An Oasis in the Wastelands

Submitted for Contest #60 in response to: Write a post-apocalyptic story triggered by climate change.... view prompt

54 comments

Sep 26, 2020

Adventure Drama Thriller

As we walked over to the trap, I saw we had caught something by how low the branch framework sat in the water. 

“Looks like I won’t have to eat you today ready meal.”

Cyril looked up at me like he understood, but I may have been imagining that.

When I lifted the trap out of the water there were fish on all four lines. The river was full of fish and was why we’d stayed here so long. We should have moved on from our oasis by now, but it felt good to have something between my skin and bone for the first time in months. We needed to soon, but not until I’d replenished our food stock. 

The smoker I’d built was only big enough for three fish this size, so I took the one with the most tumours off its hook, and quickly put it in our keep net so it wasn’t out of the water too long. I looked in the net and lumpy was still alive and splashing, but still not appetising. Fish had been affected the most by the fallout from The Last War, but thankfully this river was full so I could be choosey.

I took the chosen three off their hooks, and put them into my sack. I re-baited the hooks with the juiciest worms I’d found that morning, then placed the trap back into the water, underneath the marker tree. Relieved of its burden the branch framework sat higher in the water. The current took the bait away from the bank, and further down the river. I tied the trap off to the tree’s roots so the current didn’t take that too.

I picked up the sack, and slung our bounty over my shoulder, and felt the fish thrash against my lower back. But I couldn’t put them out of their misery now without risking exposing the location of my trap.

As I began walking down river I heard Cyril come scrabbling down the tree, then run up my leg, and finally rest on my shoulder. I looked like a pirate of the new world, with a squirrel as my parrot and fish as my treasure…but we weren’t burying this treasure.

Cyril was content, chirping and snorting as he rolled around in his hand the nut he’d found up the tree. We could both be choosey at this oasis, and as he removed the parts of this nut he didn’t want they dropped down my body armour and collected against the catapult directly under him. I gave him a stroke with my free hand, and he wrapped his tail tighter round the back of my neck.

After ten minutes of walking I found a place to gut and de-scale the fish. I chose a different spot each time so the blood didn’t attract predators, or worse. I threw down the sack, and it still wriggled, but with less vigour as their fight left them. I found a fist sized stone on the bank to finish the job. 

“Sorry, but we have to eat,” was the same prayer I said for each of the three fish. I walked to the water’s edge, then rinsed out the sack. As I leant forward to wash the sack Cyril became agitated, and run from shoulder to shoulder. He didn’t like water, I think he knew it wasn’t safe to drink untreated. After removing the scales from inside the sack, I placed the stone on top of it to weigh it down, as it dried in the sun.

I pulled out the large hunting knife I wore on my right hip to de-scaled and gut the fish. When I stood Cyril sat on my shoulder, but when I leant forward at the water’s edge he sat on the handle of the sawn-off shotgun strapped to my back. He instinctively knew to stay away from the trigger, but it was only for show, as I’d used my last shell over a year ago.

With the job done, I took the bottle of treated water from my left hip – more essential to my survival than any of my weapons – and took a small swig to drink. As soon as I had the bottle in my hand Cyril was on my shoulder, with his face nuzzling against my cheek, doing his fast high pitched chirps that I pretended meant yes. I poured the water into the bottle cap, and he lapped away at the water he knew was safe. I used a sparing amount to rinse the river water off the fish, and then put them in a clean bag.

It was getting dark, and the sack on the floor was dry. I removed the stone, folded the sack and put it in the knee pocket of my cargo trousers. I took one last swig of the treated water, sloshed it around my mouth, and then spat it onto my hands to rinse them too. I picked up the clean sack and we walked to the smoker, with Cyril back on my shoulder.

I approached the smoker cautiously in case someone had found it during the day. I always left the fish to smoke overnight; it only required a small fire so it would be harder to spot at night, than the smoke would be during the day. The smoker was hidden in the woods so it wasn’t close to the trap or where we slept, but I couldn’t do anything about the smell. 

After waiting for twenty minutes I couldn’t see any movement. Cyril was happily digging around in the dirt beside me, so he couldn’t smell anything either. I unfastened both my catapults, drew my shotgun, and walked down to the smoker. They weren’t needed.

We had arrived at the smoker at the perfect time – dark enough to light the fires, but not too dark I couldn’t find my way back to our shelter. I’d removed last night’s smoked fish at first light, when I checked that the fire had burned out. I quickly cut today’s meat so it was thin enough to cook properly overnight, then set the fire and left.

