The Rage: Part 11

XI

They say that pipes were used to carry water.
They say that hammers were used for construction.
They say that cables gave people power.
I suppose that last one is still true now.

People lived differently Then, though. They pretended to be characters in books that they had read to tell the stories to other people. They adorned themselves with gemstones and rare metals. They ate food from ceramic platters using knives and forks.

Now, books are fuel and playing pretend is for children. Jewellery only weighs you down. You eat straight from the pot with a spoon. The knives and forks are all used as weapons until they are bent and useless. Everything we own has a purpose and everything we do is considered.

Topi and I battle past the Ragers in our path to the next building. They never surrender. You must break their legs before they stop running and even then, they still crawl. The snaps and pops of breaking bones is as much a part of my life as the drumming of raindrops on a roof.

But they will always heal. We never stop them for long. They will always be coming for our blood.

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The Rage: Part 10

X

A rusted hinge screeches as Topi pulls us through a gate, trapping the Ragers behind another fence. Moss and weeds grow through the cracked concrete beneath our feet. Water gathers in dips in the surface. A shadow blocks the sun and finally, I dare to peek out from beneath the blanket.

Emilia and Miro are nowhere. The Ragers are far behind us. Topi and I are in the shade of another warehouse, much smaller than the last. We creep around the edge, looking for a way in, banging on the metal walls as we go. Nothing responds.

The shelves inside are stacked with musty old boxes. They contain metal pipes. Topi takes one out and swings it through the air with a swish.

“We’ll keep moving when it’s darker,” Topi says. “It shouldn’t be long now.”

I take out a pipe for myself. The weight is good, sturdy enough to stand a few uses but not so heavy it will be tiring to carry. This will repel the Ragers.

“Where do we go?”

“Anywhere.” He sighs. “We left Anna. We leave them too. They’re gone now.”

I can’t lose Topi now. If I lose Topi, I will be alone.

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