The Wild Ones

First place winner of the september crime competition. Peter and Mary, just two people out of the millions that dwell in an overpopulated, overly controlled city. Forced daily to escape arrest just for the crime of wanting to be free. When a city is dying, from pollution and drought, why fight to stay alive when everyone and everything wants you dead? The stubbornness of mankind is our greatest weakness, and our most powerful asset.

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8. Awakening

"I remember, as a boy, being told stories about trees; old living things of a purest colour, a colour not seen anymore, an emerald green that shone like diamonds in the orange glow of a younger sun, unhindered by human intervention. Stories about forests and woods, and of the moving mist within, connecting all things, bringing with it life. I remember those stories, and thinking, my god, how privileged must those people have felt to be able to witness such beauty."

"That's sweet Peter, but you look so sad. Those days aren't over, I'm sure they're trees outside the walls. We'll see them one day, I've never heard of those stories myself but they sound beautiful."

"They are Mary, they were the best stories I was ever told. But in the stories most of the people didn't seem to notice or care, they were taken for granted. Not only that but rain, falling water from the heavens that soothed and cooled the earth, a liquid with magical properties, capable of turning a barren wasteland into a field of red and gold flowers. We'll in the stories people found this a hindrance, annoying, not something to be happy for. It makes me sick just thinking about it. How far we've gone from hating something common to praying for it. I don't know why I'm telling you this now down here in these sewers. How long have I known you? seven, eight years? All this time and I've never told you about the trees."

"I've never told you about many things, it doesn't mean that I don't want to, it's just timing you know? When it's time I'll tell you everything, I promise."

"Everything?" Peter questioned his eyes settling on the fast flowing sewage in front of their dangling feet.

"Everything." She replied honestly.

Peter looked to his partner, into her large blue eyes, why haven't I ever noticed her eyes were so blue? He mused. Before he could reach in and claim what he so dearly wanted, the vision started to dissolve in front of him, the slime covered walls fell all around, the sewage flowed down along with them, and even the face of Mary fell into a great void. Peter was alone, until he woke up.

"Oh there he is," a voice rang out above the ringing in Peter's head, "he's awake Hurcuul."

"Thank you Kris, we will be needing of your men if this plan goes well," a new voice came out from the shadows in Peter's vision, "is that acceptable?"

"For you Dias, anything." With that the marching of footsteps getting further and further way signaled his leave. A hand came out from the blackness and rested on his shoulder, soothingly and with familiarity.

"Five weeks we waited for your return, personally I assumed you'd come back either a vegetable or in a box. I won't ask how you managed to escape, you need rest.." Peter tried to raise his head to speak but Hurcuul pushed it back down gently onto the woolen lined gurney, a set of spotlights now bathing him in a warming glow. "I said rest, we are mending your arm, it wont take too long, you are also very undernourished, so rest."

"Mary?" He managed to say, his eye sight coming back slowly, meeting the smiling bearded face of his leader. Once that single word passed his lips he saw the old mans face change to an even grayer apparition, and a solemn expression couldn't help crossing his aged features.

"Alive," he said turning away and down a long unlit hallway, "that's all you need to know for now. Rest."

With that Peter was left alone in the room he knew all too well, the medical quarters of the 'cogs' underground compound hidden somewhere deep under the city streets; and there he lay, just himself and his thoughts, and the dream of a women that he so wanted to relive.

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