We walked back to the shelter in silence. Cyril running around looking for food, and I was looking for threats. We found neither in the barren wasteland. Soon we’d have to walk back out into the wastes, we couldn’t stay here forever.

I slowed as we approached the entrance to our cave. I’d chosen this shelter because it only had one path that led up to the entrance, and therefore only one path to boobytrap. I unzipped my body armour. 

“FWEET. FWEET. FWEET.”

On hearing the command of three whistles, Cyril came running over, ran up my body and then dropped into the sock I’d sewn on the inside of my body armour. I zipped it back up, and then made my way through the tripwires mainly from memory, as they were barely visible.

Once inside our cave I looked around to make sure we hadn’t had a visitor, but everything was as I’d left it. I took off my shotgun and placed into the trench I’d dug for sleeping in. It was too dangerous to light a fire to keep warm, so we slept in a trench to stop any drafts. I plugged the cave entrance with some leafy branches I’d cut down for the same reason.

Feeling as safe as I ever did, I unzipped my body armour again and looked inside. Cyril was looking up at me from the top of his sock. His nostrils flared as he sniffed the air.

“It’s okay.”

Then with those two words he chirped back yes, and then run up my neck, and circled my head, from shoulder to shoulder, running across my chest and back. Then he ran down my arm and into my hand. I smiled down to him, and stroked his head. Cyril jumped down then run around the cave, visiting his nooks and crannies, doing his own checks for any visitors.

“If you were a dog I could light a fire and you could guard our camp.”

Cyril stopped at the sound of my voice, and stood on his hind legs to listen.

“But I don’t think ‘stop or my squirrel will attack’ will cut it with any raiders…unless they got cramp from laughing so hard!”

Cyril dropped down to all fours and gave me his low ‘no’ chirp. Then angrily turned away and flicked his tail at me.

“Charming.”

I took my wind-up torch from my pocket and wound the handle. I placed it next to my rucksack that was already in the trench and turned it on. The light was too low to be seen from outside, but bright enough for me to see in the cave. I took off my body armour, and laid it down in the trench too. Now we were safe in the cave it served as my pillow, but the catapults were still fastened to it, so they were within easy reach in case anything made it past the trip wires. 

It had been a long day, and even Cyril was darting around the cave at a slower pace. I sat at the edge of the trench with my feet inside, just watching him. I told myself I kept him alive because there weren’t any fridges in the wastelands to keep your meat fresh – I told him sometimes too when he kept sitting on my head to be annoying. But the truth was he made me smile.

He entered my life when I killed his mother with my catapult. If I knew she had a kit I might not have taken the shot, but hunger has a way of focusing your mind, and your aim. When I found him in her nest, barely able to see, guilt made me raise him, but it was more than that now. He was a liability, but he was my liability, and he was all I had. He gave me more in entertainment, than he took in food and water.

I opened up my rucksack and took out a metal tin. The worn images on the outside were of delicious shortbread, but inside was powdery dirt. As I placed it down on the other side of the trench with a clang Cyril stopped dead, then as I removed the lid with a pop he came running over and dove straight in. I took off the bumbag I wore with all my best catapult stones in, and laid it on the floor of the trench next to my pillow. I took out my cloth from my rucksack, dampened it with some water, and we both had our daily baths.

Cyril had made a mess, but at least he was clean. 

“FWEET.”

Cyril shook himself at the sound of his command, then jumped onto my shoulder in a single bound, waiting for his post bath peanut. I managed to scoop most of the spilt dirt back into the tin, and then put the lid back on. I put it back into my rucksack with my cloth, and took out a peanut to give to him. Cyril chirped his excitable yes, nuzzled his head against my neck, and then ate the peanut he’d earned. I didn’t have the heart to tell him there were only a couple of dozen left; nor did I know how I’d get him to have his bath when they ran out!

“Time for your bedtime story Cyril?”

He was too distracted by his peanut to chirp, and could only manage a grunt in reply. He probably thought he was too old for bedtime stories now, but they had been for my benefit more than his for a long time. 

I scanned the cave with the torch to make sure I hadn’t forgotten to stow anything away in my rucksack. I always packed everything away before I slept in case we had to make a quick getaway. I’d learned the hard way there was no time to pack in an emergency. Content everything was stowed, I opened the second compartment of my rucksack that contained my favourite book, a magazine, and several cuttings from newspapers. I took out the dog-eared magazine and zipped the rucksack back up.

