What We Are, Is Not What God Made.



Scene Title What We Are, Is Not What God Made.
Synopsis Abigail flee's for the familiarity of the south when told that she is not what her God made.
Date February 28, 2021


A quaint little white brownstone.

The car sat in the driveway behind the brownstone in Williamsburg. Her hand on the open door to the house that was kept at minimum temperature in her absence to ensure no pipes burst from cold, she regarded the mid-renovated home. The main floor had finally been done before everything had gone to shit. The second floor soon to be tackled. Two years so far, sunk into the home. The bay of windows in the kitchen that let sun soak the room and late afternoon sun bathing the white and blue kitchen. There's a glance down to the phone in her other hand and the email there.

God didn't make me Dean.

She locks it behind her, and removes the key from the keyring, hiding it under a flowerpot with the dried and frozen remains of the wildflowers that grew in it, favoured by butterflies. She moves down the steps, trudging through the snow that had gathered till she's back at the car and slipping in behind the wheel. At least today has been a relatively good day with regards to her head. Even if the rest of it had been something else. The key is turned in the ignition and she looks to the passenger side.

I don't know what I am, but I know that whatever I am, I'm not your daughter.

ID tucked in a cupholder and at the ready for checkpoints out of the safe zone, sunglasses on the dash in front of her. In the trunk space there's three gasoline cans, two of them filled already for the portions of the trip that inevitably will be sparse with opportunity to gas up. Cash on hand is stashed throughout the vehicle and not all in one place just in case. She's leaving the generally safe civilization and out into places where the world's still rebuilding on a far less grander scale and with far less than what is needed. While it's taken her all afternoon to put it together, a stop at a few stores to gather what wasn't at the brownstone, she's assembled what she needs. She pulls out from the driveway and into the alley, pulls the car from reverse to drive and starts off. It's her left foot instead of her right that will be getting used on the pedals. It'll be strange, but it'll do.

They took one of us apart and then they put us back together. We are not as the Lord God made us. Which means she's out there somewhere. You baby girl, Kasha's mother is somewhere out there Dean. They're just… sending her out like a brainwave to this… golem.

She has a deadline to get out of the city before nightfall. The route on the book of maps sitting in the passenger side where Kasha would normally sit is marked out with a path to get her out of city and further into New York State and hopefully to a hotel for the night. Boxes in the back are loaded with things that will be useful as barter where cash is no good. She's not unfamiliar with this trip. She's made it a few times before. Winter only reaches so far south. She pulls out of the driveway and into the alley, switches the small SUV to drive from reverse and then she's gone.

If what I am is made from her, then you know like I know, that she'll fight till she's back with you. She always managed to come back. Or I guess I've always managed to come back in some way.

It's funny how easy it is to leave when you just decide to actually do it.

Upstate New York

I took only enough money to get me where I'm going. There's more than enough money in the account to see you through for years. You should be safe to take Kasha back to Williamsburg and the brownstone.

She lost signal not far outside the city and the phone she had with her was all but useless except for telling time and music. The fires meant that instead of heading south through Pennsylvania, she had to skim along the arm of New York toward Cincinnati. She'd managed to find some roadside motel near Ithica when the sun had gone down. She could have slept in the car but winters in the northern parts of the US could be brutal. Cash got her a room, no questions and she'd moved the precious things like the gas and goods into the hotel room. A chair wedged under the door to prevent forcible entry and the dresser and nightstands moved to in front of the windows to give her warning before anyone might smash a window and get in.

Sleep came eventually, if fitfully and she spent a good deal of it staring at the ceiling till even that was too much for a tired and exhausted mind to deal with.

There's money in the account, I only took what I thought I would need to get to where I'm going. I know where you keep the rest back home if I need more. Under the floor, in the linen closet and then there's always a couple hundred in the coffee jar in a baggie.

But come the morning with everything returned to how it should be in the room, ice refreshed in the cooler, she was back on the road. Sunglasses perched on her nose and bound for Ohio. Main roads, side roads, stops to stretch her legs and at gas stations when she finds one that has gas to fill her tank as much as she can without touching what was in the tanks in the back. She didn't linger to talk to people and the shotgun that had been in the trunk and in it's case was now up in the front with her. Robert had once told her to speak no more than 5 words at any given time, and to stop only if she needed to. Only now does she actually follow that advice.


She tried not to pay too much attention as she traveled through the remains of life outside the safe zones. The radio flared to life with little local stations when she got in range but then would fade away. She paid attention to the roads and snow and navigating the consequences of a broken and divided country. Interstates were not so well maintained and so driving at top speed and the unfamiliar route had what would have been half a days drive into one that involved a bit of pulling over, comparing maps to signs, to ghost towns that once thrived and nature was taking over. She pressed on till it was getting dark and unsafe to drive.

I took the camping gear, I'm sorry. I'm going to need it. I left a letter for Liz. If you need anything, you can reach out to her. She and Richard will keep you both safe until I.. Abby can get back to you.

