Title: Burning the hope
Fandoms: Jeremiah (TV)
Length: 470 words
Prompts: fan_flashworks 182 = Burn // also 'paper' for gen_bingo
Jeremiah was sitting at the campfire, alone, like almost every evening. He needed these moments just for himself where he would sit down, try to remember his father and wrote him a letter. He was not a very companionable guy, he didn't like to hang around with others in the cafeteria, sharing wild stories, joking, laughing.
When he was sitting at the campfire, it was just him and his thoughts. He could write down everything that was going on in his head, short moments of happiness but mostly it was much darker. There were too much loss and death and horror in the world.
Sometimes he was wondering what might be wrong with him. For hundreds of people, the Mountain was a refuge, Markus had given them not only a safe place to live, food, fresh water, electricity. He had given them hope. Jeremiah could read it in their eyes. But even if he pretended to believe in Markus and his plans to build a new world, a better one, deep inside he had given up hope long ago.
15 years ago, when he had witnessed the world breaking apart. His parents died in front of his eyes, like most other adults, because of a virus which had managed it to escape out of a safe lab. His little brother got shot some weeks later; he had been so hungry and tried to steal a sausage. He hadn't been able to save him.
Since then Jeremiah knew, whatever he did, it would never be enough. The evil would always win.
He stared at the words on the sheet of paper, ripped out of an old, yellowed note pad. Dear Dad. Today something strange is happened. I've met a girl. She is new at the Mountain. She doesn't talk much. But she has the most wonderful smile I've ever seen.
Jeremiah closed his eyes to enjoy the memory of this moment. Long, brown curls, green-brown eyes. A small nose, soft lips. Libby was her name, Liberty Kaufman. He could imagine her in beautiful dresses and jewelry. He could imagine her in his arms, dancing. He could imagine to stroke her hair, to kiss her, to make love with her. He could imagine being happy with her.
He opened his eyes again, the pictures became blurred. Darkness around him. Cold rain had started to fall, the wind had increased. The campfire was almost burned down. His fingers still clutched the letter in his hand.
Jeremiah hesitated for a short moment before he put the letter into the last glow of the fire. Like he always did; every night the same procedure. Little flames flared up, eagerly grabbing for the paper, gorging the words. Then the fire died, left him alone in the darkness and cold.
He stood up, pulled his jacket closer around his shoulders. It was better that way.