I lay down in my trench, with my head on my armoured pillow and began to read to Cyril. He coiled up into a ball on my chest, with his tail close enough to brush against my chin if I looked down at him.

“The End of the World isn’t just near…we have a date!”

I knew the article by heart, and even Cyril would’ve noticed if I skipped a paragraph. But it was important to remind myself of my mission.

“Dr. Chase, the founder of the ‘Hindsight Corporation’ (HC) – the company that had mastered time-travel by projecting your consciousness into the future – has confirmed one of his customers has seen the end of the world. This future has been verified by other projections, and thus the probability of it being accurate is too high to be ignored. ‘The world must act as one to change our future’ claims Dr. Chase, but information about the cause of this future is limited –”

Damn right it’s limited! I had been a customer of HC myself, before the end of the world announcement was made, and all further projections were restricted globally. The technology only projected your consciousness for ten minutes, without mass, so the only source of information to learn about your future was the voice activated computer screens in their Information Centre. No world, no electricity, no Information Centres. That was my mission, give them the information they were missing.

I continued reading. Cyril was soothed by my voice, and I was soothed by hearing the words. The words gave my life meaning. It made my brain hurt trying to figure out how changing the past would affect my timeline – whether I’d jump to a new timeline, if mine would remain on this path forever, or even if I’d just disappear – but if my plan worked and only one timeline was sparred this fate, it would be worth it.

In the article Dr. Chase believed it was accelerated climate change that caused the end of the world, and he feared his warning would be ignored. But he was wrong, he was listened to, and the fear of climate change caused the nations of the world to fall back to what they knew best – military power, which led to The Last War. The nuclear apocalypse. But if I cross the country to the UK HC location to leave this warning for the people that project into my future, they’ll have the knowledge to change it.

These were out bedtime stories.

Cyril was already asleep, so I carefully packed away the magazine and joined him. 

***

“I’m up, I’m up!”

Cyril was running in and out of the trench, spinning on my chest, and chirping at me. I rubbed my eyes and tried to clear my head, but Cyril kept flicking me in my face with his tail. I sat up and watched Cyril run over to the entrance. It wasn’t even dawn yet.

“It’s too early, go back to sleep.”

Then suddenly I remembered where I’d heard that chirp before, it was when a cat nearly caught him before I got it with my catapult. It was his alarm call.

I frantically put on my body armour and bumbag. I ran to the entrance and through the branches I could see raiders riding up on horseback. Shit! They must have found the smoker and tracked us here. We had stayed in our oasis too long.

“FWEET. FWEET. FWETT.”

Cyril silently bounded over to me and went into his sock. I zipped him in, and jumped into the trench. I holstered my shotgun, and picked up my rucksack and torch. I could hear the horses’ hooves. I turned on the torch and I ran to the back of the cave. I yanked on the wire I had pinned to the wall.

BOOM!

“Arrrgggggh.”

Shit, they were closer than I realised. I’d rigged the dynamite above the entrance to cause a land slide to seal us in, rather than a cave in. The rock must have rained down onto the raiders. 

Only guided by my wind-up torch, I walked to the back of the cave – I trod carefully as the last thing I needed now was a twisted ankle. In the far left corner there was a hidden tunnel, and thankfully a back way out of the cave. 

As I turned into the tunnel the light from the torch shun off the metal frame of my bicycle. My trusty steed. I turned on the dynamo headlight on the front of the handlebars. Its faint light replaced the torch, which I put back into my rucksack, and strapped to the rack over the back wheel with bungee cords. I shook my spear to make sure it was securely fastened to the frame, then jumped on and rode down the tunnel. 

The brightness of the headlight matched my speed, until it was washed out by the light coming in from the tunnel entrance. I turned off of the headlight and was grateful for not having to fight against the resistance from the dynamo anymore. 

As I rode out of the tunnel my tyre triggered my tripwire. 

Boom.

The second explosion was quieter, but cost me exactly the same in dynamite. Each boom that echoed down the tunnel reminded me we’d stayed too long at our oasis. This boobytrap should have caused the tunnel to cave in – there was no way the raiders could follow us now. We were safe, until the next time.

With my spear fastened to the side of my bicycle, it looked like a knight’s lance, as we rode off on our noble quest.

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54 comments

Yolanda Wu
05:06 Oct 08, 2020

Wow, this was such an interesting story. All the details about surviving in the post-apocalyptic world were so well done. I loved the interactions between the main character and Cyril, your wrote their chemistry really well. Your writing style is so smooth and easy to read, and the ending was really good. I very much enjoyed reading this story. Amazing work, Andrew!

