Annie And The End Of The World pt 7
Annie was nervous about the elevator. She kept to the back and stayed at the ready. There was actual music playing in the elevator, the Girl from Ipanema, she thought. Catchy tune, designed to lull you into forgetting you were in a box that was held by chains and cables. Annie didn’t forget and kept her ears tuned to the hum of the mechanics and the vibrations of the car. She did not like enclosed places and she really did not relish the idea of being underground. She sighed and the doors opened.
As the group got out of the elevator, Annie hung back. She did not know who or what was out there. It was foolish to just get out without waiting a minute. Caves and tunnels could hold a lot of nasty things and people. She knew. Arthur came back into the elevator and took her hand. He literally pulled her out of the elevator. As soon as she stepped onto the floor of the tunnel she realized that it was rather large. Two trucks could pass each other, its width was more than adequate. She grabbed her hand back and scowled at Arthur.
“Welcome to my home.” Said the old man.
Arthur replied with a thank you and Annie replied with “How is there music in the elevator and light down here?”
“Ah yes. The miners found hot springs in one of the shafts and they harnessed the steam for the generator. So we have music and microwave meals and lights. It is very self-sustained down here. The miners would stay for a week at a time so everything you need would be provided.”
“How did you find this place?”
“I worked for the Johnson and Steward Mining Company. I was a miner for 10 years then I started to lose my eyesight. They kept me on. I developed an uncanny knack for hearing problems with the machines.”
The old man, Steve was his name, showed them around, with the help of Gabriella, his granddaughter. There was a cafeteria with a fully equipped kitchen, bathrooms that were dusty but useable, a huge dorm with chose-your-bed cots, and there was even a game room. Annie immediately went to take a shower. Even though staying a bit grimy was good in the woods, ever since she saw that thing eating the guys leg she had felt dirty. She had seen a lot of things in her life, had the blood of others on her, but that, that took the cake. After her shower she met up with the rest in the game room. She tried the TV, but nothing was on, literally. The same for the radio. Annie sat on one of the couches. She watched the kid and Arthur play ping pong and tried not to think of the fact she was in a cave.
After dinner, there was more talk, mostly about the history of the mine. It was a copper mine and the effects of copper dust is what caused Steve’s blindness. Soon, they all went to bed. The old man and his daughter had separate rooms in what use to be the office. Annie and Arthur headed to the dorm. Arthur removed all his clothing and lay buck naked on a cot. Annie snuck a peak. He was a fine specimen of a man and he made her a bit nervous. After all these years she was still holding back. She still had the idea of marriage and purity. She sat on the edge of the cot. The ceiling was lower here and her claustrophobia was kicking in. She never liked to sleep inside especially after her time in the Service. She felt vulnerable. Finally, she lay fully clothed on the cot.
“I am not going to attack you and have my way with you unless you want me too. You can get undressed. I have seen naked women before.
Arthur’s voice startled her. She jumped up, knife at the ready. Arthur rolled and looked at here.
“You really need to relax.” He said as he got up and walked to her. “Why are you so tense?”
He took the weapon from her hand and sat it on her bed. He grabbed her other hand and looked into her eyes.
“You are frightened” he said with surprised. “What is wrong? What could make a brave woman like you afraid?”
She shook her head and closed her eyes. “I don’t like being inside here.”
Arthur nodded. “You are like an animal in here. You should calm down”
He pulled her to him and hugged her tight. Soon he felt her muscles relax and her breathing was more even. She looked up at him. He felt so good and Annie felt safe with him. He looked down at her and soon his eyes changed, becoming blacker. He kissed her. At first gently, then harder and more demanding. Annie felt her knees give out as his kisses asked her a question she wasn’t sure she could answer. Her nipples tightened and she wanted him to touch her. The feel of him growing hard brought her back to reality. She tried to push him away, but he held her tight. Too tight. Annie pushed harder and he finally broke the connection. She was breathing as hard as he was. He looked at her.
“I “she started, “I never “
“You never?” Annie watch as confusion then understanding displayed in Arthur’s eyes, “You have never been with a man.”
Annie shook her head.
