The Rage: Part 15

XV

Emilia is hoarding food. I’m sure of it. I don’t know how she hides it and I don’t know where. We distributed the contents of Miro’s pack between us and he had no more than the rest of us, most of it scavenged from that warehouse.

We haven’t seen anything like that since. The tracks from the industrial area lead us nowhere and left us there, in barren, open fields. We’re exposed out here, prey to anything that wants us. At least we will see them coming.

The days are long at this time of year. Even in the shelter of our tents, it’s dizzyingly bright, light seeping through every space in the fabric’s weave. Lack of shade is yet another drawback of the plains. But the nights… The nights are glorious. The air is cool and sweet and the stars show us where to go.

I know the Ragers will ruin this too. They will find us and we will be forced to run. I’m not sure Emilia will be able to keep up when they do. She’s getting fat and slow. I don’t want to leave her behind, but I don’t know what else I can do.

← Previous Back to Part One Next →

The Rage: Part 14

XIV

It’s been six days since Miro died. Emilia won’t speak to me. She won’t look at me. She pretends not to hear me when I speak. Pettiness like this will get us all killed, but she doesn’t seem to care. Sometimes, I think I wouldn’t care if she got herself killed, but there are so few of us left now that any death is to be avoided.

Even the death of a bitter, hateful bitch.

She blames me, of course. I didn’t give him a chance to recover. I wanted him gone because I was jealous. She really believes each lie she tells Topi. She says them all just loud enough for me to hear.

You would think it should make me angry, but it doesn’t. Words have no power any more. I’ve seen a lot of people die. Some of them, I helped. Some, I couldn’t. It’s always the ones left behind that hate me for it. The ones that die are usually grateful.

“She’ll see that this is better,” Topi whispers when Emilia finally falls asleep. “I wish I could have let Anna go that way. I should have trusted you. Anna suffers now because of me.”

← Previous Back to Part One Next →

The Rage: Part 13

XIII

“She promised she would do this,” Miro says. “But I’m glad it’s you.”

His voice is breaking, rasping like claws dragged over gravel. His upper lip twitches and curls as he speaks. There is only one way to stop the Rage claiming him.

“Please look after them.” Miro shoves his pack towards me. “If you don’t…” He clenches his jaw and exhales loudly.

“Always.”

My hands burrow deep into my bag. A long time ago, we found a hospal… or medica… or something. Most of the equipment had been looted, but they left boxes of gloves and masks. I still have both. I tie a mask around my face and slip my hands into the gloves before taking the hunting knife from my belt.

It’s never easy, but it does stop hurting. I didn’t understand the first time. Father’s hand guided mine as we pushed the blade between mother’s ribs. Then she was gone.

I’m stronger now and my knife is always sharp. I won’t need help to slice through the muscles of Miro’s chest and puncture his heart. I take his hand as he tries to fight me.

“Not today, Miro.” I smile beneath the mask. “Sleep. Forever.”

← Previous Back to Part One Next →