• "The human race is a race of pigs. We're all raised to be slaughtered later in life. It's not the best outlook, but it's the truest, you know? I've found that America is indeed hell, but it's not quite the worst hell, you know? The worst hell lies in the hearts of every one, it's what drives humanity to bully and kill off their own kind, for matters of differences in skin color and other physical differences, thought processes, ideas, beliefs, etc. Other places of the world are worse, but we're getting to beright up there with them with all the gang violence, racism, homophobia, just so much hate. I'm not saying I'm not guilty of hate, I hate nearly everyone. Call me a hypocrite. I'll just keep on hating. But there is hope. As s**t as the world is, there is always hope, even in the most dire of situations. As sick as some people are, there's even hope for them. The problem is just reaching it. Nobody tries to anymore because they believe that all the hope has run out, but I don't think that. Not at all. What little hope there is left for this God-forsaken Earth, we can reach it. It won't be the easiest thing to do, and I know for a fact that not everybody will put aside their differences to find this small shred of light, but there might be few that can, that do have the strength, the courage to somehow start digging for this small, rare phenomena that will guide our way to a brighter future. We can somehow live."
    These were the words that Sergent Nathan DeLacour had given as a farewell after resigning from the army at age thirty six. He was a tall, dark haired fair skinned man, well built as well, with clean cut raven hair, and serious grey eyes. Not a thought crossed his mind about what would soon happen afterwards. It was an average day, Nathan sat up in his bed, pressing the six a.m. alarm off. The buzzer had always annoyed him, even worse, though, on Sunday mornings. There was something amiss about this day, though. As if something was missing. Then he knew.
    "Anna?" the man called. "Anna Molly?"
    No response. His wife was nowhere to be seen. His stomach dropped like he had just jumped off a skyscraper. An ominous cloud loomed over him, an uneasy feeling consuming him whole. Anna would never just leave without telling him, and she sure as hell wasn't one to get up as early as it was. He shot through the house, searching each room before knowing for sure she was gone. Nathan shuddered at the possibilities of what may have happened to his beloved wife, all seeming to pass through his mind at once. A heavy burning sensation started to chew at his feet, slowly making his way up his legs, overcoming his body, and before he knew it, it was all over. He laid in the middle of the floor, tears burning his eyes.
    "Oh God no." he mouthed. "Oh God no."
    Nathan had just gone to hell and back. Through every ring, he had fought through. For what had seemed like an eternity, it was in but a few moments, that Nathan had lost his wife to the devils, along with his mortality. The man would never have the chance to experience the joys of death, of eternal rest, the monsters below had made sure of that. He was left in a state of hate, of aloneness, of utter sickness, so many negative feelings summed up in one word: Hopeless.
    He pounded his fists on the floor, as if banging on the gates of hell, trying to force them to let him in. His efforts were useless. "ANNA!" He screamed in anguish. He cried out her name repeatedly, becoming more and more hoarse with each syllable. His heart seemed to burst, tears fled down his cheeks that he had tried to gate back. He clenched the carpet, tearing it up, attempting to find some sort of portal or gateway back down to where his wife rested. Nothing. He was alone.
    Half a century dragged on, and Nathan did not age a day. His hazel eyes once filled with life were now dull, dark rings around them. He didn't sleep well. The night terrors always kept him up. He sat alone in his apartment, gripping a hot cup of coffee, the brim barely at his lips. The only sound in the entire space was the low, slow, thudding of his heart. He let out a long, low sigh, his eyes fixated on the circular rug below. Her favorite rug. It was classic, like you would see in an old cartoon. She loved cartoons. When Nathan moved, he had taken most furniture, the rest he set ablaze. He didn't want anyone else to have it, all because it was hers.
    "You gotta let go sometime, baby." Liv had told him oh so many times. Liv was his neighbor across the hall. She was a tall elderly black woman with warm brown eyes and black hair curled in sausage sized rolls. He would always ignore that sentence. He never wanted to let go. He wanted his wife and his mortality back. Liv sat across from him, staring at the man she now saw as a son. "Nathan, look at me." she demanded in a soft voice. Nathan lifted his head, his eyes cold to her. Live place her soft wrinkled hands on his cheek, and instantly his eyes warmed a bit. She had a sort of aura to her that could melt a boulder in to a teddy bear, often these moments would end in him breaking into tears in her arms, something that otherwise never happened. "You're chasin' somethin' you can never get back, Nathan. When my husband died, yes, it was rough, but I recovered after a while. You can't dwell on the past."
    "I know I can get her back though!" Nathan protested, "I can..." Liv smiled sadly at Nathan. "You sweet, determined boy. I'm sure wherever she is, Anna's angry." This shocked Nathan. He stared up the woman. "Why the hell would you say that?" His voice got a bit high. Liv took his hands. "She's angry because you're hurting yourself. I'm sure that wherever that beautiful woman is, she needs you to let go." Nathan shook his head, burying his face in his palms. Why did he even bring up the topic. He knew what was coming, but still he felt the need to talk about her, to even think about her. Liv always knew when he was thinking about her. It was uncanny. There was a sudden crash next door, followed by a pained cry. Nathan jumped up, grabbing a handgun off the mantle and swinging into the open doored apartment.
