Chapter II. The Dune-Ruins

Chapter II. The Dune-Ruins

A Chapter by Writer #00
"

Gyaah!! Duke! Don't ask a girl those questions!

"

Iris:

 

“Don’t worry,” she assured the boy as she led him over yet another knoll of discarded recyclables, “I know where I’m going.”

 

She took a brief respite on a cardboard box, waiting for the boy to scramble up to where she was.  His face didn’t look all too calm... or trusting.

 

“Really,” she called down to him, “I’ve been living in the same area for almost two months now.  I’ve got a pretty stable hide-out only a couple of miles from here.”

 

The wind guided the ashy sand in a waltz of miniature tempest.  The boy was unaffected, his overlong turtleneck-like collar shielding his mouth and nose.  He covered his eyes as it past around him.  Iris was fine where she was, seeing as the sandstorm hadn’t risen beyond a meter.

 

The two waited for the wind to calm down.

 

The boy climbed up to her, almost slipping on a can.  She shook her head.  Those rubber rain boots would be no good in a hunt; she wondered how he’d been sustaining himself all this time.

 

Duke:

 

The sun wasn’t particularly hot, and he was used to this.  The sun never really shone"not even at noon"but it was still hotter in the dune-ruins of this once urbanized dessert than anywhere else he’d been in his fourteen years.  Luckily, it wasn’t so hot that he had to remove his cloak or drink any extra amount of water"especially the water part because he hadn’t any at the moment and had yet to come across some. 

 

They trod through the dust and sand, between partially constructed buildings, broken skyscrapers, under the shade of empty freeways...

 

:

 

“Here it is,” the Iris said as they came upon a tarp-and-wood-board resting place beneath a fairly tall playground apparatus, “It’s lame, I know, but"“

 

“It’s fine,” he interrupted her, eyeing the makeshift hardwood flooring and canvas walls that were staked into the wood from the underside of the apparatus.

 

The humanoid creature nodded, “Um... thank you... what’s your name?”

 

He, for less than half a second, considered giving her a fake name, but decided that it really didn’t matter.  There are no more use for names in this world, he thought.

 

“Duke.” He told her the name that he had most heard in his dreams.

 

“Duke, Duke,” she repeated his name a few times to herself.  He didn’t know why and he didn’t particularly care, “Cool name.  Come on in.”

 

The Iris parted the tarp-curtains that hung beneath an antiquated tube-slide and entered her self-made home.  He followed cautiously, looking about him to make sure the ruins were truly unpopulated.

 

Duke and Iris:

 

She watched Duke for his reaction to her hard work or, rather, her meticulous searching for useable stools, blanketed crate-desks, and the wooden floor composed of rotting plywood she’d found in an otherwise vacant dumpster.  His golden eyes remained unchanging"not necessarily unimpressed, but definitely not phased by the place.  He seemed to simply accept it and keep his opinion to himself, not leaving an emotional trace.

 

Her stomach growled.  The boy jolted a bit, startled by the interesting sound it made.

 

“What was that?” Duke asked, his hand already at his drills.

 

Iris blushed nervously, shifting her eyes.  “That was me... sorry to scare you, Duke.”

 

“You surprised me, that’s all,” Duke answered, secretly ashamed that he’d just been flipped into defense-mode by the humanoid’s expression of hunger. 

 

An awkward silence followed the sound before Duke finally voiced the question that had been on his mind ever since he set eyes on her that morning: “What are you?”

 

Iris blinked, unsure of how to answer that question.  She cleared her throat and adjusted her seating position on another stool:

 

“Well,” Iris began uncomfortably, “I’m... a human.”

 

“You are?”

 

She had to suppress her expression of utter confusion at the boy’s confusion.  Was her being of the homo sapien sapiens so difficult to believe?

“Yes, I am... like you.  We’re the same species.”

