Andy opened his eyes, but wherever he was, it was too dark to see. He shivered, feeling the cold concrete beneath him. His stomach rumbled, then gurgled. A mouthful of vomit climbed his throat and he coughed, clearing the liquid away. It tasted like bile and it burned.
He struggled up, afraid of the spreading pool. The dark room was disorienting. Andy’s legs shook under him, his teeth chattered, and he had to throw up again. (more…)
Are you paranoid? I’m paranoid. I was freaking born that way- so it’s not my fault. “For example– I noticed the pickup truck right away. It was one of those ones with a cab on the back. Brown, with crappy fake wood panelling. No one on my street has a pickup truck like that. There was some dude sitting in it too. Great, I thought, a new stalker after my sweet little ass. I peeked between the blinds several times. Men have this problem with me- mostly they want to have pets I think, and I’m not a tameable. To the eyes I’m a cute skinny brunette. Also, I’m kind of like a hyena. I‘ll chew your leg off and laugh about it- nothing personal, it’s just the way I am. Don’t cross hyenas, man. (more…)
Paul was more surprised by what he saw at the air field than by the appearance of Kate or the initial call that led to him going outside. A small rocket was sitting on the runway, standing almost as tall as the control tower. The tapered tip flowed into a tube shaped body, with a rounded bump in the middle and fins reaching down to the tarmac. Paul could see small structures surrounding the rocket that looked like everything it would need to actually fly. Thick tubes ran from the ship to the different structures, but he could only guess what they were for. Short buildings, that looked like quick military constructions, were in between where Paul stood and the rocket. When he and the little girl reached the edge of the field, six large men in gear that matched the girl’s, surrounded them. (more…)
The whine of repulsor engines drifted through the frozen city. Buildings, which once defied the horizon, were now crooked tombstones with ice and snow clinging to their exteriors. The endless winter blew whistling through gaping windows – snow-drifts as big as small buildings leaned against the bases of sky scrapers.
As the shuttle descended through the tumult of angry clouds, eddies of white powder swirled along the rooftops of the ruined buildings. The transport was only the second sign of life Toronto had seen in nearly five hundred years. The craft landed with a soft thump at the edge of the city.
Marcus unbuckled the harness securing him to the pilot’s seat. (more…)
The night was cold. Paul thought he knew what to expect having made it through the day, but the reality of it was frightening. He had a hard time keeping his eyes open so he busied himself with keeping the fire going as strongly as possible. The movement kept his joints from stiffening in the deadly cold.
The girl had moved and was now in the arms of the mysterious woman. Paul wasn’t sure if it was from the cold or if the girl was starting to feel more comfortable, or if in sleep she forgot where she was. He tried to figure out his own feelings about Kate. He felt a mixture of distrust and camaraderie. She was friendly and he wanted her to be genuine. Paul tried to not think about it and kept working on the fire. (more…)
Somehow it was colder out in the open. The sky gave the impression of a dull dusk and the open space felt like the arctic but Paul knew it was midmorning. He remembered the balmy breezes he used to enjoy only a few years earlier. He looked down at the girl and saw that she was shivering. He crouched down and made sure she was bundled up tightly.
“If we get moving we’ll warm up a bit, okay?” he said straightening up. The girl looked up at him but he couldn’t make out any expression through the scarf and hood. He started to move and she stayed with him. He knew that she couldn’t walk very quickly and he was in a hurry but he wanted to save carrying her for when he needed to so he could conserve his energy and make the deadline. (more…)
The room was cold. Paul could see his breath billow out and fade away. He hadn’t been so close to the surface since the evacuation. With the sun dimming the surface was a cold inhospitable expanse. He couldn’t tell how close to the surface he actually was but the chill in the air along with the level of security in the halls told him he was closer than he would have liked.
He was in a sparse room. The walls were bare and Paul sat at one of the two simple metal chairs that were on either side of a metal table. There was nothing else in the room but the intermittent cloud of Paul’s breath. He sat quietly and wondered why he had been sent for. It had been nearly an hour, in Paul’s best guess, since he had been at his post in the filtration plant. He felt his bracelet buzz and went to the guard station. They directed him to the elevator and he was ushered into the room. Paul hoped his time was being counted but doubted it. Everyone had to take a rotating shift at the plants that provided the refugees with water, food, and air. Paul was debating asking someone if this counted towards his time when the door opened to a man dressed in a military uniform. (more…)