An Ending of Something That Has Not Yet Been Overed

Chris Roaf

Every night, when dark falls and the no-light gathers about the edges of the fire – She’s next to me then. Not just next to me, she’s with me then. Light and green flows from nowhere and inks in her glowing background. We’re back then. The woods. The no-light behaved differently; it was kinder to us. We were kinder to us, swimming in warmth. We had rainwater. We had food left; others couldn’t touch us, no-light to blue-sky to no-light. Yellow, green and blue. The plant-smell and water-touch. She’s still with me until I twitch awake. She’s not with me anymore. She’s here. We’re both here. The Winter is over, the Spring is here again too. But it’s not the same Spring, the Spring before—when everything still was, when we met.
Heads reeling, ears ringing, bodies in the streets. We wandered into each other. Everyone was dazed–the first taste of the true no-light. Together, learning to fire, learning to fight. The shoutings and screamings in the chill of day, the sinister silences between. Our world crumbled: with every thing destroyed everyone destroyed everything. We were sped past by time then; circumstances focussed us on our living.
The world woke up again and slowed its dizzying spin. By once coloured buildings charred black, browned trees spew their leaf-green. The nature escaped us from our whole lives, previously separate and now converged. We were escaped from our old places, into older places which were not ours and never could be. So we possessed each other instead. This is the time of my dreams. Sunlight through leaf mesh; the dappled her; water and warmth; ease of life: all underfoot.
When the green fled we sidled back to the city. There was a lot of fighting, more difficult than before. All fighting was killing. We took a killed man’s gun. He was totally leaf-covered when we passed by next.
The city return excited us. Every night there were flames and noise, black, red and orange. We slept curled up, hidden in high buildings, before we forgot the summer’s easy green. Then we became more careful. Our gun made things easy. Our gun was our tool to get what we needed. The city was alive with people, people to meet, to trade and to rob. Even groups and gangs. Food was there, easy to find, enough to spare; people had food we could take. We would stay up through the no-light, into cold mornings.
Mornings coldered more, white, blue and grey. Our warmth was from each other then. Others organised. We kept stores underground and followed there ourselves. When fire was difficult, all was no-light. Day in, day out sometimes; all no-light, all no-warm, no colours. Our gun soaked and broken in a flood, but we hadn’t time to check before they found us. We stove both their heads in with a brown-rusted pipe. Things were not so easy after that.
In the Spring, things were supposed to get warmer, we said. After the snow. We said after the city purges, after the organised troops had moved, after the New Power was finished with this sector, then things would be normal, things would just be again. We said we would fight them, not each other. We said that for a long time underground. We said that while fighting. The no-light heard us and it grew to hate us for our lies.
She left me then.
We made our way out to the quiet green for the warm time, but knew what had happened, it was wary of our change.
She is here, next to me. She might always be close to me. We are not together. She is not with me. When she is gone, then things will be finished. The end will come then. We are still here, apart.