Categories > Original > Sci-Fi0 Reviews
Rose, living in a distopian future, has to deal with problems every day, but sometimes you can't survive without help.
Rose sniffed the air as she opened her window. The ground was covered with fresh sand from the storm last night, and she could see in the distance there was some metalic things of sorts, and she was sure there was some kind of mechinisim that did not survive the storm from the city. After all, she was only a few miles away from the city, and there were frequent storms these days.
“A change in tides, a change in time.” She whispered to herself as she pulled back. The air was fresh, but the day was going to be hot, very hot. She could tell. She pulled back her dirty-ginger hair back into a ponytail.
She looked down, as she grabbed her jacket and her boots off the floor and moving over to sit on the table that was pushed against the wall, and saw her very best friend smiling and wagging his tail at her.
“Hello, Donny.” She sait patting his lolling head. He leaned into her hand, his big, bloodhound head heavy in her hand. “Are you going to catch us some good meat tonight? Or will you dind some good metal scraps we can sell?” Donny barked happly, licking her hand. She laughed and pulled up, fastening the bottom three buttons on her jean jacket and put her gun into her holster before putting on her boots and fastening the ties. She smiled at Donny as she pulled down a can of Happy Pup. She knew Donny should have more than puppy food, but you got what you could. She pulled down a can of beans for her, and tried to swallow down at least half a can, and put the rest in a jar and sat it back into a cubbord.
“Come on, boyo.” She said, laughing at how he still chased his tail. She opened the door and walked down the steps, seeing that most of the aparentments that were under her were either empty, and the doors still swinging slowly in the little breeze that blew. She put on her sunglasses to protect her from the light as she walked to the side of the building. There was a small motercycle, with a passenger carrier to hold her dog, and her pickings. She put in the keys and started the ignition. The familiar roar of the engine calmed her, and Donny hopped into his rightful place, panting. She reved the growling machine before finally pushing off, riding into the desert for the metal she had seen in the morning.
As she got closer, her eyes widened. There were some larger pieces then there usually were. Perhaps there were some devices that were even partially in tact this time. She smirked to herself, pulling over as she reached the first pieces of metal. Donny barked and hopped out, running off to the right, after, what she hoped would be their dinner for that night. She pulled out a large bag from where Donny had sat. This was an old black tarp bag that she had sewn a rope to the top so it was almost the theif's version of Santa's pack. Of course, no one wanted the old metal, after it had been blown away from the city. No one really wanted to leave the city either. Why would they? It was filled with every luxery that they would ever need, after all.
Rose pulled at the little bit of sweat that was forming. She had already filled up almost half of her pack with what looked like a piece from the side of a toaster, a car mirror, and perhaps some metal sheeting that had just made its way to the junkyard before the storm. She could see why because it was ripped in half, perfect for carrying.
As she finished picking up everything she could for the tarp bag, she scanned the horizon. The day was growing very hot, and she was sure that the Shop would be opening soon. Of course it didn't open till it started to grow dark, but she still had a ways to drive to get to it, and by the time she got there, she knew that Donny would need a good drink.
She shook her head, realizing Donny was nowhere in sight. Usually he had already come back with at least a dead mouse or something. She called for him, turning around. There was no sign of him. She called again, louder, though she flinched after, realizing that calling too loud could call the Assembly, and she really didn't want to have to deal with them, today. She called again, and finally saw a brown speck in the distance, growing closer. She smiled, and waited....but he wasn't runing to her, in fact, he was being very sluggish. She watched worriedly for a minute, and then she realized that Donny was, in fact, carrying something. No, he was dragging something with his teeth toward her. She stared in awe for a moment, never thinking Donny would catch a large animal, but then she realized that it wasn't prety to her dog, it was, in fact, a body of some sort. She ran up to her dog, and finially reached him. He was dragging the body of a man by his pant leg. She wrinkled her nose as Donny dropped his leg and looked up at her with large, happy eyes. She grimanced and bent down, putting two fingers to his neck. His heart, in fact was still beating. She breathed a sigh of relief. So, the Assembly had no gotton to him.
