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Through Sharing, Life
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Through Sharing, Life

by Tamara Wilhite

Trapped like a caged animal, I couldn’t relax. With nothing left, I returned to faith. It was all we ever really have. It was all I had now. The first words of the Credo ran through my mind:Family is formed through sharing,

Of lives, of love, of blood.The soft breathing of several dozen sleeping souls around me, lulling me as well, but not yet. If I did not remember now, I might never. The memories the sounds bring ... so much like the infrequent breezes in the city.

Anyone with doubts as to whether they could tolerate us is asked to leave the areas we move into. If they leave us alone, we will leave them alone. If they interfere, they will be driven out. We are kinder and gentler than the competition. Our competition forces everyone not of their own kind to leave immediately.

Our patrols to keep marauding gangs out, fighting over the better areas to salvage and hunt in - Our lives were the credo. We had our difficulties in life:All of those here share their lives,

The joys, the pains, the losses, the gains.We were raising potted plants in windows and open areas, growing mushrooms in dark basements, setting traps to catch feral animals, killing the sick ones, using the healthy ones; we weren’t bothering anyone. We were our own community.Through sharing we create a community with shared memories

And the many ties that bind us togetherWe didn’t forget our friends, the associations with men who died not long after joining, accepting both the births and deaths, celebrating adulthood initiations of those who have come of age -Bonds of kinship, friendship, adoption,

As teachers, students, associates, comrades at arms

These are the ties that bind usOur lives were flexible, changing, fluid. One could go from living alone to living together, able to come back at any time to any shared home, as long as they were at the meeting every month and the Sharing -But the Sharing transcends them all The Sharing was higher than anything else. It set us apart, together. Watching the children born among us playing in the street, knowing that the rest of the population is dwindling, that we are still living, and watching the child of my heart, though not by birth, playing with her friends -Take each other’s hand We knew of the threats from Outside. We knew this area was forbidden, off limits by those who wanted to control the old cities for the resources trapped there but didn’t dare live there. Others were unable to live very long here even as we took root and grew. We were feared.

The fears lead to the raid against us. Gangs could be overlooked, for they traded what was wanted by those unwilling to tread the dead places. We did not trade with them, for we did not care about anything except life and all but us were dead or soon to be. Now, a moment of silence The yells and screams, people running for weapons and or cover as the raid came. Men with guns who hated us had come. I remember picking up the little girl and running -This creates a new bond, one of blood, between us all I turned a corner only to run straight into several sentinels, helmets reflecting the flickering lights, shielding my precious burden though there was no way out -It marks us, let's us know our kind from others They shoot. She's torn from my arms as the tranquilizer dart takes effect, the guards grimacing or sick or righteous wrath, I'm helpless to do anything but remember. They want the children to raise there way, but they have given up on the adults. Their way is dying, ours is life, so they chose to kills us in hopes of continuing their lives through our blood. But they cannot break who we are, our way of life -It can never be broken They interrupted our Sharing, as it was done with every full moon. They came at only time when we all are together, adults and children, every one in one place -It can never be undone A sentinel is holding my little one, cursing, wiping at her lips, aghast that we let all, even the smallest, Share -The ritual itself is ancient,

But we make in new each time it is performedAll of us are here. What are they going to do with us? Blood is the highest bond

It is the essence of life.

Let it nourish you and sustain you as it flows through youWe only killed those who would kill us first. They lived long enough to learn about us. From that moment, their lives sustained ours. Minerals, protein, and essence brought life to those in the Sharing, just as the strength of all life was shared until death.Touch it to your lips And pass the goblet on

What was that smell? Gas! The others were still sleeping. The few others awake realized it, accepted, breathed deeply to quickly join the others around them. The sentinels are fools. We found a way of life that sustained life. If they kill us, more will only take our place. Means of survival will survive and be learned by others. And the children will still remember.

As we passed from one form of night to another, the last line of the refrain was remembered …And go now into the night, In peace

Copyright Tamara Wilhite 2005

If you liked Tamara Wilhite’s stories “Through Sharing, Life” and “A Human Race Against Time”, read 13 more tales in her upcoming book. “Humanity’s Edge” will be available through amazon.com this December.

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