The Absolute

This is a sequel to My Eyes Have Seen You, my Speakeasy entry from last week.

Copyright Luma Pictures (lumapictures.com)

Copyright Luma Pictures (lumapictures.com)

“I need to understand what I’m fighting for,” I said as I looked, wide-eyed, from the crowd back to Melis that morning in the ruins.

“Fighting? You’re not a fighter. I will protect you but there may come a time that you will have to get far away from me. For your own safety.”

“Melis, you may see me as a naïve little girl, but you have taught me much. And I’m tougher than you think.”

We left it at that for the time being. The people were waiting and he couldn’t let them stand there in the grey lull while we worked out what he was going to do with me. I knew, though, that his silence did not mean he agreed.

He may have taught me basic survival, and to be wary, but he never involved me in any of the training. “There is more to a rebellion than fighting,” he often said. To him, I was still the girl he found that first day, the girl who had trusted her parents as they blinded her to the truth about the world.

Maybe he wanted to keep me that way, a piece of a lost world, but I was eager to grow, to leave the past behind.

Over time, Melis had explained all about the war that had been averted, the war I hadn’t known anything about. There had, indeed, been more than a few battles in Europe. Before the Great Disaster, the world had become a web of hate, held fast by many battles; North vs. South, East vs. West, old rivalries and new. No allies were true allies, nothing was as it seemed and every leader had a backroom deal going on with the most unexpected of partners.

On the eve of what surely would have been a full-fledged armageddon, the Earth had saved herself. It was as though every natural disaster hit at once.

No war. But the world was still shattered.

Before the dust had settled, The Absolute was there, seizing power when no one was organized enough to stop it. Countries, governments, were in disarray, unable to fend off this power. Those who understood what was happening realized it was wiser, for the time being, to lay low and stay out of sight.

Melis had explained all this to me as we, too, lay low.

I could see the planning and plotting in his eyes. I had a vague notion that they were spying on The Absolute, trying to find weak spots they could exploit without loosing anyone. Beyond that, I knew little and though I asked, Melis wouldn’t share anything. “It’s safer if you don’t know,” he’d say.

Instead, he put me in charge of the compound. I had at least proven myself by managing the transformation of the ruins into a headquarters. I was glad to have a chance to lead in my own way.

And still our numbers swelled, the cries of “Melisizwe!” growing louder as the days passed.

I knew the training and minor expeditions wouldn’t last forever. I knew something more had to happen. But despite the fire I saw in his eyes one morning, I barely looked up to watch as the familiar sway of his back disappeared across the drab, grassy plain at the edge of the abandoned town.

When I first saw the glint of silver in the sky, I thought it was a bird. But there was no birdsong to go with it. When I looked again, I noticed the shining circle of rotating blades; still it made no sound. As it got close enough to land, it whipped up a frenzied wind but the machine itself remained eerily silent.

Remembering everything Melis had taught me, I stayed in the shadows, unseen. I knew they would find those who tried to hide, and there were many. For them – the taken – the sweet air of freedom was locked away forever.

I desperately hoped they hadn’t found Melis. I wouldn’t know until he returned – if he returned.

Among the captives was a young girl, Sam. They chose her as the one to release, to send back to us as a message. She brought with her a list of those who had been killed and those imprisoned for future use. Her return showed that they knew who and where we were.

It might have been better if they had killed her, though; she may have lived, but Sam was never the same again.

 

 

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19 thoughts on “The Absolute

  1. Sequels are awesome right? 😉 This is both captivating and unsettling. Congrats on the great peice. “The Absolute” reminds me of “The Mule” in Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” series.

    • Thank you! That makes me feel better. I’m not so sure this follow-up adequately follows up the first part. I had it in my head to keep going with the story but it was hard to fit it into this week’s prompts. Perhaps I should have done something fun and different but at least I have the next part down.

  2. Great continuation! It’s such a frightening and uncertain world that they are caught up in. I hope Melis returns… I think she’d be lost without his direction.

  3. Love the sequel concept. I want to know more! There are some truly evocative passages in this. Example: But despite the fire I saw in his eyes one morning, I barely looked up to watch as the familiar sway of his back disappeared across the drab, grassy plain at the edge of the abandoned town.

  4. Yep, count me in as another who’d like to read more of this. I especially loved the part where it was the earth who fought back, all disasters at once. I always felt she had her own way to go about things! Nice work!

    • Thanks, Jen! I really appreciate your comment. I struggled to make this fit the prompt but I’m glad that I continued the story – and thrilled that people like you want to read more of it. I’m going to try to keep going.

  5. I needed to go back and read pt. 1 before I could bring the story into focus properly. Glad I did. Because there’s clearly more to be played out, right? Melis can’t simply finish up as an unexplained absence…

    • Before this week’s prompt was up, I had already decided I was going to use it to further last week’s story somehow. It wasn’t the easiest fit when it did go up, but I stubbornly used it anyway 🙂 So, yes, there is more to be played out. I like Melis. I’d like him to return soon but the girl may need to lead those left behind for a bit first.
      Thank you for taking the time to read both stories and thinking about how they can play out. I appreciate your comment!

    • Thanks, Suzanne. It’s hard not to rush ahead in the plot; I’ve since gone back into my offline version and fleshed out a bit more of the details I had skipped to meet the world limit. I then went for a bike ride and when I returned, I wrote another 700 words or so. So you just might have a next part to read – maybe as part of the summer series!

  6. Oh, good, you continued with this world. I hope Sam has more to contribute; her popping up out of nowhere makes me think she’s integral to the narrator and Melis’s fate. What a terrible position for her to be in. So much blame/guilt/confusion/relief. You definitely have the makings here of a threequel. Wait. Is that a word?

    • Yes, the prompt prompted me (ha!) to create a third character. I think it needed that and I’ve done some more writing this afternoon, adding a bit of depth to the post disappearance/reappearance situation. Thanks for your encouragement. Onwards to the threequel (it’s a word now)!

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