Creative Fiction Short: The Worst Deed
Mac and I set up camp at dusk. Our white limbs were soiled and spotted purple in the moonlight and threatening sunrise. The ground seemed a little muddier and the spokes of our tent frame took twice the effort to stick.
We washed our hands in the river for an hour—scraping off more than dirt. My mind was numb and reduced to primal concentration . Getting Wood. Lighting the Fire. Cooking the catch. Not a word from either one of us. Just the sounds of our heartbeats.
The sizzle of the trout muted the thump-thump of my chest for a moment, as one popped drop of greased hit Mac’s cheek. He shouted then recoiled in a bizarre expression. He curled into a ball. Paraphrasing Claudius’ soliloquy he mumbled, “ It is rank. God, God can smell it.” It was fitting senselessness; Hamlet had been the only secular thing we were able to read at the compound.
Our transgression came on the air like a cloud of jelly, thickening reality and sending us past the point of the aphelion. I tried to remember that I was a little boy playing in the sun once. I went to children's service everyday and thought ice cream was the best thing in the world. I took two cookies from the Church buffet when there was only enough for each kid to have one—my only offense.
"How do you...are...how do you feel?" Mac asked.
I focused on the crumpled leaves at my feet. "Guilty."
Mac took a deep breath, "Me too."
I looked up and met Mac’s gaze. It seemed as if his eyelids were removed. I started to look behind my shoulder, as if he was in awe of some hideous beast behind me.
I looked back. Nothing was there. "What is it?" I asked.
"Do you think we'll go to...you know where?"
I stood and started pacing. The rules of compound were swirling in my head, reminding me that I was a bad person for running away. Then, I remembered the scar on Mac's arm and could feel the soreness of the bruises on my shoulders and legs.
"I don't think God..." I paused, questioning the concept, "...I don't think there's a place like that for us to go to."
Mac frowned. He knew what I was saying was blasphemy.
I sat next to him. "Then again, maybe we just left that place; because, maybe...it's here on Earth. Maybe, it was the compound." I told him. A new feeling was emerging within me. It was scary, but liberating. "Maybe it was all based on something...something, that was, wrong."
"Even the Good Laws?" Mac interjected.
"Perhaps. In fact, I think we need to make our own 'Good Laws'." The words felt strange to say, but these new ideas were overflowing my head; I had to spill them freely.
Mac furrowed his brow, "You're talking crazy." He sniffled and poked the fire with a large stick. He asked, over the crackle of flames, "Where will we go?"
I turned my head up, studying the canopy of pine trees and noticing the dazzle of the stars. They filled me with hope. "Wherever the trail takes us, the path is unlimited. We'll go anywhere we want." I told him.
Mac looked up too, his face turned to a tiny smile, "you mean, anywhere we can?"
I chuckled, "Yeah. Anywhere, and everywhere, we can."
Image Credit » https://www.tumblr.com/blog/atartinspace