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NOVA EPISODES

CONJUGATION

by

Shaawen E. Thunderbird



And there I was. Walking in the dirt. Wearing an oxygen mask in a deoxidized zone. Had my wife of six years tagging along. I was planning on divorcing her. Can't now. We're stuck together in this forsaken sandbox. Just keeping her around to prevent myself from going crazy. Unless she drives me nuts with her first. Could probably kill her. Not worry about a thing. Get away with it too since an absence of law around here. Nah, I'll just keep her around. Might be useful somehow.

*****

Lord's almighty. When was this desert going to end, I thought. Was hardly able to breathe in that oxygen contraption. My heels were getting sandblasted. Ruined by now. Wanted to get to the closest Macey's and pick a new pair for twenty-two hundred bucks. Sabrina always found better deals. I kept trying to tell her that you lower your grade by knocking off the price tag. She never listened.

But, ugh. Hubby was nagging again. Hurry it up, he'd say. I am so damn sick of that fricken toad getting on my case all the time. Why couldn't he just keep a look out for bandits or something? Oh lord, are there bandits out here? They're going to rape me. They're gonna kill him then rape me. Then kill me and rape me again. I've got to get out of this place.

*****

The sky wasn't blue yet. Sign of oxygen. We already mounted over three dunes past this thick clayish pile. Any longer and I was going to need a break. Didn't think we had that luxury since these masks only lasted for five hours. Gravity felt weird here. Like a sudden weight gain then loss then gain. Could feel this rock moving. Rotating. Saw stars spinning. Several times, wanted to throw up. Felt dizzy. Felt congested. Inflated. This half-world is just so unreal.

*****

We got out of the de-oxidized zone and made camp. I felt so sweaty. I smelt sweaty. I never knew I could sweat. Thought that only happened to men. Plus, hadn't changed my underwear in a week. It felt so gross. My hubby wasn't so handsome anymore. He looked old and morbid since two days ago. Maybe, he was dehydrated. We needed water. I was so worried that we would never find food and water. I never used to worry about these things.

Was always concerned what that bitch across the street said. If my sister was slutting out on her husband. What my girlfriends were up to. If our kitchen would ever get redone. If hubby's next scam was enough to live by for the next three years. Or when we could've upgraded our living standards. But no. Now, I was worried about water. The most basic thing. This isn't how life is supposed to be. We needed to get out of there.

*****

Third night in camp after the de-oxidized zone. We couldn't last another one like that. Food supplies were short. Hands were shivering all the time. Lost so much weight. My muscles were showing and not in a good way. There she was sleeping like nothing's happening. That woman was deluded, I swear.

I spent three months with this woman in a confined space just after we woke up from cryogenic sleep. How ungodly sick I was of her. She's dead weight that I needed to get rid of her somehow. Always drained my cash reserves, revenue from scores. Bought all kinds of luxurious jewelry to show off to her friends whenever they weren't sneaking into my bed.

*****

What's wrong with my nails? They were so frizzled up. My hair was just destroyed. Wished we had our 2050 Corvette back. I missed that car so much. We didn't even know where we were going. Just away from the bunker after we nearly out of food. This world just didn't feel right. I kept wishing it was just a weird dream. But each time one of those rocks came crashing down, making a huge crater, we felt the shock waves like twenty miles away. It moved this whole rock. I could tell because it spun differently afterward. It was crazy.

I used to watch movies with Alan and Chris in bed while hubby was away on business. After a good sweat, we'd just watch some adventure drama. It always looked so fun. I kept telling them we should just pack up and go hiking. They weren't so enthused about it. Seemed like a good idea then. Now that I was living it every day, I was just so worried. Worried to death. Legs were killing. Chest was heavy. Headache all the time. Probably from thin air.

*****

I kept thinking about when I should just kill her. Just so fricken irritated. She kept asking at camp when we were getting to town? When we getting food? When do we get to know new people? When we getting a new house? A new car? New clothes? How the hell should I know??

I watched her sleep. The camouflage tent was up. The core behind the horizon. Just kept thinking of strangling her. How much noise she would make. How surprised her face would be. I didn't know why I was keeping her alive.

*****

He watched me sleep. He didn't notice I was still awake. He hadn't done that in years. Could he still love me after all this time? Maybe I was wrong about him. Maybe I shouldn't have messed around. Done things right. Not dig into his account. Not tell every woman who came near him what an abuser he was. He really wasn't. But it was just so easy to believe.

*****

One month in these hell hole sand lands. All I can think about is killing her. Kill her. Kill her! My mind kept saying. It became an obsession. How I hate this freak of a woman. The way she smelled. The way she dressed. I don't know what I was thinking getting married to her. Just wanted an everyday lay and a free chef. But I didn't want one if I knew it had this kind of cost attached to it.

*****

Maybe I should tell him. How much I love him. How every day I thought about him. No. That's a lie. I was a gold digger looking to strike gold. I could have left him years ago if he weren't such a good lay. I hated how all the women would look at him. The greatest catch in the sea. I never saw it. I do now. He was always so patient with me these days. Always quiet. Never complaining.

I caught a glimpse of myself. What a pathetic housewife I had been. Always so selfish. Whiney. Conceited. Skanky. Never was a drug addict though. No. I will not spend all our good fortunes on that. I was so glad I was smart about that. Decided never to never touch the stuff. He may have though. I don't know.

But I do love him... now.

*****

Think I'm losing it. We had been walking for a week, and now she was giving me these weird looks. Like she had some secret or some fricken joy she didn't tell me about. Looks so damn mocking too. Just want to shut that face up for good. Rip half of it off so it would heal into something grotesque.

But I had to play the cool guy when meeting her at the nightclub. For conquest. Domination. Control. Power. Just to get anything I wanted. Even an unattainable like her. Get everything I wanted. But what for? What was the point? It was all gone now. Drank it way. Smoked it away. Slept it away. Spent it all like I wanted it to rain money just to ignore that screwed up sky we had.

*****

Okay. I had decided to tell him. I love you. I... love... you... Sounds so weird coming from me. Never really felt this way for anyone. But he was such a man about everything so far. He was such a pinnacle of stability. Always marching forward through every problem we had. It was just so invigorating.

*****

She woke me up at night. Then said she loved me. I nearly puked. So I grabbed the pipe we grabbed at the shattered city back there, and I bashed her face with it. She screamed. Blood came down her face. Then she ran off. I chased her. We ran down the slope of the sand. Then I hit a rock that was buried under and fell. She gained distance. I kept running after her. She climbed up the next dune then somehow disappeared out of thin air. I looked around. Nothing. There's nothing but sand in that area. Where the hell did she go???

*****

Why was he trying to kill me, I kept thinking to myself. I ran off after he hit me, but after running up that second hill, I slipped and slid into a cave in. The sand covered up above. I didn't think he saw me fall at all. I was glad that I made it away. But I was also so scared that he might find me. And so sad. Why did he hit me? He gave me this disgusted look when I told him I loved him.

That wasn't right. Not right at all. I felt so stupid. Maybe I'll just stay in this cave until I die. That was going to happen anyway. Don't see a way out.

*****

Couldn't find her, so I kept going. Packed up everything and left. So glad she was gone. But now I had no helper. Oddly enough, it felt so weird not having her by my side. She was always there. With everything. House. Career. Family. Now she wasn't. She was gone. What a strange feeling that was. Strange.



THE END


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