Lucy walked through the desert, bare footed, dragging the limp bodies of her children with each arm. Bloodied, she moves at a snail’s pace, the weight of her tiny children creating fatigue and making her more weary than she should be, the sun beats down on her half covered back, oozing blisters covering all open patches of flesh. She can’t let go, the children that she loved, fought for and protected are not dead, they are still hers and always will be. She licks at her dried and cracked lips, repeating
“Mommy loves you, Mommy loves you.”
She stops, collapsing onto her knees, she drags each child closer to her, cradling each waxy body in either arm, she closes her eyes, almost passing out, she opens her eyes and a hole appears suddenly in the middle of her forehead, spraying blood and brains onto her children’s faces, she falls forward onto her children, a pool forming around the three of them. Footprints are walking away from the blood pool, staining the ground red beneath them. Vic stands there with the smoking gun, looking down at his once happy family.
Vic wakes from his nightmare sobbing, sweating and cold. He sits up with a hitch in his chest, he had slept awkwardly on his broken ribs. He sat in silence for a few moments before he noticed just that, the silence. The sand storm had come to a finish and the air was silent and still. The day had started to appear from the night, Vic could see more clearly than he had even taking away the flying particles of sand and the possibility of being used to the dark. He took note of his surroundings and couldn’t help but think of how different everything looked, boulders and plants dusted with sand, he looked at the ground around him and couldn’t even make out his footprints from what may have been a few hours before, his heart stopped and then pulsated at twice its usual speed, he scrambled to his feet falling and grazing his knees before finally finding his feet, he ran from behind his boulder jumping into the open as if to surprise something other than the vulture that flew away from its now mobile and awakened breakfast. The tyre tracks were gone, blown away into the night sky, Vic turned on the flashlight and checked in the non reassuring light, they simply weren’t there. He looked at the boulder that had acted as his shelter to gain bearings, he figured out where he had come from at least but realised he had taken the track for granted and had no clue as to where it was leading, he made assumptions as to where he thought it went but it would only be a temporary fix, he would have no way of knowing which way was true within a few feet. Vic stood there, wheezing, once more on the brink of tears, he held himself together, barely keeping grip on the seams of his sanity. He needed to find his family, even if he had to search for days, if he won’t find them on the way he must get to a road, get help, search dogs anything, he wouldn’t let his family down again, it took going away from his family into the arms of another woman to realise he’d had his happiness, and needn’t indulge his midlife crisis and go out looking for it. He stood here now, thinking of abduction, blood and family, why had those three formed together to make such a devastating cocktail. Kill yourself. He couldn’t, knowing his family weren’t safe kill yourself that they needed him now more than ever drop dead as well as not knowing what happened to them do you want to know? “Don’t. Stop. Shut up”.
He took a mouthful of water, dusted himself off and continued walking into unknown territory as the vulture viewed from a distance with his vulture friend.
Vic had now been walking a couple of hours, the sun peeking up from the horizon checking to see if Vic had survived the night and if he was ready for the heat of the day. The original blister on his foot now had a whole guest list of friends joining him welcome to the shoe, the new place to groove and ooze. He hardly noticed them, any aches and pains completely drifted away and were put to the back of his mind not to be thought of. Vic tried to remember the last time he had kissed Lucy, Tommy or Andrea and couldn’t form a memory of any, he then tried to remember what they looked like, God forbid if he forgot, that would drive him to complete insanity, he thought about Lucy, with the same haircut she had had for years, why change something if it worked, it completely accentuated her features and lit up her whole face, he firmly believed if she changed her hair she would be completely different and totally unrecognizable, the image of her was still strong in his mind, her smile, her lips perfectly pink, her eyelashes fluttering around her gorgeous eyes, he started to become aroused and thought whether it was normal in the circumstances, he cleared his mind allowing his semi erection to deflate. Andrea was born as a planned pregnancy unlike her younger brother, she had the exact features her mother had but we’re completely changed by her own hair style, it was strange how the two hairstyles changed his perception entirely, she reminded him of Lucy, to look at his young daughter who remains completely oblivious of his affair filled him with guilt, he supposed he felt that way when he looked at Tommy but looking into his wife’s eyes on the cherub face of his daughter made looking at her all the more difficult.
Tommy, his little boy, the apple of his eye, though he was unplanned Vic knew Tommy to be his favourite, he knew it wrong to admit having a favourite so never did, but every parent does, just usually for different reasons, he knew that Tommy being a boy was the only difference in the love of his children, a man often takes pride more in a son than a daughter and if there are more than one son it’s always the first born, daughters evoke more of a protective feeling, a son is someone you want to teach all of your man skills to, teach him the ways of the father.
He no longer forgot their faces but began to miss them so much more, every detail making his heart hurt, squeezing his heart into surrender. He realised he’d been staring at his feet for a while, a force of habit when you frequently walk in a busy town, he raised his eyes and in that moment almost wished he’d met eyes with someone, it didn’t even need to be family, a complete stranger with blood on his hands and malice on his lips would have been welcome, all he saw was desert and the wavy heat bouncing off the ground, it reminded him how much he needed water, he took inventory of his remaining water and saw he had less than a quarter left, it made him want to be the size of a pea, just so he could dip himself in and wash, even warm water would be better than no water. His thought process was broken by blinding light, it hurt his head, he shielded his eyes and saw what had caused his temporary blindness, it was a passing car.