I just started writing with no thought as to plot or characters or anything. I wrote the first line and then I wrote the second and so on and so forth. This is the little 600 words that happened…
I closed my eyes and wished I were in another place, another time, another body. Anything to escape this, to remove my friends from this. I heard the snapping of far off shots and held my breath, wondering if they would remain afar or if they would head our direction. Peter shifted and I felt his breath against my cheek. His arms around me were strong but I knew he must be tired. He was still weak from his own bought of illness and my weight, though less than before I got sick, would be wearing on him.
“I think they’re readying the next search. Are you ready to go again?” His voice was low, reaching only the ears of those huddled around him. Eric, a young farm boy from the next town over, watched Peter with eyes wide open. In the fading light of twilight, his eyes were the most prominent feature of his dark face. Fran, an orphan who, like me had gotten the sickness six weeks ago, lifted her face to look at Peter with dead eyes before lowering her head back onto her bony knees. She wrapped her lank arms, clad thinly in her hospital gown, around her legs, drawing them closer to her chest, squeezing into the smallest space possible. I knew she would not make it to the next stopping point without help, if at all. Gary, nodded solemnly from his position across from Peter. Gary was the only one of our group who had not been sick and I hoped he would be spared…at least until we were in a safe location. We would not be able to save him if his temperature sky rocketed in the first stage of the sickness.
I had heard talk of a few who were immune to the sickness and I hoped Gary was one of the lucky few. When I’d asked the nurse about it, her hands paused for just a moment from their massaging of my legs before she answered gruffly, “What you talking about, child? You running some more fever? You start talking craziness again, the doc, he’s gonna put you back on the drip.”
I had closed my lips tightly least I might say something which would result in being returned to the nightmare like landscape of the “drip” induced coma, or Dripma as it had been dubbed. I shuddered slightly in Peter’s arms, remembering the cold of the Dripma world. They said I was under for three weeks, longer than any other survivor, but I had years of memories from that place. Peter looked down at me, concern on his face.
“Do you need to rest longer, Janee?” His question was quieter than his last. I knew he worried about me more than the others but I, being carried, would not be the one to slow them down with requests to rest. I shook my head.
And that’s all, folks. This has been a free writing experience with Becky Walker. See you next time on, “No Planning Whatsoever.” Now, a word from our sponsor…