A - Willows Run. Chapter 02
DescriptionThe Cold of War Can still make you feel alive.
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Willows Run. - This is a slower Paces Chapter compared to Chapter 1. Enjoy Chapter Two " Cleric St. I awake again to another cold morning, which seems to be the normal thing of late. I must have passed out not long after the soldiers cleared out, I don't even remember them leaving. The cold seeming to have a great affect on my brain and not to mention the rest of my body. Aching all through, painful to even move my joints as if they had seized up and hadn't been used in years, almost like extreme arthritis, feels like the day before all over again. I can't help but smile a little at how much of an old woman I feel just because of the deadly cold. But time for smiling I don't have, I need to gather my supplies, scattered at that, and leave. Soldiers could be patrolling the area and I don't want a repeat of the shelling. I crawl out from under my makeshift cover of crates and get myself up onto my feet, wincing in pain as the knife wound on my leg sends jolts of discomfort through me. I sling my rifle back over my shoulder and then stand for a few seconds to gather my composure and to clean the dirt out of what use to be nice long black hair. It to, like all things around me had seen better days and had felt the damage of war. A tangled, matted mess is the best way to describe it, as if I were trying to make my own dreadlocks. A bad look for me I'm sure. But fixing my hair was another thing I didn't have time for. I need to gather my gear and find a way out of here without being detected. The city around me was looking a little worse for wear, like someone had had a field day with a wrecking ball, but no, this was from something a lot more powerful than any wrecking ball that's for sure. Entire buildings levelled, fires still glowing away and sending their smoke signals into the air. I begin gathering my things and putting them into my jacket pockets or side pant pockets. One can of food, matches, compass, bandages, ammo clip and the map, the rest will have to stay and seeing as my trusty frayed rucksack had become another casualty of war I had little choice. It would be no more than 7 am and travelling at these hours leaves me vulnerable to detection, so I'll have to keep low. I walk for a bit and try and take it all in. This once prosperous city brought down by those who were meant to protect it, to protect the people in it. Where did it all go wrong? Where did we all go wrong? Lost in thought I walk around without a care in the world, just thinking about how life use to be and also how my own life use to be, a stupid move I admit. That's when I feel the slow run of blood trickle down my leg from the knife wound; I need to get this cleaned up. One of these apartment blocks, the few left standing anyway, must have a first-aid kit of some kind. Slowly and carefully I walk down a rubble ridden street, street light blown out of place, smashed glass lining the ground. After awhile all these streets look the same. Dirty, blown out and coated in the scent of despair. Just around the corner there is faint chatter. I crouch down low and edge towards the corner and peer around. Two soldiers who look to only be privates are standing around smoking and talking, and carrying what look to be sub machine guns hanging casually from their shoulders. "Damnit its cold!" one of them says while drawing back on his cigarette and then exhaling the smoke upwards into the sky "When will the other squads arrive so we can move out of this shithole" Just as he goes to carry on they both drop their cigarettes and stamp them out before coming to full attention, saluting. A soldier walks over; by the looks of his shoulder badge he appears to be a major or thereabouts, with my limited education on army ranks I'll stick with that. "At ease" he says, and then carries on "Orders just came down that we will be moving out at 1400 hours to move north up into the Bardines forest where we are to set up a defensive line against enemy advances, plus hold that area till adequate support arrives. That is all" With that he turns and walks away. "Prick" one soldier proclaims as he reaches into his pockets to retrieve a cigarette, putting it to his lips and lighting it. "At least it will get us out of this shithole and hopefully somewhere with a bit more warmth" I peer down at my leg, the pressure from crouching down forcing the blood to run freely out, soaking my makeshift jacket bandage a nice shade of red. I hug the wall and inch my way back towards my previous position, laying low as to not be seen. I get half way down the wall and feeling in the clear I slowly and painfully stand up and without even thinking walk straight onto the broken shards of glass. The gentle soft sound of creaking glass beneath my shoes echoed down the street as if it were carefully placed to stop intruders from coming down the street. "What was that!" one of the soldiers calls while cocking his gun ready for action. That's the last sound I need to hear right now and running is not exactly something I'm in much of a state for. "Was probably just a cat, settle down" the other soldier replies. I need to be more careful, I don't really feel like getting shot and not at this hour of the morning. After walking around for some minutes I come across a street that looks like it has been barely touched as if frozen in time, little garden boxes line the pavement, bicycle casually leaning against the side of a building. Street lights mostly intact and hardly a missing door or window. Even the street sign was still in place "Cleric St'. One of very few lucky street blocks I'm sure, or maybe the bombing raiders had a soft spot for this particular street, who knows. Then again there could be some kind of army personnel barracks in any of these buildings. The blocks were generally 3 stories tall with some first floor buildings being little shops such as cafés, delis and general purpose stores. I walk down the left of the street keeping an eye out for any movement. Pulling my rifle down off my shoulder and cocking it, just in case. Find my way up a little flight of steps to an apartment block sporting a little green door, carefully turning the knob hoping that it isn't booby trapped, which would give me another chance at flight. To my luck, it wasn't. As soon as I enter the musk smell of the front hall room makes itself known. I walk passed the first few doors and down to the end of the corridor and enter room "205'. A simple apartment lies before me. A dull yellow wallpaper, a cream-ish coloured carpet, a little lounge, dining table with 4 chairs, small radio box and atop that a tidy arrangement of flowers. I walk passed the dining table and into the kitchen and to the sink, turn the taps and to my surprise a gentle trickle of water flows down. I seem to be having more luck than yesterday. Always a plus. I splash my face and drink some down before searching through the fridge and cupboards. Fridge " nothing. Cupboards " Mouldy food and a half bottle of vodka. I grab the vodka and make my way to the bathroom and begin rummaging through the medicine cabinet grabbing anything to aid me. I sit down on the cold floor un-wrapping the jacket bandage, opening the bottle of vodka and having a hard belt at it before pouring some on my wound. I bite down on my lip hard making my eyes well with water. I wipe them away and begin stitching my leg. Guess those sewing classes in school did come in handy after all. Limping back into the main room I throw my unneeded, for now, supplies onto the dining table before collapsing onto the lounge. I take another swig of vodka, feeling it go down warming my throat and stomach. I need to rest; I'll make a break for it tonight. So for now, this will be my new home.