The Fall of Us

©Molly Looby CampNaNoWriMo '14 !

Enter the world of Tye. The Fall has devastated much of the world as we know it but Tye knows nothing else. He and his best friend Eeli are ready to leave their home as soon as they reach thirteen years so that they can be off on their own and be who they want to be and do what they want to do. At last.

Tye and Eeli could never have imagined how dangerous the real world was going to be.

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13. 13

The first thing that comes back to me is lite. There’s splodges of pink in my darkness an it don’t feel so dark no more. I see white an I feel sheets under me. I don’t feel no wind. Then I hear it.

My little one.” Eeli. “My precious thing.

I grab fer her hand an she stops singin to grip it tite. “Tye?”

“Eeli?” My mowf is dry an stiff but it still works.

“Oh, Tye!” I feel her arms fly round me an I’m overcome wiff the sudden heat. “I dint know what to do an you were so sick an I couldn’t do nuffink an I couldn’t move you but I dint want to leave you an I was worried you were gonna die. I’m so glad yer okay. Jax said you’d be okay an he was rite. O’course he was rite, he’s always rite. I’m so pleased to see you, Tye. I was so scared. I dint know what to do.”

She puts a cold rag on my head an I sigh at the feel of it.

“Are you okay?” I ask her.

“I’m fine. But are you okay?”

“I fink so.” My head’s not poundin an everyfin seems clearer. I’m warm but not burnin an I feel calm. “I feel much better.”

“I knew he’d fix it.”

“Wayte, who?”

“Jax.”

“What?”

“He saved you. He heard me screamin an carried you back here. He knew what to do. He’s seen this before.”

I sat up too fast an it took a moment fer me to git my bearings again. The room was small an had two single beds. There was old cheerful wallpaper peelin offa the walls an there was a chest o’drawers that looked a little battered but was standin strong.

“You just followed him? What were you finkin?”

“I was finkin if I dint trust him I was never gonna trust anyone an what if he was the only person willin to help an that you were gonna die.”

I shake my head. “We need to git outta here.”

“We’re not goin nowhere.”

“He could be like them bandits. He could be worse. I ain’t havin that happen again.”

“It won’t happen again. I know Jax. He won’t do anyfin like that.”

“How can you be so sure?”

She rolls her eyes. “Tye, if he’d wanted somefin he would’a took it by now.”

“What?”

“We bin here two days now.”

“What? We can’t have bin here two days.”

“Well, we have.”

“It only feels like a coupla hours to me.”

She skweezes my hand. “Everyfin’s fine, trust me.”

I press my lips together.

“Come on, if you can trust anyone, it’s me.”

“I guess.”

“So let’s git you outta this room.” She hops off the edge of the bed.

I swing my legs round an drop to the floor. I’m steadier on my feet than I expect an Eeli grins at me.

“Let’s go meet Jax.”

I tense but nod, followin behind her. There’s a corridor that leads from the bedroom. It’s got a bathroom Eeli shows me an another bedroom an a study. At the end of the hall is a livin room.

The man sittin on the sofa, head back on the cushions, eyes closed, has the widest shouldas I’ve ever seen. He’s pretty much the image I’ve carried around in my head my whole life of what a man looks like. He’s got a square jaw an he looks tall an thick all over. His hair is a mix of brown an red an he’s got a stubbly beard growin.

“Jax?” Eeli sits next to him on the sofa an he opens his eyes an stares at me like he already knows me. “Tye’s awake.”

He breathes a breath, long an slow, sittin hisself up an watchin me, restin his arms on his legs.

“Hi.” I give him a wave that feels stoopid as soon as I’ve done it.

“How’re you feelin?” His voice comes out deep an gruff an I don’t want to git any closer.

“Much better, fanks.”

“Yer welcome. I’m not a man who can leave two strugglin youngans out on their own.” He don’t say anyfink loud, like there’s no reason to ever have to speak up. I feel too noisy in comparison.

“That’s kind but -”

“I know what yer gonna say but you can’t go nowhere yet. Yer not nearly well enuff.”

“I feel fine.”

“Yeah, fer now. We have’ta give it a coupla days. We wanna give you the best chance don’t we?”

“Well,” I struggle fer somefin to say. “Fanks.”

“Yer friend here’s told me a lot about you. That was mighty brave of ya, defendin her against the bandits.”

I shoot Eeli a look an she crosses her eyebrows like she’s askin me a silent question.

