Rob paused at the door. Pa had gone into his special grove, as he did most days. Sometimes he’d just go in, whisper a few words, and then quickly catch up to Rob. Other times he might spend a half an hour or more, silently staring at the ground and that little bit of granite. Or that is what he used to do. Rob hadn’t followed him back in there in a few years, at least since he was 10. Now almost 13, he knew better than disturb Pa in his special place.
Satisfied that Pa wasn’t right behind him, Rob put the numbers into the cipher lock.
Pa had built the little three-room entryway ages ago, just after the Collapse, but over the years, Rob had helped him flesh it out.
Still not seeing Pa, he let the door shut and lock. Nobody had ever tried to break in, at least not that he knew of, but there were crazies out there and there would be Hell to pay if Pa found the door open.
The day dawned empty and grey, the air moist with a spine-tingling chill that spoke of snow to come. Not a twig in the bare tree stirred in the stillness that encapsulated the morning, nor was there even the usual chatter of birds. If the puffs of the girls’ breath didn’t slowly drift away, it could have been a picture, though the field’s image was still alive and etched into their minds.
“It’s peaceful, isn’t it?” Marge looked up at her older sister. Sable nodded, eyes not leaving the tree, the sole interruption of the flat field, the only thing that had any detail in the light fog.
The day before wasn’t so peaceful. The field was full of people, people talking, people shoving, and people with angry voices. Marge hadn’t seen such a crowd since the Days Before. Continue reading →
The whole tent shook in the wind, rattling you out of your sleep. Noticing the hint of red in the air filter at the front of the tent you murmured to yourself, “Great, looks like it’s going to be another red day.” Continue reading →