Ohio's still cold in winter. No matter how far down you go. The abandoned gas station that she pulled into was shelter from being seen right away should anyone else be traveling this way. Just enough light to get things arranged. To move boxes to the front, the less valuable goods and the cooler taken out and put under. The seats in the back folded down and the sub zero sleeping bag out. Camping lantern that ran on batteries she settled in for the night. Her phone would serve as an alarm every few hours to wake up, crack another pocket warmer and slip it in the sleeping bag.

Take the SPOT with you so that if you need anything, it'll be easier and it can help you around the house. It'll let Liz and Richard get to you faster if you need help or something happens. I need to know that you'll be safe for when I.. when your Abby gets back. Till your Abby gets back.

When she woke up in the morning, the world was covered in a light dusting of snow and she stooped near the pumps, looking at the cracked cement before leaning down and with a gloved forefinger she wrote her name then catching the fingertips of her glove between her teeth, pulled off the glove and put her hand down to leave her hand print.

Evidence that she had been there. A mark on the world for as fleeting as it would remain.


I'm not her. But I am her? I don't know how long I've been masquerading as her. Maybe the plane crash?

She'd tried to ignore the mounting pressure as she'd made it into Kentucky and was nearing the border of Tennessee. That steady ache that built up behind her right eye. When the black dot started though, she knew she was done for the day drivng. She had a plan in case this happened. The first driveway that she came across was taken and she drove up to an abandoned house. The garage door open, the occupants having long ago fled, she pulled in and then pulled the door down. She knew roughly how much time she had once the dot appeared and there was enough light between the high noon sun coming in through the glass on the garage door and the camping lantern. That the lack of sensation on that side would hamper her. The shotgun that had been her front seat companion since Ithica was laid in the back and the sleeping bag and routine she used in Ohio was used again. By the time she was done, there were tears in her eyes and she'd had the wherewithal to have gotten the drugs she needed out earlier so she just needed to swallow. Hard and heavy, they would knock her out. She didn't know if she'd even wake up but at least here in this vestige of the war she'd be secure enough to let the drugs take her without too much worry of being found. Hands pressed to her face as she waited for oblivion, the whole of her shaking and salty trails down the sides of her face.

I'm sorry that this has happened to you. That God's laid this at your feet. You don't deserve this. That little girl doesn't deserve this. Maybe she shouldn't have left Butte La Rose to come back to New York. I don't know why this happened.

She woke up to silence eventually and with the zombie like status that came after the migraines broke. Stuck in an hours long torpor of shuffling and moving so slowly. She'd lost a day to it all and it left her bitter. Left her shivering in the cold and lethargic as she packed up, pushed up seats and stood in the back yard of the dilapidated house while she ate a bowl of granola and watched a small family of deer that drank from a stream in the distance. They were oblivious that they had an audience. There was a rifle in the back seat as well, but she didn't have the time to deal with dressing down a dear nor the things to break it down and store it. Not yet. No government agents to nail her to the wall for off-season poaching either. They were still drinking the cold water when the SUV quietly left and she continued to head south.


Winona Mississippi had people. Pockets like this still existed. There was no dead zone here, just people who managed to forge life. She'd lost so much time to the migraine. But here she could fill up the big red gas tanks, stay at the little Red Roof Inn that managed to still exist and sit in the diner and eat a hot meal instead of sandwiches and fruit. Down here, winter was a far more temperate thing. A heavy sweater or light jacket needed and camping would be a far easier thing. But a bed, in a warm room would do much to recharge the batteries, as well as the battery

I don't know that it can be fixed. But they said that this body, whatever I am, is not her. What we are, is not what God made. I'm an abomination.

Mississippi would present the biggest problem though. But one that Abby wasn't altogether unfamiliar with. There were three spots she knew where ferry's ran. Leaving the car was not an option so that automatically exempted one of them. They were out of the way but if she wanted to keep the SUV with her, there wasn't much of a choice. Down here roads were far less pleasant as well. They hadn't ever been real good in the time before the civil war, all the red asphalt and farmland, miles and miles of cotton, soy and okra interspersed with catfish ponds. None of that currently growing. But give it a few months and there'd be tractors running. She detoured to take the Natchez Trace, more out of nostalgia and because of the memories that it dredged up. Of car trips with her mother and father in the truck, windows down and hair whipping around, singing hymns. Memories that she feels are hers, knows they're hers but they're being relayed by something. That doesn't stop her from putting the window down and letting the music on the phone blare and sing along to a hymn or two.

Somewhere, you daughter waits, biding her time till she can come back to you. She's strong. She's born of you and Doreen. She's survived Staten Island, New York City, British Columbia.

