The Twisted Tale.
The Capitol Wasteland does weird things to a person, altering them beyond recognition. What follows is a true story.
* * * * *
Arthur scrabbled up the mound of debris, panting heavily. His left leg trailed behind, an unrecognizable lump of dead weight. He should be thankful; escape from the raiders seemed impossible. So many frag mines..
However, any sense of relief was quickly overcome by despair. With his leg in this state, miles from Megaton, he knew he was in serious trouble. Already birds were circling overhead, undeterred by the sweltering heat. He had to find shelter and food, or he was doomed. Using his sniper rifle as a crutch he hobbled forward.
The wasteland was quiet, with no motion but the wind playing in the sand. Even the vast expanse of the Potomac river lay still. Wiping blood and sweat from his face he half- dragged himself up a mound of earth and stared hopelessly into the distance. Then with a startled gasp, he ducked down.
Ignoring the flare of pain in his leg, he lay still and completely silent. Dark against the horizon, two human figures could be seen walking at a fast pace, the smaller shadow clutching the bigger one’s hand. Arthur raised the rifle’s scope to his eye and studied the pair. They were dark skinned, with gas masks covering their faces and tattered clothes hanging from their slender frames. However Arthur barely noticed this. All he saw were the packs.
A dry sob escaped him. His stomach felt like it had caved in on itself, and his throat seemed to be coated in dust. The two humans walked on, unaware that their lives could end so abruptly, so easily. All it would take was two pulls of the trigger. He’d have bandages, food and water. He’d survive the night.
It’s a child.
Father and son.
Almost without realizing what he was doing, his finger curled around the trigger and began to tighten. He let out another sob, then let the rifle drop to the ground. Clattering awkwardly, the gun slid sown the earthy mound. He saw the flash, then heard the noise.
The gun had gone off, the bullet embedding itself harmlessly in the ground. The two distant figure’s heads had snapped around to stare in his direction. After a second that lasted an age, they began to run towards him. What little colour that was left in Arthur’s face drained as he scrabbled towards his gun. The pair had drawn weapons; the man was carrying a length of chain, while the child wielded a wicked looking knife. Grabbing the rifle and swinging it around, Arthur prayed it wouldn’t jam. Raising it to his eye, he trained the cross-hair on the man.
Father and son fell over and lay still. Wide eyed and out of breath, Arthur lay back and was still.
The birds circled overhead.