Craig’s eyes blink open. His first sight is blurry like he had been riding a dust-devil. However, he sees the movement before him of a familiar dark creature whose head lifts up to see him awake. A whine comes out of this creature as it stands up on its four legs and walks towards him. Craigs eyes adjust just in time to see his long-time canine companion sniffing at his face.
A groan escapes from his lips as he reaches out and pets Toby’s head. Toby licks his hand in return being as gentle as he can. Craig looks at his German Sheppard-mix with gratitude. Toby must have gotten him some help. Sadly, Craig feels sore all over his body. He still tries to get up as he pushes himself from the bed. It is difficult to sit up with the sharp pain stabbing down his back but he is determined to do it. He finds himself on a bed that is soft like a cloud. This is something he has never experienced before. As a kid he has heard stories of how people would sleep on feathered mattresses before the apocalypse had hit but he has never seen one before.
A click on the door sounds and it slowly opens. Craig looks to it as Toby turns his neck to see who is coming into the room. It’s the woman who has saved him from the monster earlier. Instead of the layered survivalist clothing he saw her in, she is dressed in a white caftan with multiple colors of beads sewn on it. Her long black hair is still down and Craig recognizes her brownish-hazel eyes. They capture him almost immediately as she sends him a tender smile.
“Your awake.” She speaks to him and looks down to the tray she is holding. “I brought you some food in hopes that it would roust you.”
She brings the tray to the small table beside his bed. Craig opens his mouth but he can’t get his words out. His throat is so dry that it feels like sandpaper rubbing against his vocal cords. Somehow, she seems to understand. She picks up a bottle that has a bubbling translucent green liquid inside. By the looks of it, with its dripping cool condensation, Craig knows that this drink is something that he desperately needs.
“This is called Agavastra juice.” She explains as she hands the chilled bottle to him. “It has agave, lemon, and astra in it. It will calm your throat, give you some energy, but most importantly, it will hydrate you.”
Craig takes a long pull of this drink. It slides down his throat easing the burning sensation that he has been infected with. His sore muscles relax and he finds himself feeling refreshed. He swings his legs off of the bed and onto the ground with his normal nimbleness. He can see that this juice does wonders. He shakily stands up but manages to succeed.
“That juice is amazing!” Craig says to her. “I’ve never had anything like that.”
“There is more where that came from.” She chuckles and holds her hand out to steady him. “My name is Naomi. I saved you from the lugwurm out in the desert. You were unconscious so I had some men come and bring you back here.”
“Where is here?” Craig asks taking a long pull of his drink.
“We call it Salvation.”
Special Thanks to:
Barney's Adventure Park: It is so much fun! AB-838, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y0. https://www.barneysdrumheller.com/