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The Sand is Where the Truth Lies
The gold walls stood tall and firm, the only thing higher than the walls were the castles inside them. The roads were covered in diamonds and other fancy jewels. Outside of the beautiful town and its walls was sand, for miles and miles. Corpses with their limps removed covered the sand. Some were stripped of their skin while others had no eyes. Makeshifts camps littered the miles of sand. Humans lived in those god awful camps. The creatures behind those beautiful walls were called manals. They survived the many apocalypses which Biara had. They were very good in extreme heat and sand. This was what Biara had become. They (the manals) can’t take the cold thought. They lived in a survivor’s utopia of sorts.
A male adolescent searched the camp. He looked at every corpse and knocked on every tent. His once beautiful thick sun-blonde hair was thin and graying. His blue eyes used to look like beautiful lakes now they were a coal gray. He used to be slender and tall now he was nothing but skin and bones. His rib bones were visible and so were his hip bones. He wore a garment that resembled a t-shirt with an old logo on it. The logo was unrecognizable now the company was long gone. His pants were cut exposing his knee cap.
“Where are they?” He said. He choked up a bit. “Could they be dead or worse eaten?” He thought. He longed to hear his sister’s sarcastic tone whenever she said she loved him. He could almost smell his mother’s attempt at cooking the food they manage to find. They told him to go find as much scraps of food he could fine. It was a simple task but a long on. He had rotten apple cores and stale bread in his hands. He hid his finding in his pockets. A ‘friend’ put his hands over his eyes.
“Guess who it is Aaron,” A calm, sweet voice said. ‘Aaron’ was spoken seductively. The voice was very feminine. The ‘friend’ grinned. He jumped a bit, startled.
“Hey Helena, have you seen my family anywhere?” Aaron asked. She took her hands off of his eyes.
“No, I haven’t they must be back at the camp,” Helena replied. Her spoken grammar and vocab was not the best but when she wrote she had perfect spelling and grammar. She had a calm, sleepy voice. She managed to keep her beauty during these rough times. Her long, wavy, blonde hair was as thick as ever. Her green eyes were like emeralds. Her face was still full and beautiful. Her baggy clothes and cloak hid how tiny she really was. With how short she was she looked like a child. She was a young adult.
“Do you want to share this bread with me?” He asked. He took the stale bread out of his pocket.
She broke a piece off for herself, “Yea, I’d like that.” They ate as they walked. They had to get back to his camp. His family must be worried about him but why haven’t they went looking for him? His camp was miles away from where he found the food. As they walked he put on his own cloak. Sand was flying all over the place. The journey was long and demanding. The wind was unbearable.
Whenever the wind would get like this his sister would say, “God is roaring right now because he is angry with the manals and their way of living.” As the journey continued they came across many corpses. Helena came across one that resembled his sister.
“Look, this couldn’t be.” Helena gasped. They moved closer to the body which looked tiny from where they stood. When they got closer they examined the body. The girl had medium length black hair. Her eyes were shut tight. Her skin was tan and her body was looted for anything and everything. Bites were scattered across her body some of marks looked like large, red petals. The sight could make any civilized human-being break out in tears.
Aaron examined the body closely, “No it is not my Kamil... She has a birthmark on her neck. I would always tease her about it.” Aaron sigh a sigh of relief. Seeing dead bodies on the sand were routine for them. They usually didn’t bat an eye when they saw one.
Helena grabbed his hand, “Come on let’s go. The sooner we get to the camp... The sooner we find them...” Aaron stumbled over the corpse as he caught up to Helena. They walked some more.
“So Helena what ever happened to your family? You’re always alone whenever I see you,” He said. Helena put her hand on his shoulder and she didn’t meet his eyes at all. She let out a deep sigh. A tear fell out of her eye.
“Well.... my father got tortured by some manals for stealing some of their food,” She said, “My mother... I don’t know whatever happened to her. I wasn’t ever told or nothing if she was dead or abandoned me.” Aaron put his arms around her and held her tight. “To be honest you’re the only one I have left.” He held her tighter.
They walked slowly and he did not let go of her hand. The walk felt like an eternity, the wind still going insane. As they walk their food fell into the sand deeper and deeper each step. The refugee camp where Aaron lived was not too far ahead. He pulled her close to shield her from the sand and the wind.
