When the sun disappeared, so did we. I wish I could have told my mother goodbye. I wish I could have seen this coming in some sort of spiritual prophecy. But truth be told, no one saw it coming. Not even god.
Sometime last June the cold set in. I don’t exactly remember what day, because all days became non-essential. I’m not even sure if calling it a day, is proper terminology anymore. The sun left us to the cold bitterling of the moon. I used to live in California, a place where it never snowed. Now our houses are twenty feet under, and it’s still coming down.
The stores used to be packed. If you’re lucky enough to find one, it will most likely be empty. The roads are long gone, and the heat…oh man don’t even get me started on the heat. I’d give anything to sit by a warm fire.
There’s only one thing worse than dying, and that’s watching someone you love die. Watching them die slowly to something like the sheets of ice seeping in through a cave. This is how my mother died. The only regret I have is that she died before I did, but at least now she is someplace warm.
I personally believe in heaven. I mean, I sort of have to, or else mom would be nowhere right now. Before, I couldn't imagine being nowhere, but now it's where I am. Confined to the awful bitterness of this cave. I wish I had something to do to pass the time, besides stare at the walls.
Right now I sit huddled on a rock, trying to light the few matches I have left to kindle a fire. The wood is as thin as twigs, and I have to bend down to blow the embers to life. It worked, but only for a second.
That's usually what happens when I start a fire. The flames die as fast as the sun. Almost as If a fire isn't allowed upon the face of the earth anymore. Disappointing, but fighting against greater forces than myself is another thinking session for another day.
I can’t figure out if the mountains are the worst place to be or the lakes. Either way, you’ll die of hypothermia before you get there. Before mom passed she talked about a bunker north of here. A safe haven of some sort, maybe it’s not as far as the mountains or the lakes.
It doesn’t matter. I haven’t seen another person in almost a year. If I ever come across another survivor, I don’t know what I would do. Who knows if they’re dangerous, or have the means to kill me. Although it would be ironic if I died at the hands of my own.
I almost laugh. It’s inappropriate given the circumstances, but who cares? No one else is around. I think about those survivalist video games my little cousin Manny used to play. At least those guys got a dog. Hell, they got a restart button.
Out here, there’s no restart button. There are no dogs or catchable animals. Just what’s left of the canned goods and frozen water bottles. Just the snow, and a couple icicles that hang from the rocks like Christmas stockings. Except Santa was probably dead, but he probably ate his reindeer before he died, so at least he didn’t die hungry.
I pull my bag close to my chest. Inside, there are rolled-up newspapers, some charcoal from the fire pits, and a half-eaten Twinkie. It was frozen because the other half was supposed to be moms. I took it out and gnawed on the soggy strawberry glaze.
After I finished the frozen Twinkie, I slid through the cracks of the boulder and out of the cave. The city is merely five miles away, the last time I was there, a pack of wolves almost tore my face off. That’s one thing the video games got right.
I move forward, trying to step on the leanest parts of snow. But the entire ground is covered with sheets of it. I continue on my walk, praying I don’t get frostbite. When I reach the city, I cautiously make my way towards one of the alleys.
Most of the buildings in the city are broken and fallen over. There can still be some good stuff for eating though. Like cans of peaches, or something. That's if I'm lucky, but who knows I might just have a bad day. I hope I don't.
I don’t know if the wolves are gone, but if they aren’t I will most likely die. The only reason I got away from them the first time is that I was able to pry the door open to a building and run up a flight of stairs. I had to stay the whole night while freezing my butt off. Listening to them howl at each other.
Mom would have hated the wolves. Actually, I'm pretty sure anyone that is living and breathing hates the wolves. I'm just glad I don't live near the ocean, because before all this happened national geographic was going on about some kind of prehistoric shark resurfacing. The last thing I need is a prehistoric shark.
This is what it’s been like, as short as any other kind of story. Except this is my life, and it hasn’t ended yet. The world is frozen over like the ice age and the dinosaurs. Well, if there are any changes I’ll let you know, but for now, I have to go scavenge for food. Maybe I’ll build up enough courage to kill a wolf. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.
The last thing I want to tell you about is the sky. There is a sky full of stars during the middle of the day. The color a misty black, interfused with some sort of red. It's frightening, yet it reminds me of that painting by Van Gogh. I guess in the end he was right, we should have listened to him.