The Empty Cultivator.

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The Calm Befor The Storm

"He opened his eyes to the darkness. The air was cool on his skin but the memories of his injuries made him reel back in fear of the needle. The window throws a light shade of moonlight on the floor, as the clouding of the sun affects the gracious glow of the moon.

He touched around as he raised himself from the couch. He felt tired but walked where he thought the van's door would be. Moving slowly and avoiding waking up his companions, he found the latch of the van and slid it open.

The sound of the sliding door was harsh on his ears and he knew that there was no chance for him to go out without waking up one of the girls in the car. " I'm going out for a bit," he whispered and slowly closed the door.

He looked around. The surroundings were slightly glowing. The stone was almost alive with the glow flowing through the broken buildings like old veins. The van was in between two large buildings, in between what seemed to be two apartment complexes made of brick and stone. The windows of the apartments were broken, but no one was inside as it looked like it had been abandoned for years. Veins and flowers of the same blue glow ran down across the buildings.

The pavement was a charcoal black as he walked towards the open alley. It looked like this was the middle point of the eight sector. He had mapped this place and tried to memorize it before this...apocalypse…he knew this was probably where they had the famous restaurant of Chonis. He was sure their famous tarts were half spoiled but that didn't mean their goods were.

They could probably pass by and install a few refriges. If they could just get someone else in this group, apart from these two, he could probably raid the place and leave with the restaurant's great bake bell. He would tell them in the morning, that would give them that oomph they needed to survive.



"Lovely isn't it?"



He knew the sweet voice.

"For all the injuries you have…I believe you should be dying or something...I don't know. I can't remember much, but what I do remember is that men bleed." She stepped next to him and he saw her. She looked so beautiful with her brown hair flowing down her shoulders and complimenting her tight black clothes showing her curvy body.

Her hand held tightly onto a metal baseball…

"I...to be honest. I don't even know what I'm anymore. I had knives inside my body and yet...I'm alive." I just hope my intestines are alright or my other organs."



"I guess I'm unkillable." He boasted but he knew that he had a nasty infection coming in a few hours, or a day because of the multiple knives that had pierced his middle back, and that was even mentioning the others.

"Now, do go stroking that ego too much. Who knows what the first aid kit had. Maybe, that is why you still walk." He looked at her, confused. So, they did forget everything?

"So, you guys did forget everything…? Those little flasks in the box were alcohol and if you knew what you had...you would have given me a few shots of ketamine or etomidate that were below the needle and string compartment." She looked at him with a raised eyebrow.

"The syringes of both chemicals would have numbed me of pain. You would have not needed a cloth for me to bite on, or your sister holding me down if you had numbed me first." He didn't have the energy to flinch away as she touched his injuries.

"Did we do a good job?" She asked.

"Well, you didn't need to wrap me in tape. If you wanted to bandage me you should have used the gauze rolls. You shouldn't have stabbed with the needle too much. If I'm correct, you made too many stitches and you can barely see my injuries because of the string; a few well-separated stitches should have done the trick." He noticed the bat was completely gone like if it had disappeared in thin air, now she was writing on a little notebook.

He followed up. "Your sister didn't need to pour the alcohol in my open wounds as you closed the injuries. We don't have more and need to collect extra, but yeah, even with your medical memories gone you did quite a miracle."

Her hands were clasped behind her back as he could feel her otherwise hash tone raise to a warm one. "Thank you. Come on, get inside. The tape is bleeding a little. Want me to take the tape off and put the gauze on?"

"No please, don't do that." He said to the enthusiastic Cass. "You would probably open my wounds and the tape would pull the knots. I don't want to hurt more…" he tried to walk towards her but he lost his footing. She quickly helped him walk again.

"Let me help you." She held his arm over her shoulder as he had begun to visibly lose strength in the legs. His surroundings blurred and cleared as he tried to keep himself awake.



