The Misfit Generation
Monal watched her pale fingers tremble like birch tree limbs in a massive gust of wind. Leave? She clenched them into a fist, causing them to whiten even more, and then released her fingers to grab the wool blanket laying over her mother. She reached down over her mother’s still face and blank features. She paused. Monal leaned closer, breathing in her mother. She kissed her frightening cold cheek. How can we leave? Leave all of this? Leave our parents?
Slowly, as slow as her tears seemed to creep over the ridge of her nose and down upon her dead mother, she pulled the blanket over her mother, completely covering her face.
She was dead. She was gone forever.
There was no going back. There was only going forward. She pushed away thoughts that seemed to stab her—kill her inside—how can I go on with them gone? How can I live without their love, their guidance, their protection?
The pain was so unbearable Monal could almost faint. No, she wouldn’t let herself think like that. She breathed in a heavy sigh. Her parents would want her to move on. She knew that. They told her this day would come. Her lips quivered and she bit them back, forcing herself to look away from her mother’s stiffening body under the rough wool fabric.
She couldn’t help but think of the hole her parents death were making in her life. Already dug deep inside her chest, the black hole began when they entered into the Fall out shelter, then her father died. Now, the blackness seemed to be like the black hole of outer space. Sucking her inward. Causing her emotions, her soul, her heart, to implode.
No longer will her soft floral scent be a comfort when she was troubled. No longer will her gentle hands caress her cheeks and braid her hair. No longer will her words of wisdom be heard from her lips. No—she couldn’t dwell on those thoughts. She had to tell herself that everything will be okay.
She whispered to herself. God has not given us more than we can handle… Attempting to encourage herself as David once did in the Bible, though the words faltered and vanished in the stale air surrounding them. But, wasn’t that what her mother always said? God was with us… She had to believe it. Her mother died for it. Placing her hands on the cold cement, she pushed herself up to a standing position. She looked up at Tendal.
“Okay. I’m ready. What do you want me to do?” She wiped at her face with the back of her hand, forcing her tears into the blackness of her heart. Praying light might invade there one day. But for now, Tendal and her mother were right. They had to leave and she needed to help. That’s all they had now—each other. She starred at Tendal, waiting for his direction.
“We need more water filter’s, bottles, canned food, things you can stuff into those backpacks over there.” He motioned towards the living area which was down a long corridor and to the right of the centre room they were in. “Oh—and some clothes. Think of camping when we were younger. Think warm!”
He reached up to the cupboard and pulled out a small sauce pan. “Whatever you can carry, really.” He gave her a half grin and turned towards the left doorway. “I’m going to head to the barracks. You need me to get your bedding?”
She could only nod at the back of his head as he walked away. She figured he would grab them for her regardless. She scanned the circular room and took note of where to start first. Then, quickly she moved towards the storage boxes and began unboxing their entire entity, only to stuff them into the backpack of their new destiny. Outside. She shivered. She had to keep moving. She lifted the lid to the emergency box and pulled out solar powered flashlights and two lighters.
After packing all the necessary items into their large backpacks, they met at the centre meeting area. It was only a week since his death, yet the smell of their dad’s body mingled with their mother’s decaying one made bile hit Monal’s tongue. No matter how badly she wanted to stay. They had to leave.
She scanned the room, taking note of every rounded corner. This was where they grew up. She knew she would have to leave home one day, but with them living here, she didn’t think that would ever happen. But energy supplies were not lasting. As it was, the solar system seemed damaged with the lights flickering so suddenly. The water source that streamed underneath them was drying out and both of their parents were now gone. The air vents were so dusty too. They were running out of time. Disease would surely be around the corner if they stayed.
Monal’s thoughts weakened her for a moment. She remembered the day that her dad died. The day that Tendal had to force out all emotion and bury his own father—her father. Though he did his best, trying to get underneath the cement and dirt in their refuse station, it wasn’t enough to cover him and the stench—was unbearable most days.
Over the last week, sometimes they would have a rush of wind come through the vents, or the water underneath would push fresh smelling air in, but soon it was stale again. And soon, they were left with the nagging reminder of his untimely death. She couldn’t think of that—
“Got everything?” She glanced over at Tendal.
“Yup… just trying to take it all in before we leave—“
“We’re going to be okay.” She interrupted, placing her hand on his shoulder. It stiffened underneath her fingers, reminding her of her mother’s lifeless body. “Don’t push me away, Tendal, we got to stick together.” Salty water stung at her eyes.
He turned to face her. Then ducked his head down, muttering, “Sorry Monal, its not that, it’s just… you know.” He shrugged his shoulders. “It’s just hard.”
Monal swallowed. “Me too.” She squeezed his shoulder and turned to the corridor that led to the only entrance to the fall-out. “It’s time to go. Time to say good-bye.”
As if on cue, the lights flickered and hummed a low amber light. Casting a brown glow of shadows on everything they saw.
“I’m ready.” He grabbed her elbow and lead her out of their circular home with legs of corridors and ant hill rooms adjoining them, to the outside.
To the unknown.
To the future that lied ahead of them.
Monal held her breathe through the cramped corridor and breathed shallow whenever she had to. The air seemed staler as they walked further and further. The wall lamps flickering along the path. A very long path, she sighed inwardly, with steep, low steps leading them up towards the earth’s surface. She gasped and held onto the Tendal’s arms as a small ray of light seemed to hit the side of the corridor. They both seemed to stop, staring at it. Light? What would real light feel like again?
They approached carefully. Fear bubbled up from somewhere beneath the pit of darkness and stole her breath completely away.
Tendal released her arms from his and started unlatching the many bolts on the metal door. Wafting dust particles rapidly through the ray of light. The light seemed to be coming from it’s creases along the edges of the door. She placed her hand in the dull grey-brown beam slicing through the air. The warmth invigorating her, tingling her senses. Her pale skin broke the magic of it and the sound of metal scratching metal, snatched her gaze.
“Here we go.” The light swept over them as water breaks a dam and takes out everything in its path. They froze from shear shock. Then, something caught in her throat. Gagging her. She began coughing so hard. It was the air. Sandy and dry, it seemed to steal all moisture from her esophagus. Cupping her throat she bent over, still hacking.
“Who’s there?” A shaky voice yelled. “Tell me now!”
“We—“ Before she could hear any answer, she saw something come flying at her. It barely missed her and thudded down by her feet. A rock. She looked up. Another one buzzed past her head. She knelt down before seeing another one fly and hit something behind her.
Then, Tendal started moving fast. First she saw his arm move to the right. Then a blur of what looked like his leg seemed to flick out from him. Another arm flung out and then hooked something into the crook of his arm, snug in his armpit. Monal peeked up and locked onto another set of eyes starring at her in as much shock. She sucked in her breathe so hard she started coughing again. The eyes widened and the veins started to pop from his head. Tendal was choking him to death.
She half attempting to hit Tendal’s leg. “You’re killing him.” She managed to cough out. Tendal didn’t listen. The beady eyes, focused on Monal, now rolled back into the sockets and his body hit with a thump on the ground beside her.
“Stop! You’re killing him.” A soft girl’s voice echoed out towards Monal from behind her brother. Tendal swivelled and looked at Monal as if she said it. She shook her head still grasping at her neck.
Just then, the most beautiful girl, with long flowing brown hair stepped out from behind a large brown rock. “Please,” She pleaded, her eyes brittle, “Please, don’t hurt us. We are only Misfits.” Tears streaked her cheeks with dirt.
Who were they?
To be continued…
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*Disclaimer* Please keep in mind, this is unedited and copyright material! 2016