She sings a quick tune then giggles. I laugh with her. Why? I haven’t the faintest clue. I just laugh and laugh. She smiles, and then a frown fractures across her face. “Why did you sing that?” I ask. She responds. Explains that this is how we are made to feel, forcing ourselves to smile in the midst of madness. Craziness. I think. She’s right. She makes a gag. My heart goes cold and I realise the truth of it. The noise I make is not so much tort laughter as much as a croak. Choking on the disgust. She goes on. But I don’t hear it. She’s right, but it’s been said before. The air rises and the shadow of the currents crest between the buildings, threading their mirror shard dust through the alleys and roads, splitting lips and eroding skin. I murmur and hold her close. The pieces of flesh that wield her save her this time. Tatty and ripped I let her go, I feel my face; rough like a tree being chopped; sap laid in dew about the hard face of misfortune. I know I am bleeding. I know I look like death, but when she looks up, I still fake a smile, wincing as the muscles contort and rip the dry skin further. A splash of crimson veils my sight, echoing the color of the sky. Now I see in apocalypse red. Tears form puddles in her eyes, and I whisper a comfort to her. I tell her it will be alright, when I know full well it won’t. Another bomb, closer. And the winds rise again. She takes my hand and we rise out of the cracks of the city to delve deeper into a building; a vein of the dead metropolis, dried out and like a scratch upon the skin of mother nature. I ask myself where we are safer- not that we could escape the relentless attacks either way, but I ask myself anyway. I feel myself dragging as one side of my body goes limp from the contusions that the wind gifted me. She takes her hand to my face, and drags her skin across my sand like cheek. The blood makes her squirm. She retches and the sea flows out of her brittle face. Tides must be crashing around her head because she forgets to stop crying. She spirals in delusional mutterings, and all I can do is frown. Face creased in worry, concern. I know I can’t say anything to change what she is thinking. For a second I think silence washes over the town. The bombs stop and nothing echoes. Three faceless men pass the threshold. She stops and trembles, I fall to the floor next to her grasp onto her. I look into the mirror masks they wear and plead with my blood red eyes. They stand still, and I can’t make out what they intend to do next. She quivers beneath my hold. Just muttering. Just muttering. I lean my head next to hers, my mouth next to her ear. I tell her I love her. That she is the most important person. Always has been. Always will be. I tell her I love her. And that I hope she always knew that.