He was quiet for a minute before continuing. “ I am sorry. I thought you had. Damn. I am sorry”
Annie felt like crying. She had ruined everything, because of her prudish ways. It was the end the world and what was she waiting for. She could die tomorrow and never know. Here was her chance. She told Arthur so. He laughed. He grabbed her and kissed her deeply again, then pushed her back.
“No I will wait until you are ready. I don’t have sex with women because it is convenient or it’s the end of the world .No thank you. I prefer woman who I like and like me back. Come on let’s go to sleep. I will hold you, but sleep is all we do”
He took Annie by the hand and lay down on a cot with her. He held her in his arms and sang a song in some language Annie didn’t understand, it was soothing and with his strong arms around her Annie forgot about being inside the cave and drifted to sleep.
Time was not something one could gauge underground. Still it seemed the middle of the night when Annie awoke. She had heard something in her sleep. It was faint. She was lying on her side. Arthur was no longer holding her and was snoring softly on the other side of the cot. She heard the noise again. Keeping her breathing even, Annie slowly reached her for a blade. She held it against her and waited. The noise was closer and more defined. It was whispering. There was someone coming closer to the cot she and Arthur was in. They made little sound other than the barely audible whispering. Annie felt Arthur tense next to her, then he relaxed and his breathing went back to that shallow even breathing of a sleeper. Somehow Annie knew he was awake. Good. The whispering came closer and now Annie was able to hear what was being said.
“Get the knives, she has many on her. And his bow”
“You get knives Grandpa. I get the bow. Ok?”
Grandpa? It was their hosts. They were going to rob them of their weapons and then what? Annie did not know, but she knew they were not going to get her weapons. She opened her eyelids a slit. There was Grandpa Steve looking at her. For being a blind man he seemed to be looking straight at the knife in the boot closest to him. Annie waited. He reached down and just before he could touch the handle of the blade Annie exploded into action. She jumped up and threw the knife in her hand at the girl and grabbed by the throat. He was strong and struggled until Annie put a blade up against his throat, none so gently. Steve felt the prick of her knife and quieted down. She looked over at where she assumed the girl was. She was held in the air by Arthur’s hand; in his other was the blade she threw. He was looking at her irately. Oh well, he should have been more careful. She shrugged. Grandpa Steve started too moved so Annie poked him again. He stopped.
“What the hell” Annie hissed into the old man’s ear. “You see pretty well for being blind”
He snorted “And you believed it too.
“Shut up” Annie pushed the old man towards Arthur.
Annie and Arthur, with girl in hand, marched the two to a cot and sat them down. Arthur very quickly tied the two together. The girl started to cry until Annie told her if she didn’t shut up she would cut her tongue out. Annie meant it and the girl believed it. Besides, Annie didn’t believe the tears for one second.
“You are not blind” Arthur said to the old man.
“Nope” the old man croaked a dry raspy laugh” can’t believe you fell for it.”
“Why?” Annie asked “Why the charade?
Steve looked at her. Now Annie could see he was a bit crazy. How she missed it before she didn’t know. She was losing her touch. Maybe she was going crazy.
“We need meat. All the game round here is gone.I am too old to go traipsing all over the woods looking for meat. She can’t hunt. She can barely wipe her ass. Was going to eat her, but then you came. “
Annie and Arthur looked at the old man with disgust.
“Why didn’t you to ask us for help” Arthur queried
“Uh no” said Steve. “Why bother?”
Annie and Arthur looked at each other. Annie handed him blade. In silent agreement they slice the throats of the girl and the old man. It took very little time for them to die. Annie hung her head after the deed was done. Arthur came to her.
“Eaters” he agreed.
The gathered their gear and took the elevator up. When the doors opened, a different forest than the one they left materialized. Gone was the green and brown; in its place was black and grey. Arthur reached into his pack and produced bandanas. With the cloths tied over their mouth and nose, the two headed out, their steps leaving tracks in the ash.
Chapter 3: http://theblogofteresa.com/annie3/
Chapter 4: http://theblogofteresa.com/annie4/
Chapter 5: http://theblogofteresa.com/annie5/
Chapter 6: http//theblogofteresa.com /annie6/
Chapter 8: http//theblogofteresa.com/annie8/
Chapter 9: http://theblogofteresa.com/annie9/
Chapter 10: http://theblogofteresa.com/annie10/