by Ragna Brent
I open my eyes and stare at the image above me. The Devil has arrived. I blink, praying it’s a hallucination caused by the fever. I know in my heart it’s Satan. He wears black and keeps circling under the branches, coming around again and again, tormenting me, waiting to claim my soul.
Four days have passed since I buried my wife and daughter. If I twist my head I can see their final resting place. Grief consumes me and I whimper. I yearn for Ruby’s hand on my face or to hear Eva’s giggles. When we said our vows at the turn of the century we never envisaged our world would see such a cataclysm.
There will be nobody to come and save me; it’s too late for that now. Our community had been the last surviving people left. The knowledge helping us to avoid the inevitable, keeping us alive for longer.
My breathing is shallow. Disease consumes my lungs. I have little time left. Ruby and Eva will be laughing and smiling in their own Utopia waiting for my arrival. I will not come though. My destiny will be a consequence of my greed and hunger for more.
I hear him now. He’s back again, soaring and gliding around the trees. It will soon be time to join him in everlasting torment. Redemption for my sins, for trading the vial. I tremble with fear as darkness engulfs me.
(As a busy mum of six, and grandmother of two, Ragna Brent thinks it's a miracle that she manages to construct a sentence. She was thrilled in 2008/9 to have several stories published in both USA and UK. She is hoping 2010 will prove to be as successful if she can find time to submit in the first place. One day she will finish her novel.)