Word Count: 591
There was something sinister about the way Judah led them. Despite the obvious fact of why Tara was wary (he had fallen from the skies being the main reason), there was something deeper, something darker. She could see age and wisdom behind the hard, grey eyes that were permanently alert, always watching, always waiting.
She watched him as Mikah slept, curious. His wings were a beautiful, magnificent sight; Tara didn’t think anything human could ever compare to it. She suddenly desperately wanted to touch them, to feel the hard powerful feathers beneath her fingers, to run her hand along their outline. She had seen some pretty horrific things since this whole apocalypse had started and it felt like now she was seeing the other side of it. The beauty in a world where destruction and chaos reigned.
‘You should sleep,’ Judah’s voice made Tara jump slightly. He did not turn to face her.
‘How can I sleep when I know what follows?’
He half turned then; his face cast part in shadow accentuating his cheekbones, his jawline. He really was a rather magnificent sight.
‘What follows?’ his voice was a fraction softer, almost imperceptibly so.
‘Death probably,’ Tara gave a humourless laugh. ‘I’m not built for a world like this.’ She was astounded at the words that fell from her mouth. She had never shown weakness before, not ever. Especially not in front of a stranger. She didn’t know what it was; maybe just the fact that he had saved her life, but she felt like she could tell him. ‘I don’t think anyone is built for a world like this.’
Judah hesitated before he spoke carefully: ‘Humans are stronger than they give themselves credit for.’
‘I suppose,’ she sighed, rolling onto her back.
Silence followed and Tara continued staring at the ceiling, waiting for sleep to carry her away. When it finally did, she dreamed fitfully.
She dreamt of fallen angels, of wings and demons and death. She dreamt of Mikah, of her friends and family that had not made it. Bright, orange fires and fearsome, grotesque demons twisted in her mind, stretching towards her as an impending doom. Then she dreamt of her own death, torn apart by savage creatures, laughing manically as they dug their claws into her flesh, as they separated muscle and bone. One of the creatures, the most vicious of all, locked onto her gaze with hard, grey eyes.
She woke up in a sweat, panting. The room was eerily silent, Mikah was not here and neither was Judah. Darkness surrounded her and for one moment she wondered if she was still dreaming.
‘Go and wake her up,’ a dominant voice commanded.
Footsteps coming towards her, Mikah standing there with a grim expression. ‘It’s time to go Tara.’
It took them mere moments to collect their stuff and head out into the open. The sky was tinged with orange, the sun threatening to explode its light on everything, to plunge them all into full view of any demons that may be there. Tara had once upon a time admired this time of the morning; it was a time of quiet solitude, when everything was in that state of peace before the day began. Now, it only brought fear to her.
Judah led the way expertly, his long strides becoming a little hard to keep up with.
‘Hey you wanna slow down?’ Mikah suggested, slightly out of breath. ‘You’re going rather fast.’
‘If you can’t keep up then you fall behind,’ he replied.
‘Terrific,’ Mikah muttered.