The desert sun was brutal – as always. It made her skin burn and her throat tingle with thirst; but she still tried to convince herself that she would get used to it. The heat, the thirst, and the pain.
“Pain will remind you that you’re still alive. Still fighting. Keep fighting.”
She remembered the words of her dear mother like a kind of prayer. Something to hold on to in the Wasteland.
But the pain started to pull her down, and it forced her down to her knees. It was hard to keep moving. It was hard to keep breathing in the sour air, and it was even harder for her not to beg for death in that very moment. Just a sweet relief and a chance to find her own paradise after all.
The worst thing was that she knew death would not come to her fast. She knew that it would be slow and painful, and it would make her change her mind only seconds before she would suck in her last needy breath of the toxic air, before her heart would finally give its last weak beat.
She tried to distract herself from thoughts like that. Thoughts which haunted her in her sleep. Thoughts she should actually be ashamed of. Oh, if only her dear mother knew.
“Keep fighting, my child. Please.”
She tried to focus on the big blurry silhouette in front of her, though it was still miles away.
The fortress which would hopefully grant her life and a chance, or so she was told, was in view. And although everyone she once knew had never actually tried to get there, it was the sheer thought of the Citadel which gave her a feeling of hope. Even though the thought of meeting the man who ruled it, who had fixed it, made her stomach twist into a knot of anxiety.
He was feared, along with his allies. But it was his name which was only dared to be mentioned in a whisper among her people – The Immortan Joe.
She noticed how her own heart skipped a beat at the thought of him. She was scared. Terrified to say the least, but she kept going anyway; kept walking over wavy dunes, hot sand and pointy rocks. She had nothing left but the tattered clothes she wore on her scrawny body and the things she carried in her likewise tattered rucksack. All by herself, with no other place to go, she kept her eyes fixated on the silhouette in the distance.
And once she arrived, she could always leave – right?