An acrid chemical haze blanketed the city wastelands. The noon sky glowed with an eerie crepuscular light. The Cataclysm proffered two choices: adapt or die.
In the fields we no longer chased butterflies. They now chased us, their flapping avian wings dusting us with fine powder that necrotised human flesh.
Melanie always feared her childhood obsession with catching butterflies would, one day, come back to haunt her.
After many long years underground escaping the global nuclear war, it was time to emerge. Naked and alone, we climbed from the depths of the mine.
Nothing was the same. Lush jungle had reclaimed the entire land except for a small clearing holding a solitary tree, fruited with one apple.
Matthew is a retired computer systems analyst.
She explained to me that produce was essential to progress. “Science?” she would say. “Show me science on an empty stomach!”
Farming was her calling. Everything else, she said, didn’t really matter.
A twist of fate brought me, undeserving, through the famine, left alone to carry her message of life.
“Everything sure is great, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, absolutely. I can’t think of a single possible thing that could make my life better.”
“Nah; I’ve got plenty.”
“I already eat it four times a day…”
“More steak wrapped in bacon?”
“…I think you may have something there.”