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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:50 pm 

the stars look very different today ★

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Daz mimicked Cora's expression, raising an eyebrow and echoing her accusation. "A council member?" he asked. He hadn't thought of it in that way. To be fair, he hadn't thought much at all before the question slipped out of him. He still felt that his question was different. The council members got to live the life they were holding on to; for Daz, it was a daydream from the worst days.

Guilt began to creep through Daz. He felt deep within him that if he had been born in luxury, he would not have made the same sacrifices that Cora had. His mom would still be alive. Was Cora a better person than him, even if she had lived all that time not caring? Had Daz only joined the rebellion because of his suffering, rather than the suffering of others? He didn't want to think about it any longer.

To never go hungry... Daz wondered if Cora was being hyperbolic, or if she truly had never felt the gnaw of hunger. How often did people eat on the upper levels? Daz didn't know how they could find food in the maze other than the rations in his knapsack, so if Cora was being truthful, she would learn to tolerate the feeling. As a child, Daz's mother always made sure he ate at least twice a day, even if it caused her to sacrifice her own meal. When two meal days started becoming rarer and rarer, Daz encountered the rebellion. With their help, he began bringing home rations stolen from soldiers. His mom noticed, of course, but she never asked any questions or got involved.

Daz decided not to continue the conversation, and let the two of them drift into a soft silence. The only sounds were shallow breathing and labored steps. It felt like an eternity, and he worried that the icy corridor would never end. He leaned into Cora ever so slightly for warmth. The move was still passive and impersonal. The cold from touching his ankle to the ice was beginning to creep through his body.

Ahead of them, there appeared to be a wall of darkness. Daz blinked in an attempt to adjust his eyes, but it didn't work. "Can you see?" he asked. The darkness seemed just as unnatural as the ice that surrounded them.


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