The Two Human Beings' Shadows Could Be Seen...

January 8, 2008
By Abby gnilletton, Ottawa, KS

The two human beings’ shadows could be seen on the sand. The suns rays seemed to be pulsing larger because of their brightness. As the scorching winds blew over the sand, it tumbled like a rolling wave.

The land was barren and devoid of life. That is, except for two human beings walking across the sand. Their shadows provided the only shade for miles, but the heat was not affecting them.

One of the humans slowly stopped walking. The other kept walking for a short bit before realizing that the other had stopped already. Looking back, the person asked what was wrong.

“This. This is wrong.” She started slowly. Her partner walked back towards her. Comfortingly, they put their hand on her shoulder.

“It isn’t wrong at all, Becca” He said. She looked away from him as she removed his arm. He took her chin in his hand and turned her upturned face towards his. “It isn’t our fault this is happening at all. We worked to stop it. But the will of two humans cannot stop fate.”

She shook her head free of his hand and started walking once more, forcing a smile. “Yes, yes, I know that… I just cannot stand leaving everyone we know so well back there.” As she talked she took a bright yellow hair band off of her wrist and used it to tie up her long red hair.

“So what could we have done?”

She paused, but only for a moment before continuing their trek. She understood his reasoning. He was very logical. She would get past that side of him.

“Isn’t there anyone you wish you could have saved from fate?” She asked softly, her dancing green eyes, slowly turning up to meet his shady black ones. “Isn’t there a single person that you feel didn’t deserve to live in a world so poisoned by the desires of the sinners?

“Everyone I could have wanted to know already does. I saved everyone I could have.” His voice sounded a wee bit choked, but when she looked up he was training his gaze to the horizon, and he was biting his lip.

Far into the distance, was a dot. A simple little dot on the horizon line. A split-second later the dot was the size of a two story house and was only an arm’s reach away. A woman clambered out of the round door on roof and jumped off. Two flips and a spin later, she was standing on the sand, having landed on her feet.

She bent down and lifted the right pant leg of her flowing denim capris. A Marushin - COP 357 was strapped to her leg. Our girl, Becca, looked up into the eyes of this woman. She had bleach blonde hair in her face, and her bright green tank top was very tight. Her hazel eyes looked bored. She must have done this before.

He was angry now. He grabbed Becca by the arm. What had he told her? To move out of the way if times got tough. Not to stand there and gawk at danger itself.

“Why are you here?” He asked the woman, his rage coating every word he said. He had a lot of other questions he would have liked to ask her, such as, ‘Why do you have a gun? Guns are outlawed to the general population.’ Or possibly, ‘Why do you have that vehicle? It’s authorized to the Government only.’

But he didn’t ask. What if she was a government official? He visually scanned her for any listening devices, recorders, or badges. None were visible. Should he question her? Should she apologize for his tone of voice? NO. He definitely shouldn’t.

“Well… I’m a hired assassin. Someone told me what to do, gave me the money…” She stopped talking for a moment as she unlatched the gun. She pointed it at his chest. “And here I am.” A playful smile danced across her face. She was enjoying this.

“Please don’t do this.” Becca said in a feathery voice. “All we did would be for nothing.” He looked back at her. How could she say that? He wanted to take her away, far out of the range of hurt. But he didn’t have to. The woman had such a look of pure confusion that he imagined her collapsing right then.

“Who are you people?” She asked. Her face was so contorted with emotion that it was hideous. Pity, anger, relief, confusion…

Calmly, he grasped Becca’s shoulder. In one quick motion, he pulled the loose hair band out of Becca’s hair. Her waist-length hair flowed down around her body. One half of her face was visible; her pale face covered in freckles looked haunted under the red gleam.

Recognition covered the woman’s face. “Becca and Bret. So nice to see the saviors of our poor, poor civilization from its terrible fate.” She laughed a bitter laugh, sending spit flying onto the faces.

Insulted, Bret moved towards the woman, but Becca grabbed his arm in hers. “Don’t.” She stood in front of him and looked straight into the woman’s eyes. “Maybe we’re wrong. Maybe we’re right. But if we’re right, then…” her voice trailed off, and more softly she started again, “Just humor us? Stay with us for a while, okay?”

This made the woman want to kill someone. They wanted her to join them. Those two crazy people all over the television. But, just like they said, what if you were right? “I’ll go with you just until I know. Then… if you’re wrong, I’m doing what I came here for.”

Becca smiled her sweet little smile, and grabbed Bret’s arm, bringing him with her. “Now let’s walk.” Calmly the two started walking. Maybe it was a minute’s hesitation, maybe it was only a second, but after a slight moment or so, she jogged up to join them.

“Where are we going? Why don’t we just take the Tsunami?”

Bret looked back casually. Shaking his head, he said, “This is just a way to waste time. And I’m expecting to meet someone. We designated an exact coordinate, and due to typical walking time, out paths will cross at approximately the exact same moment…” His voice grew softer as he pulled out a small black remote from the small pack he was wearing on his back.

As he pointed it to the ground and clicked a variety of buttons, thin green lines covered the ground as far as the eye could see. Out of the machine came a robotic voice that said their current coordinate, the distance from the desired coordinate, and the estimated walking time.

