Wasteland Morning

Landscapes and Dreams: Part 2

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

He was a large, bulbous man leaning back in a chair that was five seconds from being rubble. At some point in the early morning, he had fell asleep while watching for intruders from his loft ten stories above the ground. His face was covered in a beard that looked as though it had been growing for some time. It was thick, bushy and remnants of last night’s dinner could be spotted throughout the hair. A scoped hunting rifle was propped up in front of him pointing out the window. Through the cross hairs of this scope, a man quickly seemed to glide across the ground. Had this rounded man been awake, it would have been a perfect opportunity for an easy head-shot. As quickly as the distant figure appeared in the scope, he vanished behind the rubble of buildings to the east.

The door to the room swung open and a thin, leather-bound woman stepped in. She was carrying a box of supplies she would need for her shift of keeping watch. The man in the chair let out a loud snore as she took a few steps. She dropped the box on the floor as anger welled up inside her.

“You fat, piece of sh–” she kicked the legs out from under the chair. The fat man, and the remaining wood, crumpled to the floor with a loud crash. “If Carlos sees you sleeping when you’re supposed to be keeping watch, he’ll gut ya like a brahmin.” The round, bear of a man fluttered his eyes open. He was still trying to work off the rot gut he drank from the night before. His blood shot eyes fixed on the young woman.

“You little…” he said trying to get to his feet. He pulled a pistol out from its holster at his side. Before he could pull the hammer back, the woman already had a machete to his throat.

“What am I?” she asked politely. Fast, is what she was. Jenny was one of the nastiest females this gang had in the group. She was quick, strong and had a viscous temper. Her petite size caused many unfortunate people to underestimate her capacity to fight.

“A lovely desert flower.” Greg responded as his hands froze in place. He knew that if he pressed the issue, she would quickly decapitate him. She slowly removed the blade from his neck. A half-smile crept across her lips. She got a bit of pleasure from the idea of keeping such a large man at bay and on his toes.

“Get your stuff out of my way. It’s my turn to keep watch.” Jenny ordered sheathing the machete back onto her hip.

“I don’t know why Carlos has us keeping a constant eye on the east side. There’s nothing over there, and we haven’t seen anyone since we got here.” Greg stated as he collected himself off of the floor. His size made it difficult to move around, but his aim was deadly. Although he made a huge target for the enemy, he was one of the group’s most skilled snipers.

“That’s because he doesn’t like surprises. Now, get your ass out before I make you take the scenic route down.” she responded nodding towards the window. Although they both knew that Greg’s size would prevent her tossing him out of that window, they both also knew that should would still give it a try. She turned back towards her box and picked it up off the floor. Greg turned to pick up his rifle and a half-drank bottle of whiskey that was on the floor. As he was leaving the room, she thought to herself that know one would know if she were to kill him. However, Carlos would be quite upset as he values Greg’s skill with that damn rifle. She sat the box next to the window and began pulling out various parts of her own gun.

Jenny had a bit of talent when it came to creating make-shift weaponry. The firearm she was putting together had been created to break apart easily for storage. She built it from scratch and gave it a ten-millimeter barrel. The ammunition for it was custom designed by her for this particular weapon. Although she wasn’t as good of a shot as Greg, this rifle was like firing a miniature cannon at her target. In the past, she had put down mutants with this weapon in a single shot. While Greg still had the superior set of eyes, as blood-shot as they are most of the time, Jenny was still a force to be reckoned with.

Once the box had been emptied, she tipped it on its side in order to sit on it. She was angry that she broke the chair, but still managed to smile at the thought of Greg’s fat body slamming into the ground like it did. She began peering through the scope. In the mornings, she liked to pop off a few rounds to make sure her scope was still accurate. Normally, she would look for the smallest target she could and fire three rounds at it. Since it was such a pain for her to get the materials to load those ten-millimeter bullets, Jenny didn’t want to waste too many of them.

Finally, she spotted something in the distance near the slope of rocks across the way. It was a flower sitting on top of a cactus. Jenny knew that her gang is already prepared for what she was about to do. After all, this has been a morning ritual for the past several months. She pulled the trigger. The rifle let out a loud boom as the bullet flew out of the barrel. The young woman watched as dirt and debris exploded up from the ground just shy of the cactus. She fired again, this one hitting the base causing the cactus to erupt. As the flower hit the ground, she fired her third and final shot. The once beautiful flower disappeared as the bullet hit its target. She thought the entire circumstance was fitting to life in the wasteland. Even the most beautiful aspects can be removed from existence without warning. Nothing is ever truly safe in this world, and all it takes is the selfish acts of an individual to create havoc within your existence. The trick was to limit how much that chaos affects you as an individual.

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Michael Brockbank
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