Author: SunnyIridescence PM
Kolida was raised to believe life was cruel and unforgiving and that it was better accepted than questioned. Trapped in a middle-of-nowhere village without help from a nearby factory, Kolida has learned to fend for herself. But when a new group of people are thrust into her town, her way of life is forever changed, and her need to learn the truth awakens.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Adventure - Chapters: 7 - Words: 7,701 - Updated: 01-03-13 - Published: 12-28-12 - id: 3086865
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Kolida stared into the fire, her fingers interlaced with Trevor's as they sat together. It was a calm night. A light breeze blew their hair around in the air and helped the fire rise like a harmless tornado. It was rare that they ever got to light a fire. They could only do it when the MetCo factory wasn't paying attention to them. At the time, the factory was more worried about a potential meltdown than watching the villagers.
"The fires could spread and ruin the land," a factory official reminded students at Kolida's school as they did every year. "There wouldn't be anywhere to properly grow crops."
Kolida -known by her friends as Kole- rolled her eyes at that. Everyone knew that the area was already brittle and weak. The soil froze over too often, so crops never grew. The town had to pretend to farm while they really just hunted. Nobody understood why the officials cared so much about fires. There wasn't anywhere for them to spread. And it was always so cold...
"Trevor... I'm so sorry," Kole whispered. He didn't reply, just tightened his grip on her hand. His sister had just died. She was ill and the factory refused to give her the medicine she needed. The cold got her in the end. Always too cold...
After a while of silence, Trevor began shaking with anger. "She was only 10..." he muttered. His voice was heavy with both anger and grief. "She was only 10..." he repeated, quieter.
Kole nodded slowly and closed her eyes. "I know... I know..." She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tight, cradling him.
They rocked back and forth for a bit. "You did everything that you could. You brought her food and made her hot tea everyday. You know she loved you. She knows you loved her." Trevor nodded and bit his lip.
Then he did something that Kole had never seen him do before. He cried. It was a silent sort of cry, just tears running down his cheeks.
Trevor's sister was not the first or last person to die in Velon. It was a hard, cold life. The MetCo factory was supposed to support the town by providing them necessary supplies like medicine, blankets, heaters, etc. But they never did. They kept it all to themselves, enforced rules on the town, and acted like some sort of government. Their shadow loomed across Velon like a black void, swallowing them up, making them virtually nothing.
"I love you, too," Kole added, kissing Trevor on the cheek gently. He allowed himself a smile.
"I love you," he replied. Kole picked herself up off the ground and stamped out the fire.
"We better get back to the house, Marvel said he was cooking the food in the heat box. I think he said it was something from one of those old boxes. From back when the factory actually gave Velon stuff."
Trevor frowned. "That's odd. Marvel only ever uses food from the boxes if there is something to celebrate... or he has bad news..."
Kole grimaced. "I figured it wasn't celebration too," she said, as if reading his mind. "Marvel would never do that to you."
"Trust me, Kole. I've known Marvel just as long as you have. If he's cracking out the boxes, something reeeeal big is about to go down."
He stared down at the ashes of the fire. "I don't want to go back into the house. I want to stay here... with you," he whispered. He looked up at Kole.
His blue eyes made her heart ache. She knew what he meant. Out by the fire pit, time seemed to stop. There was no one there to bring them bad news, there was no worrying about what the next day would bring, there was no fretting over how much food was left. There was only the fire and each other.
"C'mon, Trev. We should go..." she answered softly. She held out her hand, but he picked himself up.
"Just because I'm sad doesn't mean I'm helpless," he joked. Kole nodded and looked at him carefully. He was always so mysterious. The tears were gone, as if they had never been there.
"You're hiding them again," she said to him plainly.
Trevor rolled his eyes. "What? My feelings? Kole, really, I'm fine! I had my moment to be sad. Cynthia may be dead, but life goes on, and so must I." He took her hands in his and faced her. "I know you're worried, but don't be. I'll be okay. Cynthia isn't the only person to die here, it's something I need to realize. Dying is a part of our daily lives."
"Don't say that, Trev!" Kole cried, jerking away. Trevor was taken aback by the outburst. Kole never seemed upset about anything.
After a few moments of silence, she looked Trevor in the eyes. "I'm sorry, it's just that we shouldn't accept death like that. No one should have to die that young. It isn't right. The factory is doing this to us, not life. If we just consider it normal for young girls like Cynthia to die, then we've already given up!"
"But we have given up, Kole! We gave up a long time ago! We gave up on the crops, we gave up on the factory, and we gave up on Cynthia!" Trevor shouted back.
"No we haven't!" Kole retorted. "We hunt all the time, we keep sending letters to the factory, and we checked on Cynthia everyday! We gave her the biggest servings, the warmest drinks, and the thickest blankets!"
"But it's still not enough! People still starve, people still get let down, and people still die!" Trevor sank to his knees and put his head in his hands. "Kole... I don't know... I don't know what to do anymore. Now that Cynthia is gone... I have no one..."
Kole bent down and put her arm around him. "No you don't. You have Marvel, and you have me. We'll always be here for you..."
"Hey! Was that you guys making all the racket? Come inside!" a voice from far-off called.
"That's Marvel," Trevor whispered. "We should go to him." His voice was quiet and distant.
Kole nodded again. "Yes, we should." She held out her hand again, and Trevor took it. They walked together back to the house, holding each other's hands on the way.