Her heart shook with the thunderous truth of it: the world had fallen long before the turning, long before the hungry dead had risen up to devour those who dared yet live. It had not been the hissing of the Serpent, that whispered temptation in the Garden, nor the blinking, bewildered emergence from the forested Paradise. It had not even been the first slaying of kin, brother betraying brother. No, the world had been plunged into darkness the moment man had first placed his fellow man—and woman—in chains.
Bodies and minds, subjugated. Free will, stolen. Man had set his brother into bondage, and in doing so, had imprisoned himself. She’d never been in jail, she’d told him once. She hadn’t realized, hadn’t understood, that long before they had stepped behind those barbed fences, long before they had sheltered within those shadowed halls, they had all been prisoners. Humanity had shackled itself, long ago.
For the first time, she questioned her certainty in the injustice of this unleashed hell. For the first time, she wondered if the world was merely getting what it deserved.
There’s still good people.
No, she corrected herself. There’s only him, now.