I felt the heat of the morning sun upon my closed eyes. Wearily, I shielded them the light with my gash-ridden arm before standing and staggering into the shade of a charred tree. I sat against it and pulled my rucksack on to my lap. Peering inside, there was nothing in there other than a lump of stale, rat-chewed bread and the bloated corpse of said rat; with some of the bread still in its mouth. I flung the bag away, turned away from myself and heaved chokingly on the brown grass. It was as if I had food to spare. I groaned and forced my aching legs to stand and carry me across the dead street.
Entering the once great law firm, Brown’s Lawyers International, one might presume that Manhattan was still alive; that cars still honked aggressively outside and those five minutes away was a failed college student selling hot dogs made of god knows what. The wooden floors gleamed; the white and yellow flower on the front desk was happy and healthy; the oversized, simplistic clocks on the wall still merrily ticked away as if someone still gave a monkey’s arse what time it was in Berlin. In the midst of a post apocalyptic waste land, stood a final beacon of human achievement. I liked that. It didn’t give me much but it gave me hope. I didn’t stay long in the building. No doubt it would take little searching to get my hands on thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of bank notes; but I had more than enough kindling for now.
It had been three days since I last had a drink of water and I was getting desperate. The bombing left the reservoirs contaminated and disease ridden and there’s only so much mountain dew a guy can drink before his blood turns to gasoline. I need water. Fast. As all the reservoirs had been contaminated by shrapnel and carcasses, the only place to get water was Wall-Mart: A massive building standing tall and oppressive over god’s creation. There were enormous glass panes at the entrance. Even though they were made out of the strongest glass possible, they weren’t as strong as a baseball bat. Glass drifted down like sharp snow. I brushed the grains off my head and jacket and stepped gingerly inside.
Lights flickered and burst with sparks. They hanging from the tall ceiling by long fragile wires and I feared that one might fall and crack my skull open. Suffice to say I moved quickly. Insects, Rodents, and birds fled as my footsteps echoed past their habitats. You’d be surprised how swiftly nature reclaims her territory when man ceases to be. It’s truly fantastic.
Most of the shelves had been raided. All that remained were things that nobody needed like watches, televisions and jewellery. Eventually, I came across some canned food. I stuffed as much as I could into my bag and ran for the exit as fast as I could; picking up some cigarettes and a lighter on the way. Don’t judge me!
I leaped over the glass rubble and into the blinding light. It took a while for me to notice the murmuring. About 7 teenagers of varying heights, ages, strength and facial expressions stood before me. Glaring; Staring; and, by the looks of it, preparing for battle. Some held unwelcoming plans; some held various sporting equipment. I noticed one didn’t have anything, but by the size of him, he probably over-equiped just with his fists. My bat began to feel heavy in my hand as I remembered a quote from Albert Einstein:
“I do not know what weapons world war three will be fought with, but world war four will be fought with sticks and stones.” I raised my bat, and they began to come closer…