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Warlords and Martyrs (rough first draft).

They were the Martyrs. Remains of lost cities and civilisations beckoned from the hardest hearts. Opened up wounds never healed – the convergence of curses. The constant hatred, enmity, call it what you will, all for a piece of land. God given, or so they thought. As two tribes went to war on each other the carnage was beyond apocalyptic. In fact the apocalypse had long since gone. This was in fact the second Armageddon. After the human race had conspired to destroy itself through a combination of atomic meltdown, terrorist activity and government conspiracy, a new breed had begun – thieving off the remains of human flesh. These were not zombies or aliens in the definitive sense. The nobler tribe were known as the Martyrs and the darker side were Warlords. The Martyrs contained mainly artists, writers, poets, philosophers, musicians. The Warlords tended to be military men, police, civil servants, teachers, health officials or other high up government dignitaries. Their political brethren held a legacy that had lasted three hundred years or more since the previous apocalypse.

“What was that?” Diane pinches herself. She’s awake. “Warlords, again?”
“Diane, it’s me Mike. Your fiancée.”
“Mike, sorry, I…”
“must have been dreaming,” they say together.
“Di, you have been taking your tablets, right?”
“Yes, or course, Mike, silly.”
“Will you do me a favour, Di. Take one now.”
“No, why? There’s nothing wrong, just because I had a bad dream.”
“You were calling out in your sleep Diane, saying I was a Warlord, about to take over the entire planet. Now we know that’s not true, don’t we Diane.”
“He has his condescending school teacher’s voice on,” thought Diane but dared not say anything. Mike was notoriously volatile and could change from one second to the next to an evil ogre from a gentle giant.
Yet there was a simple honesty about Mike that was endearing.
Diane looked suspiciously out of her bedroom window. The paranoia always caught her unawares, yet this time it had really taken hold…

About Geraldine Ward

Geraldine Ward has been writing and performing various forms of poetry and prose from an early age, and is a regular contributor at the London Farrago Poetry Slam nights. She has published a number of books including the "Now" collection, and has featured in other publications including Katie Metcalfe's "Beautiful Scruffiness" series of magazines.

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