Eden's Opening Scene

I got some amazing response to the last snippet of Eden that I posted so I thought I'd post another!  This is the opening scene of Eden, actually the entire first chapter (it's a short one).  Any feedback would be very much appreciated as I am finally to the editing stage!


“Good-bye old friend,” Avian whispered, closing his eyes in silent words of regret that echoed through the rest of us.

We all shut our eyes, unable to watch the death of the man who had been our family member and protector since the formation of Eden. The sounds reverberated in my brain, the hum of thousands of volts of electricity racing through Tye’s infected system. The back of my eyes stung as I heard the sharp hiss of the electrodes under his skin short out and die. Agonizing seconds later, he took his last gasping breath.

Avian set the one piece of electronic technology that existed in Eden down on the wooden table. I finally opened my eyes again when I heard his suppressed sob. Bill and Graye bowed out of the medical tent quickly, unable to deal with Avian’s grief in the moment of their own. I could only stand there and hug my sides, trying to keep myself from falling apart. It felt like everything inside of me had cracked.

My eyes couldn’t keep away from Tye’s body any longer.

His lifeless form lay limp on the table, one of his legs about to slip off. His left arm rested at his side, the skin shredded and torn where he had tried to rip it off. The dirtied and bloodied wires shone from under the torn skin. His head had lolled to one side, staring emptily at me with one still human eye and one metallic cybernetic one.

I wished Avian would stop sobbing. I should have tried to comfort him but what do you say to the man who had just had to kill his own cousin? His tears seemed like too much of an invitation to let my own come out. But that wasn’t me, Eve didn’t cry. Ever.

Avian looked up at me from where he stood, braced with his hands on the table next to the body. “Thank you for bringing him back, Eve.”

I bit my lower lip and could only manage one small nod. He held my eyes with his own for a long moment, each of us knowing what the other was thinking. We both knew we would never hear Tye’s hesitant laughter again, never urge him to take a break from his watchful post to eat a few bites. Our beloved protector and brother had been taken away from us forever.

“Let me help you,” I offered as Avian started picking up the body. He graciously accepted, his lower lip quivering as we carried what was left of Tye to the furnace. We couldn’t even burry our fellow men and women in the ground, couldn’t visit their graves. Even the destroyed cybernetics were too dangerous to keep around. They were melted down and transported away.

Avian collapsed to the ground as we slid the heavy door closed. He broke into another fit of tears as I lit the fire beneath it. I sat on the ground next to him, hugging my knees as I watched the flames grow in intensity and consume our friend.

I knew I was going to have to speak to Graye again. With as few of us as there were left, you couldn’t ignore anyone. Maybe in a few days I would be able to look him in the eye but for now he was nothing but the one who had gotten Tye infected. All it had taken was one brief touch from the Hunter. He’d tried ripping his own arm off before the infection could spread any further. The attempt had been useless. Less than an hour later Tye’s eye started changing. He’d turned on us within three hours and tried to return to the city. It had taken the entire unit to drag him back to Avian. If it had taken us any longer, we would have had to shoot him in the forest and leave his infected, untouchable body for the wolves.

“Why don’t you go to bed?” I said quietly as I stared at the flames. “I will take care of things.”

“No,” he said as he shook his head, whipping a few tears away. “I can handle it.”

“You don’t have to,” I tried to argue, but only half-heartedly. Saying good-bye to our friend was as hard on me as it was everyone else.

“Go home, Eve. You’ve done your job.”

Without another word I stood and walked out of the tent, never looking back.

Small fires glowed in the darkness, scattered about in the village of tents. No one looked up at me as I walked by on my way to my own. They knew I wasn’t the reason Tye had been killed but they all expected more out of me. I was the one who always got everyone out, no matter how close it had come. Tonight I had finally failed.

I pulled the flap of my tent aside and stepped into the darkness. My worn out cot felt more uncomfortable than ever as I collapsed onto it. I stared up at the blackness above me, my arms resting above my head. The sound of Sarah’s breathing a few feet away let me know she was still awake.

We lay in silence for endless minutes, an unspoken conversation flowing. Tye’s loss would be as hard on Sarah as it was on Avian, brother and sister in painful loss.

“How’s Avian?” she finally spoke.

“I helped him with the furnace but he sent me back,” I forced the words out of my mouth. All I wanted to do was sleep now. I just wanted this day to be over.

Sarah was silent again and I knew there would be tears rolling down her flawless, pale cheeks. I understood why she had not come to the farewell. It killed a little piece of us all whenever we attended one. Sarah was fragile, she couldn’t handle watching that happen to anyone, much less her cousin.

I faintly heard her roll away from me before I fell off the cliff of consciousness into the dark.


Nicole MacDonald said...

*sniff* okay so I shouldn't have read this before leaving for work *sob*.. is good

The Arrival, only .99c on Amazon

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