Short Story: To Survive
The challenge of a city built in the middle of a wasteland was this: the city wall was the dividing line between life and death, but the city population grew, and the city wall didn’t. To survive, they had to go out beyond the wall.
The pioneers created safe spots in the wasteland. The builders built new walls in new territory. Fighters fought the monsters that came sniffing, attracted by all the human activity.
It was a plan with many lives on the plan.
It was Theo’s opportunity to go wild at full strength.
Theo planted a foot on the monster’s corpse and pulled his blade free. The blood-sleeked weapon slid out easily. His mind had lost track of how many monsters he had cut down since he started his shift, but that didn’t matter. All that mattered was that there were more, and he wouldn’t stop until he had destroyed them all.
A low gong swept through the field as he kicked a monster in the ribs. At the second gong, he disengaged and retreated back towards the city, blade raised to slash those that got in the way. By the third, he had shifted his stance from attacking anything in sight to just standing his ground.
Captain approached him from the front with his empty hands in full view.
“Shift’s over, Theo.”
Blood still pounding in his ears, Theo took a deep breath and pushed his battlelust down.
“Ready to go back?” Captain asked.