The following is my output for this month's Wordsmiths Unlimited challenge. The actual-factual due date is the 30th, but I started it a couple of weeks ago and think it might be done now, and because I have a hellaciously busy day at work and in life to face up to I've got to pluck whatever I can to post because, as we all know, a post a day keeps the crazy away. Except on weekends; they get a post only if the crazy is too big for a mere 5 weekday posts to absorb.
As to the Wordsmiths thing, please consider writing something of your own. Kingfisher and I are rededicated to establishing a writer's roundtable, and as such, the more writers there are the rounder the table will be. Because, you know, uh, with just a few writers it would be more like a polyhedral table, and that's kind of hard to envision, much less explain. Of course I just tried to. Probably failed.
Better get to the story now, which was inspired by the little turtle pic, as required by this month's challenge. Please feel free to offer critique in the comments, then go write your own. You CAN do it. I know you can.
“...hot again today, with highs near the shore in the 110’s. It’s gonna be a scorcher!”
The radio never says anything different, because the weather doesn't ever change. It’s been days since the last dust-bloated cloud passed over. Disaster’s aftereffects can be darkly pretty. Nobody thinks that about disaster. Nobody thinks about how it could be until they’re living every day in memories of how it used to be.
Mostly, I spend my time thinking of rain.
I dreamt last night of gray clouds and flashes of lighting. I heard the roll of thunder, felt the cool drops on my cheeks, breathed in the damp earth smell. I dreamt of when a rainstorm meant we’d open the windows, to hell with the UV and smog, and our dark apartment would be freshened by gusts of cool moist air.
There’s been no rain for months now. Anymore, the clouds hold onto nothing but a weak patch of shade.
It’s going to be 100 degrees in the shade today, just like it was yesterday. Tomorrow it will be hot again. And then the day after. It’s been like this since they came. It will be like this until we all die of thirst, and forever after that.
The ships were innumerable and incredibly large. One minute everything was fine, the next minute we were invaded. All the guns in the world couldn’t stop them from taking the ice caps and glaciers. One minute they were there, the next minute they were gone, and we were left to our certain deaths.
In the first days we talked about what we could do to stay alive. We planned, hoped, suspected, then fought as the thirst grew. Saliva became too valuable to waste yapping, and so the talking stopped. We hoarded water, fought over it, drank little, slept less. The healthy people started killing the weak. Hospitals were set on fire. The old were cut down in the street. Babies were abandoned. People went a little crazy.
I escaped. I moved to the beach. Nobody’s around now; they all left looking for hope. Idiots.
It’s better here than in the city. At I nap near the ocean’s edge, hearing water, feeling cool breeze. At night I forage.
The beer I borrow from the still-stocked bars cools pretty quick when buried a few feet into the sand. I’ve got months’ worth of brew sunk all over this beach. Just today I broke into the pantry of a hotel near here and took a bunch of juice and bottled water. I buried that stuff really deep. I even took some liquor for fun. Tonight I’m planning on getting raging drunk. I’ll drink Jack Daniel’s while dining on roasted baby turtles, and guzzle Chivas in a coconut husk for dessert. Then I’ll pass out naked on the sand, and try to dream of rain.
It’s going to be hot again tomorrow. Surprise, surprise. Nothing ever changes anymore. I’ll drink a double to that, just to forget.