 

His brows furrowed with thought, “But... you are so different from me.  You’re a variation--like golden Rabottes among Rabottes.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“There are obvious differences between us, if you do claim to be of the same species as I, unlike the Rabottes.  They are all the same except for their fur color, but you...you have more curves than my body does and it seems as if you suffer from minor inflammation of the chest.”  He indicated her chest to support his theory.

 

She blushed, feeling violated by his words.  “Th-these are natural for me to have.  They’re breasts.”

 

“Why?”

 

She was truly baffled by this inquiry.  “’Why?  What do you mean ‘Why?’  I don’t know, they’re breasts.”

 

“No.  I mean why is it natural for your chest to be swollen with bug bites and not for me?”

 

“They are not bug-bites.  They’re breasts, and I’m a girl.  Girls have breasts--it’s the way of nature.  Don’t ask me why, I dunno, and please don’t make another conversation about them.”

 

Duke nodded, not understanding why the Iris was so self-conscious of her bug-bites.  An insect bit everyone once in a while; it was nothing to be ashamed of.  He tried to ignore them, but their size seriously worried him and he didn’t want her to have contracted some sort of lethal disease from a night-roaming critter.

 

“I have a poultice for...” he didn’t know how to refer to them without offending the Iris, “...ailments such as yours.”

 

She slapped her palm to her forehead.  She wanted another piece of prey to share her wanderings with her, but she didn’t want that prey to be constantly inquiring about her breasts.  It made her very uncomfortable.  She sighed:

 

“Have you never seen a female human in your entire life?”

 

He thought for a moment.  “No.  I don’t think I have.”

 

She was tempted to gawk at such a claim, but as she recalled her wanderings, she remembered the few humans she had encountered.  All of them had been males (aside from one questionable, effeminate figure that had stolen her food a few weeks ago).  It actually wouldn’t have been very unlikely for the boy to have never seen a female"besides her own self, she’d yet to see one, too.  She was struck by a sudden horror: what if I am the only female human left outside of the gélatine? Iris despaired.

 

“Well then,” Iris told him, looking into his almond-brown eyes, “I guess you can’t say that anymore because I am a female human.”

 

“Fe...male?”

 

“Yes, the feminine counterpart to the males of the human race.”

 

“Why aren't all humans the same?”

 

“Because species with only one gender--male or female--are unable to procreate.”

 

“What about worms?”

 

“Um...they’re an exception.  Asexual beings like snails and starfish.  We’re not talking about them.”

 

“Why do humans need to procreate?  There’s nothing left on this planet to give anything a reason to live.”

 

Iris stared square into Duke, “Well, we’re living aren’t we?”

 

:

 

When night came, she whipped out a bottle of Caf.+ pills and poured two into the palm of her glove.  She popped one into her mouth and trickily swallowed it whole without water.

 

“Do you have any of these, Duke?” she asked him, showing the tiny beige capsules to him.

 

He didn’t answer, his back turned to her. 

 

“Duke?”

 

She approached him, tapping his shoulder; then shaking him.  Nothing.  He’d been sitting like that for a while now.  Iris stepped in front of the stool to look at his face and furrowed her brows.  His eyes were open, yet he wasn’t awake.  They darted from left to right, the speed increasing gradually; his iris was now gold; beginning to shine, like that of a Lun Chat’s in the dark of night.  As they grew brighter, the bags of sleep deprivation under his eyes began to vanish, healing themselves.

 

She watched in fascination.  What was he doing?  How was he doing it?

 

Suddenly, the illumination of his eyes dimmed down and they returned to the normal lambency of human eyeballs.  She was still watching in bewilderment as he blinked and some sign of his having a soul returned.

 

“What?”  He asked, not understanding why he had reentered Premier Consciousness to an intently watching Iris.

 

It took a bit for Iris to properly collect herself and express her concern:  “That... thing you just did...?”

 

“Please be a bit more specific.”

 

“With your eyes...”


“Pardon me?”

