Steven Paul Watson
He had resorted to calling himself Clinton, it wasn’t his birth name but it didn’t matter anymore. The train moved swiftly, they’d jumped aboard two stops before escaping being discovered. The pistol on his hip was down to four shots and often checked the revolver to be sure they were still there. He peered to the dark sky above, knowing what he needed. It was what he wanted, to soar in the sky again.
The rustling noise grabbed his attention; he turned walking to his companion. He called her Jinx. He only knew she was a refugee much like him. He knew she was from the Ukraine or somewhere; it all sounded the same to him, a Tennessee boy far from home. He wanted to call her exotic, but it did not do her justice. A world stuck in turmoil and chaos, he found himself on the run with possibly the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Her eyes were closed, he smiled watching as her chest rise and fall softly knowing she wasn’t asleep. She never slept. He lowered his hand to her face running it from her ear to her chin to her other ear without touching. It was enough; she could feel the static from his finger and smiled opening her dark hazel eyes.
“What is wrong?” She spoke little English but it was enough.
“The better question would be is anything right.” The war was over they said, but it was all a lie. A momentary lull before hell was unleashed at the end of the Second World War. They never saw it coming, the technology the enemy had unleashed. Or the ally they had on their side. Explosions rocked the world. Stories of aliens filled the airways. Other stories said it was robots. Clinton had seen with his own eyes, the large scaled creature with wide yellow eyes. It was nightmares come to life though he was sure he had never had any nightmare quite so horrifying.
“Tomorrow, we will be to the airstrip,” she sat up reaching the bag in front of her. She pulled the bottle free, they had run out of water and now only the strong bourbon remained. “You can fly us right?”
“If it has wings I can fly it, darling,” he smiled pushing her hair behind her ear. He reached into his shirt pocket pulling the crushed blue lily free and placing it in her hair. She only smiled.
He turned away from her approaching the train door opening. It was the question he had no answer for. Last reports, there were still resistance in the States but failing. And Jinx had no reason to return home either. “Africa, maybe.”
“Lions, I always wanted to see lions,” she stood beside him handing the bottle of liquor to him. “Kings of their world.”
“No more than we are now,” he took a big drink and coughed.
Clinton found himself again looking at the moon; he’d never look at the sky the same way again. “I thought you could handle strong liquor,” she leaned into him.
He could, or at least the moonshine from the hills of Tennessee and Kentucky but what she had was different. It burned deep down inside him.
“What do we do when we get there?” she looked at him with a big smile, almost innocent but Clinton knew she wasn’t.
“Just need some place, remote, to hide from the world for awhile.” When he had found Jinx she was covered in blood. Her snipers rifle on her back, she had preferred the close kill with the garrote string in hand and body at her feet. He had no doubt she was more deadly than him.
“Is it possible we are the last?”
“The last?” he turned to face her and she leaned in. He wrapped his arms around her pulling her tight against him. “The last of the resistance in Europe, maybe.”
“Possibly the word by years end,” she replied leaning away from him.
He leaned in kissing her on the forehead, “Yes, but as long as there are others, just a few, there is hope.”