Genre: dystopian au
There is only one truth to her existence. That her name is Lee.
She swims out to the front of the building and crouches up on a ledge, assessing the sea of humans before her as they fight over what’s left of the ancient supply truck. She knows that there are only two kinds of people in this world—those who win, and those who always lose. The lucky victors who manage to scavenge food for themselves are hiding somewhere up in the hills. Meanwhile the failures go hungry another night.
She clambers off her perch and walks with a hunchback. The goggles over her eyes glow red. The gas mask fitted against her face is dusty. Her feet drag along the broken asphalt. Her body is battered, broken. Her leathery skin bears scars that will never heal, not in this lifetime. It is difficult to say for certain what she is. She doesn’t join in the squabble, but her bony body looks emasculated. Her ribs stick out like daggers, Her joints creak like rusty hinges. She is neither a winner nor a loser now. She is simply Lee.
Nobody touches her. She is left alone to stalk through the squares and streets, dragging her bare feet along. An explosion nearby flings her forward. She gets up and continues her haunt.
There was a time when she walked upright. A time when she ran through the wind, danced on the dirt. Her feet drew planets and universes on the dry soil. Her legs spun gold and silver in their gait. Her arms were awash with light when they moved through the air. Colours materialized at the click of her fingertips. Water sprung from the desert at the command of her stomping footsteps. Her eyes, sharp and amber, pierced through flesh and bone like bullets. Her lips prophesised the destiny of the world, her tongue cut through sounds as if they were immaterial. She was a goddess. She was a warrior. She was a magician. She was an anomaly. She was radioactive.
There was a time when another truth defined her, and its name was Min.
The sun had been dead several years when Lee set her sights on the other’s painted face. No words were spoken, and the only transaction that took place between them was an exchange of smiles. A hand was offered and a hand accepted; a set of fingers wove and another set glued the connection. Their arms swung freely when they walked side-by-side, as if they owned the lands the skies the seas the very air. Their pace covered the breadth and girth of every map ever drawn by a human hand. Their gazes absorbed all surfaces in their most basic form, and summoned a profound devotion for each fragment. Their touch could heal and it could destroy. They were two sides of one circle, connected by everything that divided them. They sprung their thoughts off a launch-pad, throwing them high enough that they dissipated into inhales and exhales. Their minds weaved the grass into braided ropes that led up to heaven. Their intellect fed hungry mouths and their strength broke weak trust. They were queens together, ruling over their portion of nothingness with justice and wisdom.
The end of all life was imminent, but as long as Lee had Min they could fight death with their bare hands.
The fists pounding against the ground beat everything beneath it to a pulp. It is a murder of the old and a decay of the unnecessary. The sound is like prayer drums that buffet their chant. It is a hope that something… anything will grow out of the earth and fill empty stomachs. It is a ritual to recreate a new sun, stronger and bloodier than the one before. It is a reaction that splits atoms, crumbles the mud covering them. One slams the terrain, begging and pleading for it to be awake again, to be green and alive again. Another digs and scoops what oozes out, rubbing it onto his skin like wearing another skin. Lee stares at the cycles for endless hours, swaying and unsteady on her legs. Had winds still blown across the earth’s crust, she would’ve fallen over and never risen again. When her stare becomes heavy with blame, all eyes turn to her and poke her skin like spears. She turns and drags herself away.
There was a time when there were two truths but when they became one, nothing was true anymore. Lee’s ears filled with Min’s blood, her lap emptied of the weighty head resting on her thighs. Her hands were vacant and her eyes were blinded. She was crushed beneath a powerful loss that squeezed every cell out of her and spread it across the galaxy. Her mouth became a grave for everything unsaid and undone between them. Her limbs fell into disrepair. She fused with the darkness and died.
In a time when there was nothing to sustain life anymore, she had thrived. She had flourished like acres of wheat and paddy, because Min was the rain that fell on her day and night. She had survived because Min flowed through her veins like nourishment. She had been everything because Min had kept her from becoming nothing.
And now the dust is left to tell the tale.