Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Rising | Chapter Six


Let's get out of this place,
Cause you're starting to waste,
Within this teenage wasteland.
- Lana Del Rey

The Great Shake has disturbed most of our atmosphere and the rising dust clouds have cast us into a hazy darkness. We are rarely visited by the sun and as I contemplate my ragged state in the bathroom, I notice just how much my pale skin reflects that sad reality.

My conversation with Elvis kept me up most of the night, thinking about strategies and plans for Phillip and myself. I figure our best option would be to leave the cabin and go searching for more profitable grounds, if any still exist. Those four men who found us will surely come back and I don't want us to be here when they do.

I close my pack and head downstairs where Phillip is finishing up the chores around the kitchen. He lifts his head when he hears me and smiles. I smile back and throw my pack on the chair beside him.

"Are you heading out?" He asks me, and puts down his rag. There is genuine concern in his eyes.

"We both are," I start, waiting for his reaction. He only gives me a sideways glance, slightly puzzled by my declaration. "Those men are going to come back. I think I know a place where there are more survivors, we're going to head out there today."

"What do you mean, "other survivors"? Katie, we can't go out there, you told me so yourself." His voice is strained and I can tell he's trying to hide his fear. He's trying to be brave for me and it warms my heart.

"I told you that because that is what Maggie told me - and she isn't here anymore." I see him look away, towards the view outside the window. "I didn't mean it that way, Phillip. It's just...Maybe Maggie was wrong, maybe there is more out there then we know."

When Phillip looks back at me, his eyes are filled with tears and the skin on those puffy little cheeks are turning red. He couldn't play tough any longer. "Katie..."

I run to him."I know it's scary, Phillip. I'm scared too, you don't have to hide it." I get down on one knee and, like Elvis did to me last night, I hold onto Phillip's hand and look into his eyes. "Hey, everything will be okay. I promise you, I'll find us a safe place to live."

He nods and looks away. "Is there any more Mapleroots?" And accompanying his words was a low grumble in his stomach.

I hold him at arm's lenght and smile. "We're going to have to find some. On our own." I answer him, wiping away the tears in his eyes. I get back up on my feet and sling the pack over my shoulder, trying desperately not to display my anxiety. Because I have so much of it building inside me.

What if we don't find anyone? What if I am unable to distinguish what is Mapleroots and what isn't? I've never seen it's original state, only the hot brews that Maggie prepared for us. I've gone out exploring once and it almost got me in trouble when I spotted the people by the fissures. Maggie had warned me about them later, told me to stay away, that they were not what they seemed. It scared me to think what could happen to us out there, in the wastelands.

"Are you ready, Katie?" Phillip asks, tearing me out of my mental exhile.

I take a second to examine him. My Phillip; with his dishevelled hair, his turned up nose, and cute-as-a-button smile. I have to fight for him, to make this new world seem less of a burden on him. We are going to make it.

"Let's go." I say, as calmly as I can.

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