3 3 Years Later After The Bomb Hit Hiroshima
He reaches me and ruffles my hair, still laughing.
"I didn't know you had it in you Bolt. I'm impressed. You put on quite a show there." My whole face lights up at his praise, his eyes sparkling with mischief as I start to peel the mango.
"Now how about sharing the spoils?" He asks, at the same time grabbing the mango out my hands, and jumping to the next tenement, a sly grin spreading at the corners of his mouth.
"Dom!" I yell moving to follow, getting that similar feeling of weightlessness as I jump to the next building except now I'm falling, and falling...
And I slam back into reality just as I hit something cold, hard and unforgiving. Then everything goes black.
I raise my hands to my eyes to wipe away the dust, blood and pus, but my vision is still blurry, and I can only crack open one eye. Where am I? There's this concrete floor underneath me and I seem to be lying in something wet and cold. One sniff informs me that it's my own pee. Gross. I slowly make my way away from the puddle, crawling on my hands and knees, until I come face to face with a wall. I gratefully sit down against it, my lungs heaving painfully from the exertion, and a strange feeling of pins and needles all over my body. I must have cracked some ribs.
As my eyes gradually adjust to the darkness, I can make out that I'm in a square room, with dirt walls and a rough concrete floor with a drain in the middle of it, maybe 5 by 10 feet. I'm imagining what they would need the drain for, all the way down here, and images of my blood swirling down it flashes through my mind. Get a grip, Bolt. It's not real. You need to focus on what is to get out of here. I continue to take in my surroundings, purposely not looking at the drain, and something in the corner of the room catches my attention. It's a vaguely humanoid shape. I scoot over on my butt to get a better look and that's when I remember Shadow. Your apprentice, the one who's only 9 years old? Yeah that's him over there. Lying in the dark like a dead man. Great. Now I got bigger problems than Capt. Amber.
Panic and adrenaline surge through my veins at the thought of the poor kid being dead. I move as fast as I can to his side and place my fingers against his neck. I first I don't feel a pulse and an anguished cry escapes me. "Shadow!" My voice sounds scratchy and raw even in my own ears. Then his pulse jumps unexpectedly under my fingers and I almost collapse from relief. He's alive, he's alive! His chest is moving up and down in a steady rhythm, but he's not waking up. I grasp his shoulders and shake him, hard. He cracks open one bleary eye, sees me, and groans. I'm so relieved I laugh out loud. "I'm not that ugly, now wake up."
He groans again and rolls over to one side, managing to get out, "You are, trust me. I would know. I have to spend every day looking at that twisted face while spittle flies from it, right onto my forehead."
I laugh at this description of me that's so accurate if i think about it. But to him I say, "Trust me, I only look like that when I'm screaming at you. It's a special face I save just for you."
He just groans again and rolls over, mumbling. "I'm tired…", and then the next thing I know his breathing evens out and his gentle snores start to float over to me. I sigh, resting my back against the wall, thinking about how we are going to get out of here. I let my head fall back, and it clunks dully against the wall. I'll just close my eyes for a minute, just a minute… I feel the pull of blackness and I don't resist, letting it take me under, even if it is just to escape the gnawing feeling of hunger and hopelessness for a little while.