Small developmental study based on a title prompt.
The dust cloud had settled an hour ago. Leaving everything coated in a fine film of orange. It was easier after the storms to see the footsteps of them. The others. Call them what you wanted. They had no need to hide their passage across the land. They had no need to be invisible.
The future and the past had crashed together nearly a year ago and everything anyone had ever wanted now lay buried beneath the crumbling mess that was home. There was no future. Those in power had destroyed everything and were no doubt living a new best life in a bunker somewhere, waiting until the worst passed and their life could be lived again.
Meryl had survived the end although some days when the dust clogged her lungs and the water did little to quench her thirst she pondered how much of this was really survival.
Pulling the tattered piece of material across her face, Meryl steeped out into the hazy amber of the street. Silence filled everything. Like the first falls of snow, the dust dampened every sound. Without pause, she made her way towards the shelter she had set up home in. Four walls and a roof were hard to find these days, especially ones that had the height to keep the others away. But they had found such a place in the ruined shell of what had once been an office block, or a shopping mall. It was hard to say which when everything looked the same.
One two three
and the wooden door cracked open to reveal the dusty face of Kian, Meryl’s brother. His smile lit up his face and she pushed her way into the room and allowed herself to be wrapped in his arms until all of his fear seeped into her and he was content.
“Did you get anything?” he whispered. She shook her head slowly
“The dust storm was bad, everything me might have found is hidden.” It was getting harder and harder to find food, water, in fact, anything that made the days bearable. “I’ll try again tomorrow.” Kian slumped onto the mattress and hugged the small teddy Meryl had found some weeks ago.
” I’m not that hungry anyway.” he shrugged and Mery could see the lies in his eyes.
Hours later he slept, thumb crammed in his small mouth and dreamt. Meryl hoped they were good dreams, of before and a world where he had mum and dad, and Jane, their older sister. Off at college. Dead now she expected. Like everyone, they had ever known.
Leaving Kian sleeping Meryl peered from the one small window the room had and squinted as the sun slipped beneath the jagged remains of London. The others roamed freely now and inside this small prison, they waited, for life or death. Meryl no longer knew. Hope quickly replaced by dread. By fear of death.
Out there the world was already dead.