Round 5 Challenge: Incorporate this image into your next passage of no more than 500 words. You can interpret this challenge as you see fit.
Marcus kicked the snow away to reveal a piece of iron and a rope coiled around the base of a pole. No wishing well here.
Sylvie could make out dome shapes close by and wondered if all the dwellings were the adobe style of the Birth House. She wondered about the Others. Where they lived. What they did.
How human they were?
The frenzied red eyes glaring through the wind screen came back to her and she shivered. One bite and she would be just like them.
“Let’s go,” Marcus said, having filled both buckets and replaced the iron. He set off retracing their steps, which had all but disappeared into the snow when they arrived back at the wall of the Birth House.
“Marcus -” Sylvie went to touch his arm as he set down the buckets at the wall but stopped herself. “Why are the O negatives spared?”
“You assume it is a curse to have been changed.”
Marcus slid the section of the wall open but Sylvie refused to follow.
“What’s the science behind what happened here? Why did the renegade virus not affect everyone?”
Marcus put the buckets down in the courtyard.
“When the virus mutated it attached to the rhesus antigens A, B and D in the blood.”
“The O negative blood group had nothing for the virus to bind to,” Sylvie said stepping into the wall. “What was the original virus?”
“A rage virus with a 90 day infectious period.”
Sylvie shook her head and walked into the compound. There was a labouring woman who needed her. The past was the past. She could do nothing to change it. Only the present and future were malleable.
While Marcus rigged up the makeshift shower Sylvie revisited the words in the birthingroom – the reaction to the two heart beats. It was then she realized the most important piece of equipment for this birth remained in her car.
“I need you to go back for my other bag,” Sylvie said, undressing and ignoring the way Marcus looked at her.
– – – – –
He left Mutt with Sylvie and set out on foot. Marcus had no fear of the Others. They were distracted by Mutt because the dog was unknown, he on the other hand was well known to them. Only the temptation of Sylvie had bought them so close on the way to the well.
The car remained abandoned and intact. Before he retrieved the bag, Marcus went through the car looking for Sylvie’s identification. He could’ve lied to himself and said he wanted to know because the Elders had blackmailed him for his help but it was far more than that. He’d felt it when she touched him.
Under the seat he found her wallet.
The first punch came with the surname on her driver’s license. The second when Dr Johaanson stared at him from a time soften cardboard square, one eye on him and the other ahead to the future.