raptureofthemoon: (Default)
Previous Fic: Strange Elations




Stand out on the edge of the earth
Dive into the center of fate
Walk right in the sight of a gun
Look into the new future's face


“Edge of the Earth” – 30 Seconds to Mars



The woman's body lay crumpled at the foot of the bed, like a puppet whose strings had been cut. One of her hands curled loosely around the butt of a revolver. The other grasped at the ragged hole in the middle of her belly.

The sour tang of blood and cigarette smoke combined with the death room odor of urine and feces and flooded across the back of Faith's tongue, stung her eyes. She stumbled away from the body, crashing into a wooden armoire. Sinking to her haunches amid a shower of empty glass bottles, she covered her mouth with her hand and tried to swallow down the burn in her throat.

She shouldn’t be here. What the hell did she think she was doing here?

And then Moriarty’s voice, with its rolling accent, slid sinuously through her head, insidious as a brain tumor. Take care of Silver, get me my caps, and I’ll tell you where your da’s gone. Simple as that. And if you don’t? Well…it’s a mighty big Wasteland to be searchin’ through.

Continue Reading )
raptureofthemoon: (cheaper than therapy)
Series Shaking the Bough (Vignettes from the Capital Wasteland)
Title: "Keep Calm and Carry On"
Characters/Pairing: Lone Wanderer
Rating: PG to R-ish
Notes: The first in a series of vignettes chronicling the adventures of my LW and the goings on in the D.C. area.


Look around you find the ground
Is not so far from where you are
But don´t be too wise
For down below they never grow
They're always tired and charms are hired
From out of their eyes
Never surprise.
– Nick Drake, “Things Behind the Sun”


Keep Calm and Carry On




Faith imagined this was what the end of the world must have been like.

Hot stinging air rolled over her skin and light, brighter than anything she’d ever seen in the Vault, blotted out the world. Even when she closed her eyes at the pain, the white seared through her lids.

Stumbling, she brought one hand up to shade her closed eyes and smeared something thick and wet and warm across her temple. The smell of gun oil mingled with copper and salt, invaded her nose, settled on the back of her tongue and she gagged.

She was burning from the inside out, stomach twisting. Bile scorched her throat and she fell, hard, to her knees and vomited until dry heaves left her shaking and weak.

Sinking back on her heels, she wiped her mouth with her arm. Her skin was still hot but the light was no longer pulsing against her eyes and, slowly, she opened them.

A tear slipped down her face, followed by another. She sniffed, slapped them away. They were the after effects of light blindness. That was all.

They had nothing to do with the sight of this place stretched out before her. This ripped up and jagged landscape where spires of wood and steel rose out of the ground like strange growths; where small dust devils formed up and down a broken road, spinning half heartedly before dissipating.

This place with no sound.

No movement.

No trail of breadcrumbs for her to follow.


~*~


She might very well have sat there on her heels, staring out past the remnants of the pre-war world, waiting for something to happen—for the night to fall and bring out whatever creatures hunted in the dark; for the sun to scorch the flesh from her bones and leave nothing but a bleached skeleton—but for one thing.

Since the appearance of Amata’s face over her bed this morning, Faith’s mind had been flashing little snippets from her life. A lot like an old movie reel—her 10th birthday party, playing sick from Mr. Brotch’s class, fighting with Butch—and now, it froze on the broad face of Wally Mack.

Wally Mack who, several weeks ago had pinned her to the wall down near the Reactor Core. Who’d broken the zipper on her vault suit and shoved his hands down her pants and expected her to go along with. Not to scream. Not to fight.

If she had, that would have been it. She’d have been Mrs. Wally Mack just as soon as he’d gotten word out to his daddy and the Overseer.

And, Faith thought, Mrs. Wally Mack wouldn’t have woken up in the early hours of this morning to sirens and shouts and guards trying to kill her because her dad had some kind of fucked up idea to escape the vault.

Mrs. Wally Mack wouldn’t be in this situation.

Maybe….


But, Mrs. Wally Mack would wake up every morning to see that smug, snub nosed visage as he rolled on top of her to do his civic duty.

It had been that thought that had given her the courage to drag her nails down Wally’s face, to thrust out with the flat of her palm—just like Officer Gomez had shown her—when he jerked away from the pain. To drive her foot into his crotch while he cradled his broken nose.

And it’s those thoughts she uses to pull herself to her feet and move towards the sign advertising a “Scenic Overlook.”

The overlook is scenic. Spread before it is a world torn apart. Grizzled. Decayed.

But there’s something about it—from the skeletal structures of what looks like a burnt out town to that hulk of twisted metal rising in the distance—that makes her tingle, from head to toe, as if nuka cola was fizzing in her veins.

That’s a feeling she so rarely got in the Vault that she can identify the first and last time she felt it: when her dad finally let her sew sutures on Stanley (with the man’s permission, of course; he was always such a good sport…).

It’s the feeling of new opportunity.

And even the acidic shuddering of her stomach as she eyed the path she would walk, and the shaking of her hands as she loaded her only other magazine into the 10mm, couldn’t stamp down that feeling. Or prevent the surge of light headed excitement at the realization that she was fully free to seek it.

.

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dreaming through the noise

September 2015

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