What is love? In my world, it all started at birth. The earth was taken from the state with luxurious flashing screens in every household and schools for learning, welcoming to every age, to a place where everything was corrupt to bring us to where we are today. The ones I dwell with are manipulators of all that is just. Our world is grey, but this is not how it always was; it was once in beautiful color, but now, we live in broken cities of broken worlds.
When I was born, the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was a man, he was strong, tall, lean, and brave with shoulder-length dark grey hair flapping in the breeze onto his olive skin; he was my father. He looked ragged. He had brown streaks across his face, and his hair had grown unruly as he had waited for me to emerge.
The first sound I heard as a minute-old infant was my mother’s scream behind us; my father winced, but he kept running. They had let him go free into the dirt stained world away from the cottage my parents had intended for me to call home.
I was supposed to be their beautiful baby girl, born into a carefree world. Nine months before that they had been living in a perfect little house with a white fence and a golden retriever named Earth in a city not far from where I had been born. But when news spread of what the world had become, they had put giant walls around their city, and all the pregnant women were forced to move to camps. My parents had wanted to care for me, but they had no choice, except to give me up.
At dark fall, my father slowed at our city’s giant magnificent mahogany doors, and the doors opened for him, well aware of what they were letting in. Inside the gates, it was a brand new world, an almost medieval world, the people, they were selling their goods on the sides of the street, smiling, carefree. The path we walked was separated from the dirt that everything else resided on; it was a carved gravel path; it was in preparation for them to come, my father had known. The buildings beside us were magnificently made as our ancestors had left them.
When my father walked in, every one of the street people turned, and they rang the streets with applause. He lifted me up for all to see before laying me on the gravel and turning back to the door. The men controlling the doors smiled with tears in their eyes. The doors remained open.
My father hadn’t even walked to the heart of the opening to the world of misery, before I heard those loud bangs, unforgettable, even as a babe. I could swear that my father was smiling when the crimson bolts spread out of him. He fell to the ground, his eyes staring blankly into the light blue sky.