Thread: S10E04 "Ruins"
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:09 AM
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Default The Dead

Somewhere north of San Rafael, CA 20th August 2020 0300hrs + 17 C*

Slowly prodding through the dusty ruins got the men thinking. Some of them had lived on the move in ruins like this for a long time.

Sneaking around in ruins, ever stalking through overgrown gardens and parks or stealing around in abandoned buildings - a man could move like that for days or weeks.Sifting through debris.

Keeping hidden, and hardly not seeing other people if he wanted to and had the skills. Scrounging for supplies living in the scruff as it was called.

Often two men, seeing each other moving carefully around in the ruins, would studiously avoid giving away any sign that they had indeed seen each other.

Both feeling the awkwardness of meeting a new person after months or years of solitary wandering. Both knowing the risk of making contact with the other one.

The other.Who might think he was being set up for ambush. Who might think that now that the other knew he was there, and both were aware of the fact - would feel he had no choice but to strike first. To guard his life and his supplies - lest he be tracked to his camp and slain in his sleep.

But for all the keeping alone and hiding he would never be truly alone. Hundreds of people were there all the time. Everywhere.

The Dead.

They were laying in the grass and he walked among the heaps of unbleached bones and rags everywhere. They were reclining in the car-seats of a thousand rusty wrecks with their hollow eye sockets staring and craniums with tufts of hair in the breeze and feral, bared teeth grinning.

They sat and on chairs, lay in beds , crouched hidden in closets and were splayed across the bathroom floors of most every house and edifice you could get in to.

They lay alongside the roads and highways. Some were hanging from wire or ropes on beams or from windows. Choosing the end themselves, sooner rather than later maybe.

And some with no choice at all - strung up, nailed to walls, backbound and hooded with a bag over the head, face down in the ditches. And in back alleys. And in the basements of projects. Some - naked and bloated and decomposing in a culvert or under a bridge.

Some a decade old. Some mere days.

Some floated in the streams and ponds and rivers. Tangled in the reeds maybe. Tugging at the anchorage with the wind and the current. Or gently swirling along in the current. On their way to the final resting place.

They were there as often as not whenever he would camp for the night. Or open a trunk, a door or gather firewood. Making camp in the dark of night, a man might wake up to find he had slept next to a skeletal companion a few feet away. Happened all the time.

There had once been 100 000 000 buffalo on the great American Plains.

Most all were hunted and killed within the space of 20 years. It took the myriad bone gatherers who lived from trading in bone another two decades to pick clear the bone littered plains from that 100 000 000.

There had once been 300 000 000 people living there. Noone were gathering their bones at all this time .But for the crows and the coyotes and the vermin.

These bones would lay on the plains, in the cities and everywhere else for ever.

Making sure that there always was company. The Dead.

Last edited by headquarters; 08-23-2014 at 11:00 AM.
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