Winter: Blow My Candle Out

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  • Reading time:11 mins read
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More free time was found in my shoes, so here I am mixing together two more things that I enjoyed. Namely Metro 2033 and something that I cannot say because it is based on spoilers. But mostly Metro 2033. Also, I used a child as the main character, because I thought writing from the perspective of one would be kinda neat. That, and I have the writing skills of one, so it’d be fitting. Also short, because I had one idea, and wanted to make a sample of it.

Of all the things my Mother has told me of the old world, I never could understand their desire to see it all crumble down. I was five days old when it did, and it was the last time I saw a sunrise, not that I could remember it. We lost track of the days, but my parents say that I’m five or six. Hard to tell ever since we entered the Under. I haven’t actually seen the surface since we went here. Living in a repurposed underground mall that was connected with the city’s metro system, with a Geothermal plant providing backup power.


I naturally don’t remember the first few days, but I was told that about a thousand people made it in, and we’ve barely got a hundred now. Some were killed for theft, or by their own hand. Others tried to escape, with even more growing sick, and getting their candles blown out. It was nothing like any of the stories I was told, few of which seemed like anything beyond a fantasy, even when she claims it happened in the Old World.


I was not good with making friends in the Under, ever since that one boy wanted to play scavenger with me. I lost my left ring finger that day, and now my gloves need to be made just for me. My parents always say it is too cold in the Under, even after five years, my Mother still gets cold during winter. A word I always thought funny, seeing as how it was my name. I never saw this other winter, but she said it was a time of flakey white stuff, leafless trees, and families growing closer.


Most days we just sat around, talked, or read, I was told to not run around much, it would waste my energy, and we only had so many animals and light for the farm room. We still have some food from the Old World, seeing as how there was a lot of it, more than most people needed. A lot of it we managed to recreate, like cheese and bread. Sometimes, we even get a small bit of meat. But I’m not sure I like it, especially because it came from Mable Moo and Sir Oink.


I prefered the other occasional treat. It was something my parents called candy. A surgery and super tasty bar, or lump, or colorful goo. It was really good, but made me want to run around, after I ate it too fast. Then I got a headache, and felt bad. But I like the bookstore more than candy anyways. Because it doesn’t only have stories about other places, it has colorful picture books with words from the people in them. Although, I don’t like the ones without color. They’re smaller and still look neat, but they’re hard to read, like they’re backwards.


And more than that, I like the toy store. It’s got lotsa colors, and friends who can keep me company and don’t cut my fingers off. Some are really cute, other are really cool. But they’re all fun and let em play out what I learned from my stories, and it makes my Mother, my Father, and all the people in the Under smile. But some also cry, apparently they don’t like how I played with the toys. I ask what I did wrong, but they always walk away, still crying.


But one day, when I was sleeping with my rainbow horsies, some of which had horns, wings, and all had a pretty stamp on their butts. My Mother woke me up, telling me to go. She didn’t even let me pick up all my horsies as she grabbed my hand and started to carry me. I only got three of the six, so the other three were left in my blanket, I hoped they would be okay. There was also lotsa noise, with people shouting a lot, but she pushed my face into her shoulder so I couldn’t see.


I was carried to a Stay Away side of the Under, where we walked up some stairs. It was a grey staircase that went on forever, but we eventually got to the top as Mom began to cry. I thought I did something wrong, but she wouldn’t tell me, she kept on crying. When there were no more stairs up, she found a gasmask on the floor, it was cracked and small enough to fit onto me, which Mom did. There was a big red door next to the mask, which she pushed open, causing a weird feeling to hit my skin, kinda like a big hand patting the air next to me.


I looked out, and everything was weird. There were buildings like the ones I saw in the pictures, snow like in the fairy tales, but there was not a lot of color, like those black and white pictures of people I saw in some books. And everything was stinky as well, like the smell I was told to watch out for. Something about residue from a thingie, I don’t remember.


But Mom didn’t like it, as she fell down and was coughing. In between coughs, she muttered out, “Go Winter, don’t come back to the Under, it’s not safe there, not safe in the metro, not safe anywhere. I need you to run, leave me. Just be strong. I’m sorry for forcing you to live through this… I…” She was crying near the end, before she fell asleep. I nudged her, called out to her and everything. But she didn’t wake up.


