Freedom became nothing but a word with a definition completely meaningless to the people who lived in the desolate land once known as America. Tainted and inhospitable to life by nuclear and physical warfare, this region known as the promised land became nothing by death. The world stood at a teetering point where life eased closer and closer to breathlessness. Corina Connor lived in a dying world, and at age six she recognized it.
In the year 2030 a missile soared over the eastern region of America and unleashed a powerful EMP that fried the electrical circuits and left the people there in sheer black. An act of terrorism, no doubt. During this momentary loss of power, other countries ...view middle of the document...
Whenever her parents went on official business she had to come along to wherever they'd meet their client. Her parents were thieves, very talented in their trade of taking from the richer to get quick cash in a matter of hours.
While they discussed business—especially in a bar—she'd listen in to the other conversations regarding the history of Sanctuary flowing about the room. Some bar patrons—drunken off bitter-tasting ale and hate toward the upper class—spread their opinions and ideas about how freedom would soon return to the region. They described in great detail what it meant: no more poverty; no more division.
Her heart accepted these dreams easily, and she drafted the future where everything was perfect within the recesses of her youthful mind. Once she tried sharing her ideas with her father, but he only slapped the back of her head and said disapprovingly, “You can't waste time swallowed in your dreams. That's not gonna happen until we're dead, baby girl.”
Corina tried to embrace these words, hoping it'd replace the aspirations searing inside, though never did she allow them in to crush her beyond repair. She endured through her father's verbal, and sometimes physical, abuse numerous times, but the only thing she considered as abuse was him shattering her dreams. Everything else she considered them as his way of affection, how these words and gestures would help her learn how to function properly in the real world. Since then she never spoke of them again.
At eleven her father left the home, and that became a devastating time for Corina. She remembered staring up into his blue eyes, reaching and begging for a single ounce of affection that he never gave her. Instead of a hug or a kiss on the forehead, he took his big hand, ruffled her hair, and left without saying a word. Her mother had grown very ill and needed to constantly be nursed, probably a reason why her father left; he didn't like carrying deadweight, Corina knew that.
That was years ago. Now—six years later—she still nursed her mother ill mother, constantly making up reasons for his father's leave. She remembered everything—he became a memory completely infused in her skull. His disapproval of her dreams only made her cling to them tighter. Corina never released her dreams; she kept them close as if hoping they'd keep a warmth flaring inside her.
Walking down the swarming streets one afternoon, her pale eyes watched the sketchy characters pass by, the stone-faced men and women keeping their eyes forward and avoid eye contact. Her father always taught her to stay on guard, no matter how peaceful everything felt the unpredictable could happen to even an elderly woman.
She saw movement out of the corner of her eye and she turned, just in time to find a drunkard stumbling over to touch her long dark hair.
“Back off,” was all she said before she delivered a practiced kick that sent him retreating back to the garbage he came from. Her sudden aggression made him decide on...