 

“The glowing and the healing and the... were you sleeping?”

 

She couldn’t be sure herself of what one looked like when one slept, for she had never seen anyone sleeping before--outside of the gélatine, that is.  Sleep and dreams were a possible truth that had now faded into the nebulous realm of lore.  Perhaps this is what happens to a person when they fall asleep, Iris contemplated.

 

He shrugged, “I don’t know, probably not.  What was I doing?”

 

“You were just sitting there, I thought you were listening to me, but when I asked if you had any Caf.+, I realized you weren’t... I dunno.  It was...interesting, to say the least.”

 

“Caf. plus?”

 

“Yeah, they’re neuro-physical stimuli medication used to keep those outside of the gélatine where they are.”

 

“You mean, it keeps you from falling asleep?”

 

“Well...that’s what I’ve assumed for the longest now, but I can't say I’m all too sure anymore.  You obviously have been drifting off into some form of unconsciousness for quite some time and yet you still manage to return.”

 

“Return?  From where?”

 

“I dunno.  I’d like to say from the gélatine (that’s where most people end up when they go to sleep), but it doesn’t seem as if you’re going anywhere; not you’re body at least.”

 

She thought about the event for a bit longer.  His signs of sleep deprivation had totally disappeared, unlike hers.  The dark circles still hung from under her eyes and the streak of black that resisted the stress-induced whitening the rest of her hair had underwent was still slowly being infected by one of the many side-effects of the Caf.+ pills.  Duke’s under-eyes were the same color as the rest of his face, his hair was totally black, and it seemed as if he were more energized now.  Iris had been convinced that the Caf.+ were the only means of escaping them, it was the only means the person that she’d first wandered with had known... 

 

Duke saw a tear crouching at the corner of the Iris’ (the ‘girl’) eye.

 

“Did I say something to make you cry?”  The boy asked her, trying to figure out what it could have been.

 

|Wavy hair like cloud wisps|

 

She shook her head, wiping the tear free.

 

|Blue eyes like the sky that rolled overhead|

 

“I’m fine, Duke.”  Her voice quivered. “It was just a sad memory, don’t worry.”

 

He nodded.  A sad memory, he repeated in his mind.  Memory.  It wasn’t until that moment that he became aware of the void he saw when he tried to think back... back to when?

 

 

--Chapter II. The Dune-Ruins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



© 2013 Writer #00


Author's Note

Writer #00
Okay, well hope you enjoy(ed) and that it makes you want to read more of LTGC. As always, please review (I know there must be a ton of ways to improve it).


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Reviews

Sleep what a concept. Love it to find it only a memory to avoid. Good chapter. Need to read more about the female, must be something i have never seen before and wonderd what those strange bumps are.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Writer #00

7 Years Ago

Yep, this entire book has a bunch of pseudo-thought/sleep/consciousness-philosophy sprinkled through.. read more
I sense romance coming even from here. I'm surprised that the only female left (Iris) would be able to survive in a place like that. But i'm sure she would be able to defend herself from others. And now the irony comes when Duke doesn't even know what a girl is.

I enjoyed this chapter as I have enjoyed the other one before. Keep it up.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Writer #00

7 Years Ago

Yep, Iris (as you'll see in the next chapter) can pull her own weight and probably the weight of a f.. read more
I hereby enjoyed the story that you've written and the title was well thought of. May I ask what origin?

Posted 7 Years Ago


Writer #00

7 Years Ago

Thank you. The title is a mix of Latin and French. Le Trillix means The "Triple-twilled" (Lat. in .. read more
Rhianne Ney

7 Years Ago

That's a cool meaning ~!

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Added on February 8, 2013
Last Updated on April 14, 2013
Tags: LTGC


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Writer #00
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I'm participating in the Summer Writing Project through Jukepop.com, an online serial website, those entering had to submit a novella on Jukepop.com. The finalists will be decided by the number of +V.. more..

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