Presented in partnership with my collaborator TheCosmicBeholder
In this exciting new series, the sole survivors of the Worst World Invasion try to stay one step ahead of Dark Centennia and her shadow army
Previous episode - fav.me/dcn6cqu
- - - Episode 8 - We're On A Road To Nowhere
Cassandra and Lacrecia spent one more day at the cabin in the safety of Wharton State Park. Lacrecia was brimming with positive energy that Cassandra found unavoidably infectious. By the evening they sat naked around a small fire. Excalibur lay on the ground beside them.
"Aren't you cold?" asked Cassandra.
Lacrecia grinned. "I grew up in Hell, remember? Plus my mom's a demon, and possibly the Antichrist. So no, I don't get cold. What about you? I haven't seen you shivering at all."
"Eros, remember?" she grinned in return. "Having my blob living inside me seems to protect me from any of that cold bullshit. It's why I used to walk around naked so much."
"Like you don't anymore"
"Ha! Well.. I've always been an exhibitionist-"
"You don't say!"
"Heeey. Fuck you! So yeah, I got off on people's staring. Hence the green hair, the undercut, the piercings.. The jeans that barely covered my ass-"
Cassandra stuck out her tongue. "And ripped tops with lots of underboob. But once I met The Odds, and those crazy Section P girls, I realised they didn't care if I was wearing clothes or not."
Lacrecia nodded. "Nudity's not a big deal in Hell either. It's not seen as shameful, or dirty, and even exploitative. It's just a vehicle, right?"
"Sure. But I was raised Catholic. I lived with my Nana as long as I can remember. She did not
approve of my wardrobe, hehehe."
"Heh. Catholic girls are the worst.."
"Well everyone has to rebel in their own way. Doesn't make me love God any less."
Lacrecia pursed her lips. "I've been meaning to ask you about that.. God stuff.." Cassandra raised a quizzical eyebrow, but invited the topic. "Like, it's been just you and me for two years now. And you know I'm from Hell. We've met the Devil, if that's what he is. How does that figure in with your faith and upbringing?"
"Ugh.. that's a tricky one.." she began. "As much as I used to do all the stuff the church tells you not do - promiscuity, drugs, stealing and all that- I never stopped believing. I keep my crucifix and my rosary in my draw at the Fortress. Well, used to. God made me the way I am, whatever some stuffy old dudes think."
"Did you think Hell was going to be like it was?"
"Honestly? No fucking way.. We're taught at an early age in Sunday School-" she put on a overly dramatic, condescending tone, "God is watching everything you do. And if you're bad, he has a special place reserved for you where you'll BURN FOR ETERNITY... But he loves you.." Lacrecia giggled. "That bit never sat right with me. Why if he made us and loves us would he condemn anyone for all time?"
"Hell is what you want it to be. Sure, humans who have been real bad go there to be punished. But it's more like rehab. You basically get as much punishment as you think you deserve. But for everyone else in Hell, it's just a place where you live. Mom had a job in TV. I went to school. We got demons who are painters, carpenters, mechanics, office workers.. You get the idea. When a soul has had enough, they move on."
"How come? It's better than burning forever, right?"
"I guess.. Sorta takes the sting out of the Bible a bit though don't you think?"
"Weeeeeell.... in school, we were taught that the Bible was written by men. Sure it's got some good stories and metaphors and stuff, but the Old Testament is basically a survival guide for a nomadic desert-dwelling people two thousand years ago, and the New Testament is some stuff written hundreds of years after Jesus had been and gone."
"Be that as it may, it doesn't change the fact I have faith. In God. In Jesus. In all of that. The message is still the same."
"I'm not going to go on about it, because I know this stuff is important to you. And you're important to me. But look around.. do you see God anywhere here?"
Cassandra remained silent for a moment. "You've seen Hell. You know the devil lives there. If anything that makes me even more certain that Heaven is real, and that God is there. I have
to believe that. I can live with being wrong. But if I don't have faith, I don't have anything
"You've got me.." Lacrecia smiled.
Cassandra crawled over to her and kissed her gently on the lips. "Always, babe.."
- - -
The following morning they set off on their journey back to New York City. They surmised that the ferry from Sandy Hook Bay would no longer be running, and so they would travel north to South Amboy, New Jersey. In sight of Staten Island. It was some 65 miles to walk, deeper into occupied territory. Armed with Excalibur, Lacrecia had a little extra skip in her step than before. Aside from a pair of boots, and Eros forming a pair of high-top sneakers on Cassandra's feet, they were not wearing a stitch.
"So we're really doing this naked saving the world thing, huh?" grinned Lacrecia.
"Nothing says we can't look good while doing it"