• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 09
Image by

After Life

The fire had died around 3 and with no wood to feed it they'd let it go. The lull that followed was deep and yawned up at them until the girl decided on a walk.

'There's something to see over there.'

But he was sure there had never been anything that way but scrub and pasture; a patchwork of green and brown as far as any eye could be.

He rummaged in his pocket for the dregs of the party, the bag was half full and so he ministered with care until they both had energy enough.

'Shall we follow the sun.'

It wasn't really a question though and he shook out the heavy lines of his feet until he could walk again, the bones in his legs at once springy and cement.

The first trills of birdcall came in whomps and whirrs, spiralling through the coursing blood in his ear drums. It caused a rush - a cacophony of something inside him and he reached for her hand to hold it close in his. Their fingers pressed together, melting into a warm and sticky one. The ground they walked on started to rise, a steady vertical.

He glanced down and saw geometric shapes forming in the stalks and strands under his boots. Whorls of angles and spirals that cushioned him as he walked. The first splinters of sun caused the dew drops and roused insects to explode into mirrored balls of colour.

The morning was good. As good as the night before it. A night of nonsense and faces cracked by smiles and now they were cresting the hill. A big old hill.


After Life

To his right there stood something of man, the tumbling flints of an ancient wall. The stones so dark as to sap colour from the field.

To his left the boy could see a spinney marching its way to the sky, the canopy was breathing, with each pulse of his blood its very green would reach further and further towards the opening sun. Clamouring. It was then that she turned to him, eyes comedy-big and round.

'Manga magic maiden.'

And she laughed then, showing the rusted bits and bites in her teeth. The corruption of her mouth. He took a deep breath in and leant down to meet it. To meat it. There was a metal taste in there, something chemical and strong. Behind that it was warm and wet and bold. She twisted into his arms and then spun out and ran. Her body seemed to pull the earth as her legs rose and fell, gaining on the ridge of their mountain.

'There's something up here.'

He lost sight as the sun broached the clouds and burst into his eyes. For a moment he zombied it, arms up in front of him, clasping at the dawn air. He stumbled forward and loosened his arms, letting the body take over. Jelly limbing.

Not long now.