She reached under his shoulders and started to drag him to her bike. It was going to be hard for her to carry him and Donny, and the metal, but if she placed everything correctly, she should be able to make it. She first placed him into the passenger car, and then set the bag on top of him. Then she told Donny to hop on. Donny hesitated, not used to sharing with a strange human.
“It's going to be okay, boy. He's not gonna bite.” She said. Donny barked indignantly and hopped on. She laughed and revved the engine, speeding toward the appartment. Great. Now she had to spend her afternoon taking care of a strange man in her appartment complex. She shook her head and sighed. This was new, and she had seen a lot. Finally, she reached home and pulled the bag out, setting it on the bike seat as she heaved the man out of her bike car and dragged him to the steps. What floor? There were three, and he most definitely wasn't going in hers, which was on the second floor. She guessed he would be out all day, after being knocked out somehow in the desert. She pulled him up to the third floor, because she knew that she would be able to hear if he would try to escape.
She pulled him up onto the bed, running to her appartment and getting an old rag she ran under the tap. She wrung it out and started to mop up the dust from his face. His face was really very dirty, but after she washed away some of the dirt, she realized he was actually not bad looking. He had brown hair that was a little shaggy, going past his ears but not quite to his neck. He had long lashes, as all lucky boys did, and his face was slightly angular, but not square. She smiled as his appearance made her think of those movie stars from the old movies she watched long ago. Then she laughed as she realized that no one probably remembered those, since it had been so long ago. The man had on a red and black plaid flannel and a black shirt underneath. Very bad desert wear, she noticed. He was wearing tennis shoes and regular working jeans.
After his face was well washed, she pulled out an old glass from one of the cabinants that were in the kitchen and washed it out, filling it with water and placing it on the bedside table. She ran home and pulled out her favorite stash of goodies. Treats from when she went scouting abandoned buildings. There was a can of peaches and a can of pears, a sealed jar of marichino cherries, and two six-packs of sealed coca-colas. She pulled out her can of peaches and her extra can opener and finally pulled out her notebook she kept her memories and her personal writings in. She pulled out a page in the back and scribbled down a message, “Please stay if you wake up and I'm not here. Showers work, because I'm an awesome mechanic, and you might be able to find an extra change of clothes in the closet, though I have no idea what your size would be.”
She sighed and shook her head as she set it next to the unconscious man and left the peaches and the can opener, and looked him over once again for any injuries. After she was sure he was comfortable, she walked back to see Donny fast asleep on her bed. She smiled as she poured herlself a glass of water to beat the heat and stay hydrated in the sultry heat. She finished and called Donny to her side. The dog grumbled and rolled over, happening to fall off of the bed before getting up and shaking it's head indignantly.
“Come on, boy.” Rose laughed. She walked down back to her bike, noticing it was about to grow dark. Hopefully the shop will be waiting for her, even after her delay. She pulled out onto the abandoned highway headed toward Section 3. That is where the Underground was.
When she reached Section 3 she turned a sharp right and followed a back road till she reached Route Red Sauce. Why call it that? Well, let's say that for a long time, that road was a battle field. It was cleaned a long time ago by the Assembly, but after that it was forgotton. She finally reached an old shack that looked beat down to dangerous proportions. However, what no one in the Assembly knew was it was actually a stairway to the underground. A place where all people who every escaped the city could trade, talk, and heal without the city finding out who or where you are.
I pulled up by the shack and walked my bike inside. There were a couple bikes already in there, but since everyone knows that Rose likes to go to the underground daily, they always seem to leave just enough room for her. In the corner of the house is a tattered set of shelves. She felt along the top shelf till she found a little switch, and hit it. A trapdoor that had dirt attatched to it to match the floor popped up and revealed a small stairway down. She called Donny to go ahead of her and descended into the darkness.
The stairway went down and led to a dark tunnel. Rose, however, had grown accustomed to the dark from the stairway, so she just kept walking down to finally see some lights coming from the distance. She smiled as she saw three little kids playing by the entrance. One of them had an old ukelaly and was playing some kind of tune while the other two danced in circles.
She smiled as she approached, and the playing stopped.
“Rose!” All the kids chimed as they ran toward her.