When she did find the ferry, she had to wait. Time and money in intervening years, better resources meant that things were a little better. People were rebuilding not just in the safe zones. Just it was a far slower process but the south was resourceful. It was three hours of waiting her turn before she'd made it to the other side on the painfully slow ferry boat that held six cars a time, disgorging it's passengers and cargo so that it could make a return trip with more. It was a busy day for the ferry. But she'd crossed the Mississippi and now she was a day away barring anything else. She was almost home.

Butte La Rose, Louisiana

This little town was 800 people strong before civil war took the country. It was because of it's out of the way nature that it had managed to remain largely untouched save for no electricity save for any solar panels that had managed to make their way here over the years. Here, everyone knew everyone and everyone's business. Butte La Rose itself had at one point boasted a church, a grocery store and a little motel for the rare person who came through and all in pristine well kept condition. It still did but things looked a little worse for wear except the church.

On the bend of the Atchafalaya river was where she was going. The population had fallen some, nowhere near as many people and a lot more elderly ones than young. Maybe some day, it would die out and become another ghost of America. But here, they were used to being a forgotten pocket in the south and no doubt that this place would linger till the last person left.

I'm taking off to some place where I know I can be safe and not a danger to you if they try to come for me, like they did for Jac. It wasn't all momma who kept a house well stocked and I know that you'll have there what I need to get through. The same as the brownstone's filled with preserved things from the garden that Kasha grew.

She stopped at the corner store to see if there was gas, pick up a few perishable supplies that she knew wouldn't be at the house, leave a message for the Bernedson's to see about bringing the cow back, and the other livestock at their convenience. She'd bring in excess milk and eggs as they happened to share with the rest. She relayed the latest and greatest news from New York and patiently answered questions. This was Butte La Rose. She avoided questions of her heath with only a smile and stating that it was fine - everyone knew why Dean had traveled of course - and that she was here to look after the place while Dean handled some affairs in the big city for her. She'd see them Sunday, spry and bright in the fourth pew. The last was a lie. She wouldn't be showing.

She turned onto Parish Road 442, taking it slow. She knew where the potholes were in the gravel road and where the soft shoulder was that the river was eroding. The worn mailbox with Beauchamp written in dusty white on faded navy blue that Dean had made for Doreen appeared soon enough, the only thing to survive when Kozlow had burned her home down, to indicate that somewhere behind all the forest there was a house. The tree's lining both sides up a gentle hill till they gave way to cleared fields and a white house that was the exact replica of the one that had stood there nearly twelve years ago. The shorn ends of corn in neat rows waiting patiently to be plowed under come spring, hills of potatoes long excavated to surrender their hidden treasures that Abby knew would be in the earthen basement. A little of everything needed for an old man and his family to grow and keep them alive. A swing set near the house, a small blue barn big enough for a cow, some pigs and goats, sheep. No vehicle in sight, windows shuttered. As if Dean knew that he wouldn't be returning till the spring.

She stopped just in front of the house, hands on the wheel and looking at the wrap around porch with it's rocking chairs and swinging bench that creaked in the wind. The sky above, the blue painted shutters. Fingers gripped the steering wheel for a moment before she dropped her hand to the shift and turned it to the side so she could move and park the SUV behind the house. Out of sight from anyone who might think to drive up.

I'm sorry. For everything that you've been put through, that I've put you through over the years and everything yet to come. It's better this way, I think. The monkey will be fine with Hailey. I don't know what you'll tell Kasha about me.

She reaches up, going on tip toes and fingertips dancing along the top of the door until fingers brush metal and she pulls down the key. Normally the door wouldn't even be locked. No one came out to steal. Only borrow. It was guaranteed to be back the next day, and with a pie as thanks or biscuits. She started moving in things though, night would be swiftly falling and she needed to get wood in for the big black iron stove that heated the house. See what her father had managed to preserve for the winter and take stock of what she had. What she'd need.

I don't even know what I'd tell Kasha. If she manifests and turns to stone, call Lance, tell him to go get Cash. She's the statue in the Satoru memorial garden, she can hear you if you talk to her. Tell her what's happened and she can help you get her back.

By the time night falls and the moon is out and the stars bright pins in the sky with little to no light pollution to obscure them, she's wrapped in a blanket while sitting on the porch swing with a cup of tea. Watching the stars. It's then, after the four days journey to make it south, fingers gripping the cup till fingertips are white that she lets herself break where it's safe to. The fragile strings that kept her together from New York to here finally frayed enough as she throws the blue mug with it's little flowers on it over the porch railing where it crashes into the gravel and breaks, spilling it's contents over the ground and she screams.

She's out there Dean. Hold on until she comes back to you. I guess I'm out there somewhere.

Somewhere in the tall woods, the wildlife lifts it's head. The Atchafalaya churns and flows and a tree carved a stanza from an E.E. Cummings poem still stands. There's a woman doubled over on her knees the porch with fingers digging into the worn wood, spilling out her heart in that yell into the still night air till there's no breath left in her lungs.

Don't give up on her.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License