It burned, I didn't expect it to, but it did. It had been pouring that night, so cold and dark. Maybe I should have taken it as a sign but I hadn't. These things were always hard to deal with but this time was different. We had known it was coming and we had been through this before. Why was this time any different? I thought I was ready, I was so wrong. She wanted so badly to go but couldn't, wanted to sleep but wasn't tired. But finally, she did go. She finally was able to rest. She went into that burning light. Death is like a fire. It scars and pains, it destroys and removes, but most of all, it is blown out.
The burning increased as I thought about her, how could we let this happen? We knew she was dying but we did nothing, nothing could save her. But none of that mattered now, she was gone and there was nothing we could do about it. All that matters is survival, we would lose everything if I was caught. I would end up the same way she did. Dead.
I stumbled on a broken AC unit on the roof. Not much was left of this building. But not much left of the world either. The United States had its second civil war, most of the European countries we left desolate by nuclear warfare, and any other countries that were still standing were on their last leg.
I was snapped out of my thoughts by movement, I stopped dead on the roof. A Blacklight, it’s twisted jet black shadowy silhouette moved without hesitation in my direction, it looked my way with its flaring white eyes. Has it seen me? No, it hadn’t, at least, I hope it didn't. It stared for a while and then flickered away. What was a Blacklight doing up here? Why was it on the top of a skyscraper building?
Many people tried to explain the existence of Blacklights, some say it’s a demon that’s come to torture us, others say that it’s a ghost come to finish living the days that it couldn’t When it was alive. But the most common theory is that a Blacklight is someone who’s stuck between life and death. No one knows the reason or the existence of Blacklights, but everyone knows that if you're touched by one or stare at its solar white eyes for too long, you’ll die. You become unable to control your body and eventually you turn into a shriveled bag of bones. There are stories of rare Blacklights; if you stare at it too long, you become one.
But those were just stories. I continued jumping from roof to roof, and then I heard it, a crack. I pulled my 44. Magnum whipping back my coat, and then I saw her, a ten-year-old girl stepping on a now shattered roof tile.
She screamed “Wait don’t shoot! I’m unarmed!” I lowered my revolver, even the children were caught in the destruction of the world. She had short brown hair and green eyes, her freckles near invisible in the darkness. “What’s your name and where are your parents?” I asked once my gun was holstered. “My name is Nyla, my dad was killed in a shootout and my mom died to a Blacklight.” I kneeled in instant sympathy as the burning feeling came back. “How did you get up here?” I asked. “I was hiding on the floor below with my sister until the Talens came,” she said. It felt like her green eyes were burning a hole through my soul. “Is your sister still down there?” “Yes,” she said sadly. I stood up and turned the safety off of my revolver.
My heart began to race as I stepped down the stairs but so did my mind. A Blacklight, a frightened child, and now Talens, What a day this is turning out to be. The Talens were a bunch of mercs, (mercenaries) strung together by the Peacekeepers to form an army. The Peacekeepers are the ones who started this chaos, they wanted to speed up the evolution of the human species.
Screaming broke my train of thought. There were two mercs, one was holding the girl by the arm, the other, aimed at her with uneasiness. She shouted, “let me go!” and then pulled a large knife from her boot and plunged it into his side. Letting go he fell to the ground holding his side while gasping in pain. Or maybe she doesn't need my help; The other merc readied to fire. Or maybe she does; I thought while pulling my gun from my holster. I pulled the trigger three times putting holes in his back.
He fell forward, no longer blocking the doorway. The sound of the gunshots seemed to stun her, then, coming back to reality, she quickly picked up the mercs gun and said “who are you?” I lowered my gun and ignored her question with “your sister's up on the roof, she told me you had been attacked by some Talens.” I walked into the room. “Good job with the knife by the way”, I bent down and pulled it out of the dead merc's side and handed it back to her. She had long blond hair and glass green eyes like her sister, and a small scar on her cheek. She looked at me, probably trying to decide if she still wanted to put a bullet in me. Finally, she took the knife and said “I didn't need your help” she said in a somewhat mocking tone and then walked up the stairs to see her sister. “So I guess we’ll skip the thank you’s then.”
It was getting lighter outside but the fog continued to condense on the roof, I had to keep moving, if there were Talens on the ground then they must have heard the gunshots. I couldn't risk finding out. “Kalia!” the younger child shouted in joy, as her sister walked onto the roof. She greeted her with a hug. “Did he save you?” Nyla pointed at me, Kalia looked at me like I was the Talen she just impaled. “He helped,” she said back.
It was clear out here now, Kalia wore a dirty white T-shirt and jeans and a fated green sweater. She looked a little younger than me but not by much.
She was pretty, if the world hadn’t collapsed I might have asked her out. No, not now I thought, I couldn't get distracted. Nyla wore a unicorn shirt and black jeans. The little one walked up to me and thanked me for helping her sister. She reminded me of my ruined family, I winced at the thought.
“Well,” I said, looking at the next building I had to jump to. “I have to go, but thanks for not stabbing me” I started walking away “where are you going?” said Nyla, Kalia quickly joined in with “do you know where the safe house is?” I stopped. Why did they have to ask? And why do I have to help them? I turned around, did I want to do this? Nyla tugged on my hand. Ugh fine.
“Come on we're almost there,” I said without meaning and continued walking. “So what's your name?” Kalia asked. My name? My name was a painful thought, I hated it because she had loved it. And now she was dead. My hands turned to flames, “that's not important!” I said with emotion, “So what should we call you then?” Nyla asked. I didn't answer. Then I heard it. I stopped dead. The planes, they were coming.
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