Disregard & Rebellion
I lay on one of the great grey banks of sand. Wasteland stretched out before me in a milky haze of monochrome. Free breath washed over my face, a light wind void of stale exhale and sweat.
It was the first time I’d ventured free of the town since it happened.
Sand dusted my skin and scratches tickled by the wind. My flesh was worn down, destroyed, torn loose of daring delusions. I imagined his hand on my arm but it was as good as the touch of a ghost, incidental and ethereal.
Thoughts of him no longer soothe me. He is the reason for my pain.
I stretched out, feet bracing against the dusty hill. We laid like that once, but now I am claiming the memory for my own. No others can be involved in this solitude.
I considered heading to the garage. My car was parked behind the dunes, grotty and unkempt as it had not been in years. They’d left it to rot when they took to me. Then they’d left me to rot. Rotten inside.
My eyes closed and I breathed in. Air without stifle. My considerations turned to cigarettes, but I hadn’t had the taste or the scent in months and nothing would change that. Besides, they would only serve to remind me of him. And I cannot be reminded.
Reminders are for the weak.
So instead I laid there, focusing on the inhale and the exhale, the clean replacing the dirty. The ugliness and the sin. It must all be replaced by the freshness of the air. That air that was free, wasteland air; unsullied by the people of the town and the committee.
There I was free of memories. There I was free of it all. Free.
They would only attack me again if they knew I’d been out in the wastelands. They would only take to me with their vileness and filth, telling me that I am the one who has caused it all. That it is my fault.
My body ached. I can still remember how it ached. How every line of muscles stirred stiffly, every bone creaking and every mark of hands and flesh burned my flesh. Shadows of silence cusp my eyes. Eventually the nightmares will stop.
If they found out that I visited the wastelands then I would not care. I would run and not look back. In my moment of lying there, I considered simply running, but I knew I could not. My eyes open and glance to the haze in the distance where I knew that the town still stood.
My family would not survive so well without my efforts. I would stay for them until the committee would permit me to stay no more. Outcast and dissolute.
My heart beat dimly in my chest, the wind toying with my hair.
Still, I do not forget that day. That first day of freedom. That first day that the hollowness inside took over and I could name it disregard and rebellion.
That first day.
[This piece is from a day in the past of my Breaking Cadence protagonist’s life]
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