I doodled this story opening on a smartphone while riding the trains in Tokyo. The prompt came from a weekly Wednesday writing challenge set by Lauren Shannon, organizer of the Tokyo Writers Salon group.
Working title: Avenging Ben
Opening line: She welcomed the night as a friend and a lover. But that’s not how Ben saw it. “Like going on a blind date with a serial killer, you are.” He always took great delight in reminding Lydia of the nocturnal bloodlust to come. And now he was gone.
From her treetop lookout, an edgy Lydia sharpened Ben’s hunting knife for the third time that day and waited for sunset. Whatever these things are they can do little without light. And that’s why she now stays out of sight during daytime, descending only to scavenge and hunt in darkness.
However, getting down from her perch in one piece is harder and more dangerous than the pre-dawn scramble back up to safety. Her eyes may have adjusted quickly to the pitch blackness but weary muscles still betray a sedentary lifestyle.
Even memories can no longer be trusted.
There’s nothing to indicate how many weeks had passed since their escape. So she carves notches daily into the bark next to her uncomfortable bed of overlaid branches and leaves. And the pile of mobile phones and computers brought along in a panic, just in case, were now useless and silent. Perhaps forever. “Smart, my ass,” she thought aloud.
It was at moments like this, while getting ready to lower herself on a makeshift rope of twisted vines attached to a slippery trunk, when the plain truth of humanity’s crumbling civilization hit her with both sadness and fury.
She reached the cool ground, scanned her surroundings for signs of any obvious threats and then moved off into the darkness. It was going to be another long, bloody night.