Wasteland's Caress

I: The Burial of the Dead


Renegade, runaway Renesmee has turquoise nails, shorn short and ugly on her pianist's hands. The calluses there grate like salt-stained granite, but she wears gloves now and you will not tell.


When she turned her fishbone-spine and cinnamon-cardamom-spice curls away from her lace and grace childhood, her aunties were saddened, her uncles were grieved and her mamma and daddy turned into frantic, buzzing creatures.

It was rather amusing, but she didn't spit in their faces by laughing. They taught her etiquette, after all, even if that was the only wisdom their empty heads imparted.

Jacob… ah, Jacob.

Dogs had a way of being underfoot when you least liked it, and this one didn't run away, tail flapping with a bright bandanna around his neck, when she threw a stick and barked a command.

They'll find his body, under a bridge perhaps or in the curdled creek amidst ice and rubbish, but they'll never, never blame her.

Renesmee licked the blood off her leather jacket very, very carefully, you see.


One by one, Ren pushes vivid cards into machines that devour them with a click, regurgitating green paper that will cobble together her future. When there is nothing left under her hideous former title, she throws her wallet into the trash. The passport is kept, and the driver's license goes to a scrappy teenager who just might use it to buy booze.

Italy sounds pleasant, she decides. The monsters there could be taught a thing or two.

Author's Note: The chapter titles are taken from T. S Eliot's The Waste Land.

This is unlike anything I've written, in style and tone. Please let me know what you think.