The refugee camp got bigger as they walked closer to it. It also became clearer. When they got to the camp they searched for his families’ tent. The tent was in a secluded area of the refugee camp. When they got there a manal girl blocked their path to his tent. She had fiery red hair that flowed wildly. Her eyes were neon green. She looked very healthy compared to Helena and Aaron. There was this creepiness about her yet she was intriguing. Helena hand went onto Aaron’s arm and her eyes went wide.
“I’d suggest that you two do not go to that tent up ahead,” She said in a soothing voice.
“You suggest!?” He said, furious, “My family, some of the only people I have left who love me is in that tent? What do you know about having nothing? You live in a town full of diamonds and gold. Wealth is all you know. You know nothing other than that!” His face became red hot with anger and he glared at the manal blocking their way. Her face was reactionless. His fury did not scare her.
Her voice was still soothing, “If you want to keep any sanity you have left I suggest you do not go to that tent up ahead. Your sanity is sacred in this world full of madness. You lose that you lose everything...”
“I’m willing to take the risk,” He said quite bluntly.
“Are you sure? Aaron?” Helena asked. She sounded concern. She put her hand on his cheek and he moved his face to face hers, “Your sanity and mental state have been keeping you alive. From the looks of it this manal girl doesn’t want you going there because it will affect you quite badly.”
Aaron thought for a moment then said, “I’m sure Helena. Can you come with me to be my moral support? In case it is as horrible as this manal is making it out to be.”
“Sure,” She said.
“Very well then, I hope you do not regret your choice,” The manal girl said. She began walking back to the main refugee camp. She walked gracefully like a dancer. They were both in awe. This was the first time they met a manal ever. She was different than what they thought a manal looked like. They thought the manals looked like demons that caused nothing but misery. They walked down the path to his tent. It neared night and the sun was about to set. Clouds that looked like coal covered the sky. The atmosphere had become heavy.
Helena walked up ahead of him, “I’ll go ahead of you.” Before he could stop her she ran to his lodgings. He walked slowly to his tent. It felt like his heart could rip out of his chest at any second. The anxiety was killing him from the inside. He wanted to find out what happened or what was in and around the tent. Part of him did not want to see what was at the camp. As he neared the tent he heard a scream. He rushed to the tent.
He saw Kamil holding a knife with a sly grin on her face. She definitely wasn’t dead. He gasped and stood completely still. Why was his loving sister holding a knife to Helena’s throat? Helena shook as the blade pressed against her neck. Her eyes were filled with terror and fear. Kamil stood in silence smiling.
“Aaron, you pompous idiot you trust people so easily. I killed mother and father because they were going to sell us to some butchers. They wanted to make us food so they would make a little buck. I did what we needed to survive. Now this one here wants to take your hand in marriage,” Kamil lectured.
“What’s wrong with that?” He asked. He looked into Helena’s eyes. Scared, he did not know how to save her or how to react. Would his mother really sell him to a butcher? No she couldn’t.
“What’s wrong?” Kamil laughed, “Well for one thing she is part of the family who tried to eradicate ours. Two she is worse off than us. Three I already picked a girl for you to marry who is far better off than us!” Kamil pressed the knife harder against Helena’s neck. Red liquid ran down her neck.
“Lies, all of them,” Helena managed to scream. Kamil held the knife closer to her throat.
“If you’re going to kill her kill me as well.” He demanded. He got onto his knees as Kamil ran the blade across her throat. Helena tried to call out but nothing came out. Her eyes stayed open as she bled out. Before she died she did a heart with her hands for Aaron.
Aaron cried out, “I love you.” He was on his hands and knees. He shook violently like a mad person would. Tears flowed from his eyes, “Kill me Kamil, I’ve lost everything including my sanity but I found out the truth.” Kamil went over to him, smirking. She put her knife to his temple.
“Your wish is my command.” She lunge the tip of the blade into his temple. His vision began to go dark. He thought of his fifteen years of life on Biara: his loving family and Helena his lover and comrade. Was that life a lie? Helena’s dead emerald eyes and her last action were his last thought before death.
After the deaths of her family and Helena Kamil went into the tent a manal man hid in there. He sat on one of the sleeping bags. He was incredibility handsome. He had raven black hair and black eyes. His skin was pale white and he was muscular. He was calm and quiet.
“I did as you told me to do. I killed... them including my brother and his lover,” She said. No emotion could be heard in her voice. It did not seem to faze her that she had just murdered her mother, father, brother and Helena. She just kissed the manal man like nothing had happened.