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"Renaissance: Twilight" -> (21 skipped) -> "Renaissance: Downpour – Day Ninety-Nine, Early Morning" -> "Renaissance: Downpour – Day Ninety-Nine, 1:14pm"

Renaissance: Downpour – Day 102, Morning  by JD_Renaissance

Renni stretched out from under the sleeping bag, un-kinking cold muscles. She yawned hard and half considered staying in the bag for another couple of hours. She wanted so badly to let her leg rest a little longer. She wanted to let her mind rest a little longer. A comforting smell came from the sleeping bag given to her by Carter. It reminded her of Gloria’s hugs. She’d received so many before they parted two days ago.

 

Struggling with herself, Renni finally decided to get up. It would do her no good to stay in the bag too long. She might decide to stay in there forever.

 

Her leg protested greatly its removal from the bag. She pulled out the rod. Three times a day now. Carter had convinced her to use  it three times instead of just two. She needed her strength and the rod gave her that strength. She plunged the rod into her thigh and felt the almost instant relief. Her eyes grew heavy and she stared longingly at the slightly warm sleeping bag. But she fought it, shook off the drowsiness. Instead, she knelt beside her bed and rolled it up.

 

It wasn’t a heavy sleeping bag, certainly not rated for the mountain autumn cold. But it worked wonders when coupled with a wool blanket. She rolled that too and strapped both to the new backpack. While she had slept that last night in the cabin, Carter removed her supplies from her tattered bags and put them into his own.  Into that bag, he'd provided her with fuel, matches, wool socks, dehydrated food, water purifying tablets, and so much more. He'd also given her a coat, un-cumbersome and warm.

 

She dug out a package of food and a half full bottle of water. Her re-hydrated breakfast tasted like cardboard but at least it didn’t taste like starvation. If she was smart about it, Renni had enough food to last her two weeks.

 

Her watch had finally died and she left it at the cabin. She also left her old clothes. Surprisingly, Carter had some that fit her well. He’d pulled them out of a trunk in the attic. Had he told her then that they belonged to his late wife, she might have refused them. She knew now. Too late to go back and return them. She smiled.

 

Carter hadn’t been the only one who bestowed gifts. Renni now had two books, the last library book and now Gloria’s favorite, a children’s picture book. The beautiful child had written in blue crayon on the inside cover, “Too keep you company.” It was about a dog very similar to George and his adventures in the mountains.

 

Using a handful of snow, Renni washed out her cup and put it, the food, and the water bottle back into her bag. She stood, testing her weight on her leg, feeling the slight, sharp pang of the bullets but nothing else. She could endure that. She hefted the bag onto her back. It had a frame making it more comfortable to carry.

 

As she did nearly every time she used a piece of the new equipment, Renni thanked God she’d met Carter and his daughter and especially George. She half wished the hound had come with her. The food he’d have eaten would’ve been more than enough payment for his companionship. But though he followed her a few minutes into the woods, George eventually turned around and headed back to Carter’s truck and Gloria’s sweet voice calling him. George belonged with his family. She knew he would protect them if ever the Mongerers followed her trail into the mountains. 

 

She’d not seen or heard her pursuers in the days after leaving the cabin. But that did not mean they had given up. She kept her eyes and ears always alert, wary of any seemingly unnatural sounds. Always around every boulder, every group of trees, Renni expected an ambush. Just as she had been in the city, she walked quiet and cautious. 

 

Checking her campsite under the massive branches of a great spruce, Renni scanned the ground for any supplies that might have slipped from her bag. Everything was precious, everything necessary to her survival. Survival for what, she did not know. But she had to try.

 

Satisfied she would leave nothing behind, she used one of her crutches as a cane and pushed off. She didn't get very far. A faint buzzing caught her ears, at first far off but gradually growing louder. Quickly, she dove for cover among a group of pines. Staring out between the deep green branches, she half expected to see a swarm of fireflies descend on her. Instead, something new flew through the skies. The ground shook slightly from the shock of the thing and snow on the trees fell in clumps, covering her in powdery white. Renni shook the snow from her head and pulled her wool hat tighter about her ears. She then remembered the hotel room.

 

Renni did not fear it. Though far smaller, it reminded her of the Harbinger transport. The shape, the coloring, everything about it resembled that ship Max had boarded and escaped upon. She watched it fly up and over another mountain before disappearing from view. Rocks and snow cascaded down where the ship had knocked them loose.

 

Frozen in place, Renni stared at the patch of sky where she last saw it. She touched her bag behind her, feeling the pocket where the rod waited for her next dose. Harbingers. They were still on Earth. She nearly cried at the revelation. They would know how to fix the rod. Or better yet, how to fix her leg. Then she could go back to that haven; she could go back to the cabin, back to Carter, Gloria and blessed George.

 

It left a trail behind it, like the wake of a ship. Only this wake remained imprinted in snow. Before seeing that ship, before knowing that some Harbingers had been left behind also, Renni had no direction. She simply needed to survive, to keep ahead of the Mongerers as long as she could. But now, like staring at the needle point of a compass, she knew her heading. And she followed it.

 

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  'Renaissance: Downpour – Day 102, Morning' statistics: (click to read)
Date created: Oct. 11, 2009
Date published: Oct. 11, 2009
Comments: 8
Tags: post-apocalyptic, rebirth, renaissance, science-fiction
Word Count: 2183
Times Read: 437
Story Length: 32
Children Rank: 4.3/5.0 (6 votes)
Descendant Rank: 0.0/5.0 (179 votes)