[ Been through alot over the past year, quit smoking, a couple bad relationships, a new career, school, you name it its happened. I'm going to try to get a regular schedule going for my writing again. Thanks go out to Sincados for his consistent nagging for me to continue working on my novel, of which, this short story is actually an offshoot of. Hes got an attitude, but please cut him some slack, hes been through a lot more than I myself could possibly handle.]
Chapter 5. (Shell Substitutions)
He looked ahead of himself, Tom, Diana, all being lead by the silent pale figure of Nature, their fearless leader, as if she (or was it 'it') could even have feelings such as fear or courage. He grinned, the whole situation was ridiculous, whats the point in caring of anything, when nothing matters anymore. When the world is populated by undead demon, soulless tortured what ever they are; your not even yourself, but a cheap copy of someone else, when the world around you has lost its color, effectively losing its texture. Whats the point? Still, something about that girl compelled him onward. Perhaps she holds to key to his existence he thought to himself. If anything, he knew he followed cause he was amused and curious.
Ahead of him, Diana and Tom were continuing with their incessant nagging of each other. Shane had come to realize that this was perhaps how they managed to keep themselves sane. Nature didn't offer much in terms of conversation, seeing as she was all business especially now that they were clear of the derelict city, and into the desert countryside, riddled with dunes, and random petrified remnants of trees or wooden structures, it wasn't always easy to tell. Then again, nothing looks quiet like it does when its monotone and thousands of years past its prime.
He didn't know why, but all of this made him grin. In the end, no matter how he organized the equation, the solution was always the same, insanity. Perhaps insanity was the best answer, sanity would have to sit this one out. Atleast those things didn't seem to like to wander outside of the ancient ruins of cities. Maybe they know better than we do, after all they have been there for as long as the city has he contemplated.
Ahead of him, the argument had reached a fevered pitch.
"And perhaps its better that we just leave this fools errand and go back?!" Diana snarled at Tom.
"No, but have you ever stopped to think: 'Hey, Nature seems to be doing fine without us, why does she insist on keeping company, unless we are just meat shields, pawns to be thrown away in her twisted little quest?' " Tom retorted.
"Well, I don't think we are as expendable as you like to think, seeing as she does keep us fed..."
"As do farmers with their cattle, thats what I'm trying to tell you, we are nothing but cattle being herded by this insignificant puke"
Shane looked onward to Nature, waiting for a response from her. As usual, nothing, her pace didn't even falter. It was as if she knew that nothing they said would change the circumstances, and they were free to leave just like the lost ones did Shane thought back to the stories Tom and Diana would tell him during the short moments of rest Nature offered them and during their meals.
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