‘This can’t be how it ends. Not like this,’ his companion said.
He smiled at her, but the expression did little to soften his haggard features. Nor did it soften the truth. He had seen it too many times before; been down too many streets, played too many games, just like this one. He knew how it would end and it would not be good.
‘I admire your optimism,’ he said. ‘But face it Jes, there’s here. It's abandoned. Everyone’s gone.’
‘We’re still here.’
‘And we’re the only ones ‘cept a for few ghosts, moaning and groaning as they haunt these ruins.’
‘I don’t believe it. I won’t.’
Quaid took a long look at the young woman in front him. She stood with her feet wide apart, fists planted firmly on her hips. He couldn’t quite make out her green eyes in the frail light, but he would put his last shin on the fact they were narrowed into slits. Her scowl told him as much. Her cloak fluttered like a pair of wings in the ersatz breeze.
He shook his head again.
‘You’re as stubborn as your mother, you know that?’
Her face softened, melting like lead. Then her cheeks flushed and her expression hardened once again.
‘Oh no you don’t, old man.’
‘You always bring up my mother when you want me to do something I don’t like.’
‘I do not.’
‘Yes, you do, and you know it.’
‘All I’m saying is that’s no use…’
Jes stepped closer to her father. His instinct told him to take a step back. Like the job, he had seen her temper too many times and he was too tired to argue. A sigh escaped his lips, but he held his ground. Another step and they were almost touching. He looked down into her eyes. He could see their colour now; green mixed with flecks of hazel. Her mouth widened into a pout, and the young woman vanished, replaced by the face of a child, no more than eight years old.
‘Please, dad.’ She said, her hand adjusting the lapel of his battered coat. ‘Just a few more steps. One more building and if it isn’t there, we’ll go back.’
He had never been able to resist that look, and she knew it. Bitch. He sighed.
‘Alright,’ he said. ‘one more building. And that’s it. I mean it, Jes.’
His daughter smiled and for him it was like watching the sun rise over the ocean. She danced away and headed back down the street. He was about to call out to her, berate her; tell to be careful, but as he watched, Jes moved into the shade, enveloping herself in the shadows of dusk. She inched along a broken wall, towards an archway and the artificial light beyond.
Just thought I'd do another post here, you know, just in case...