Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Cold

Its cold, that's what this apocalypse is supposed to be all about, the cold killing everybody.

Snow everywhere.

Ice everywhere.

Its especially cold up on the goddam roofs where the wind is free to beat away at you and make your eyes water.

And the cold makes you tired.

And the climbing makes you tired.

Climbing around on the roofs makes you tired.

Especially when you're way too fucking old to be climbing around on the roofs of buildings in fifty pounds of clothes and heavy boots.

Dragging your ass up and down drainpipes and fire escapes, crawling around through the snow on your belly.

I don't snap back from that shit like I used to, I can hear lots of little cables and springs and shit cracking and snapping inside my legs for the last time whenever I gotta crawl around on my knees.

And starving.

Starving makes you tired, too.

There ain't no goddam food anywhere.

There ain't been any goddam food anywhere in a very, very long time.

Once everything went to hell, the food that couldn't defend itself was the very first thing to go.

But I don't like to think about all the starving.

I try to keep from thinking about it, if you think about it for too long, you'll start to feel it.

It stays turned off unless you start thinking about it too much.

And its easy to fall asleep when you are starving.

Just like its easy to fall asleep when you finally get to eat something and you get groggy 'cause your body ain't used to eating anything anymore, takes a lot of energy for your digestive system to warm itself back up and get all its machinery going again.

'Cept its different, you ain't all heavy like when you're full, you don't sink into sleep when yer starving, you're light, you're too light, and its easy to just sorta slip out of focus and wisk off to some grainy place where you don't gotta feel the ache of it anymore.

Anyways that's why I drifted off, the cold, the climbing, the crawling, being beat to shit off my ass, and the starving.

And all the nothing happening.

All the nothing happening makes it hard to keep focused.

Easy to slip.

So I slipped, and somebody nailed the kid I had been tailing through the streets of this frozen necropolis for the last few days.

When I was younger, I woulda known where all the other guys like me were, out there on the roofs, how many of 'em there were, I woulda been able to choose who got to live and who got to go off to the better place ahead of time, and work it all to my advantage somehow.

But now I just had to make the best of whatever scraps fell on to my plate.

And now it was time to wait and see who came out of hiding to claim the kill.

They might not be working alone.

I used to have a partner.

And there's no way to know how many people were trailing this kid, or how long they were trailing him, or how many of 'em knew where I was at this very moment, looking at me through the scopes on their high powered rifles, folks that would be more than happy to send me off to a happier place if they didn't have to give away their position to do it.

And so we wait.

All of us.

For the next kid to show himself.

The next kid that we'll all be following.

Ah, here he is.

Goddam I'm getting hungry.

I can't watch this next part.

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