What’s a Memory Worth?

Blood leaks from the numerous fresh holes in my side, a breathless gasp my only relief. I roll to behind the thick piece of concrete that used to be the second story ceiling of an office building.

I should know better, but reflexes dictate reaching down to grasp at my fresh wound. Upon the instant of my hand contacting the wound, I regret it as could have been predicted. The needles protrude out of my flesh just enough that a stabbing sensation pierces each of my fingers. Needlers are the worst damned inhuman weapons, I think to myself again as I scream out a list of obscenities as long as the thirty inch blade I hold in my other hand.

I look up to the ledge that had been formed by the piece of rubble I now hid behind. Another needler round smacked against the concrete, those rounds couldn’t pierce shit for armor or debris, so in that I am quite lucky. I time between that shot and the next one and try to judge the distance up to the ledge. I’d definitely have to leap off of the top of the debris if I’d have any chance to grab onto the ledge and pull myself up. I’d only have about 5 seconds to do so if the rate of fire kept up.

As the needler peppers the concrete again, I leap into action. I bend at the knees and give myself a good push off to leap up to the top of the debris. The shock and the recent blood loss, something needlers are known for causing, have gotten to me much more than I could have anticipated. I barely lift off of the ground and rather than stepping up onto the debris, I find my chest strewn across it.

She is in trouble and I need to act quickly if I am going to save her. She is more important than my life now. Without her, what do I have left. I hear the man snicker as he starts walking closer to my position, casually, getting ready for the killing shot.

My vision gets blurry and…

My fingers are locked in with hers as we walk down the city street, each street lamp illuminating her beauty with each few steps into and out of their shining strength. Her smile is magical as I laugh together and swing our arms more exaggerated than we need to match the pace of our walking. This is what I do, I both laugh as I do these things together that others would perhaps shake their head at. Of course, it does help that we’ve just polished off a bottle of Champagne at the somewhat fancy restaurant on the corner.

It is hard to describe my feelings, only that I know that after this walk and after this moment, I will pine for it to come again. It is the sincerest form of flattery I can give. The excitement that comes with the next plan, the next engagement, is the excitement that I live for.

We stop our walk and take purchase on a comfortable bench. I’m not sure who suggested it, but it doesn’t matter. I look into her eyes as she looks into mine. We sit there, our fingers affectionately rubbing each others hands, staring into the deep wells of each others eyes. The long moment of beautiful silence ends with a capstone that I could have died for…

And perhaps I will die for that moment. My vision returns to the present…

I look up at the smiling man who has been hunting me. His smirk is covered somewhat by the smears of grime from the many hard days he has tracked me down through this wasted landscape.

I feel pretty helpless as more of my blood spills out and I could quite easily expire here, maybe even without the final kill shot to my head. I have something to live for, I need to move… for her!

I sit up and look over at him. That damn smirk still writes victory all over his face. “Its about time. You’re elusive, but nobody outruns Frax.”

I breathe in a deep breath and exhale it heavily as I look over at him, “Really? You’re going to address yourself in the third person. That really pisses me off.”

He levels the needler at my head, “You won’t have to worry about that any…”

“Mums the word, Frax. Now go to hell!” I flop to the ground from the top of the debris, knocking the wind out of me and losing my sword. That’s alright though, I didn’t have the strength to swing it. I stab him through the top of his boot with the needles I pulled out of my own wound.

He screams in pain as he reflexively reaches down to grab at his foot. This puts his face within striking distance as I pull one of the needles that I still have a grip on out of his boot and jab it right into the area between the bridge of his nose and his eyeball. The spot must hit a pressure point as fluids and blood fire out of the corner of his eyes.

He goes to the ground and I go for the needler. He’s too stunned to even fight for it as I pry it from his fingers. His hands go to his face and this doesn’t save him from the needles as I pull the trigger and his fingers and lower face take an explosion of needle rounds.

I don’t have any more time to deal with him. I get up, tenderly, and start to shuffle in the direction I’d been trying to go.

I hear the sounds of his back up rolling in with their vehicles and dive into the rubble. They’ll have to come on foot to get me. I feel out the wind to determine which way it is blowing and starting running in that direction.

“I’ve got to… save her.” I hear the vehicles halt as I get to the street corner. I look out and amongst all the other loose paper, stone, and debris I spot the target of my rescue.

I run into the street without any concern for the vehicles or the people in them. My life doesn’t matter as long as I have her. I grab out for the crumpled paper that rolls down the street from the harsh wind.

As I pull the corners to straighten the picture, I sigh in relief as I look upon her face, there on the photograph. The last thing I have to remember her by. Damn wind blew it right off of the bin I’d set it on back at my lookout spot.

The sound of gunfire and screaming men close in around me. I’m going to be okay now. I look into the deep wells of her eyes and as I go to leave, the picture crumples in my hand as I prepare to run and get a death grip on her.

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About dhunterphillips

Visit my Facebook Fan Page to connect: http://www.facebook.com/DavidHunterPhillips While not working as a GeoInt Analyst in the Washington DC metro area, D. Hunter Phillips enjoys a life-long love of sci-fi, fantasy, role-playing games, and a great many other nerdy things that he explores through writing and games. D. Hunter regularly writes board game reviews at BoardGaming.com. Through his writing, D. Hunter hopes to inspire and speculate on the future and the past. He seeks deeper meanings within pulp genres of fantasy and sci-fi. D. Hunter enjoys the tales of John Ringo and Charles Stross. D. Hunter's readings lead him in a never ending cycle of sci-fi, history, physics, and psychology. D. Hunter enjoys going to DC area Goth clubs and seeing some of his favorite bands, such as VNV Nation. He also loves his home life with his partner in crime and several pets.
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