Not for even one second did the boy break eye contact with the girl until he collapsed in front of the praying people. The girl carefully lowered her glare to the wound that was slowly growing on the boy’s front; without disturbing the rest of the group she carefully picked up the feather-light boy and brought him to an empty building.
She left shortly after, only to return with singed medical supplies. She quickly and deftly removed the tooth from the long gash, and then with a large amount of rubbing alcohol cleansed his grimy wound.
The boys eyes stayed closed the entire time; she spared a quick glance at his face before starting to stitch him closed, he was awake she knew but she also knew that he would not show any sign of it. Once the stitching was done she left the boy in the ruins of the building, to come out on his own terms, but she took the tooth with her.
She held the tooth in her left hand and strange weight settled in her stomach. For some reason she knew what this meant, but at the time she was unsure; eventually she would know what to do, more specifically in one days’ time. Minutes later the boy came out of the building and sat himself next to her. The last crowd on earth stared at the two of them from afar.
The girl started the conversation: I’m not sure who you are, where you came from, why you’re here; but I can tell you this you’re not on earth anymore, no, I’d like to personally welcome you to Tartarus. He looked down, at his hands: yes, I know. Her head whipped toward him her hair flying into her face: then why do I see hope in your eyes? He looks away from the searing stare of the girl: redemption? Redemption, is that a joke? He sighed through his nose: no.
Then what is it? She snaps. The world’s screwed up enough as it is without some cracked up looney with a superhero complex trying to tell anyone left that it gets better. Honestly I don’t know why I’m here, alright? It’s the only civilization for countries and I was about to die of blood loss. She stared at him for a long time, the weight in her stomach growing: rest for the night. She sighed: there’s – there’s something important that I would like to show you tomorrow.
When the boy found her in the morning she was turning the tooth around in her hand, as if comforting herself. What was it you wanted to show me? Follow me, she stood up quickly. Her short figure moving more gracefully and quickly than the boy’s ever would. They traveled in silence for the entire journey out of the city.
The tear and dust stained people disappearing into minuscule figures behind them; at the edge of the city the girl looked back to see the people who survived, only those too afraid to live left to live out the rest of earth’s days, she shook her head. She turned back toward the road: this is going to be a long walk, try not to tear your stitches. She turned off the road and began trudging into the woods that were at a steady decline toward the south bay.
Would you mind telling me what this is about? She stopped abruptly causing him to run into her back. The forest had been one of the few places not damaged in the waves of radiation; for some unexplained reason it had remained immutable, unchanging. The thick green was almost suffocating, the damp moss-y-ness in the air sickening.
Never has a new person ever wander into this city of dead; never have we seen anyone dragging hope like a heavy flag behind them. Is it coincidence that three days after the human race got down on its knees to pray for their savior, to pray for hope, a wayward traveler with hope alight in his eyes shows up on the door step of the one city that holds what’s left of God’s will? He stumbles back from her, lightning dancing through his brain: you don’t think I’m the messiah do you? She looks down and swallows: We still have four miles, let’s continue moving.
When they reached the south bay the girl smoothly dragged a decrepit kayak from under a dense covering of foliage. She calmly lowered herself into the back, ready to push off from shore but he, the unlikely savior, was cemented to the higher, dry sand. The girls tawny eyes were cast downward, unwilling to meet his pale green ones: messiah or not, the last of the humans the rest of the world needs a savior right now and I – it all comes down to you, are you getting in the kayak or not?
In that moment something unknown spurred the boy on, he unceremoniously dropped himself into the front of the kayak and took the paddle and handed it to the girl. As they pushed off the boy let a question tumble from his mouth: why aren’t you the savior? The girl continued to paddle, with all the force of two people: I have my reasons. There was a pause: It’s…a story for another time.