“Hello, Jane, Jake, Roxy.” She said as they each in turn hugged her. Jane and Jake, twins, both had fluffy black hair and roxy curly blond hair. She smiled as Jake and Jane both took one of her hands and Roxy giggled as Donny let her pet him. They all started walking toward the now noisy tunnels ahead. There was a large opening, and they walked into the “lobby.” This is where vendors would try to sell whatever they made that day, and seperate tunnels to where the different shops were. She smiled as she passed by the vendors. Jane and Jake let go of her hands to run to their mom, who was selling baked goods her husband smuggled from the city. Roxy kept following her, though. She walked to the Third tunnel down from the entrance, and followed it down to a very hot room which held a very large oven-like pit where there were melting pots all around.
Rose saw an older man moving around, pouring out the used metal to make them into the appropriate molds in which he could shape into anything that he wanted to, such as weapons or utensils or even knick-nacks or toys. However, most of it was used to for weapons.
“Rose!” the older man said, smiling happily at her as he noticed her presence. “It's good to see you again. You're later than usual. Anything happen?” he asked. She set her bag on the table and shook her head.
“No, Jackson, I'm afraid nothing of importantce.” She lied. “I just slept in.” she said.She didn't know why she didn't want to tell Jackson about her new houseguest, but she always followed her gut isntinct, so it had to be important that she kept this fact from Jackson.
“Well, let's hope that doesn't happen again, shall we?” Jackson said, a little suspiciously. Rose nodded not making eye contact. Ever since her parents went away Jackson had been like a father to her.
“Well, then, I guess that's that for today. If you want to see Jacob he's with Jason and Kenny.” Jackson said.
Rose sighed and got up. “I.....don't know.....I need to shop then get home.”
“Why? You uaually stay for a few hours, at least.” Jackson said, suspicious again.
“It has been one of the hottest days this year and I have to make sure Donny is taken care of. He's not been well these past few days.” She lied again. Donny looked at her, panting with a large grin on his face.
“He looks fine to me, Rose.” Jackson laughed.
“He doesn't like showing weakness.” Rose countered.
“Just like you, eh? Well, good dogs are girl's best friends, I guess.” He said, laughing, then he gave her a serious look. “Please, go see Jacob before you leave, though.” He asked. Rose heitated and then nodded. She plucked up the courage to get up, and walk out. Donny whined as he looked back between Jackson and her.
“You can stay, Donny.” Rose smiled. The dog barked happily and lay down by one of the walls, enjoying the nice heat of the room.
Rose sighed as she walked out. There were two places the three boys could be. One, by the food stand, where, if they sweet talked Mama Jackie they would get free dough bits or soemthing, two, they were by the river. The river was by the back of the Underground. Sometimes, if you were really lucky, you would catch a fish or two. Or sometimes you could scavange up some crabs or craydaddies.
Eventually, it became a part for the last boys of colony to wrestle and play in the water. The women were busy upkeeping their businesses. I remember, though, how Jackson kept Jacob and I with him, until I was old enough to start scavenging on my own for metal. Since then, Jacob learned to join the boys at the river. He said it was only because he wanted to see if he could catch fish. I new better, however. He really wanted to finally have some guy time after living with a girl and his father and a bloodhound puppy. He begged me not to move out when I finally did, but I preferred to be in the sun instead of underground all day.
Rose finally got to the river to see, as she thought, Jacob, Jason, and Kenny all at the river, laughing loudly at whatever Kenny had just said. Kenny seemed like the ring-leader of the three boys. He had spiky blond hair a very square face, and everyone who was not me thought he was the most handsome boy in the group. He was not only the ring-leader of the group, but also seemed the be the biggest jerk to only Rose. He was perfectly kind to everyone else, though. Rose has always wondered what she ever did, but she gave up trying to find out.
“Hey, look, it's tall, dark, and wimpy!” Kenny called to Rose.
“Hey, it's wannabe surfer!” she said, half-heartedly. She wasn't really in the mood to talk to Kenny in the first place, but she had to go see if her “guest” was awake, and Jackson knew she wasn't going to leave without Donny, so she couldn't just sneak out without seeing Jacob.
