The wasteland I live in

I want to tell you my story, to show you the world after a nuclear war through my eyes, through my experiences.
My name is Andrei Scott, and this is the first chapter in my life, that I want to share with you.

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3. His 'voice'

I grunted as the light blinded me the next morning, as I sat up and blinked a couple of times before I could see straight. For short, I forgot where I was, but the memory of last night ended with kicking in.

Most of the mattresses were empty and I jumped up to look after Lisa and Horatio, a bit of fear and panic going through me, as I feared they had left me, but Lisa's voice then called my name.

“Andrei! Hey Andrei, over here!” She yelled and jumped with a waving hand, standing next to their caravan, that were being pulled by a rather mutated mule, which had three eyes and grown horns like some goat, but it's anatomy was still the one of a donkey's.

The gates made a loud and ear-irritating noise, as I opened it to get out of the fenced area, and for short, it felt like everything and everyone around us stopped to glare at me in a embarrassing and silent moment. I apologized to the soldiers, that only looked back at me in irritation.

“Lisa, are you leaving?” I asked as I ran up to her and Horatio, that waited impatiently next to the mule, and I could have sworn they both gave me the same glare of annoyance.

“WE are leaving” she smiled and handed me the worst possible gun, a BB Gun. Luckily, this were the exact same weapon that my dad had been training me in, as we had gone hunting back then.

“Oh dad...” His missed memory almost brought a tear to the eye.

“Huh?” I then heard Lisa say, and I shook my head, looking up at her with a smile.

“Oh nothing... just a-a flashback... My dad used to train me with a BB Gun, so I'm familiar with it.” I quickly said and her curious look turned into a smile, and she gave me a pat on the head, which made me feel smaller then I actually was.

But this was all very friendly of her, taking care of a stranger she had only met a day ago.

With my gun locked and loaded, we were on our way to wherever our first stop were.

“Uh... where exactly are we going?” I asked and broke the silence that were only dominated by the sounds of things that hit each other on the caravan as we walked down the broken road.

“Does it matter? As long as we're on our way, nothing else should matter.” Lisa said, and I couldn't help but to strongly agree, the more I moved around, the harder would my trail hopefully be to follow for my sister, especially if I wasn't travelling alone.

Me and Lisa was walking a bit behind, with our guns in our hands, and I asked a question that had been bugging me for a while. When I looked up at her, I noticed she had a smaller trail of freckles.

“I have to ask, isn't it a bit difficult for your little business that Horatio can't, you know, talk?” As I had asked my question, she smiled at me and ran up to Horatio.

“Horatio, show him how you 'talk'.” She said with a bit of a giggle at first.

He stopped up and glared at me, giving me the usual chills, before finding out a little chalkboard out from under his jacket, and pulled a piece of chalk up from his pocket. The chalkboard hang in a thin rope around his neck, to make sure he never forgot it.

“This is my voice” he wrote on it and I hesitantly nodded and Lisa came back to me.

“It was my idea, you know.” She said as we began walking again, and pushed me lightly with her elbow.

“What was? The board and chalk?” I asked and looked at her again, such pretty and calm eyes she had.

“Yep. Wanna hear the story?” She didn't even wait for me to answer.

“I've been his loyal guard for 5 years now, when we met he could still talk. We had a good and fun life on the road, and only the fewest times would someone come and push us around. You know, like raiders, slavers or some of the scouts from The White Society, etcetera, etcetera. It had been 3 years, and he had gotten addicted to this soda called... Cola? Think that was the one. Yeah, but anyway, some day we passed an abandoned and very irradiated small town, I can't remember the name of the place. Oh and don't worry, we come prepared to such areas, like gas masks and radiation suits. And of course we find a giant stash of Cola, and Horatio drank it. Even though I told him not to, since you could feel the dangerous radiation just by standing anywhere near it! But no he wouldn't listen, he said that such a thing couldn't do more damage than it used to.”

She held a quiet moment to collect her thoughts, as if she tried to keep her anger down.

“But he did it. He drank it. All of it... The next day when we woke up he had gotten too ill to walk, and would just lay on one of the mattresses we had found. Days went by where we had to stay in a little, rotten, abandoned house. And we had to throw it all out after that! Well not all, just our food and liquids. Anyway, Horatio threw up, his fever kept getting worse, he complained about how sore his throat was, slept all the time and wouldn't eat nor drink unless I forced it in... We stayed there for a week all in all, when one morning I woke up and saw him walking around, he looked a bit better and his fever had fallen a great bit. But... something was wrong... whenever he opened his mouth... nothing. Not a single word came out, and the first thing I said was 'I told you so!' and I could see how he regretted it.”

Again she held a pause and looked up at him. Whilst her attention was in another place, she almost felt in a smaller hole on the road, and I reached out just in time to catch her. As I bend down to pick up my BB Gun - which I had thrown to catch her - she began talking again.

“Heh, thanks. Where was I? Oh right... Luckily the town we were in had a school you see, and when we were looting in there, I found some chalk lying near the chalkboard in a classroom and I began drawing on the board when a thought stroke me, this was how he could talk! How he could get his 'voice' back! I took one of the chairs and began smashing it against the board. Haha, you should have seen his face when he found me breaking the chalkboard in the classroom, but when I gave him a broken off piece and some chalks, he knew right away what I meant with it, and he gave me a weak and apologetic smile, writing 'Sorry' on the board. I felt like crying then.”

And she almost did now, her eyes got wet, but she blinked them away quickly.

“He's been like a father to me, even though we've only known each other for 5 years. He's more of a father to me than my real dad ever were...” She gave a heavy sigh and waited a bit before she continued. The sigh she gave was so painful, like there were a long and painful story behind it.

“He's been like this ever since, all angry like and 'scary'... Guess he blames himself for not listening to me when he should... but ever since then he always listens to me, no matter what.” She said and I sensed the story was done.

Her last sentence could be why I was still travelling along, as he didn't seem too keen on having me with them.

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