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Andrew Krey
08:05 Oct 08, 2020

Thanks Yolanda, really glad you liked it, and thanks for taking the time to read it. Yeah I wanted to take a more survivalist approach, to show the people have now come to terms with their new world, and making the best of it. I'm glad you like their dynamic, I love Cyril, and his actions are based on a tame squirrel I have in my back garden in the real, non apocalyptic world. I wanted their interactions to be as close to dialogue as you can get when only one sided. We all talk to our pets, but it adds a more sinister/sad element to it...

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Yolanda Wu
09:44 Oct 08, 2020

You're welcome!

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Rowena Tisdale
13:58 Oct 01, 2020

I enjoyed the story, Andrew. The pacing was good, and the tension built at a steady level. I hope he finds some more peanuts for Cyril :-)

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Andrew Krey
14:18 Oct 02, 2020

Thanks Rowena, really glad you like it! :) I hope he does too, Cyril deserves them.

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Charles Stucker
01:51 Oct 01, 2020

After ten minutes of walking I found a place- walking, I "right hip to de-scaled and gut the fish." replace with "right hip to clean the fish." means the same thing and takes fewer words. If you insist on keeping the phrase, it is de-scale when in present tense. A very good tale of survival in a post apocalyptic world. You made several clever choices, using the bedtime story to reveal the source of the calamity, having a pet squirrel, and brilliantly, having him fishing/hunting for food rather than scavenging old canned goods. The sm...

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Andrew Krey
14:04 Oct 01, 2020

Hi Charles, thanks for taking the time to read my story, and leave such detailed feedback, I really appreciate it. I'll update my saved version of the story with your edits - I was aware the de-scaling and gutting was getting repetive, but I left it close to the deadline with this story and intended to re-word in the edit but ran out of time. I'm glad you feel that my methodology worked well. I always try to make sure any info dump serves a secondary purpose too, and as Cyril was his fur baby/surrogate child, it made sense to me to reinfo...

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Katina Foster
03:38 Sep 30, 2020

Yes!! I loved the tie in with Ctrl+Z! This story had a totally different feel, so it was such a pleasant surprise! I'm glad it wasn't mentioned until later, too. It was very well done. So...Don't tell the other sci-fi nerds (I don't want to lose my membership), but sometimes I get a little bored by post-apocalyptic stories and all the survival aspects. However, after reading your story, I'm wondering if maybe I've just making poor choices about which to read. Cyril added just the right amount of levity (and novelty) to this story to ...

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Andrew Krey
13:16 Sep 30, 2020

Damn I didn't know there was a membership for sci-fi nerds, where has this been all my life!! Lol Thanks for taking the time to read my story and leave feedback, and great feedback too! That's high praise if I'm helping convert you to the post-apocalypse, it's my favourite genre :) I try to read all different genres and non-fiction too, as it's all just story telling. I purposefully steered away from the Mad Max style story, and wanted to make this about the characters not the context...then thought making the side kick a furry one would ...

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Katina Foster
14:34 Sep 30, 2020

I hereby grant you membership to The Sci Fi Nerds Interplanetary Alliance. Here's a bookmark. 🔖We used to have membership cards, but everyone was just using them as bookmarks, so yeah. Welcome! I'm 100% on board with this one universe idea. Each story can be so different using this set up. Will they all essentially be wrestling with the question of how humans in different times & places react to getting a glimpse of a possible future? One aspect of the projection technology you laid out, which I find fascinating, is the limited nature ...

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Andrew Krey
21:46 Sep 30, 2020

Wow I feel honoured, and here's me without an acceptance speech prepared!! :O My plan is to have my bases covered for any type of prompt - whether contemporary, near future, or post apocalypse; the time line I've created covers all three. So essentially the stories should be varied and dependent on the prompt. It's more like a cameo from elements of the other stories to connect them all, so the pool of characters are limited to the same group, rather than the story about them being the same/similar theme. For example Joan from "I should'v...

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Katina Foster
22:24 Sep 30, 2020

Nice, I have more reading to do! It's awesome how you've thought through all these different considerations - both in terms of world building and what type of stories/writing you plan to draw from that world. I feel like I can create complex worlds in my mind when preparing for a story, but I rarely consider the pragmatic aspects you did. Thank you for taking the time to explain your whole thought process. That's one of my favorite things about Reedsy, I feel like reading & engaging with other writers has challenged me in new ways and ...

