Author's note: I got the idea for this when my family and i tooka trip to Ukraine. Specifically what inspired... Show full author's note »
Together, Happy“Together, Happy”
Michael awoke several hours later, his back aching with pain. He could hear distant water dropping, all alone, in the darkness. He stood up with struggle, using his rifle as cane until he got to his feet. He turned to look up the ascending stairs, and he climbed it. When he reached the door he pressed his ear to it, on the other side he heard complete silence. The silence was suddenly broken by bark of a dog, they had finally at some point in the night broken down the door and were now feasting on the various things that had been left out. He checked his watch to see it was 12:33 at night.
Walking down the stairs he checked his rifle, full. He took a flashlight out of his jacket pocket and proceeded down the hall way. The hall was covered in doors on all sides, leading to offices, janitor’s closets or boiler rooms. At the end was a heavy metal door.
Having never learnt how to read, the meaningless inscription merely confused him. Michael turned the handle but a lock on the door halted him, it required a key… or a firm kick. Upon the kick the door broke off its lock and lazily swung open. Now there was utter blackness ahead of Michael. He turned on his flashlight, which struggled to reach the opposite side of the tunnel. Utter blackness was all the eye could see, down both ways of the tunnel. He heard wind blow down the tunnel, a sudden feeling of danger struck Michael. He was momentarily terrified of what was coming towards him from the south bound tunnel. So instinctively he ran in the other direction, into the inky blackness, with nothing but fear pushing him forward. He was running at full stride, not even noticing the ties bellow. Falling forward he slammed into a tie, knocking himself unconscious.
He woke again several hours later with blood trailing down his face. Upon standing he realised he had sprained his ankle. Limping along until he found the next station. This station was completely clean; nothing here was at all tainted by the hands of war, man or time. Stepping outside he found himself in a suburban area. And upon looking to the north he could see the Dead City before him. Not much was identifiable, only the Glass Tower in which the Dead City Brigade HQ was located. Still clutching his rifle he looked down the suburban street to see a group of dogs, passively watching him, all of them, frozen in their position staring. They had a haunting stare, with black pits for eyes.
To avoid any confrontation with anything or anyone he took to a nearby fence, a wood picket fence, still glowing in its pre war glory. He jumped the fence and landed on what once was grass, but had since turned to little more then black shrubs that persisted to grow. The yard was clear, but the house didn’t look right, something in the lack of light seemed not right. He made sure to quickly leave that yard for the next. He continued to go from yard to yard, until he came across something that changed him more then the sentry man.
Curled up against a fence were the long dead remnants of a family. United together in the final moments, lives ended suddenly in fire. All that they were was ash. They all seemed so content, and together. He felt himself begin to get weak in the knees, a feeling of emotional distress, an overpowering feeling of distress. He needed to get out of this godforsaken suburb and back into the city.
After jumping some more fences he landed on the street. He looked south down the street, deeper into this suburban hell, and saw the same group of dogs, peering back at him from a new position. They were following him…
He walked up the empty street towards the city. It didn’t appear to come any closer then it was when he first arrived in the suburbs. Looking back he saw that the dogs had left. He continued walking. The crisp, lightly frosted ground crackled with every step. After an hour or so of walking he was met with a subway station. Taking out his compass he saw which way north was. Walking to the entrance he heard a noise, turning around and aiming his rifle in the direction he saw the dogs, one standing on the remnants of a dumpster, the others peering at him from around the corners. He was told to only fire a shot if something had to die, do not disturb the peace unless you have to. Knowing he didn’t he walked down the stairs and closed the gate, to halt his followers from continuing to tail him.
The whole underground was silent. Largely left alone after the end, a few people tried living underground. To avoid the hell above, but as it turns out; the human mind is not meant to live in a place devoid of light, sound and warmth. Many new comers to the vast underground “sanctuary” wouldn’t wake up next to their campfires, the fumes and smoke in such a small area led to suffocation. That was not the only problem however; insanity is common when time and light becomes nonexistent. The inhabitants have pale skin, no hair. They would loose the ability to convey things in spoken language, slowly falling into insanity as they lost all concepts of morality, time and loyalty.
Michael kept walking north. To the only home he has ever known. Soon however he felt himself tired. Finding a small room just off the tracks he entered, bared the door and sat up against the wall. The room had a few bunk beds and a door on the opposite wall. The other side of the door was blocked with debris. Taking comfort in this, Michael lay down on the bed closest to the blocked door and promptly fell asleep.