This is an excerpt from the beginning of an old draft of a post-apocalyptic story that I really want to write some day. Perhaps some day, I will get to it. It’s something I wrote on a cold, rainy day, many moons ago. It’s probably not any good, but I’d like to think that, at some point, I can write a unique YA post-apocalyptic tale. Hope y’all enjoy the change of pace!
Time is running out.
Residue of the past drips down the bridge of my nose and hangs, refusing to fall. Acid rain clings to buildings, looming on the edges of gutters, on tattered paint-chipped window sills, streaming down streak-free glass windows. Bronzed leaves, fallen and shriveled, lay in piles on the sidewalk. Torrents of water drift over them, carrying some away, and rooting others, cementing them to the concrete. My heavy feet stamp them into the ground, fossilizing them. Trees are bare now. The wet, icy breeze of pins and needles tightens its grip around my bare skin, leaving nothing but lonliness. The cold makes it unbearable to breathe.
Tonight, everything is lifeless except for the sky which pours its heart, drenching the ground in despair. It’s the nature of rain.
As I trudge through the heavy night air, I think about nature; about our natural instincts, how natural it is to live and to die, the nature of relationships and friendships and where the two intersect. Two days ago I was ready to flee, to fight.
Now, I’m not so sure.
With each exhale, a large puff of steam is released into the sky in silky strands and disappear, as if someone silenced them. I run my fingers through my hair, which is littered with hundreds of miniscule water drops. Rigor mortis begins to set in; my fingers stiffen. I can almost feel the blood crunching in my hand, frozen crystals shattering. Whatever little warmth my pockets provide is not enough anymore; no matter, they can’t protect me any more than I can protect myself.
But maybe they can.
I clench and unclench my fist, forcing the blood to pump.
I walk by a window, and the reflection glaring back at me entices me to stop and stare. A figure stands, staring at me, into my eyes. His face is shaded in deep charcoal smudges, confusing the outline of his face. His eyebrows are furrowed in an irate V on his creased, aged forehead. His bottom lip creeps over the top and tightens like a Neanderthal. His body is lifeless yet his eyes are engulfed in flames.
A drop of rain lands below his right eye and streams down my left cheek, dangling on our chin.
I kneel down and sit on the nearby curb, barely feeling the cold anymore.
There are no thunderous crashes or streaks of neon white lightning tonight, nothing, just the faint orange moon disappearing and reappearing minutes later behind invisible, digital clouds.
My mind travels at warp speed, zooming in and out of my past memories, searching for the time that I last felt truly happy. I can hardly feel my face as icy water streaks down from my hair in rivers.
I’m not alone.