A tale from the IC vaults

Random Story for Nolio

The flag danced in the mild breeze, its swells and crests an impression of the verdant hills that surrounded our camp. Its two black horizontal stripes framed a central white one. It was a constant reminder of our conquerors, not that we needed one. The seamless wooden walls and the sentries rooted in equal intervals along its perimeter were enough.

A great horned owl hooted a farewell to the departing night. I rolled off my mat, and massaged my lower back in attempt to alleviate my numerous aches. Sliding into my leather boots, I moved silently so as to not to wake the others. Two buckets lay nearby, attached to an oak pole as thick as my wrist. I slung it behind my shoulders and headed to the slithering stream that bisected the camp. The dull monotony of my task and the hypnotic rushing of the waters encouraged reflection.

It must have been over forty seasons ago. I had been out washing my car, taking care to ensure that every harsh line gleamed in the Florida sun. The hiss of static had suddenly blared from the radio and a wavering screaming voice appeared and warned of invaders from above. I laughed at first, thinking it a grand joke. It had been done before, after all.

The laughter died as they landed. I watched in awe. According to everything I had learned in school, what I was seeing was impossible. But there they were, sharply dressed, and carrying weapons designed for their appendages. I stood my ground, watching them amongst the piercing screams and the sounds of fleeing footsteps. They quickly overcame what little defense we managed to muster.

Gathering all the citizens together, they locked us into schools and community centres. There was an irony to that. Our emergency shelters were being used to cage us, but I was in no mood for humour. After a few weeks, the smells of rotting flesh and human waste, and the cries of the sick and starving enveloped me. Amongst all that decay, the lone bright spot was finding my brother, stunned but in good health. We stuck close together after that, sleeping in shifts with makeshift clubs close at hand to ward off attacks by those desperately seeking food, any food.

One day, without warning, they opened the doors. They told us we would be moving away from the coast.

by Theodora, Circa. 2008


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