WILL FALL--Supernatural Post-Apocalypse (WIP) Feb 6, 2019 0:30:25 GMT -5
Post by raeharding on Feb 6, 2019 0:30:25 GMT -5
A gust lifts the corner of a sheet metal roof on a makeshift shelter. It rumbles like last night’s thunder as it crashes back down onto the boards. The breeze is a reprieve from the humidity but circulates a stench of wet animals and manure. There are also sweet smells: wild garlic in the pasture and roasting flesh of God-knows-what-kind-of-meat impaled upon a grill spit. A new group of outsiders arrived in the night, and the Clearing is abuzz with activity.
My feet sink slightly into the damp earth with each step as I drag my palm along the chicken wire running the length of a refuge. The metal is coarse from a coat of rust, and my fingers bounce up and down as they might read an arcane Braille. I close my eyes. The cattle lows. Dogs bark. Horses nicker. And so many voices.
A thousand voices.
This voice belongs to a person just over boy but not quite man. He’s around my age, with wavy brown hair cropped close on the sides. A cloud passes and the sunlight reveals a smattering of golden highlights along the edges of several curls.
A dust of facial hair blankets his face—what Constance calls a “perpetual five o’clock shadow,” whatever that means. I call it “haven’t shaved,” but she’s always saying things we younger ones don’t get, from a world only the elders remember anymore.
“Can I help you?” I ask politely. He did say “Excuse me,” after all.
His light brown eyes are shifty. He’s apprehensive. Nervous.
“Hi, miss. I was wondering . . . We got here last night with the caravan . . . it was storming, and we weren’t sure where to go. Everything’s soaked. Anyway, matches. Or a flint. A lighter, maybe?”
“You need fire.”
“I have a flint.”
“You do? That would be great! Thank you. Hard finding help. I think people think we might steal from them—”
“A blanket and six cans of whatever you have,” I demand.
He raises a bushy eyebrow. “Oh! No. I was hoping to borrow—”
“That is to borrow.”
He stands fixed, squinting and waiting for a more favorable response.
I don’t give him one.
He must think I’m joking. He flashes a grin, conjuring all the masculine charm he possesses, but it does nothing to melt my icy disposition.
I groan. “What’s your name?”
“Will,” he sputters. “Fall. Will Fall.”
“Your name is Will Fall?”
His nod tilts to the side, reminding me of Fox when she was a curious kit. It’s endearing. And charming. Charming is the first weapon used in a newcomer’s arsenal.
“Look, Will Fall. There’s a price for help. In this case, it’s one blanket and six cans of whatever you have. It’s cheap, seeing as I have a soft spot for newcomers. Others will ask for more. And your slack jaw gives me the impression you and yours can’t pay more.”
His jaw clenches. Disenchantment comes quick in the Clearing.