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Winner “Stories Space “Darkness and Light”” Competition.


It would be a much darker world without choice.

A female has moved into my territory, a healthy young blonde, ripe for breeding and bearing good child. She could be my mate, once I've captured her, subdued her and proved my worth as her man.

Sounds easy enough, but this female is small, flighty and quick. One stray sound and she's off like the wind, racing through shadows to seek cover amongst the ruins and rubble. I've no hope of chasing her down, so instead I'm intent on outwitting her and steering her into a trap.

The female is cautious and cunning, she takes heed of her senses before making a move and takes no chances at all until the hot sun begins to go down. Only in twilight will she head for the water source and this evening I'm ready for her, I'm watching her every move as I lie hidden downwind.

She's a survivor and clever as such, but not so smart as to realize that following predictable behavior is a serious mistake. I am the hunter and she is my prey. Her routine is her weakness and gives me the only advantage I need to help corner her.

My plan is simple and my trap is already in place. I'll hold off a little while longer, then move in on her from the west. Doubtless she'll break straight away, her fine legs carrying her east along the only clear alleyway, the one between what's left of the two tower blocks.

She'll think she's heading for escape, with a choice of two corners leading to any number of hide outs. Only both routes are narrow and I've blocked them, nothing elaborate, but enough to delay her for a few precious seconds. That's all I'll need, a brief moment to catch up and grab hold of her.

Any time now and the hunt will be on, but there's no need to rush. I'll let her drink first, watch as she enjoys cool, fresh water gushing from a broken pipe. It's the only source of clean water for miles and I've done whatever has been necessary to protect it. The water is mine, although I'm willing to share with this female, mate or no mate she's welcome at my spring.

It feels good watching her, I like her looks and the way she moves in the rags she's fashioned into a little short dress. It feels even better when I see her start cleansing herself, first splashing her body and face, then squatting down to wash her sweetest temptation of all.

That's it, I've delayed long enough. I make my move and cover barely ten yards before my quarry is off. She's even quicker than I thought, although it won't make much difference, this chase shouldn't last long and all I need do is keep sight of her to see which corner she takes. She takes the left and I know that I've got her.

And sure enough I find my temptress trapped in the alley. She's turned ready to face me, stood legs apart, snarling and baring her teeth. She might be little, but she doesn't lack courage and looks willing to fight to the death.

I walk up closer to her, not too close, she's armed herself with a piece of twisted steel. Being quick, she could do me some damage with a weapon like that... so I pick up a much bigger scrap of steel, something I could easily smash her head open with, not that I've any intention of doing so.

We stare eye to eye, silently weighing each other up without using words. Survivors don't have much faith in words, it was words that led to the apocalypse. Actions are much better and the female's next ones are to soften her expression and lower her weapon, so I lower mine, then both steel clubs are dropped to the ground. We have an understanding already, the first cautious seeds of trust have been sewn and clearly no blood need be spilled in this encounter.

I move slowly forward and she doesn't flinch, I reach out and wrap my hand around her slender throat, squeeze a little, then squeeze a little harder. She stiffens but offers no resistance, she's at my mercy yet the longer I hold her captive the more the fear fades from her eyes, when her body relaxes I know that I have her!

I could have her now if I chose to satisfy my primitive lust. I could betray our simple understanding, be brutal and take her soft beauty by force for my pleasure. Yet I'm no savage, I survive amongst them but not as one of them.

This female is of my kind, bravely struggling to preserve her humanity. I respect her and desire her company as my mate, not as a victim to be used, bloodied and broken. I need to release this woman, prove I'm worthy of her trust, that I mean her no harm and she's free to decide on her own destiny.

So will she follow when I leave her be?

Will she choose to join me and walk by my side?

I'm back by the water before I turn to look... and there she is, barely twenty yards behind me and with chance to run now if she wants to. I stop walking and in response she stops too, there's still more than a hint of caution about her.

"Come," I tell her.

She doesn't move, she just looks at me coyly.

"Come," I repeat, and offer a hand of friendship.

She walks up to take hold of me, strokes my face then rests her head against my chest. Her breathing becomes heavy, she whimpers and cries floods of tears as her arms wrap ever more tightly around me. I'm pleased she feels safe enough to cry. She's human and no longer alone, trapped in a broken world surrounded by savages.

Maybe one day we'll find more survivors like us. I hope and pray so.

s xxx

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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Posted 28 Apr 2013 16:42
responded to this also as a biologist (with a soft spot for post-apocalyptic visions)
you nailed it
Posted 22 Apr 2013 16:30
Wonderful story, although it should stand proudly by itself, it could be an excerpt from a larger piece. Very nice style and imagery. Thank you for sharing.
Posted 03 Apr 2013 04:59
Congrats on your win!
Posted 21 Mar 2013 17:54
your pieces always make me very emotional for some reason. congratulations on your win. you deserve it.
Posted 21 Mar 2013 13:21
Congratulations on your win! And this is a great story. Even in the darkest days of human race, there is still trust and light. Well done!
Posted 13 Mar 2013 09:01
congrats on your win
Posted 12 Mar 2013 07:51
congrats ... great story
Posted 10 Mar 2013 20:31
congrats on the win!!
Posted 10 Mar 2013 15:00
This is a fantastic story. Your interpretation of the Darkness and Light theme was done with nuance and balance, the pacing was spot on, and the writing quality was exceptional. Well done, and congratulations!
Posted 10 Mar 2013 14:24
Congrats on the win, Steffanie.
Posted 08 Mar 2013 18:53
Interesting alternative to internet dating...
Posted 25 Jan 2013 14:22
Best of luck in the competition.
Posted 14 Jan 2013 14:41
Buena suerte
Posted 09 Jan 2013 17:32
oh, i really liked this one, but then i say that about all your stories. like Gypsy said, very different, but i found myself spellbound and wanting to know more.
Posted 04 Jan 2013 20:11
excellent passionate story
Posted 02 Jan 2013 14:29
First-rate piece of flash fiction. Best of luck in the contest.

Posted 02 Jan 2013 14:17
Good luck in the competition.
Posted 02 Jan 2013 08:38
good luck
your prose lifts the bar here on stories
enjoyed it completely
Posted 02 Jan 2013 07:00
Yet another wonderful story from you, Steffanie. Excellent writing and perfect pacing in the plot. It's also a change from your other stories, it seems to me, and I like that. Thank you, I enjoyed reading this one, just as I enjoy reading all your stories.

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