Tuesday, September 13, 2011

There were five (prose starter)

There were five.

The sky was immeasureably dark. Darker than the bitch black of charred concrete and wood, all that remained of what used to be the world. Darker, even, than oil, the black aqueous substance that poured from the Earth where man cut it open. The landscape was desolate and bare. Jagged wrecks of buildings stood crumbling, some still smoldering with the broken windows glowing faintly like the sunrise just beginning to tint the horizon. The screaming had stopped a long time ago; it was many days since the ruin and anyone left trapped underneath the fallen cities had succumbed to the either their injuried or lack of water. A single figure walked down what used to be a central boulevard of the great city, silhouetted by the rising sun. He surveyed the damage around him almost calmly, for he had adjusted to the shock of his new hellish world very quickly. He had to; this kind of disaster left no room for mourning or shock. You either adapted or died. He cupped his hands around his mouth and drew a deep breath.


The shout reverberated off of the empty debris. He wasn’t expecting a reply and thought the sudden movement in the shadow of a fallen building was simply a trick pulled by his dehydrated mind. He squinted.

“Who’s there?” he said loudly, his voice cracking. He was nearly shouted out, his voice raw from twelve days of searching for survivors. He had wandered very far; he wasn’t entirely sure if this was even his original city. Stepping over debris, he made his way to where he saw the movement. He didn’t believe his eyes when he realized it was no mirage or fever dream, but another person looking back out at him from what used to be a fast food drive-through. He barely breathed as the other stepped out of the shadow and into the orange tint of morning sun. It was a girl; dressed in ragged jeans and what looked like a dress shirt, though it was streaked in dirt and blood.

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