“Hey Rose.” Jacob said, smiling at Rose as he got up and walked over. Rose smiled back and gave him a hug. “I'm sorry Dad made you come over here to see me.”
“Sorry for seeing you? Never.” she said, smiling. He was like a brother to her, so of course she was happy to see him.
“Hey, Rose.” Jason said, quietly. Rose remember Jason had always been the shy one in the group. He usually was pressured by Kenny to do anything that Kenny asked him to, but he didn't seem to hate Rose, so she was cool with him.
“Hey, girl, eat dirt, we got business to do.” Kenny said, grumpily.
“Eat....dirt?” Rose asked, looking at Jacob with a raised eyebrow. He chuckled and shrugged, shaking his head. She laughed and turned around.
“Wait, don't go yet.” Jacob asked.
“Why?” Rose asked, confused. Usually he never made her stay while Kenny was around.
“I got you something.” He said, reaching for his pocket.
“It's not my birthday.” Rose teased.
“No, but it's one of the first times I actually got to make something non-weaponistic in the shop.” Jacob smiled, pulling out a small object. He placed it in her hand. It was a little cat. Rose looked up at him and grinned. Of course a cat, her “spirit animal” since she basically acted like a cat since she was a kid. Rose was always too independent and hard-headed to think of accepting help. Just like a cat. She smiled and gave him a hug. He was always doing nice things for her, even when she never repayed him like she knew she should.
“You're too nice to me.” She said, laughing.
“Nah, I'm just nice enough.” He said, grinning.
“Thanks, Jacob.” She answered, and pocketed the trinket. “You're getting really good.”
“I should be. I live with my dad, don't I?” He said.
“Well, yeah, but some people just don't have skill, and you have lots.” she said.
“That's not true, but thanks.” He said. Rose rolled her eyes. One of the bad things about Jacob to her was the fact that he could never take a complement. Of course, she never could take one either. Sometimes she thought that she got that from him.
“Well, I better get shopping and get Donny home. It's been a long and hot day.” Rose said, trying to get out so she could get some food for her “guest”.
“Yeah, that's right. Run away little girl.” Kenny said.
“Oh....um...okay. Bye Rose.” Jason said quietly. He looked away and started to poke at the river with a stick, it looked like.
“I'll see you tomorrow, right?” Jacob asked, looking kind of worried.
“You should.” Rose smiled. Jacob nodded and gave her one last hug before she ran off. She went back to the Lobby and walked over to Jackson's again.
“I said 'hello' to Jacob, like you asked me to.” Rose said, Donny hopped up and smiled at her, panting and wagging his tail.
“That's good. I am guessing you want your pay?” Jackson asked. Rose nodded. He gave her a bag full of metal scraps he had turned into round rings to make a currency for the underground. She smiled and called Donny and walked out.
On her way, she realized she neede dinner. She walked up to a table where there was a woman baking on an iron stove that Jackson had made for her. John and Jane were both sitting by her, playing with wooden toys that were saved from the destruction. Rose smiled as she walked up.
“Hello, Mama Jackie.” She said. The woman turned around and smiled. She had large round glasses that were slightly cracked, but not so much you could notice.
“Hello, Rose. Did you have a good day today?” She asked.
“Yes, I did. We got plenty of metal so perhaps, if you ask Jackson, he'll make you that pan you need.” she said, laughing.
“I would, but he's such a busy man, I don't want to be in the way.” She said, laughing. She pulled out a large box and set it on the table. “Would you like to buy some dinner?” she asked.
“Yes, Donny didn't find me anything to cook, so I have to buy something.” Rose answered. Donny barked indignantly at the sound of his name.
“Well, I know that Donny can have his off days.” Mama Jackie laughed. She pulled out a loaf of bread. “Four scraps please.” She asked. I pulled out five and handed them to her.
She shook her head. “I asked for four.” She said, trying to hand back one. I picked up the loaf and shook my head.
“It's well worth six, but I know you wouldn't let me pay six. Be happy with five.” I smiled, and walked back over to Andrew's table, across the lobby. He liked to go out of the Underground and just drive until he could find any big game. Then he would shoot, skin, and sell it. He was pretty proud of his business, and Rose didn't blame him. She just hoped he would happen to have something smoked or cookable over a fire. There usually was.