I was cold. I was rarely truly cold, but my purple coat was not enough, even my mittens attached didn’t warm my hands up. I walked around the snow, but it felt weird, and was a lot rougher than I thought it would be. It actually kinda hurt to touch it was so cold. And the sun wasn’t out, so the city was not pretty, it was just dark and ugly. I had no choice but to walk around , looking for something that Mom would want me to see.


I started coughing after a bit, the mask filtered out a lot of the stinkiness, but there were some holes, and the eye parts were fogging up with icy bits. It was about five minutes until I saw something pretty. It was a sunrise. It went over the buildings and hit the sky, sending a bit of warmth with it. But even though it was pretty, I was still cold.


I started walking towards the sun, hoping it would be what Mom was thinking, but I got tired part way through. I never needed a lot of walking, so I never ate a lot. I decided to lay on the ground, and take in the sunlight as I crunched up in a ball for warmth. But after a while, I fell asleep. I did only get a bit of sleep, so a nap couldn’t hurt. Always helped when I was cold after all.


I woke up in a warmer place. It looked a lot like the Under, and I kinda thought i just had a dream. But I only had three of my horsies next to me, and this wasn’t where I slept. I also didn’t have my blanket, and had my hands and legs tied up. I called for my Mom, but she didn’t come, I just stayed there until a monster came.


It was like one of those Mantis bugs I read about, but with a person’s face. He looked at me and smiled, sounding like that one funny guy with a weird voice from Eggland. Not really like the monster voices people did for me. “Oh, so you weren’t mutated that much. How delightful. We simply must do something about that clothing of yours though. I believe we found a clothing warehouse three weeks ago. Pardon me, I have forgotten my manners at the door. I am Ivan, your new Daddy.”


He scared me lots, and he looked slimey. I already had a daddy, I didn’t want a monster for one! Mom said to be a big girl, but I wanted to cry to make the bug man go away. “Oh, so are you hungry? Or mayhaps, you have yet to see one of us. I do apologize, but tough shit kiddo! I’m the one who found you in the Wastes, and you owe your life to me. And, I suppose Beef. Assuming he’d get here.” “Ask, and ye shall receive a knuckle sandwich in your brittle ass neck!” said a mean sounding voice from behind the mantis man.


When he came to look at me, he looked like a man dressed like a pig, but one of those strong men I was told about, with the muscles and the sunglasses and funny green hair. He snorted his snout, but not like Sir Oink, he was a bad piggy!  “Fracking A man! What’re we gonna do with some non-irradiated meat like this?” “Oh, it is quite simple. I shall place my eggs inside of her.” “And why the pork would ya do that?” “Simple, my tube of meat. Humans are high maintenance, and we can’t afford to care for one. There’s not enough food edible by their kind.” “Yeah, but we’re just gonna make a ton more of you? That’s pretty lame dude.” “It is better than trying to alter here at this day and age. It was first set to kill, then mutate, and now it is just becoming like Jones.” “Lookie here punk! I told ya once not to mention my bro don’t scramble my eggs over a pink like that!” “Surely you did not expect em to have ill faith towards the sexiest armadillo-” “He ain’t that racial slur, you spudwicker!” “Now, this is not the time from name calling, we still need to care for a child.” “Oh, right. Do whatever with her, you know more about these primitive Sapiens than I do.” “But Beefy-poo, you were one!” “And so were you, ya snip. Now I’ve gotta count out some jelly beans.”


I didn’t know what they meant, I just stayed there, scared of their faces, yelling at each other. They were like a Mom and Dad, but I didn’t want to be their kid. And I really didn’t like it when monster mantis used his arm-doodles to cover my mouth, as he bit my neck. After a while, I felt dizzy, and achy all over. And as I felt the world drifting away, I could only think, “Is this it?” Is this what my life was leading up to, some monsters capturing me after my Mom went to sleep, probably forever. I was alone, and unlike the stories, I wouldn’t be saved. I knew it was all over was I saw spheres growing from my skin, and popping open a screaming little bug. The last noise I heard was their shrieks, and the last thing I saw were them as they pecked at my eyes. At least it wasn’t forever, as my candle was blown out.

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