“Who did you get to come?” Becca asked, genuinely confused. He hadn’t said a word about anyone who actually agreed to join them.

“A couple unnamable people… nothing too big. But we’d best not stop for too long.” He grabbed both girls’ arms and pulled them to the correct pace.

“I’m parched. I left my water in the Tsunami… do you have some on you?” She swallowed her saliva, hoping to cure some of the dryness.

Bret handed her a canteen. She stared at him in wonder. Since when did anyone use those? They were practically ancient! She touched it slowly, wondering if it was a holographic disguise for a newer water system. It was solid under her palm, she unscrewed the lid (never found lids anymore), and sipped the water. It was cold, too. She took several quick sips before resealing it and handing it back.

The sun continued to shoot mind-bendingly bright rays on the tops of their heads. Becca took the hair band off of his wrist and using it to tie up her hair in some knot or something that she just randomly made up right then. It was nice and tight, and it let the sweat dry off of the back of her neck.

They walked in silence for an hour, saving their energy specifically for walking. The other company was in sight by now. They were both heading in their own directions, but they would meet at the point right on time. The two groups began walking in circles around the central point; not wanting to stop for the heat would eventually overcome them if they were to lie down.

The other group had four people. Two of them were women. The first woman had brunette hair in braids circling her head. Her skin was red and peeling for she was fair skinned and burned easily, no matter what injections she took. Her legs were bare, left uncovered by a pair of shorts. Her stomach was enormous, for she was pregnant by at least six months. A stretched tank top covered her growing belly.

The other woman was only but a teenager, fourteen at the oldest. She had shining black hair and dark blue eyes that just stared ahead, rarely blinking at all. She wore a simple dress, cutting off at the knees, but showing her shoulders. On her feet was a pair of wedge sandals, without a thong between the toes because she hated those.

The man in the group was not skinny, but not large either. He had this jutting chin, and black hair, but he had a kind face. His muscle top was green, and his cargo shorts were a dark khaki. He had on a pair of leather sandals.

The two groups walked for some time, until they met around the circle, and merged into one larger group. They slowed the pace as the canteens were passed around, and apples were handed out. They all ate and drank slowly, savoring their last food until this was done.

They paced in silence for moments that lasted like small eternities. Three watches made small metallic beeps, each one second off for the other. The people settled down at the central point, waiting, wondering.

The assassin, Raven, stared at these people. It was like they all were zombies, who spent longer than their own life spans waiting for this moment, which they had all rehearsed. It was just too hard to believe that this was going to happen. As each of the oddities –she would call them that for she only knew Becca and Bret by name- sat on the warm sand staring in one direction. How did they know what was going to happen? What made them think whatever it was was in that direction?

The girl with the black hair asked just those same questions, her eyes boring into the faces of the others. “Karrissa, you’d best not ask those questions, for they will not receive an answer. These are predictions, and theories, nothing is fact, but what can it hurt to sit here in the sun, when everything could be hurt staying back home?”

Karrissa started to protest such talk, but stopped herself. Arguing was not necessary when you lose the moisture stored in your body every time you take a breath to utter a word. Instead, the other woman spoke.

“I understand your reasoning, but Karrissa did not want to come. She wishes she could live in denial, and you’re taking that from her. As her stepmother, I say that she should be allowed to go. And whether you are my husband or not, you cannot argue with her decision.” She took a small breath. She didn’t want Karrissa to go back either, but this was what had to happen. “Karrissa? Where would you rather be?”

Bret wanted to mention that they didn’t really have a choice, but there was no time. A roaring was heard in the distance. Softer, then in half of an instant it was loud enough to break the ear drum of a human being. They covered their ears as the forceful wind came over them, dragging sand, sticks, dead plants, and rocks over their heads. Even ducking down and holding the backs of their necks, it seemed like thousands of little bullets were pelting their skin.

Then, what seemed like years later, the wind died down. The sticks and rocks that had been soaring now fell. The air was filled with a scent like smoke and gasoline. The man pulled out several gas masks. He handed one to each of them, and then stood up to shake himself of any unwanted particles, telling the others to follow suit.

When rid, Bret cleared his throat to speak “I realize that this is the end of a lot of things for us. And I also know that the explosion was much greater than expected, but no one is badly injured, and there are enough gas masks to go around.”

Karrissa was badly shaken as she stood up. Not a word came out of her mouth, and not one ever would. She clung to her father’s arm and refused to let go, never ever again.

Raven stood up, and combed her fingers through her hair. So they were right… The world was now officially uninhabited, as far as they knew, at least. They might come across another human in the next year, maybe the next day even. All she could do was invite the others to go back to the Tsunami and they could review the damage.

What basically happened was Becca and Bret both had a dream of what would happen when every nation in the world would eventually come against each other and perform the worst and final world war, killing off the human race.
Becca and Bret met each other at a world peace march and realized that they would need to work together. For 364 days they strived to get people to join them, after all, what was there to lose when so much could be gained? Originally there had been 37 people planning to come join them on that small patch of desert far away from the bombs and explosions doomed to come. But of course, last minute doubts stopped them from coming and only six people were saved that we currently know of.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book