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Andrew Krey
23:20 Sep 30, 2020

Yeah I like talking about it with writers too, I've get a couple of people to read my stories to proof before posting too (although Cyril's story I finished too late so I was the only person to proof, hence the typos lol) it's always good to bounce ideas off others, that's how I got the idea to link my stories afterall, but I didn't want to have my stories be part one and two, so still trying to make all my stories stand alone so can be read in isolation too. I have faith in King, so I probably will give it another try, it's just worked ...

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Yvonne Barker
21:42 Sep 29, 2020

Good story. It seems climate change has a lot to answer to, either directly or indirectly. Also like your sidekick - a squirrel makes a refreshing change.

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Andrew Krey
02:53 Sep 30, 2020

Hi Yvonne, thanks for reading my story and leaving a comment, I'm glad you liked it :) I thought it might be a different spin on the prompt to have the apocalypse in my story caused by climate change indirectly, rather than directly. I'm glad Cyril worked for you too. I decided to make the companion an animal, but thought dog was too obvious. Plus a squirrel would take less to feed, and a lot of the stuff it ate a human wouldn't want anyway. It's great to hear taking that different approach for a furry sidekick paid off :) Thanks again

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Echo Sundar
20:03 Sep 29, 2020

Really great story! I loved Cyril!

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Andrew Krey
02:45 Sep 30, 2020

Hi Rachel, I'm really glad you liked the story; thanks for reading it and leaving a comment. I love Cyril too...wish I had a pet squirrel so well trained!!

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Iris Silverman
19:22 Sep 29, 2020

I love that the narrator's pet is a fiercely loyal and protective squirrel, as opposed to something more generic like a dog! So creative and interesting. I did want to give some constructive criticism and say that I thought that the beginning of the story was a bit slow. I wanted to suggest beginning the story at "FWEET. FWEET. FWEET." and go forward from there to better captivate the reader. Again, this is just my suggestion, and I thought your story was very well written with vivid imagery, characters and exciting action. Awesome job!

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Andrew Krey
02:42 Sep 30, 2020

Hi Iris, thanks for reading my story and leaving feedback, I always welcome the point of view of other writers especially. I'm glad their dynamic worked, I wanted an animal companion rather than human, and as you say, I felt dog was an easy choice. The idea of a squirrel sitting on his shoulder like a parrot was the mental image that made up my mind :) The majority of my short stories start with a hard hitting beginning, so I decided for a slow burn this time leading to the tense end. The main point of the story was that they had let t...

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Iris Silverman
03:30 Sep 30, 2020

Ah, I see what you are saying! I think it's great that you tried something different, and hey, there's no rule short stories have to be written a certain way. Now that you explain it, I see what you were going for. Props to you for exploring new choices:)

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Andrew Krey
11:58 Sep 30, 2020

Yeah exactly, no rules for us writers :) Thanks again Iris, definitely food for thought from your feedback!

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Aisa M
07:39 Sep 29, 2020

The small details here painted a lot of images in my mind, it's so vivid. Cyril is so cute.

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Andrew Krey
13:42 Sep 29, 2020

Hi Aisa, thanks for taking the time to read my story and leave feedback. I'm glad my descriptions had such a strong impact :)

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Kate Winchester
01:25 Sep 29, 2020

Andrew, Great story! I love Cyril and his relationship with the narrator. The detail in your story shows us that the narrator is careful and calculated in his moves, and he/you really thought of everything. The homage to your other story was awesome too, and I love the way it was portrayed through the magazines/bed time stories!

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Andrew Krey
01:51 Sep 29, 2020

Thanks for reading and leaving such great feedback! From reading lots of stories on here I've seen a few people link the stories with a continual narration, so I thought I'd do the same as I think it's a great idea. I did have to think it through a bit more (making it more difficult for myself) especially as I wanted this story to still make sense even if you haven't read "Ctrl + Z". So watch this space, I'm hoping to write my stories consistent to this universe I'm creating. With time travel, I should be able to write stories that are c...

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Dalyane Deblois
00:04 Sep 29, 2020

Hi Andrew, great job with this story! I really liked the friendship between the man and the squirrel! Keep writing!:)

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Andrew Krey
00:42 Sep 29, 2020

Hey Dalyane, thanks for taking the time to read my story and leave feedback :) I tried to use the squirrel as the source of his sanity, so they were dependent on each other...creating a strong bond. So tried to give Cyril a human personality whenever it was plausible. Plus he's the real hero as he hears the raiders coming!

