This week, Chuck had us going to a link where we clicked on a title generator. It gave us a choice of 6 titles, but we got pick only one. I chose 'The Seventh Stone'.
Thunder grumbled in the distance, and yet she felt it through the ground as she ran across the decimated city centre where the nuclear blast had almost leveled the place over a century ago.
This was the place Star had lived… the place she had played as a child… the only place she knew.
She had heard stories of how the big cities ran the world, how big industry made big money and wars were run by the big industries. She was also told it was all political bullshit and handed a rifle and a Beretta with an extra clip and told never to trust anyone.
Yep, this was how the post-apocalyptic world was like when your whole family was dead and you lived with people you weren’t related to.
Then the dreams started… at first Star thought they were nothing but some bad tacos (because she had found some tins of refried beans in a store and they were a few weeks over their used-by date) besides, everyone got food poisoning that week from those beans… it was a really bad time.
Then, the dreams didn’t stop, so she started writing them down to see if they formed a pattern – and they did. Tas – her camp brother – told her to keep that shit to herself or people would start looking at her funny or they’d think she was the next Oracle (the last one was shot for giving out the wrong information by the leader of their group). And so, Star did. In her pack, she had her A5 two-inch thick journal which she kept at the bottom and wrote in a few notes about each day. She wrote what she remembered from her lessons, poetry and how she’d like the world to be.
And each night the dream would be the same: a huge thunderstorm approaching, looking like a new apocalypse, shaking the ground like an earthquake as she ran through the middle of an abandoned city alone with her pack on, her Berretta in one hand, a smooth, large, oval stone in the other with a Moon Stone imbedded in one end and a flat base. Her rifle strapped across her right shoulder, fully loaded and ready to be used. Her footsteps would echo as she raced up a large set of steps and found herself at a place called ‘The Rockafeller Centre’ where six others had gathered with similar stones in their hands.
She had never seen them before, but she knew they weren’t there to hurt her. They all stood at the edge of the empty fountain which she’d only seen pictures of frozen and people ice skating on it. Right in the middle – at the fountain – they all walked up to the mound, finding the places to fit their particular stones. As each one fitted in, a loud click echoed and a humming started up – as though something was switched on. As she knelt down to place her stone in its holder – to click it into place - the rain began to pour from the darkened skies and she felt herself smile, because she knew this was a good thing, Star knew this was…
Her eyes snapped open and daylight streamed through the muddy windows of the bus she called home. But today, it was humid… today, there was a storm brewing – a big one – and she knew today was the day she’d find that stone and start her journey into the city.
“I don’t understand what this thing is.” Tas said, turning it over in his hand, “But I found it in the Hudson.” He handed it to her smiling, “You have described that dream to me so many times to me, sister, I thought you’d be the one to hand it to.”
The moment the stone weighed into her hands, Star knew immediately what to do, “Thank you Tas. I appreciate what you’ve done for me… and …” she looked at it intensely, spotting the Moon Stone, the flat bottom, “I ready to take my leave now… it’s time to take it to its place.”
He handed her a new clip for her gun, “Here, you’ll need this. And I’ll take care of your home.”
Smiling, she touched his grimy cheek as she took the clip, “You can have it… I have a feeling I won’t be coming back.”
He had walked her as far as he dared to see her off before hugging her, kissing her, telling her he loved her… and knowing that what she had said was most probably true. Life here wasn’t valuable, it was what you made it.
Star jogged along the empty city street nervously looking around as the storm clouds gathered around the sentinel buildings, making the shadows surrounding her seem more imposing than they already were. Then she saw it… the large set of stairs. They were broken and chipped, but they were there.
She quickly picked her way up them to the top where she stopped and looked up at the Rockafeller Centre and its empty fountain where the people ice skated at Christmas…
Lightning flashed and she noticed a movement to her right, spinning, raising her gun to see who it was, only to be greeted with another pointing a gun at her holding a stone as well, “Oh… hi… you as well.”
“Yeah.” The boy’s voice shook, “I keep having these weird-ass dreams about this place but…”
“There’s gotta be others.” She said looking around.
“But there are…” he said lowering his weapon as she did.
“Okay… let’s see if this works out.” She smiled at him.
They all – as one – climbed into the large fountain, walked to the centre and found the placements for their individual stones.
As each one was placed, a humming commenced…
…the storm started overhead.
As Star’s last one clicked into place, they all stepped back as far as they could and watched as lightning lit up the fountain and the world renewed itself once more.