The bad thing caught you. I've never retreated in my life. I've never backed away from a fight and I've never cowered in fear. Ever. That's not who I am. But I've been in combat long enough to know that when something unbeatable chases you, you do the only thing you can do. You run. - Gabe
What I wanted was to get away. But the moon was too far beyond, and there were white bits under me, where the flesh was shredded off and the bone gleamed that famed ivory, and those below cowered and, if they were not quick enough, were spattered in blood. Then came the jolt, as of a fall, and I saw the leg was caught in an ungainly way in the smaller branches of a mutamba tree, the foot hooked, long like that infamous fruit.
With wine and being lost, with less and less of both: I rode through the snow, do you read me I rode God far-I rode God near, he sang, it was our last ride over the hurdled humans. They cowered when they heard us overhead, they wrote, they lied our neighing into one of their image-ridden languages.
With wine and being lost, with less and less of both: I rode through the snow, do you read me I rode God far--I rode God near, he sang, it was our last ride over the hurdled humans. They cowered when they heard us overhead, they wrote, they lied our neighing into one of their image-ridden languages.
I turned over, and those big hands got to work on my back. I stifled a whimper in the pillow, because Marco's idea of a massage bore no resemblance whatsoever to the relaxing spa variety. There was no lavender oil, no soothing music, no hot towels. Just an all-out assault on cramped muscles, until they cowered in surrender and turned to Jell-O.
The living dead had taken more from us than land and loved ones. They'd robbed us of our confidence as the planet's dominant life form. We were a shaken, broken species, driven to the edge of extinction and grateful only for tomorrow with perhaps a little less suffering than today. Was this the legacy we would leave our children, a level of anxiety and self-doubt not seen since our simian ancestors cowered in the tallest trees? What kind of world would they rebuild? Would they rebuild at all? Could they continue to progress, knowing that they would be powerless to reclaim their future? And what if that future saw another rise of the living dead? Would our descendants rise to meet them in battle, or simply crumple in meek surrender and accept what they believe to be their inevitable extinction? For this alone, we had to reclaim our planet. We had to prove to ourselves that we could do it, and leave that proof as this war's greatest monument. The long, hard road back to humanity, or the regressive ennui of Earth's once-proud primates. That was the choice, and it had to be made now.
At some point, to counter the list of the dead, I had begun keeping my own list of the living. It was something I noticed Len Fenerman did too. When he was off duty he would note the young girls and elderly women and every other female in the rainbow in between and count them among the things that sustained him. The young girl in the mall whose pale legs had grown too long for her now too-young dress and who had an aching vulnerability that went straight to both Len's and my own heart. Elderly women, wobbling with walkers, who insisted on dyeing their hair unnatural versions of the colors they had in youth. Middle-aged single mothers racing around in grocery stores while their children pulled bags of candy off the shelves. When I saw them, I took count. Living, breathing women. Sometimes I saw the wounded- those who had been beaten by husbands or raped by strangers, children raped by their fathers- and I would wish to intervene somehow. Len saw these wounded women all the time. They were regulars at the station, but even when he went somewhere outside his jurisdiction he could sense them when they came near. The wife in that bait-'n'-tackle shop had no bruises on her face but cowered like a dog and spoke in apologetic whispers. The girl he saw walk the road each time he went upstate to visit his sisters. As the years passed she'd grown leaner, the fat from her cheeks had drained, and sorrow had loaded her eyes in a way that made them hang heavy and hopeless inside her mallowed skin. When she was not there it worried him. When she was there it both depressed and revived him. ~Len Fenerman on stepping back/letting go/giving up pgs 271-272