ships she had seen them leave on. It would have been a serendipitous opportunity to infiltrate the enemy ranks and possibly find a way of sabotaging them.

Instead, she decided to stay here on the planet she was birthed on. She knew there were pockets of people residing underground, in caves, and in some of the cities that were fortunate enough to still be standing after the war. She was uncertain as to whether or not she would join up with others. She had grown warm to the idea of being on her own. It made things easier. She had no family. Her mother, father, and sister died in the war. The only friend – rather acquaintance – she had lived in Akoron to the east.

Contessa stretched her arms into the air, her eyes scanning the valley below the cliff she sat on. Her thick black overcoat did its job of keeping her warm against the harsh wind that blew through the area. It was a wind that had appeared once the war ended days earlier, and hadn’t quit since then. She rubbed her gloved hands across her thighs, grateful for the long pants she had been able to scavenge out of a nearby shack. The two corpses she found in the shack had died in each other’s arms in the bed of the master room. The pants had been covered in light blotches of blood, but running water in the shack’s bathtub allowed Contessa to wash them as clean as they would ever be in this post-war world.

A white blur crossed the dark sky in front of her. She let out a relieved sigh and put her arm out as the white dove fluttered to her and landed on her wrist. The bird’s blue eyes always alarmed her with their vibrancy. She took the small scroll from the carrier case around the bird’s neck and flicked her wrist, sending the bird off on its way back to Akoron.

Before reading the note, Contessa stared out at the valley once more, her spirit screaming at her, scolding her for not hitching a ride on one of the Dark Army’s ships. If she had done so, she could have found out where they had gone to after destroying her precious planet. Instead, she decided to stay grounded on Earth, grounded on a scorched planet that was as barren as her own womb.

She unfurled the small scroll: Akoron has fallen due to civil war. We are heading to Eradi to the west. See you there.

Contessa sighed and stared up into the dark sky. If the Dark Army hadn’t already destroyed everything, now the rest of humanity had to begin bickering and arguing with one another over the crumbs. It was pathetic. Too pathetic.

She dropped the scroll over the edge of the cliff and watched as it coasted downward into darkness and vanished. Loner it is, she thought. Loner it is.

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