I finished the transaction and grabbed the basket with a few jars of canned fruit and veggies.
We walked through the little booths and trucks that had gathered in the middle of the dusty plain. I only glanced at the goods and food on display. Some looked interesting, but I knew the basket would be my only purchase this month.
The truck Jimmy wanted to show me was at the edge, near the solar panels and charging stations.
I drove home, that self-righteous voice narrating my way.
He would mutter his “’Morning” and paid no attention to me after that.
And then yesterday he snapped when I dared walk into his office!
Seems to think he can do everything by himself? Fine. Let him cross the Styx by himself.
Imagine my surprise when I got home and found the single rose and the note apologizing for his behavior as he finished his super important project at work, the note that promised a special second honeymoon where ever I wanted to go.
There was a rumor that one town survived the collapse and continued on as if nothing happened. After Mark was murdered for a 15-year-old can of green beans, I went in search of the modern-day Eldorado.
I kept my treasure close, a real-life paper map, printed a decade before the collapse.
There was a red “X” on one town.
I’d find it.
Three months, at the map’s “X”, I saw a glow on the horizon. That was it! I hadn’t seen such a glow since the collapse.
The next day I found the recently burned-out husk of my dream Eldorado.
Just two blocks from the theater district and the world had changed.
The city had always frightened Kim. She would never think of straying beyond her comfort zone, but here she was.
Robert had dropped her for the matinée in front of the Wang, not the Colonial. She had never walked there, but was it really that hard?
“Ma’am, wait, hold on…”
Kim barged forward to escape the dark face calling to her.
She didn’t see it until too late.
Now when she visits the city, Kim makes sure she spends time in “her neighborhood” with the “world’s friendliest people”.
I drew a blank at first, but the photo reminded me of a section of Boston close to the theater district. It is an area that someone from a rich suburb who never visits the city might find scary, though it isn’t at all, and few spots int he city are scary during the day… So, a little story about the breaking of unfair biases…
The door was spotless and gleaming. The little alcove between the door and the iron gate was filled with dust and debris. The gate had never opened in Robbie’s memory, but every so often a potted plant would appear, as if to shout that there was life beyond that door, and just as suddenly it would disappear.
Robbie often wondered what lay beyond that door. In his imagination he saw a beautiful princess awaiting rescue.
With a sigh he turned back to that wasteland that once was a city, years before he was born.