Categories > Original > Sci-Fi > One0 Reviews
Two hundred years into the future, when the freedoms we take for granted are banned. One woman fights for hope.
Soon carrying One, as light as he was, became a burden and I knew if I didn’t find shelter soon, I would collapse.
I heard the strange sounds of the animals that inhabited the badlands, and I hoped they wouldn’t catch our scent.
Suddenly, just as I spotted a lone tree, I heard a howl and knew that we were being tracked.
Quickly I began to run, ignoring the strain in my arms and legs, as more howls came closer.
Finally we reached the tree and I pushed One up into it.
“Stay there,” I said, then turned with a large tree branch in my hands.
I could see the red eyes staring at me from the darkness, and I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to climb the tree before the beasts were upon me.
One of the beasts darted forward and I swung the branch, connecting with its head and causing it to fly back with a loud yelp.
“Go away,” I yelled, backing up so the trunk of the tree was shielding my back.
Another beast charged me, and I swung the branch, screaming as it grabbed a hold of it, dragging it out of my hands.
It threw the branch aside with an angry howl then lunged at me, as I closed my eyes.
Suddenly I heard a shot, then a yelp and opened my eyes just in time to see the beasts dart away, their red eyes disappearing into the darkness.
I scanned the area, afraid that Gunner had found us, then gasped when the shooter approached the tree.
He was a large man with long black hair, the tattoo on his face showing what he was.
“Outlanders,” I whispered, before my knees buckled and I fell forward into darkness.
I woke up later, to find myself in a large room.
I sat up quickly in alarm, looking around for One.
“Be careful,” an older woman with long brown hair said, as she came into the room. “You’ve had quite a shock.”
“The boy who was with me,” I said, “where is he?”
The woman smiled.
“He’s fine,” she said, “asleep in the next room. When my husband brought you two home, he refused to leave your side. My son finally got him to sleep about a hour ago.”
“Where are we?” I asked, looking around the room.
“You’re in the outland village,” the woman said, giving me a bowl with some kind of stew.
“You’re lucky my husband found you, or those wolves would’ve torn you apart.”
She watched me for a moment as I began to eat hungrily.
“Why is an outlaw wandering around the badlands with a child?” She finally asked and I looked up at her.
“I’m no longer an outlaw,” I said softly, “I have no home, no group.”
She nodded, realizing that I wasn’t going to say anymore.
“You can stay here as long as you want,” she said, “I’m Quorra, medicine woman of our village. No one will dare make you leave as long as I say you can stay.”
“Thank you,” I whispered, finishing the stew.
After I finished eating, Quorra helped me out of bed.
“One of the women who are about your size sent this dress for you,” she said, holding out a beautiful creation made out of a fabric I had never seen before.
“What is this made from?” I whispered, stroking the dress.
“That’s deer hide,” Quorra said, “we get everything we need from the badlands.”
I shook my head in amazement.
“I never realized,” I said softly.
“Many people never do,” Quorra said, as she helped me dress.
She showed me to the room where One was curled up in a bed, sound asleep and I knelt beside him, gently stroking his hair.
“He’s a good boy,” a voice said behind me, and I turned to see a handsome man with long black hair.
“Yes he is,” I said softly, knowing this must be Quorra’s son.
He walked toward the bed and knelt beside me with a smile.
“I’m Garrett,” he said, “its not often we get visitors here, especially outlaws.”
“My name is Elie,” I said softly, “I’m no longer an outlaw.”
He smiled again and nodded.
“None of us are,” he said with a chuckle. “that’s how most of the people ended up here.”
He paused for a moment, studying me.
“Of course, most of them aren’t as pretty as you,” he said softly and I blushed, not used to men complimenting me.
Just then One rolled over and made a soft noise before opening his eyes.
“Elie,” he said with a smile when he saw me, then sat up and hugged me tightly.
I hugged him back, realizing with a start, how much I had grown to love this little boy in the short time I had known him.
Garrett watched us for a moment with a soft smile.
“Are you hungry?” He finally asked One who nodded and climbed out of my lap, dashing out of the room.
Garrett stood, then helped me up, not letting go of my hand.
“Mother will feed him,” he said to me, “he’ll be safe here and I’d like to show you the village.”
I nodded, feeling a frission of awareness go through me when he touched my hand.
“I’d like that,” I whispered, staring into his deep green eyes with a smile.