Listen Children

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This is a short story made based on the events from the Dystopia Rising LARP. The world is a product of the amazing Eschaton Media (check them out. No really, go do it). The characters are creations of all the lovely players and friends that I have made while there.

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Red dots. 1. 2. 3. 4. 10. 15. 20. Maybe more.

A burst of fire. Angry eyes glaring. An axe to the shoulder. Falling into the mud.

“If you ever feed Her, I will drag you to Her in chains. Do you understand?”

Jeanie bolted upright. She was sleeping under a table in the double tap again. Damn Terlet hooch. It worked too well. She couldn’t quite remember how she had gotten there. Her head throbbed and pounded. And it was night time. Her glow was bright. Too fucking bright.

Damn hooch.

The Iron groaned and tried to massage her temples. Her finger tips slid across her forehead and for a moment, they bounced up and down. Red dots. Did they ever get headaches from the red dots? Or was She nice to them and left them alone as long as they kept doing what She wished?

Jeanie shook her head. “No.” She wouldn’t do that. She promised. Plus, didn’t she want freedom? That couldn’t be freedom. That was following orders. That was enslavement at its worst. Unlike the Iron Works, she could escape. She could attempt to get away from those that had owned her. She could find places where no one could take her. She was somewhat safe.

But, they weren’t. They were enslaved to… to the Gravemind. And not as the undead horde, but as themselves. They would never escape from Her. She was digging into their minds. Always.

Maybe that alone could help her keep her promise. Granted, it wasn’t a difficult promise to make. If she had not made the promise, her death would have probably happened. Though, she wondered if it would have been by the blade of his axe or by him sadistically watching her bleed out in his arms. Probably depended on what the Gravemind wanted most at that moment.

“Gravemind, you’re a fucking bitch,” Jeanie muttered as she climbed out from under the table and made her way out of the bar. She had to head down to New Williamspoint anyway. She needed a can of something. Maybe it would be something tasty. Besides, it was quieter outside. Much nicer on her pounding head.

She walked down the path. Past the House. Up towards the Kennel and then she stopped and looked over towards the Near Grave. She shuddered.

“Do you smell that?”

The Near Grave was down there. The dead vault was down there. The Bitch that stole Caleb was down there. The Bitch who kept speaking with his voice in her head was down there. Jeanie grabbed her head.

“I am one of Her favored children.”

Jeanie shook, part of her desperate to run down and take any chance she could get. She needed more time. She couldn’t do this with what she had left.

“I will make sure She never lets you make that deal. You will forever be Her slave and drag your friends to Her, powerless to stop.”

Jeanie dropped to her knees. Why wouldn’t the Gravemind just leave her alone? Instead, that Bitch kept talking to her. Talking through people. Talking into her head. And it was always things she could never forget.

“Lover?”

Not without hooch anyway.

“But I wasn’t dead. I needed help. I was just trying to get your help. Why did you kill me?”

“She is Mine now. But I will send her to you.”

“Next time, you will never leave here. You are Mine.”

“We are Her children.”

“Nobody wants you.”

“KNEEL!”

“They’ve all left you. Everyone leaves you.”

“I will kill you if you make a deal with Her.”

“You are nothing more than a slave. You will kneel.”

“Lover?”

“Slave!”

“Kneel!”

“Mine.”

“We are Her children.”

Jeanie screamed. “FUCK YOU BITCH!” She shook and tears rolled down her face. Yes, she needed more time. Yes, there were people she needed to find. But she needed one thing even more.

Her freedom.

Fuck the Gravemind. Fuck Her. Jeanie was free. She would not be one of the slaves the Gravemind called children.

Jeanie shook but slowly stood and continued on her way to New Williamspoint. She was going to get food and then once again get very very drunk. It would make the memories stop. At least for now.

Later, when the caravan came home, she’d go find Rosemary. Maybe Rosemary could get the memories to stop without the hooch. Then she could be strong enough to keep going, to evolve and Cadence wouldn’t have a reason to kill her when he came back.

But for now, Terlet hooch.

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