“I weren’t gonna let em touch her. I ain’t lettin no one touch her. Not ever.”

He nods. “Yer a good friend, Tye. Everyone wishes fer a friend like you.”

I shrug. “I’m just lookin out fer my best friend. Everyone does that.”

“You’d be surprised.” He looks far away in that moment, like he’s somewhere else that we can’t see or even fink of. “Right.” He stand up. “I’ll git you some water, Tye. You need to drink plenty of water to git better.”

“Okay, fank you.”

He nods his head again in acknowledgment and leaves the room outta a different door than the one me an Eeli came in.

“Told ya he’s nice.” Eeli crosses her arms.

“Yeah well, I dunno what to fink of him.”

“Don’t you like him?”

“I guess . . . I dunno.”

“Well I like him. He saved yer life.”

I sit next to Eeli on the sofa lookin around. Jax’s livin room is much like Nat’s. There’s a bookshelf an a worn rug an it’s about the same side. It leaves a twang in my heart to fink of it.

Jax returns wiff a glass of water an a plate of chicken. I take it fankin him, but don’t start eatin. Jax sits down in the armchair that looks like it was supposed to match the sofa.

No one says nuffin.

Jax is lookin at me, waytin, an so is Eeli.

“I . . .” It’s hard to git my mowf round the words wiff them both lookin at me like that. “Am I the only one eatin?”

Eeli chuckles. “We ate a coupla hours ago.”

I screw my eyebrows up. “What time is it?”

“Nitefall, just gone.” Jax says. “Eat, Tye. You’ll feel even better.”

I do so an listen to him an Eeli talk.

“So how far did you say we were from Camrose again?”

“Well I’m five or so miles off Hallow Rise, that’s where you wanna be headin. Hallow Rise itself is a coupla miles off Camrose. Only problem is that Hallow Rise ain’t a town like this one. It don’t got many people. Croftford’s a pretty advanced town, like Camrose itself.”

“We got all the way here wiffout nuffink.”

“Hallow Rise has got stuff, it’s all abandoned stuff from The Fall. I used to scavenge there when I was a bit olderen you. Me an my friends used to be stoopid wiff it tho.”

“Whaddya mean?”

“We’d see who could find the weirdest artifact or who could find a body. We jumped off stuff too. Stoopid.”

“You climbed on the ruins?” Eeli leans forward in her seat.

“All the time. Just don’t fall off. One friend did. He don’t go anywhere no more.”

I stop a piece of chicken before it reaches my mowf to stare at him.

“You two are much cleverer than we were. We dint have no dreams. We only caused trouble.”

“Back at Nat’s we dint have much trouble we could cause. We lived on a farm. Hard work most’a the time. Until we left. The last nite was fun.”

The twang grips my heart tite an I struggle to swallow my mowful.

“Yer lucky you got tort discipline an hard work. You know what it’s like to work. I dint. I had to learn fast. Much harder that way.”

“You would’a done it too if you’d had Nat barkin on at ya.”

He chuckles. “I’m sure I would’a.”

When my plate’s empty an I’ve drank another glass of water, Jax sends me back to the bedroom, tellin me I need my rest. Eeli comes wiff me an shuffles under her covers, fussin wiff clothes or somefink. When she’s finished an her clothes are on the floor an she’s wearin what I fink is a teeshirt but I can’t be so sure in the darkness, she leans her head on her hand an watches me.

“What?”

“I ain’t never seen you sleep like this before.”

“Whattcha talkin about? You seen me sleepin hundreds of times.”

“Never this close?”

“When we was at Nat’s you slept in my bed. You can’t git closeren that.”

She shrugs. “It’s just weird, that’s all. I ain’t never had a bed like this.” She bounces up an down a bit. “It’s great not to worry about shakin Hazel an bangin my head on Dixie’s bunk.”

I larf. “Yer in a good mood.”

“Why shouldn’t I be? Everyfin’s back on track. Everyfin’s goin rite again. Jax said he don’t mind givin us supplies when we go.”

“Why is he doin all this?”

“He likes us. Come on, Tye. You’d do it too.”

“But . . . Why?”

“He’s a good man. Git over yerself.”

“Sorry I just, I just don’t want -”

“I know. It’s okay. I know.” She sighs an looks at me fer a moment. She gives me a little smile an I give her one back. “G’nite, Tye. I’m so thrilled yer okay.”

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