The Blood-Red Sky

Сергей ПОПОВ | Проза


The Blood-Red Sky

“Kurt, where are you?”

Dreary and saddened by some obscure woe, Jinn’s voice jerked me out of sleep, hitting me with an instant panic attack. The sky was still black, waiting for the sun to rise, crying acidic tears as the long tormented earth screamed in pain. The wind blew coming and going, then coming back again howling through empty windows. Onto the floor spilt odorous drops, thrown in through the cracks, sizzling like eggs in a frying pan, gradually increasing in volume, exuding sulfur, a deadly miasma. It came as the tide, stung and burned the nostrils, reached into the throat. One or two breaths — and your insides would be done for.

Shshshshsh… Shshshshsh…

Choking on my own saliva, teary-eyed, my throat hoarse, I made it to my backpack on all fours, pulled out a gas mask in a stupor and put in on. Saved, I tore my waning life from the smoky clutches of the most imaginative and creative death in the Scorched Lands.

— How lucky … — I kept repeating, unable to get enough fresh air, — I did it… in time …

I recovered, rasping with a sharp, roaring cough, swallowed, got up, rocking from foot to foot, dizzy, leaned on a mossy brick doorway, and then bent over. My lungs felt like they were melting, shooting pain into my abdomen, my every organ boiling, burning in flames, like on some freshly lit charcoal fire. I was standing there, unable to stop shaking; shivering, as if suffering from tetanus. A second went by, then another, and then a third — and my body was in a hot sweat, vaporizing steam and my over-washed, woolen sweater grew heavy from moisture, sticking to my skin, despite the fact that it was ice cold inside the small, unfinished barn.

About the author:

Sergey Popov is a fiction writer. He was born on November 16, 1990 in Moscow. He is a certified manager and a psychologist. He wrote his first poem when he was 12.

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