    The room was dark, empty except for shattered glass on the floor. It had not been occupied for years, what would anyone be doing in it now? He flipped on the flashlight mounted on top of the small gun, his eyes darting from one corner to the next, making sure not to step on any glass, seeing as he was only wearing a pair of socks. There was a sudden movement in the corner of the room. A form struggled to push itself off the floor, pinned under a fallen ceiling beam. Nathan quickly found a light switch, flipping it on before rushing to the fallen person, who turned to be a teenage girl, lifting the beam with the best of his strength, working to push it off of her. "Jesus Christ what happened?" Nathan grunted, trying to get a response from the trapped girl. The girl simply giggled, as if she was bding tickled. Delirious. She had to be. "I'm gonna get you out of here, okay?" Nathan said in a calm, almost warm voice to which she replied, "It wouldn't matter if I was okay with it or not, you'd still yank me out." Nathan was a bit taken aback by this response. It wasn't the usual gratitude he normally received in this sort of situation, but a mouthful of sarcasm. Nathan didn't speak another word while he struggled to lift the beam and the debris that accompanied it off the girl. The new neighbor crawled out as soon as possible, clinging to Nathan's leg tightly. "Hi there neighbor," she said with a grin. Nathan fell back, trying to escape her grip, landing in a pile of rubble, impaling his arm on a rusty nail. "God dammit!" He cried out in pain as blood slipped around the rust and dripped to the floor like a leaky tap. The girl stood up, pulling Nathan to his feet by his other arm. "Hero needs a doctor." she said as she lead him down the stairs to the parking lot. "Which car is it?" she asked. Nathan realized what was going on, ripping his arm from her grip. "Well, which car's yours? You need a doctor."
    "I'll go by myself."
    "Someone needs to explain what happened or else it won't seem real. It'll look like some old guy just fell on a rusty nail." she said in a matter-of-factly tone.
    Nathan glared at her. This was the first time he had gotten a real look of her. She was of medium height, with short, shaggy brown hair, streaked naturally with blonde highlights. Her eyes, wide with excitement, were a warm hazel color, adorned with thick, long eyelashes. Light freckles spread across her cheeks seemed to compliment hey eyes all the more. She seemed to be in her late teens, early twenties.
    "It's true!" She shouted definsively. Nathan shook his head.
    "Fine." he said with a low groan. "But I'm driving."
    He didn't want to argue any longer. He glanced at the nail. It was lodged deep into his arm. He knew he wouldn't be able to pull it out himself, and instantly the girl seemed to know his thoughts.
    "Oh hell no." She said.
    "You need to yank it out."
    "Oh hell no." she repeated. "Doctors can do that. I'm not getting hit with some lawsuit."
    Nathan groaned, taking hold of the nail. Pain shot up through his arm at the mere touch. "********." was the only word he was able to get out before pulling his hand away. "I can't do it." The girl's hand seemed to shoot from nowhere, yanking the jagged rusty nailfrom bone with all her might, as fast as she could. Nathan was in silent agonizing shock.
    "Ew." the girl said plainly, examining the nail before asking "Should I hold onto this?"
    "I don't know." Nathan growled. He held the bleeding wound, his hand becoming stained with blood. He swung into the driver's seat of the large, black Hummer, pulling the belt over his shoulder, cringing as he reached out to turn the key. "I'm Lady, by the way." the girl spoke as he pulled out of the parking garage and pulled onto the road.
    "Nathan." the man mumbled. He pulled to a stop at a red light, laying his forehead on the steering wheel.
    "Today seems like it's going well for you." Lady joked.
    "Dandy." Nathan replied sarcastically. He didn't crack a smile. Lady reached over, gripping his bleeding arm, putting pressure on the wound.
    "Don't touch me."
    She pulled her hand away again, staring at the blood on her palm.
    Nathan sighed, pressing his foot to the gas as soon as the light was green. The ride seemed to take forever, and it seemed that each traffic light turned red just for him. "You're losing a lot of blood." Lady exclaimed. "I have a lot more where that came from." Lady smiled. "You're not invincible." The ex military lietenant snorted. Lady looked up at him. "Well you aren't."
    "Whatever you say kid."
    "I'm 19!" It was obvious that she was becoming frustrated. "and you aren't invincible! No one is!"
    Nathan pulled to the side of the road.
    "What are you doing, you need to go to the hospital!"
    Nathan grinned coldly, laying his head on the steering wheel, chuckling.
    "I'm going to tell you a story, and you won't believe me."
    "Says who?"
    Nathan's eyes met Lady's and he began his fifty year horror story.