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The Cocon by Helen Hale



Rose lay curled beneath a fur. She wanted to sleep but couldn’t close her eyes. She lay staring up at the amber coloured membrane shell of the cocon which throbbed with black, life giving nerves, pulsed like a life giving lung, a vision which often reminded her of the stark outline of winter trees against a cold grey sky.


It seemed like years since she had felt sunshine, smelled lavender, laughed, joked and drunk wine with her friends. She felt the anger rise again. It had all changed so suddenly, so immediately, two men one vision, a weak boyish looking man and a grey haired, goatee bearded sidekick, Ike, ‘the toy’….. God damn them forcing their ideal, which influenced so many to cause the demise of something so great.


We didn’t stand a chance …herded like sheep, in the fashion of Pol Pott, the men for strength and defence the women to breed with Ike. We fled, of course we did, but it was futile and here we will remain in the realm of the Cameroons building their empire, building a new race.


Their race was intended to be pure, pliable, subservient but the bitter battle for survival against such was turning the few good men and women that were left into hateful monsters whose souls were giving out on them. The Cameroons and their iniquitous idea of pure was, as some might say, tantamount to evil, and no human could survive in tact with a good heart and a strong mind. They were crushing the very being of each and every one of them, taking them one by one… giving up, giving in…complying. There was no way out of this tin can, a crime scene of existence. Heavy boots brought her focus back to the stark empty room, the metal door opened slowly.


“We need to go Rose, Sirace will be here soon.” Jed’s voice was soft, low and full of warmth. He sat down beside her and took hold of her tiny hand. Rose looked up at him and smiled, his wholesome white smile long faded, his thick dark hair replaced by a sporadic, thistly, patchy mess. It was taking its toll, his round handsome features weathered, worn and weary, and his deep, dark eyes paling and greying. She knew it was his worry for her that was wiping the strength from him, not the constant battles to defend the cocon, without which they were all damned and they knew it. The dirt the grime the constant conflict, the mating and breeding for the Cameroons to extend their race and build their empire.


He drew her to her feet and held her close. He thumped the door lock which hissed as the seal was broken and they walked out into the gang way. The air was sluggish and heavy like a memory of a hot summer day pleading for the release of a storm. With a whoosh the craft hovered and sided next to them, the door opened quickly sounding like a hydraulic pipe bursting its coupling.


“Get in and quick we need to move it, all hell is breaking loose on the left flank and we need you Jed” Sirace’s tone was impatient and rude.


Rose caught Sirace’s eye as she sild onto the seat next to him. He winked and grinned, deepening the crows feet around his eyes, his face cragged and pocked with acid blisters, his teeth black and broken. His eyes, pure, brilliant, blue … still held his soul….She stared for a moment, she felt a sharp stab of hope , just a split second of hope, they would never ‘take’ Sirace. She looked away quickly, patting his knee. Jed flung himself onto the seat losing his balance against Rose, as the craft left at speed.


“Jesus man, what’s the hurry”?


“A whole bunch of em’ has lost it down there. They slaughtered all the young; it’s a blood bath and a massacre Jed. We are attacking them on the left flank, its looking a bit unstable if you ask me. Hoo fucking Ha, its hell down there Jed, all the little Ikes running around like headless cocks ‘AT LAST the rebellion has begun. Cameroon and his grey haired, goatee bearded little sidekick has had it coming…. Yeee ha”


Sirace thumped the steering wheel like a child and laughter ripped from his throat.


“Just feast your eyes on that Jeddy boy”!! The craft swooped down landing with a thump in the arena. A vast, semi -circular structure of tiered metal seating teamed with frantic activity. Shouts screams, squeals of delight, fur clad, long haired, far from broken men and women who had found their strength; they had had enough.


The air was thick with smoke from burning flags bearing the smiling faces of Cameroon and Ike. The atmosphere pounding and vibrating with huge waves of energy, the revolt was indeed in full swing. The Ikes were standing in a line which seemed more to hold off the advance than drive forward to conquer.


Jed looked at Sirace puzzled, his excitement rising, his smile twisted....


“Holy shit Si, what are they doing? Why are they just standing there doing nothing?”


“They know they are fucked Jeddy my friend, they know they are weak. No I take that back, WE know they are weak”


The three sprang from the craft heads down, bent forward to go to battle, their freedom resting in their own hands…..a burning flash, a brilliant light…it was the last thing they ever saw .