“Just pick one already?” Josh said. “The game’s on soon.” They walked back through the gallery yet again.
Cindy shrugged. “I like them both. What do you think?”
“I’ll go with whichever’s cheaper.”
Cindy rolled her eyes before cutting him a look. “Men,” she mumbled as they neared the painting she was leaning toward. A red barn set beneath a blue sky on a field of green. It conjured memories she thought lost to her, causing tears to well in her eyes. “This one.”
Josh flipped the paper slip up to check the price. He thought he may cry also.
Sammy knew what he had to do. It wouldn’t be easy, but if he could mange, it would be worth it. He hoped it would anyway.
He pulled in a deep, steadying breath and went for it, peeling the plastic from the tray and attacking the contents. All the nutrition he needed and no taste. It all went down with hardly a chew. Hardly a taste.
“Very good,” his mom said smiling. “Slow down for dessert. You don’t want brain-freeze.”
She needn’t have worried. He would savor this. His favorite with none of the nutrients and all of the taste.
The airlock clanged jarring Sarey from her thoughts. It was a months long trip of stars and blackness, and she was both happy that it was over and apprehensive at what awaited her. She already missed the color of Earth.
Heavy doors hissed open. The Captain greeted her in the gray tube that ran from docking to Control. They walked gray corridors, wore gray uniforms, and lived on a gray, lifeless world.
She would change that.
Her workstation was gray and barren. She stuck a photo to her monitor.
Slim hit the floor with a thud that was concealed by the explosion of what they called a Carnage bomb. The resulting wall of flame sent plaster dust, mortar and masonry shrapnel speeding in every direction.
He crawled, bleeding, ears ringing, and covered in white dust, to where the explosion had hurled Bobbi. She lay in a heap of wrong angles. Tears cut trenches in Slim’s grime covered face as reality set in. She was gone.
They would come for him, just as they had come for everyone else.
Let them come, he thought. I’ll show them some real carnage.
Cyrus walked easy, a pretty young girl by his side. He talked, and she giggled.
Things were so different now. He could remember when there was nothing here save a small village and wilderness. Those were simpler times, but things change over hundreds of years. There was no stopping it.
His kind had worried at the beginning of this age, that The Hunt would be hampered with all the light, but the prey was attracted to light, like moths.
Slipping into an alley, he went for her neck. She moaned her ecstasy and pressed against him.