Andrew was a few years older than Rose, but he didn't always look it unless he let his facial hair grow. Then she would scold him until he would shave it off. He had spiky red hair that always looked wind-blown. Which, of course, it most likely was.
“Heya there, Rosette.” Andrew smiled at her, looking up from a larger piece of meat he was chopping with a machete. He also had a great love for large knives, which made him, in Rose's mind, a blundering idiot.
“Hello, Andrew.” She said, looking over what he had. It looked like he had some ribs of some sort, which was hard to make these days, a large pile of breats, probably from stolen fowl, and then other chunks that didn't look like they belonged anywhere.
“What are you shopping for, girlie?” he asked. Rose rolled her eyes.
“Well, I have bread, so something sandwichy or soup-worthy. Aslo, I'm not a child. Don't treat me like one.” She said, huffing a little. Donny barked at Andrew indignantly.
“I'll stop when you finally choose a worthy husband, precious.” He said, winking. Rose frowned.
“I've been through this already, Andrew. I'm not going to marry you.” She said, rolling her eyes.
“Aww, why not, Rosy-wosy?” He asked, pouting teasingly.
Because if I you or I died what would happen? I thought. I answered, “Because there's no one here I'm interested in.”
Andrew clutched his chest and cringed, like he had just been shot in the heart. “Oh Rose, you're killing me over here.” he said. Then he gave mischeivious grin and wink. “We both know you want me, and only me. If only your dear Jackson approved.” He said. Rose groaned, exasperated.
“No, Andrew. That's not it. He would love to see me married, but it isn't going to happen. I live in the desert. The Assembly could come and kill me any time. And should I be responsible for taking someone I love down with me?” Rose said, huffing as she pulled out her bag of scraps and picked up one of the random meats, hoping she could do at least something with it. Luckily he had already put it in some kind of plastic bag for her. Rose handed him the scraps and cleared her throat as thier skin touched when he handed her the bag. “I think not. I could never do that to someone.” Rose turned her head before he could see her blush.
“Whatever you say, Rosey-posey. Remember that sometimes you need that support and loving. When you realize that....well, I'll be right here waiting for you.” he said, gesturing to himself grandly. Rose laughed and walked off, waving a good-bye. Finally, she was going to be able to leave and attend to her “guest” of honor.
“Rose! Rose!” a voice said from below her. She looked down and realized that Roxy was right next to her, trying to keep up with her little feet. “Won't you marry Andrew?” She asked.
Rose blushed when she realized that Roxy had been following her the whole time, quietly watching.
“Why are you following me? Your brother will be worried.” Rose asked, trying to keep a light tone to the conversation.
“Jacob forgot I was even there. I'm getting older, you know. I know when I'm not wanted.” She said, pouting and looking at the ground.
Rose laughed. “Roxy you're ten. Of course you're wanted. We all love you very much.” she bent down to her knees so Roxy and she were face-to-face. “You gotta remember, Roxy, you're the woman of the house when I'm not around. You've gotta watch over Jacob and Jackson.” She said, ruffling Roxy's hair. Roxy smiled and nodded.
“Okay, Rose. You're gonna settle down sometime, right? Because I wanna be an aunt before....” she got a dark look and tried to look anywhere but Rose's eyes.
“The Assembly won't come for you, Roxy. They don't even know you exist. You don't have to be worried about being taken away, okay?”
“What about you, Rose? Can they take you away?” She asked.
“They can try.” Rose winked at Roxy and got back up, sighing. She was at the end of the light. Roxy had to go back home. She was never allowed in the dark part of the tunnel.
“I'll see you tomorrow, right?” Roxy asked, worriedly.
“I wouldn't miss it for the world.” Rose smiled. Roxy hesitated, then she rushed at Rose and gave her a huge hug.
“Good, because I'll always be waiting for you, Rose. I love you.” She said, quietly.
“I love you too, kiddo.” Rose smiled and watched as Roxy ran back down the tunnels, to her father, to her brother, to the family who lived in the Lobby.