|Refuge (standard:fantasy, 5088 words)|
|Author: Saxon Violence||Added: Dec 04 2012||Views/Reads: 3382/954||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Years after an Apocalypse, Tree stumbles into something like a Twilight Zone Episode.|
Refuge Tree had no idea where he was, nor how he'd gotten there. It was hard to be sure, in the absence of any hard data, but he felt an underlying dread that made him think that he was being actively sought—even if he wasn't being actually stalked at this moment in time—and for all he knew, whoever or whatever could already be stalking him. It reminded him of Nightmares that he'd had as a child. Sometimes, although things hadn't gone South yet, he knew that they would—and soon. He'd tried desperately to wake up first. He'd stopped having Nightmares as a grown man. Scary things sometimes come after him, but he was never afraid. He always stood his ground and he always prevailed. He was invincible in his dreams. This wasn't a Dream though—it seemed too real. Tree examined his hands. The act of focusing his gaze on his hands would generally cause a dream to threaten to dissipate. He looked at his hands for several seconds—No, it wasn't a dream. He began to categorize his sensory impressions. It was nighttime and it was hot. It was close to a hundred degrees. The streetlights all had generous halos—partly from all the gnats and tiny moths flying around them, but also largely due to the heavy humidity. The artificial light made the blacktop road look a peculiar blue-gray. He was wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes and a white “T” shirt. He hadn't worn a white “T” Shirt since the US Army had turned him on to OD brown. Then later he'd switched to black. Come to think of it, he hadn't worn blue jeans for many years either. He inevitably bought black jeans instead. The thick sweat made him feel slick and slimy and nasty. The thin “T” Shirt clung to him tenaciously, like some article of women's lingerie. The soppy wetness of the jeans told him that he wasn't wearing his customary long underwear—since they tended to wick the moisture away, and help him stay much dryer. He patted his pockets down for weapons. He'd carried at least one Buck lock-back in a front pocket since 4th grade, but there was no Buck there today. The air was full of lightening bugs. He'd always thought their sickly green light seemed rather sinister—and when he surveyed the sky, the bats were out in force as well. He remembered how he'd played hard and sweat hard as a child, and the sweat and grime had made a line around his neck. His mother had laughed and said that he was wearing a Bead Necklace. She thought that she was being funny. Tree didn't find it the least bit funny. It was stupid. It was insulting. And it caused him to glare venomously at his mother. She was always springing Dumbass jokes like that on Tree—until he'd lose his temper and snapped at her. Then she'd leave him alone. There was a price though. When Tree's father came home from work, she'd tell him that Tree had been a “Bull”. Any normal human would have said that Tree had been “Like a Bull”. Tree's mother said that Tree had been a Bull. The stupidity of the phrasing had caused Tree to grind his teeth in rage and mutter darkly to himself. And Tree's father never punished Tree. He'd just look at Tree as if having a surly son was the biggest cause of shame and regret in his life—as if being grumpy was a far worse thing than being a homosexual or a pedophile, even than having a son who was fat. He looked at Tree as if he wondered how he could have sired such a disappointment. To someone of Tree's sensitive nature, that dark look was far worse punishment than a backhand or a spanking. At the same time he'd been mystified. He was grumpy and couldn't suffer aggravating fools gladly, even though he tried. So What? Click here to read the rest of this story (575 more lines)
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