Thursday, June 19, 2008


It has been dark for so long, and we're all mad for the light. How long has it been? A day, a week, a moment.... we're all lost for time at this point, and the darkness has made us hungry like I've never known. Though not for food.

When we catch the first glimmer of sunlight, there is silence, as if no one dare breathe, for fear it will melt away. Like desert travelers in search of water, we are at the end of our tunnels, and our ropes, and fearfully, madly dashing toward the light, which dances with the shadows of leaves and branches, and rustles in a most beautiful, echo-less sound.

Tom is in front, he has lead us here. With few words, and little confidence, he has somehow reassured us that this is the way out. He seems, however, to be showing signs of wear. The wear and the madness of the dark, that we have all felt in the pits of our bellies seems to be growing, expanding, and we're all at the edge of madness as we desperately clamor, stumble, and race toward the edge of the tunnel, and the light outside.

In a moment, I am cast aside with the madness for the light, and I clutch Finn to me, who has been quiet for far too long, and fall hard on my hip. I cry out for Tom, terrified I will be left behind here, in the darkness, forever. The hippies were always a little cracked, but their desperation for the light seems more than ours.. and I wonder if they have EVER seen the light of day. They have lived underground their whole lives... what this must look like to them...

Tom comes back for me, as I am getting up, hip sore and likely to bruise, and he helps me stumble forward toward the end of the tunnel, and the world outside. He makes no sound, and the tension of leading us through these tunnels has left him frayed and tired. It's hard to say at first how far we have to go. The light seems a mirage, that fools us with it's rays, and dancing shadows. It could be 10 feet, or it could be 100. But we trudge on, quickly, and urgently desperate to get out of here.

After a time that feels like hours but it likely moments, I hear the moaning... Tom must too, as he stops dead. Where is it coming from? We look ahead and see that the hippies have reached the edge, and now fearfully grasp the edge of the culvert, looking back at us in overt terror.

As we get closer it is easy to see that we are not at ground level. And the moaning is still audible. Tom has his knife pulled, and is ready to fight, but steps away from the edge, baffled. As I lean over to look down I can see that we are 30 feet off the ground, in a large drain culvert, looking down on a man made lake at some teen boys in a boat who look to be quickly overtaken by 4 or 5 of the undead. Once they are in the water, they will be difficult to fight, as they don't need air like we do. But if the lake is man-made, we can hope it is deep, and that the zeds have forgotten how to swim. The boys look terrified.

For a moment I am sad that these strong young men, who could be so useful to us in surviving, are at their ends. Tom must be thinking the same thing, and he climbs out onto a large tree branch near the culvert, and then summons for us to join him. The hippies are terrified, but he motions for silence, so that we can only trust his guidance, and so as he asks. He has led us this far in safety, and slowly, Sage, Juniper, Corinader, and Hawthorne climb into the tree, and begin down the trunk. Tom begins to whittle makeshift weapons with his knife out of the longer, thinner branches, and it is clear he means for us to fight.

I clutch Finn to my chest, who is now cooing happily in the sun, and hope that for his sake, this is an easy battle. I don't know how much more bloodshed I can bear, but my god, does that sun feel good on my skin.

It seems to warm me from the depths of my soul, and after a few moments, I am renewed, and ready to do what is right.

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