Written based on the prompt at “A Writing Prompt A Day” for February 13th, 2015.
He stared at her white blonde hair cascading down her back. In the dim early morning light that was all he could really see of her as the black jacket and pants she wore reflected almost none of the faint starlight that came through the clouds. The desert had faded into rolling grasslands and the walking was getting more difficult as the hills increased in size. He glanced at his watch, the glow in the dark hands telling it was 4:30. Fifteen minutes to the apocalypse.
“Trin, we need to find some cover. We’ve got fifteen minutes.”
“I know. We’re about to crest this ridge and at the very least we should be able to find some cover in the lee of the hill.” Trin didn’t pause or slow her stride, she kept on walking.
Race took a deep breath and continued following her away from Home, where he had spent all of his seventeen years. He glanced back, but from this distance all he saw were evenly spaced lights stuck to a large black wall that rose from the ground high into the sky where a single beacon stood guard.
From the other side of the wall that black mass was painted and decorated with scenes from a world that no longer existed except in old books and movies. Pine trees and waterfalls covered the wall and hid the sand and grassy plains that stretched in every direction from Home. Until Trin had shown him the truth he thought that the walls were images of distant lands that he could one day visit.
When she told him the truth and proved it by showing him a window in the wall his world had collapsed. It had only been through her strength of will that he was alive. He had spiraled down into a bout of black depression that had threatened to consume him and eat him alive.
But Trin had been prepared. She kept him focused on living. She kept him focused on wanting to live. She was the one thing in the mass of lies that he still believed in. Trin was not happy with just living with the lie, she wanted to expose the people of Home to the truth or at least get them asking more questions.
“Over here,” she said, moving towards a natural stone outcropping. Neither of them thought that they would need the protection, but better safe than sorry his Dad always said. He crouched down behind the rock, next to Trin, and stole one more glance at his watch.
Less than a minute.
“This won’t hurt anybody, right?”
Trin looked at him and for the first time since he had started asking this same question he saw doubt in her eyes. She didn’t answer, but he didn’t need to hear her to understand that this tim she didn’t know the answer. They both turned to face Home and waited.
The flash that erupted from the top of Home temporarily blinded him, and when he could see again the ball of light had faded but was still bright against the night sky. And then, as if a curtain was dropping down all of the lights of on the wall of Home started going out..
Trin stood and dusted off her pants. With one last look at Home, visible only due to the glowing ball at the top of the structure, she turned and started walking away from where she had lived all her life.
“Come on, Race, I want to be farther away when they find my message.”
“Your message?” He squeaked.
She paused and looked at him with a devilish glint in her eyes and then continued walking.