Change Dawning

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I hope this year has been a great start for you. Enjoy this extra holiday flash fiction to mark the year changing.

Flame burst from the rock when she stood on the cliff’s edge. Hayden glanced at their group. The others were pointing to the city below. The skyscrapers cutting through fog that was itself a brilliant blaze of swilling light was captivating. He turned back and looked at the woman.

They’d spent the last week at seat mates as the bus had crept through the wilds. He knew she’d called herself Silver the one time he’d gotten her to talk.

She shifted again, tightening her grip on the guitar’s neck. Rough notes sounded dully, and more sparks flew. Hayden paused looking over his shoulder to the guards that had escorted them through the wastes to here. They huddled near the buses, the brilliant circle of the burning ends of cigarettes more visible than them.

The rocks scrapped beneath his feet at Hayden moved to warn them. He stopped shaking his head.

They were waiting permission to cross the barrier. Permission that they’d said wouldn’t come before morning at earliest. There’d been groans at that pronouncement. He’d hoped as much as the others to start the year within the city’s walls, not still traveling.

If Hayden gave them cause, they’d see many more sunsets from this cliff than just one. If they were allowed to proceed at all.

Hayden moved away from the group and stood beside Silver. “A site isn’t it?” The words felt lame as he spoke them, and he shoved his hands in his pockets. How did you ask someone if they were touched though?

Silver’s hand loosened, letting the guitar fall until the strap snapped tight. “A site.” Her mouth bunched and not with mirth. She rose a hand to swipe her aqua hued locks. The end effect was hiding more of her face.

Hayden cleared his throat and discarded asking what brought her to the city. The answer was always the same, escaping the devastation. She shifted in the continued silence crossing her arms tightly.

Should he leave her alone? Hayden glanced back toward the group. Or groups more exactly. Mismatched families huddled together, but he could see the groupings even if they felt incomplete. Everyone was missing someone. He was missing everyone.

“Who are you missing?” The words escaped before he could think better of them. Silver turned toward him her brow scrunched together. Hayden scuffing the toe of his shoe on the rocks. “You’re the only other solo in the group.” He shrugged.

Silver turned away and shrugged back. “Too many.” The voice was quiet, and he could hear the pain.

“Yeah, me too. Didn’t think the wolves would take me.”

Silver looked back at him. “Because a solo is more likely to be tainted?” He could her the bitter note in her voice.

Hayden nodded. “Ain’t none to call us back if we’re lost.”

Silver shook her head. “Being lost isn’t all that bad with the world.”

“I…” Hayden gulped and turned toward her squarely. She looked up him and he saw the guitar swing from her back as she held it before herself. He moved turn as she played a melody. The notes drew his attention and he sunk to the ground before her.

There was blue in the brown of her eyes. Hayden blinked and tilted his head to the side. Silver smiled at him and he felt himself smile back.

He blinked in the sunlight blinding him. Silver sat next to him and his arm was around her. There were footsteps behind them, and he turned him head to see a guard approaching.

“You’re the solos, right?” The man flicked a spent butt off as he approached, a pad in his hand. “We’ve got to hold you here in camp a bit longer.” Hayden looked beyond the man and saw they Gatemen standing near the bus. Families were being allowed back on the bus.

Hayden glanced at Silver and she smiled. He could hear the melody again as he looked at her face. “No, we’re together.”

The man frowned and glanced again at his pad. “Payne and Mullet?” Hayden could hear the incredulity in the man’s voice.

“Engaged,” Silver said next to him. Hayden felt her hand move across her back as the man watched them. He nodded, pulling her closer to him.

The man looked at his pad again and shrugged. “Time to get back on the bus.”

Hayden nodded and rose, helping Silver up after him. The two walked back toward the bus and waited the hour as the guards spoke with each group. When they reached the front of the line he smiled and lied at each question. The words tumbled from his mouth as the men grilled them on how long they’d known each other and details of their past.

Words spilled forth that fit the little he knew of Silver and her answers meshed with his. Answers he knew he’d never heard before, like her birthday which matched whatever was on his pad. Hayden climbed onto the bus when they were motioned onboard and retook his seat next to Silver.

The bus lurched into motion and approached the barrier. The silver light became blinding as they approached, and he moved to stand when they were meters away. His mouth opened to deny his relationship to Silver. He had to deny it and stop the bus before they breached the barrier.

Her hand twisted on his wrist and mails dug into his skin. Looking down Hayden saw Silver’s mouth open and a wordless melody filled his ears. He sunk into the chair next to her and placed a hand on her cheek as the bus passed the barrier. She smiled and laid her head on his shoulder.

Hayden’s mind drifted away with the final thought that he’d helped a touched into the city and that he didn’t care. New Years was a time for change. Silver would change the city.

0 thoughts on “Change Dawning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *