A Bottle Full of Blood
Thirty years ago, Carmine had been nothing but an outcropping of twisted metal. Many years before, the loose collective of families made their meager progress toward it's lifted shape, seeking shelter from a swelling electrical storm that threatened the precious cargo of a single, half-functional generator they were hauling. A spire of fallen iron offered a rod to draw the lightening, and structures that remained in tact - even if only partially - broke the lash of the rain that was already falling.
Bernat Copen, then barely nineteen years old, crouched in the shadow and listened to the muffled crying of twins that had been born against all odds not far away. Their mother had died a few days after the delivery, barely able to have held the babes before she slipped away from the unrecoverable blood she lost. Under the glowering flash of the sky, the storm intensifying in violence, Bernat found his eyes on the figure standing over the boys, too spare to offer them much shelter. Petra was eight, lean as a fox who'd been running all winter, and at the moment staring out toward where they had come up the hill. She was unafraid, in the face of that powerful tempest; unafraid of the road they had walked, as she was of the road to come, Bernat assumed. Despite her youth, her diminutive size, her relative inexperience even in their hard world, Petra embodied a level of sheer tenacity that did as much to spark hope in his consciousness as it served to make him a little nervous. She braced her body against the wind, and the two babies subdued themselves slightly, as if comforted by some sense of their older sister's protectiveness.
He ducked his own head against the rain, wrapping his arms around his knees and watching the faint eddies of fog created by the heat of his breath on the air. There would be no sleep for them tonight, and a long haul for the day that was to come.
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