writing

Julnawrimo – Day 1 (707/50,000)

Freedom.

This was all she could think about as she was flying down the highway on her motorcycle. The wind tugging at her jacket and her leather wrapped pony tail which trailed behind her like the tail of a kite. She was alone in the world, one woman, one motorcycle, one road. There was nothing but the constant rumble and vibration of the bike between her legs and the shapeless world flowing by around her. She was finally at peace, her mind still and open.

She was free.

Suddenly there was a hand on her shoulder and she jerked wrenching the handlebars hard to one side. “Fuck”, she thought as the bike spun away and the simple, free world around her disappeared, leaving her back in the garage with a wrench in hand. She looked around for a dazed second before focusing on Stars face.

“Hey, you ok?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Just daydreaming I guess.”

“Well, you’d better get to work. If the Phoenix comes back and those parts aren’t stripped off, he’ll exile you for sure.”

“True story, thanks” she muttered and turned back to the car she was breaking down.

The Phoenix was an enigmatic man. He rarely spoke, but when he did there was no disputing his authority. She wondered briefly if he had been born with that sense of power, or if it was something he learned out here alone building the enclave part by part, piece by piece, man by man. The question was pointless, no one knew anything about the man except that he was absolutely in control of their little piece of shelter in the desert. The enclave was a small settlement, built from scrap metal and discarded machinery, out in the middle of nomans land. Once inside you were at the mercy of the convoy leader if you had any desire to leave. The convoys made a constant rotation of the surrounding land, both scavaging and surveying. Star, the convoy leader, had explained it like this: “We spiral out looking for anything alive then kill it. Once we’re done, we spiral back picking up the pieces.” She knew that they made it out far enough to trade parts for food and other necessities, but no one would talk about how far that was or where those places were. Something told her that Star didn’t even know exactly where he was going, but that he just followed the set pattern over and over again. Spiral out, spiral back.

The enclave was nameless, at least as far as she knew. About the only thing she did know about the place was that it, and the Phoenix, had saved her life. She remembered waking up here and being fed and nursed back to health. Though how and why she had been starving and half dead were a mystery, one that she could get no answers to. She had been put to work in the garage stripping parts off the wreckage that Star brought back with the convoys. Sometimes vehicles, sometimes pieces of machinery, other times various pieces of tech were brought in. Her job was to break it all down into the smallest form possible. From there it was used to repair and enlarge the enclave. What wasn’t used in the conclave itself was taken out by the convoys and traded for various supplies. She’d been given this job the moment she was caught trying to disassemble the locking mechanism on the window to her room. All she had wanted was a small view of the outside world. When she was caught, she expected some sort of punishment, after all she was basically a prisoner. She was served meals alone in a small room off of the main dining area, escorted to and from the bathing rooms and never allowed outside.

Once she had been given the task of tearing down the half pieces of equipment, she was given a little more freedom. She could at least go outside now, though she was always escorted from her room to the garage and back again. But at least she could go outside, and the garage itself had a transparent section of roof so at least she could pretend she was working outside.

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