There was a time a place for lying down and giving up. Fortunately, I haven’t found it yet. With most of the world going to hell and there not being much life left in the few survivors, there isn’t much else to do but wait for death. That’s what I saw anyway, when the survivors converged on the road to be shot.
Imagine the most morbid parade you can and that’s what we had on the highway cutting through the city. People without anything, walking like zombies dow a road. Stopping now and then to massage their feet or simply just fall over and sleep. There was nothing, that’s why they did it.
Water was scarce and protected by the people who found it first. Food was a joke unless you preferred eating other people. Vegetation would have been preferred if there was any left. Ashy bark hardly counts as a plant. Those who soon realized that would end up joining the parade down an endless road.
Now, it was my time to join them. I had been hunkered down in an apartment building a long walk from the highway. I spent my time enjoy what was left, reading and not much else. Afterall, what other entertainment was there? The same show was playing on TV.
That was one of the small graces, power stations still kept going. Electricity, something we couldn’t live without when we had everything. Now we have nothing but electricity, thus it was worthless to us. However, I knew that resource would disappear too, so I packed it in.
Collecting only a gun and finishing the last of the water and food, I left my home and made for the highway. I found it funny. As I walked down the streets I imagined the apocalypse differently. I pictured rusted cars, overgrown vegetation. Essentially, mother nature taking her planet back. Instead, everything was grey and cloudy, the cars still looked new.
The only thing faulty with the machines was the lack of petrol. If you had, you could ride until you were lost. It’s what I would have done, but I saw a simpler option.
“Well, what do we have here?” I murmured with a tired smile. A bicycle chained to railing.
It was easy for my bolt cutters to clip through, but what I needed was the answer to a simple question. Do I tire myself out walking or do I take a bike and tire myself out that way?
Honestly, I wanted a third option, but if I was heading for hell, I might as well get there quicker. I climbed onto the bike and began pedalling down the quiet streets. It was growing more difficult to make anything out as I went, it all soon became grey with ash. The cars were covered, the small objects were buried and a soft breeze brought a haze to the air.
With that in mind, I coughed as the cloth around my face seemed to do everything but keep me from breathing the ash. Stopping the bike, I cut into a building out of the cloud and began fixing the cloth a bit better. However, a proper examination helped me realize that the weave was too thin.
I threw the cloth aside and checked the pieces I gathered in my bag. You learned to carry many clean pieces of cloth if you were smart. The cloth could bind your wounds, protect your face and clean your guns. However, the moment they became too packed with ash you would throw them aside.
I soon found something better and took a moment to catch my breath. The building was empty, looted and ash was spilling in through the broken windows. Despite all the physical qualities blocking the past, I could still tell it was a clothing store from the racks. Clearly I wasn’t the only one who saw cloth as important.
Most of the clothes were gone, no doubt torn apart and used later one. However, a few remained, now packed with the grey dust. I shook my head, remembering my second job working in a department store.
The clothes department was a great place to come and hang out with the others. Mainly because we had a bulk of clothing, so it was easy to hide from the boss and customers. However, like most of my career choices, it wasn’t for me. I left it behind, but looking back now, if I could work in one again I would.
I believe if I had any sense of how lucky I was too have a job, I would have kept it my whole life and lived with a smile. I was so fortunate to have something that so many didn’t and now nobody did. However, the apocalypse wouldn’t end if I decided to tend the racks of clothing.
I wrapped the cloth around my face and was soon pedaling down the road towards the highway. Finding the offramp was easy, pedaling up it took a lot out of me. It wasn’t exactly a steep uphill to the highway, but I wasn’t exactly the most fit either. By the time I reached the highway I was already gasping for air.
Sure enough, they were there. People walking, faces deathly, haunting me. It was horrible to see what the lack of food and water were doing to them. Each one was asking to be put out of their misery, but I was to join them instead. At least, it felt like the only thing left to do.
I climbed off my bike and it felt like the dying people made room for me. I was about to join them when I heard a gunshot. I paused, more gunshots followed. A fight had begun, people were trying to survive.
I stared at the people who walked the highway, the people who didn’t react. There was no care in their eyes, there was nothing. I didn’t belong here, I didn’t need to march to death so soon.
I climbed onto the bicycle and pedalled towards the noise. I need the people who fought to live, not crawled to die.
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