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Dalyane Deblois
01:20 Sep 29, 2020

Well you did a really great job for the human-squirrel bond! :)

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Andrew Krey
01:43 Sep 29, 2020

Thanks, that's great to hear :) I've actually had a squirrel bullying me to give it nuts in my back garden (I think the neighbours rescued it) so was able to draw on real life experiences for the bond :D lol

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Dalyane Deblois
02:03 Sep 30, 2020

I always think that animal-human relationships are underestimated! I’m just a really big animal lover😁

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Andrew Krey
02:30 Sep 30, 2020

Yeah ditto. That's why I added the line about Cyril giving more than he takes, as I 100% believe that about pets :)

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Greydon Blight
18:39 Sep 28, 2020

This was an entertaining read, and I adore Cyril!

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Andrew Krey
22:32 Sep 28, 2020

Lol well he is the real hero of the story! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for taking the time to read it :)

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L.a. Nolan
03:54 Sep 28, 2020

Enjoyed this Andrew, thank you for sharing.

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Andrew Krey
17:38 Sep 28, 2020

Thanks for taking the time to read it Lee, glad you enjoyed it

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Lynn Penny
13:48 Sep 27, 2020

Nice! I loved Cyril and the backstory you added for him. It may of been such a short part, but I think it was crucial for your narrative. Great work!

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Andrew Krey
14:05 Sep 27, 2020

Thanks Lynn, I’m glad you liked it! I tried to use Cyril to show that those interactions and the love shared, was what kept him sane in the terrible wastelands. But left it open whether it was just a way to keep meat fresh, or whether the hero was just deluding himself. So it’s great to hear the backstory resonated with you! :)

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The cold Ice
06:36 Sep 26, 2020

Wow!!I like this story.Fantastic story.Great job keep it up.Keep writing.Well written.I will give you 10/10 score. Would you mind to read my story “The dragon warrior part 2?”

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Andrew Krey
23:44 Sep 26, 2020

Hi Sahitthian, thanks for taking the time to read my story and leave a comment :) I'm really glad you liked it, and I'd recommend reading my other story "Ctrl + Z" as this is the first appearance of the Hindsight Corporation, and is only around 1000 words. I'd be happy to read your story, I'll take a look now for you. Cheers

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The cold Ice
03:10 Sep 27, 2020

Ok I will read your story.

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Andrew Krey
11:19 Sep 27, 2020

Thanks, I appreciated it and look forward to hearing what you think :)

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The cold Ice
15:52 Sep 27, 2020

Welcome.

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Lily Kingston
02:36 Sep 29, 2020

Great story! I love how he has a squirrel for a sidekick, so cute. Plus, the imagery at the end where they're a 'noble knight' is so clever. And I like how you incorporated your time travel method from your past story! It's a nice little reference. Keep up the good work and keep writing

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Andrew Krey
03:34 Sep 29, 2020

Thanks for reading my story Lily, and for your kind words. A squirrel sidekick was inspired by one I've had coming in my garden, and I thought it would be a bit different. I liked the knight/Lance image too, I initially intended to have him carry the spear when he collected the fish, but then fastening the spear before bed would have revealed the hidden bike so I had to change it. But I think checking it was fastened was enough set up to use the image at the end :) I incorporated 'Ctrl + Z' because I thought the method was too good to...

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Lily Kingston
13:31 Sep 29, 2020

dang, it's cool that you're creating your own little universe

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Andrew Krey
13:37 Sep 29, 2020

Yeah it will make it more interesting for me to write, a s if I decide to turn them into a collection of short stories then there's a common thread through them. I saw a few people on here wrote about the same characters but for the different prompts (mainly as they're from their WIP) and I thought it was a cool idea to link the majority of my stories on here

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Lily Kingston
13:42 Sep 29, 2020

oh yeah, I've reused characters before on here because sometimes I love them too much to only write one story about them!

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Andrew Krey
13:48 Sep 29, 2020

Yeah it's a great way to flesh out characters, putting them in the situation determined by the prompt and finding out more about them. I decided I would only make new characters for Reedsy, as I read their terms and it's more restrictive than most short story comps, so didn't want to have to share credit for any of my existing stories/characters with Reedsy.

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Andrew Krey
03:56 Sep 26, 2020

Author’s note: Dr. Chase and the ‘Hindsight Corporation’ first appear in my story, “Ctrl +Z”, which contains more details on the experience of being a ‘HC’ customer being projected into the future. This is a standalone story, but if you enjoyed this you may want to read “Ctrl + Z” too.

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