December? Already? What?
The final installment of 2014's yearlong prompt, Vancouver Irrealis? Today? What is going on around here?
Enough with the questions. Let us seek an answer or two. Let me bring you to the beginning... of the end.
After the dust finally settled and he had cleared enough filth from his eyes to be able to mostly see where he was going, Tristam began limping his way back to Rewand's apartment. He didn't know what to expect to be waiting for him there, if anything, but he had nowhere else to go.
Nkare, on the other hand, was a different story.
Turn left here, she whispered at the first intersection they came to. Tristam paused, turned his head to look in the indicated direction, then continued on his original route.
Debris littered the streets and sidewalks where the buildings had struggled to accept the intrusion of their counterparts. People lay crumpled on the ground every few feet. Some of them moaned. Most were silent.
Go to your own apartment, Nkare suggested. You know it's safe there.
"What do you have stored in my home?" Tristam countered, hobbling around the splintered remains of a Japanese maple tree. Silence was his only response.
With many lengthy breaks, most of them his idea, Tristam took over an hour to retrace his steps to Rewand's front door. He stood there for a long while. Maybe it would be too soon to see each other again. Maybe she would need more time to adjust to this new reality. Maybe...
Go home. The codes are all there.
"No, you... what codes?"
Together we can rule this place. Go now, before they find you. The government will consider you a threat. A threat that needs to be eliminated.
"You're insane." Tristam raised his fist, ready to pound on the door. But he couldn't make it move.
I can help you avoid them. Keep us alive. You don't need her. Or the old man.
Still he couldn't close the distance between the oak and his hand. Muddy sweat began streaming down his face.
Even if she's alive she won't be the woman you knew. She'll be the other, I'm sure of it. She was too weak to win her battle.
"That's where I know you're wrong," Tristam muttered. "One final mistake to seal your fate, bitch."