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"AAAAAAAAHHHHHH" The fog. Oh, the black fog! They were screeching as all of them were dragged deeper and deeper inside the fog. "Youarenothing,youdeservethis.Letmedragyourbonesandeatyoursoul" The voice whispered unceasingly; calmly and desperately. "Kill them all! KILL THEM ALL!" The darkness shouted like bubbling in his ears, and twisted him, and crumpled him like paper. He felt small and weak as the ever insidious voices flooded his mind. "Killthem,torturethem.leavenoonealive." They ate at his mind as they tried to escape and gush out of his head.

Like a tempest, they played with his memories and inflated his skull. He saw himself eat his family and skin his niece alive.

"Hehehehhehhehehkillandscrapetheirbones."

He suffered. He suffered. He suffered. He suffered…




--------------------




"Wake up!" He heard a girl scream. He opened his eyes and saw the shape of Henny shaking his shoulder. "Henny? He tried to say but it came out as a whisper. "You scared me! I thought you were dying on me," she whispered and lifted a plate and a bottle from the floor. "I made some food, here eat up."

"Thank you." He said. Slowly, she pulled him to the wall and gave him a bottle of water with cooked eggs with ham, and a bit of chicken. "I don't know what to say…" she smiled at him. "You don't need to. Eat up, it is the least we can do for you after all that."

"I don't deserve this kindness. Thank you for the food." He pulled his hands together and bowed slightly. "Ow, ow." He moaned as the pain from his ribs was aggravated by his movement.

"Be careful." She cautioned as she helped him sit upright. "Tell me when you are finished. She came closer and whispered in his ear.

"Sis wants to talk to you." She walked away

He looked around the room as he enjoyed his sunny side up. There were sparsely separated wooden cabinets and counters on the wall, with fur on the floor and a big enough walkway where two people could walk comfortably shoulder to shoulder. He was in between two couches, with pillows on his back and below him. (He felt comfortable here) he thought, as he took his last bite and finished his fried chicken.

"Henny. I'm finished. Thank you for the food." She hurried over with a grin on her face as she took the dish. "Good right!?" She said excitedly as she took the plate.

"Delicious." He said as he returned her smile. "Cass. The man finished his food." Said Henny as she walked out of sight. "Right over." he heard Cass say from the front of the van. Her head unexpectedly popped from the side of the couch. Well, that was fast.

She was smiling. It was the first time she saw her smile. He smiled too and saw her take a seat on the floor on the other side of the van. She was now dressed in a red shirt with a blue leather jacket and tight blue shorts

"Do you feel alright?" She asked.

"Tired." He responded. "But feeling stronger than before. If I survive, I should feel fine in a few months or more. if I rest properly...in a month. What's up?" He asked curiously at the smiling Cass.

"Well, let me cut to the chase. You fucking bastard!" He furrowed his brow. "What did I do?" He asked quietly as he looked around anxiously. Had he accidentally woken up in his sleep and used one of them as a pillow?

He knew he tended to sleepwalk and end up in another room. There had been plenty of cases where he had woken up hugging family members that left their door open or let him in. It had caused many problems in college with many guys drawing dicks on his face and leaving him outside, or girls that used the opportunity to drag him over half the city only to end up waking up in some kind of party, or...something more sinister.

His head was pulled out of memory lane, as she shifted over to him until she was at arm's reach. She leaned forwards and touched him with her index finger on his right arm. Suddenly, he felt his sore muscles die and then a tingling sensation passed through his fingers until he felt no arm.

"Did you just…"

"Hell yeah! I call it: numb fingers." She declared as she shifted closer and touched his back. Her eyes closed as her foreheads met. His paining injuries faded away. His muscles disappeared and so did his whole back. The pain in his ribs died along with his stomach ache.

"Twath io dmmm aswhom." He tried to say, barely able to move as his body felt like a noodle. "Hahahah." Her voice was faint and soft like daylight.

The darkness overtook him and then, like a spark of lightning, he heard a weak and distant roar.
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