Author : Riley S Meachem

I passed a filling station the other day. It was covered in some sort of vine, kudzu maybe, and the roads were cracked, so no cars could get through. (Hey, remember cars? They used to be everywhere!) I stepped cautiously over bleached bones, picked clean. Whatever they were, once, a small child or a dog, I couldn’t tell. The skull and the limbs were gone, mostly, carried off by rats, I’d wager. I checked inside the darkened store; Grey rainy light poured through the windows (Windows? They’re like holes you can touch. I’ll show you one, sometime.) It was mostly empty, racks overturned, and the food had been taken back twenty years ago when people still thought there was a shot. At what or why, I don’t know. There was a jug of Hawaiian punch, half empty, that I was too nervous to taste, (Trust me, you’re glad you’ve forgotten that stuff,) And a CD (It’s like a silver ring that plays music—yes, music is the sound that speaks to you without words) that I took, even though I’m not sure how I’d play it.

I miss that stuff the most. More than food, or sex, or civilization. Any of it.

After that, I set back up the dirt road, through the forest, towards camp. The higher up I got, the more of the road below I could see. Trees have burst through the concrete in some places (Yes, I already told you what concrete was, it’s like the ground, but harder and smoother.) Soon, there won’t be anything left there at all. Just trees. And an old man who remembers.