i see trees of green,
red roses too
Rubber tyres slap the road and the engine whines angrily, a wasp buzzing through the darkness of the night. She stares out of the window and watches the black world fly past, the red glow of burning fires and scattered embers casting shadows in the dark clouds of smoke.
It's quiet between them. There's nothing left to say, really. This is all that's left, and even that isn't worth fighting for.
i see them bloom
for me and you
His watch had stopped several days earlier; he didn't ask her if she still had hers. Wasn't really much point to knowing what the time was; it isn't like they have to be anywhere.
In the rear view mirror he can see the soft silver glow of the approaching morning as it creeps slowly over the hills behind them. Chasing them. And when it reaches them they have to stop and find the last shadows of darkness to try and hide from the light.
Who said nothing flourished in the dark?
Carter's quiet next to him, her breathing slow and even. Asleep. Only asleep, Jack.
He doesn't believe himself, so he reaches out a tentative hand to touch her. Her skin is still warm, pulsing with a quiet life. He pulls his fingers away before she feels them and wakes up. She needs her sleep; it's been a long week.
and i think to myself
what a wonderful world
When the car shudders and jerks to a stop she wakens, confused. A watery haze of light spills in through the back window, and she swallows, moving restlessly on her seat. Her neck aches and her bladder is complaining.
"Where are we?" Her voice is dry and tired in her throat. Heavy.
He shrugs his shoulders and gets out of the battered car, the opening of his door letting the thick scent of decaying vegetation permeate the stuffy air. The forest is quiet, just like everything else, and the air is surprisingly cool for mid summer. She shivers in her dirty BDUs, but she doesn't complain.
They eat the last of their MREs for breakfast; when the last tins of food are gone they'll have to risk going into the city. Risk being seen. Risk capture. Death.
She sighs, and follows him as he disappears deeper into the woods, the shadows curling over and around them and holding them safe.
i see skies of blue
and clouds of white
As his breathing slows, the world stops moving and all he can hear is the sound of her breathing and the slight breeze ruffling the trees over head. He shivers as the breeze kisses his sweaty skin, cold lips of air brushing over the slickness.
Carter moves next to him, her warmth a small protection against the chill.
"What are we going to do now?" she asks, her voice breaking the silence of the empty woods.
"Keep going," he says at last. There's not really much else they can do.
She twists until she faces him, large blue eyes framed by dark circles and coloured with heaviness. "Until when?" she whispers. "Until they find us? There's nothing left here," she says harshly.
"We have to keep going," he repeats, closing a hand over her arm. Carter isn't a small woman, but her arm is so small in his hand.
She closes her eyes and rests her head on his shoulder for a brief minute. The tear that drops onto his skin is hot and salty and burns like acid.
"I'm sorry," he says ineffectually.
She lifts her head, a small smile touching her lips. "It's not your fault, Sir," she tells him.
"I'm still sorry," he says again.
Her lips are still warm and soft as they kiss him briefly, and then she rolls away, finding her clothes in the evening shadows lingering between the trees. It's almost dark; they'll have to start moving soon.
the bright blessed day
the dark sacred night
It's her turn to drive, and she does so silently as the moonlight turns the unending tarmac beneath her tyres into a black river. The air between them is still thick with the smell of sex; ingrained onto her skin and she doesn't think she'll ever escape the smell of him.
She doesn't ever want to escape the smell of him.
He isn't sleeping; she can feel his eyes watching her as she concentrates on the road. She wants to ask him where to go next, what to do, but she can't. All she can see around them is the empty roads and the smokey sky.
"We'll stop soon," he says eventually.
She nods silently. They can't keep going forever; soon they'll run out of road. They can't run forever, they'll be found. Even if they're the last two people left on earth, they will be found.
"In the morning," he adds. "We'll stop and just stay. Pick somewhere good."
She chuckles slightly at his attempt to lighten the air between them, and a second later his hand finds hers in the dark, his fingers warm as they interlace with hers.
She swallows in the darkness, and knows he can see the smile on her lips in the moonlight.
the colours of the rainbow,
so pretty in the sky,
are also on the faces
of people going by
They run out of gas three miles before dawn. Three miles before light.
Their packs are light now, only a few tins of food are left. Around them, the small town is empty. No lights are on, no cars move. No people.
She could almost believe they are the last ones left, but she knows that can't be true. There have to be more of them, more survivors. They just have to find them.
His fingers curl around hers, and she looks up at his face in the pre-dawn light. It's dirty and unshaved. Her skin is still sensitive where it scraped against his cheeks.
They could take another car and keep going, but they're only going nowhere.
Only going to keep from stopping.
They can't stop; not now, not ever. Not even if they are the last two people on this planet.
And as they silently leave the empty town behind them and head into the silent forest, she starts to wonder if that isn't maybe true after all.
i think to myself
what a wonderful world