Not A Dove
by Chris Allinotte
By the thirty-fifth day I’d lost everyone.
On the fortieth day, I found someone new.
On the hundredth day, she succumbed.
On the three hundredth day, I lost myself, and screamed myself hoarse at the fates. “Unfair! Cruel! WHY!?” In response, the sky opened and the killing rain came again, but not for me.
On the four hundredth day, I found myself again.
I am a survivor, nothing more; given my first and only opportunity by a genetic fluke. My lungs refused to fill, my legs refused to swell and blacken. My eyes stayed clear. This was not the case for Laura, or dear, tiny David. I watched them go before I went.
A phrase from before rolls over in my mind. Worse than a song you can’t stop singing, the phrase grows louder until I can think of nothing else. “…you will know us by the trail of dead.” I know them all too well. The masters on both sides of the fence made it abundantly clear that all Gods are vengeful and they hate us all equally. I eat the leavings of civilization, and cook the remains of the animals until they are black.
In the Arctic, I hope to find people again. I hope that there are animals, and music and motorcycles. I hope the rain has stopped, and that the snow isn’t poison.
On the six hundredth day, I saw the crow … and wept at what it meant.
I hope this is just a cold.