I smile at him, as he glances over. The Sun reflecting off the lake, it’s low angle lighting up his face with a soft orange tone. I rub the pencil across the paper shading the shadows of his face, along his jaw, his eyes, and the gaps in between his teeth; they were ever so minute, yet still present to give him that warm presence about him…
He catches my gaze, smiling awkwardly he looks down, pretending to text on his phone.
I chuckle slightly under my breath, enjoying the breeze rushing through my hair, it whistles as it blows through the pines also bringing their fresh scent combined with the fresh parkland air.
This was my sanctuary, hardly anyone visited here any more; since the war this area was rarely travelled, but this suited me, in several years I had not seen anyone visit this particular spot but him, he was my company so to speak. Although we had never spoken his awkward smile always assisted the lapping of the water against the pebble beach combined with the rustling of leaves and birdsong amongst them that nature serenaded me with.
Today was an escape, I needed to breathe, to fade away from the harsh city life where everything was lived at a abnormal speed. I suppose you could say I never really understood people, gallivanting about for no absolutes.
I look up to notice that the sound of his scraping had stopped; generally he would do nothing but carve shapes and figures from the branches that had dropped from the trees above, good ones too. On the odd occasion he had left one or two for me, perched on the log behind me, awaiting me as I got up to go.
But today, there was nothing. Not even any evidence of him being there, his usual shavings that generally circled his curled up figure had disappeared.
As I got up to look further, I gasped as I noticed something that stopped my heart.
As I gathered my thoughts and fought the urge to gag. It wasn’t noticeable unless the light hit it at the right angle, the auburn leaves camouflaging with it.
Blood, a lot of it…
Sleep deprived and shaking, her eyes droop lower and lower, unable to hold them open as the weight becomes insurmountable… She could hear only words now, words that brought light to the dark room; any use of her senses was welcome to her. However, the voices faded, again, she was all alone.
My dreams were plagued by the images of her, lucid, clear, unable to discern between reality and my dreams, time was unclear, disjointed, scenes changing without a moments notice.
I saw her, curled up into a ball, still shaking, yet, only out of instinct. Her arms nothing but mere skin and bone, bruises and cuts which were only starting to heal over, scarring from their repeated tearing by the blunt instruments on the shelf behind her. I wanted to scream out, to help her, but I couldn’t.
I couldn’t help myself.
A younger woman entered the room, her long dark hair falling loosely around her shoulders. Her arms, also scarred similarly. Wrapped around them: chains, large ones; somehow able to lift such a weight, she carried herself confidently around the room. Her green eyes however, told a different story. Filled with grief, hardship, and fear the revealed her true emotions, the deep regret in her actions, as well as her past.
She lifted the whip from her belt slowly, using both hands to spread the whip out of its coil running her fingers across the end, its tassels knotted, caked with old blood.
I saw her raise the whip, her eyes glinting in the soft sunlight filtering through the bars of the high cast windows of the bare room. As the whip cracked ripping flesh across the curved hollowed back that was lying on the floor the blood began to flow freely, the scabs which held it together no longer existent.
I winced, my own back felt sticky, a warm liquid oozing down the curve of my spine.
Was her blood.
My water filled eyes opened, my body aching, still curled up
into myself I let out a sob as the stabbing sensation webbed across my back.
This was my reality.
They sit on the opposite sides of the battle field, three of them, seeking the final goal: survival.
The field, filled with spent bullets, blood, remains of bodies, vehicles and buildings.
The opponents, staring at each other, in silent protest of the battle, they know it is wrong, yet they know it is necessary.
Bloodied, bruised, and ready to retreat; each opponent plots their next move.Sweat pouring off brows, bodies aching.. Seeking that warm bed and shower, company of the loving family. But it will not be found, the bloodshed will continue.
They sit on the opposite side of the living room, three of them, seeking the final goal: victory.
The lounge filled with broken objects, remains of friendships, love, and affection. The opponents staring each other, regretting the battle that has ensued, knowing it is wrong, but necessary.
Hurt, bruised and ready to retreat into their shells; each opponent plots their next move. Sweat pouring off brows, hearts aching… seeking that warm embrace and love, the company of a happy family. But it will not be found, the heartbreak will continue.