Hero photograph
David Pask

Apocalypse Writing

David Pask —

I can handle all of the death and murder. I can handle the misshapen, diseased corpses. The one thing that I can't handle about this god forsaken apocalypse is the isolation. With no one I care about left in the world, I spend a lot of time alone with my thoughts and memories. Not a fun time. 

The rising sun was a dead giveaway that it was morning, letting me know that I had once again spent an entire night awake. With a sigh I sat up and looked around, realising how long the grass actually was in this field. The grass was easily a meter tall, it seemed like it was trying to reclaim the earth. Looking around again I spotted no signs of recent human life, food supplies were starting to dwindle, so today was the day for some more breaking and entering. A familiar feeling of guilt washed over me as the thought of stealing from the dead again crossed my mind. This feeling of guilt somehow kept me anchored down, it reminded me that I was still human and still capable of emotion. Sometimes it feels like I forget how to be human, so anything that reminded me of what I really was was welcoming. I shrugged on my backpack and started my walk to the inner city. 

The long walk in gives me plenty of time to remind myself of what I need to do. Find a somewhat tidy house that didn't look like it had already been broken into, break into it and take anything that might be of value to me. This is how I have been managing to survive, stealing from the dead. Even though the houses are always empty, either abandoned or the old owners dead, I still felt bad for taking what isn't mine. It was weird feeling bad for stealing, but not feeling bad for all of the death that surrounded me. Gunshots in the distance urged me to move quicker. Being out on the streets is an easy way to get killed by people who had survived the apocalypse, but left their sanity behind. 

It didn’t take too long to find a tidy enough house. You could tell which houses might still have valuables by how beat up the house was. If a house had no front door or windows, it was a safe bet that the house had already been emptied out by other thieves. Lucky for me however, I had found a house that looked almost completely untouched by human hands since the beginning of this hell on earth. The house may have been untouched by humans, but the same couldn’t be said for the wildlife. The plants that had once been merely decorative where now trying their best to reclaim the earth I could see a large variety of weeds growing out of the gutters, trying their best to meet the vines climbing up the walls from the ground. The house looked like it had once been worth a lot of money, but with no gardener to maintain the vegetation, it now looked like a giant bush with doors and windows. 

I wonder if the family that had lived here had been one of the lucky families that could afford the temporary antidote for the virus that was plaguing the earth. I remembered in sadness how the world was promised a solution, but were only given something that could only delay the inevitable. We think only those with natural immunity survived, nobody had the time to figure out what keep us virus free and alive. I considered myself lucky, whereas others consider it a curse, being stuck in a world filled with rotting corpses, death and lost memories. 

I booted the front door in and the first thing that hit me was the smell, the smell of decay. I sighed as I followed my nose to find the source of the smell. I was lead through to the back of the house to a door sitting slightly ajar. Pushing my way in I find myself in the garage, and I see who I assume is the old owner of the house. He also happens to be the source of the horrid smell. His body hung motionless, strung up in noose tied to the ceiling. The state of decay his body was in was proof enough that he had been here for quite a while, almost a year I think. The old man must not have been able to handle the changes the world has taken. I wanted to feel sad for him, I wanted to cry for his sake, but I had run out of tears long ago, and being sad never got me anywhere these days. I pushed open the garage windows and closed the door behind me on the way out, and began quickly looking around the house for food. I don’t want to be in this house any longer than I needed to. I don’t want the man in the garage to be a reminder that there is a way to leave this hell on Earth.