(Part 1: Joseph is here. )
Part 2: Anna
“It's time” said Anna, watching as her husband brought a spoonful of porridge to his lips with a shaking hand.
His face went slack for a moment, then lit up with joy.
“Goin' to see the grandchildren!” he exclaimed, waving his spoon in glee.
Anna's heart contracted painfully.
“No, Will, I'm sorry. You remember, today we're going for a little walk. Up the hill, to have a picnic. The air will do you good.”
“A little walk”, he repeated doubtfully, and then resumed prospecting for raisins in his bowl.
Anna had already labeled their boxes MENTZER FAMILY and placed them outside the door. The first rays of dawn entered through the kitchen window, illuminating the hand-hewn beams of their cozy little cottage. The joins were a little crooked, and a few deep cuts in the wood hinted at the lack of expertise in construction. Still, those flaws had names: Levi Lapp, Andy McElroy, Dustin Craley, Joseph Grey. Men who sweated and swore and laughed as they raised building after building, conjuring a town and planting it in the dust and ashes of another. It was wrong to cling to something as ephemeral as a house, however; if there was one thing which she had learned, it was that life could take everything from you at one fell swoop. Everything.
Draping a warm woolen blanket over Will, she led him outside into the chill morning. The town was waking up and swirling in mass confusion; twice they were nearly knocked over by neighbors scurrying this way and that, calling after children, rounding up scant belongings, and chasing down dogs who gamboled about with tongues lolling in glee. Once upon a time, these same neighbors would have stopped and lent her a hand; but not now. They were all consumed with their individual dramas.
The couple made their way slowly, painfully up the treacherous hillside. The Main Gauche glimmered in the mist, reflecting the light like a mound of the daggers for which they were named. Spreading her own coat on the grass, Anna helped Will lower himself to the ground. He drew his knees up and wrapped his arms around them; a tear slowly rolled down his cheek.
“Want to go home,” he whimpered.
Anna wondered which home he meant. The one below? Or the one they'd left behind in the old world, now decaying among the ruins of a once thriving city. It didn't matter, really; all that mattered was the Here and the Now.
“Soon,” she murmured, stroking what was left of his hair. She held him closely and sang a nursery rhyme, one of the few ways she'd found to soothe him.
“Ring around the rosy...”
Prompt: One character lies to another (there will be no picnic today).
Word count without title: 455
Character #2: Anna Mentzer
Click HERE for Part 3