*Hey Everyone, happy Thursday. Sorry for the delay with this story posting, it has been a long week but I plan to be back on schedule Monday. Anyway this story is eh. Hit the word count just fine but didn’t figure out the concept until about halfway through, which is when I realized that there is way more to this than 1,000 words. This might be one that I go back to. The idea is that there has been some sort of virus that only affects women and has killed most of the female population. Well read on and as always I welcome any and all thoughts.*
The Old Land
Word Count: 1060
Writing: 1 hr
Editing: 19 min
Total Time: 1 hr 19 min
“Hey little lady, whatchoo doin' walkin' 'round these streets by yourself? Dangerous for a woman pretty 's you. Why don't you let ol' Tim get you a drink 'n' keep you safe?” The bar around her stunk, but not nearly as bad as the breath that carried the words to her ears.
“I don't know, depends on who Tim is,” she said with the sweetest voice she could muster. The man leaning against the bar next to her smiled, revealing a half row of rotten teeth.
“Why you're starin' right at him sweetness,” she couldn't tell if the man was batting his eyelashes or if he simply couldn't hold his eyelids up very well.
“Mhmm I thought you might be,” she leaned toward him and put her hand on his. “Well you know what, I think I will have a drink Mr. Tim,” his eyes widened in surprised excitement. “The only thing is I think I'll be purchasing it for myself. And I would recommend you get the fuck away from me as quickly as possible,” she squeezed his hand tightly, digging her thumb into the soft palm and the excitement the old man's face turned instantly to fear, “before I show you how I keep myself safe and knock what few teeth you have left down your throat”
She let go of the man's finger and heard him gasp and scurry away as she turned to face the bar again. The world hadn't always been full of men like this she was told. They used to be noble and protective of the women and families. Once in a book she had read that men would court women over time and wait for there permission to make children. Most people now said that they were nothing more than fairy tales and that men had always taken what they wanted from women. But she liked to believe in something more, something better somewhere or sometime in the planet's history.
A nervous looking bartender appeared in front of her.
“Uh, miss?” His voice was shaky and she wasn't sure if he had seen a woman before. “Is uh, are uh, can I maybe get you somethin' to uh, drink?” She smiled at him and saw his shoulder's relax just a centimeter or two.
“I would love one. Whatever brown you got back there right now sounds perfect.”
“S-s-sure thing,” he said with a little less nerves in his voice. The young man poured the liquor into a glass silently.
“Thank you very much sweetie,” she said placing some coins on the bar, “the rest is for you.” He nodded and walked away as silently as he had poured her drink.
She sipped the whiskey and could feel every eye in the room burning into her back as hot as the fire that rolled down into her belly.
Her mind wandered back to a world where women weren't a rare commodity. It was all she thought about really, the only thing that had ever driven her. If it was out there she would find it, the “Old Land.” Home to a select few with the duties of repopulating the planet and keeping the disease that decimated the human female species at bay. It was said that everyone was born on the old land but only a few lucky ones got to stay. Most people thought it was a myth but she knew better, she remembered.
Even as an infant the place was burned into her brain, the ripe fresh smells, and vibrant green grass. Buildings of gold and silver, children playing in the open air with smiles pasted to their sweet faces. She'd been searching her whole life, and felt no closer now than she had when she begun.
She turned on her stool and took in the dungeon like room around her. The stale air was full of whispers as she met every man's eye who stared at her. Some smiled and puffed out their chests, others stared through her with obvious evil in their hearts. It was these ones she would need to be wary of. Many men had tried to take advantage of her in her life, but she wasn't like the other free women who roamed the empty Earth. And many a man had payed with his life for thinking otherwise.
Rape was legally banned by the government—if you could call it that—but you wouldn't know it. She thought about Jacob all those years ago. The man who saved her life, the man who taught her to fight. Taught her to kill. He saved her in the street that night from the dark shadow of a man who intended to take what he wanted and leave her for dead. She never even saw his face before Jacob appeared, killing him with one swift swipe of his blade. The rest was history.
She stared at the men in the bar trying to figure out which one of them would be the first to try his luck. It was inevitable, someone always did, and she couldn't even tell you she didn't enjoy the thrill. It had become a game over the last twenty years. Now she tried to read them and see which one would jump first.
Finally her eyes met those of a man in the corner, alone, and very drunk by the looks of it. He stared at her with a rage in his eyes that was unmatched by any other she could see in the bar. It would be him, she had no doubt.
She drank the last of her liquor and the quiet room echoed the clunk of her empty glass on the bar. She stood up and walked through the doors into the darkening outside. Hopefully she could get another few miles in today before she would have to stop and make camp. She walked down the steps and hoped maybe she was wrong this time, maybe no one would follow her. Perhaps today was the day she could restore a fragment of faith in the male species.
The creak of doors behind her beat on her eardrums. Glancing discreetly over her shoulder she smiled seeing a very drunken, and angry looking man stumbling toward her slowly. Looked like today would be a day just like any other.