The train rattled as we approached our destination, the bedazzling lights lit the night sky, as we circled the crimson city. The darkness swallowed us whole; the train shook, enveloping me into its depths.
“Don’t be frightened, Hamish. We’re almost there” Alex’s hand steadied my shoulders, the warmth cascading into my burning flesh.
The storage cart was stuffy. Boxes lying side by side, lights. All engulfed by the darkness, Alex’s lighter was our only hope causing the walls to shine amber.
“Surprised there are windows down ‘er” Alex stated, tapping the clouded glass. His black cloak clung to his body. His dark mane was pulled tight into a ponytail like a wild colt being tamed.
“Didn’t think the SAA would care about storage carts.”
I remembered them, the ones who hunted us. They were basically robots, always underneath ones command. Their order this time, us. Prisoners, is that what we are?
Underneath the drowning skies, I saw light. Stars. They glistened upon their backdrop. Beautiful, just beautiful. I…I’m floating, slowly drifting away…
× × × ×
The sun, its blinding rays. My mind awoke, but I was still stuck in the familiar storage cart. Alex’s hand lay upon mine, squeezing it firmly. He smiled, then let go of my hand, turning around and staring blankly out of the window.
“Did you just wake up? I swear Hamish, thought I almost lost ya”
“It’s alright Alex, I just needed some sleep.” I retreated from my vivid nightmare, focusing on the mere future. “Are we nearly there? I’m gettin’ tired…”
“Almost. Give it time, Hamish” His words soaring throughout the tiny compartment, breaching my deepest thoughts, “give it all time.”
The train halted. The screeching, piercing my ear.
Then footsteps. Footsteps, everywhere.
“Search these carriages, I’ve got the captain’s” His orders flying through the air, agitating the screaming civilians.
“We gotta go! Leave everythin’. Go! Go!” His hand embraced mine as we flung into the corridor. Prying open the emergency doors, we jumped into the meadow below, colliding with the rough earth.
Running, we were running. Nowhere to go, yet we kept on running. The space before us, a jungle of tangled leaves.
“Alex!” I called out his name in fear, in horror “Where are you?”
The forest thought wrongly not to answer. My heart was crippling, where is he…
Boom! Bang! Guns! They’re shaking the earth underneath me. That got me running even harder. “Alex!” My constant cries searching for its victim.
It hurt. The tearing in my shoulder. The pain it emitted. The blood that flowed. The bullet lodging even further inside me.
The trees helped me. I limped among them, a crutch. They were pulling me, directing me into the dirt below. Leaning against them, the blood seeped through my shirt. My hair rolling in the muck. What was happening…I could see the skies above, the familiar glow they emitted. The clouds growing nearer and nearer, then I saw Alex.
As perfect as ever.
× × × ×
“Don’t say a word!” His forceful words pushing me against the wall. On his arm, a tattoo I’d recognise anywhere. The prison, it was from the prison.
He’d fled into my room, seeking shelter, seeking medical assistance. My window was only a gateway to his survival.
The blood seeped through his tattered clothing, a leaking tap. He needed help, desperately, but yet his mind prevented him of trust.
“You’re hurt and bleeding. Let me help you” I shouted, hoping it would reach him, perhaps enter his heart. The words stung him, as did my hand as it ventured closer and closer to the hole in his shoulder.
Hands immediately flew out to my neck, suffocating me as I attempted to help. He was shutting me out, even though he destined to be let in.
“Please…please let me help you…” My last words echoing throughout the room as I was running out of breath. Retreating, his hand’s attended his shoulder, patting it for comfort. He watched as the blood continued to drip, continued to swirl on the ground.
I plunged my finger deeply into his wound, retrieving the golden bullet.
Now I could see, could see his future, could imagine his life in prison. Waking up every day to the familiar grey walls, the moaning and pain, the anxiety, everything.
Nevertheless though, his escape was dangerous, deathly. The SAA, they shot him, an easily predicted move. This is how they dealt with the ‘smart ones’, this is their redemption.
“It’s alright, the pain will vanish” I pulled the last stitch through, his cries lingering throughout the room.
“I’m Hamish, what’s your name?”
“Alex…” His voice slowly fading into nothing, “Why’d you save me? You could’ve left me. ”
I laughed to myself. “In the end, you were the one who came to me,” I started “Besides, you were hurt. Had to patch you up.”
Alex followed me upstairs, straight to my bedroom. This was where I offered him my bed.
The bed wriggled, its bouncy springs rolling over and over. Alex’s laugh enduring, his short black hair pressing into the pillows. I lay beside him, rivalling him through miraculous jokes. A night I’d never forget.
Even though his appearance frightened me, he was nothing more than a mere boy. A boy looking for a home.
He held my hand that night, signalling me to never let him go, but it was too late, because the next time I opened my eyes,
He was gone.
× × × ×
Everything was blurry, moist, dark.
“Alex…” I mumbled regaining consciousness.
We were moving. The new surroundings dark and abnormal. Yet we were still moving, like a ghost train emerging into the new heights of the world.
“Did you bring me here?” I asked, but my words only reached the ceiling, the never-ending ceiling. Then my back arched, as I was embraced by a familiar toned body. His arms cradling me, soothing all my worries. He nodded against my shoulder, replying to my sudden thought.
“I thought I lost you…” Alex whispered into my ear, tickling the smallest hairs, “I thought I was alone… Hamish, I could never live without you.”
That’s when I felt the small substance flicker on my cheek. A crystal tear, trickling down my face. Alex…only Alex.
× × × ×
“Where are we going?” I asked as the underground train stopped, inviting us into its unexplored chasm.
I held his hand, moving at the same pace, as we jumped across the fallen rocks inside the tunnel. Ahead, there was no light; only Alex.
“We’re nearly there, I can feel it” Alex’s face lit up, booming with excitement. I was eager to see the present at the end of the labyrinth.
A sudden breeze enveloped me in its spirals. I couldn’t help but imagine a society where the wind would drift, and the snow would fall.
The pattering of rain dented the ceiling. Rain…I hadn’t experienced it in a long time. That’s when I ran faster, into the hole at the end of the tunnel. Into the unknown world before us.
“This is it Hamish, the real world.”
Author Notes: Hope you like! This got me one of the best grades in class! Please comment if you liked or disliked, I'd like to know what you think.