I know I need to finish Joel's story, but Enoch wanted to come out and play too.
Title: Another Life: Enoch
Series: Another Life
Enoch looked through the mist at the lush, green meadow before him. He'd never seen colors so vivid. And the sun! So warm and bright. He was conflicted, should he shade his eyes so he could see better or just enjoy the hot, bright orb that hung in the sky? Enoch inhaled deeply and smiled. The scent of the air was fresh and cool on his scarred lungs. Pushing through the flimsy vapors, Enoch felt himself pulled across the beautiful field until he was before a river. He stood watching the blue water rush past him, so abundant with fish they were jumping up to eat insects before splashing back down again.
He smiled as he thought of fishing in the river. Enoch turned his head and took in the sight of snow-capped mountains in the distance. They had be at least five miles away, but no pollution was present to distort his view. He wanted to climb the mountain, touch the snow.
Suddenly he felt a sharp pain in his back. Throwing the small blanket off his head, Enoch glanced around and saw the grey world he lived in. Clive stood above him, foot drawn back to kick Enoch again.
"Come on. We're leaving. Someone said they'd heard there was fresh water down south," the grouchy camp leader said.
Enoch wanted to tell him of the beautiful land he saw, but he'd learned early not to talk about his visions. For as long as Enoch could remember, he'd had visions that foretold what was to be. When he was five, he'd seen the earthquake that had swallowed most of the town he'd been born in. He'd seen the tornados rip great troughs through the ground, before they actually touched ground. He had watched in horror his parents being swept beneath a landslide, twice. First in his visions and then in reality two days later. He'd been on his own since that day. The people who knew of his visions swore he was the cause of all the devastation. Enoch had only tried to warn others, to get them to safety, but he soon learned that to talk of his visions brought only more pain to him.
When he saw the devastating volcanic eruptions weeks before the Yellowstone caldera exploded, Enoch hadn't told anyone, but slipped quietly away during the night. He'd met up with another group and tried to pass off his knowledge off the volcano as gossip he'd heard in his travels. Gossip traveled fast and was the only way to know what was happening in the world beyond what you could see.
The group hadn't been able to move fast enough. Neither had Enoch. Now, all they could do was keep traveling away from the large volcano. They were far enough away that the red hot lava wasn't a danger. But the grey flakes of ash were being inhaled into everyone's lungs with each breath they took.
Enoch knew that the ash was turning to cement within everyone's lungs, so death was inevitable for him and the rest of the people in this rag-tag camp. Since before he was born, the world had been destroying itself. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, pollution, the earth had taken all it could and there would be no living thing left. So then why did he keep seeing a beautiful clean world? Was the rumor of fresh water and land in the south true? Should he tell this group of people what he'd been seeing for the past few days?
Another kick to his back, stopped that line of thinking.
"Get yer ass up and moving," Clive bellowed. Then he bent over as a coughing fit overtook him.
No, Enoch thought to himself. Telling others of his visions brought nothing but pain. He stood and gathered the thread-bare blanket he'd found. He'd slept with it over his face, trying to keep as much of the ash out of his respiratory tract he could. Enoch tore a strip off the blanket and wrapped it around his mouth. It would keep the larger pieces of ash out of his lungs.
The small group gathered their few belongings and started the long march southward. They moved slowly and as the day wore on, people stopped to rest. But they never got back up. Enoch didn't look back; he knew to do so would only bring crippling grief.
Just as the sun was starting to set and the handful of people left started looking for a safe place to spend the night, a beam of bright blue light suddenly enveloped Enoch. He saw the startled looks on the people's faces. He could see their mouths opening and closing as if they were yelling at him, but all he heard was a rushing sound. It sounded like a fierce wind, but there was a stillness within the blue light.
Enoch felt a tremendous force pulling him from the inside. It was like the wind he could hear but not feel was inside of him. The pressure was too much; he fell into sweet black oblivion.
Chandir leaned against the chest of drawers glaring at the thin young man lying unconscious on the bed. Why wouldn't he wake? All the others from Earth had woken at least a week ago. He felt a growl rise up from his chest. Finally he spoke the question he'd just thought. "Why isn't he waking up?"
"He'll wake when he's healed," Wryn said calmly.
"When he's healed?" Chandir asked incredulously. "That could take a month! He's been starved, beaten, and who knows what else!"
"And we both know why. I know it's not in your nature, but you are going to have to be patient."
Chandir wanted to argue with his partner. He did have patience when it was warranted; Historians had to be patient. The visions that plagued Historians left them no choice but to be patient. The visions told the mysterious group what has been, what is, and what is to be. It was both a blessing and a curse.
Chandir along with his husband, Wryn, had visions of the young man who now lay so still on the bed. He'd watched in helpless horror as the young man had been beaten for the visions he'd had. He's watched in frustration as he'd been starved and cast out of community after community. Yes, the visions were both a curse and a blessing when you had no power in which to help.
Wryn had tried to calm Chandir by reminding him that soon the boy would be with them. That once he was in their presence, they'd both heal their sub of the abuse he'd suffered. But that did little to appease Chandir as the visions showed his boy coming to harm.
But now he was here. Their preordained sub was within their reach, and he still suffered. Wryn spoon fed him broth but painfully little of the liquid went down the unconscious man.
"Should we-" Chandir started, but was interrupted by Wryn.
"Stop," Wryn commanded. "He will wake up. You know that. I know that. He's just taking longer to heal."
Chandir lowered his head. Wryn seldom was so stern. They were both dominants but Wryn had always been the more easy going of the two. Chandir's dominance was more forceful, harsher. Chandir's thoughts broke off as the young man coughed and then moaned in pain.
Pushing away from the dresser, Chandir strode toward the bed. He brushed back the sweaty, dirty hair off the fevered forehead while Wryn murmured soft words of comfort.
"It's ok, Pais, it's ok. You're on the mend. You are safe."
Both doms gasped when the sub's eyes opened. The green eyes were dull with pain and fever, but held the promise of beautiful life once he was healed.
"You're here," Enoch rasped out in disbelief. "You're real."
"Yes, boy. We're real and we'll keep you safe," Wryn promised.
Chandir leaned down and kissed the sweaty forehead. "But you must do your part. Obey me, and get well."
With those words, it appeared that the young man fell into a healing sleep. Chandir and Wryn gave a sigh of relief. Their boy had turned a corner. He'd heal and they could begin their life together.