I was down and out, at least in a figure of speech. I could still hear Karen telling me to keep up, while she was carrying me. I felt hot, and weak. Mostly weak and very tired. I haven't been drinking much water for the last days, and I didn't clean most of the wounds from the previous gunfight with the rogue soldiers when I needed to, so I'm sure there was an infection.
Karen kept pulling me, as far as I knew, and she kept calling my name, keeping me alive. The little girl also helped, I felt her little hands wrapped around my arms, crying softly as they pulled me. It was the only thing that kept me here.
However, I was still not dead. With a last effort, I slouched off, telling them about where the shelter was, I gave two steps and finally collapsed on the ground, feeling the hard pavement pounding my head.
I had a vision: Days before the Fires, I pretty much saw a common day that was for me: Waking up, walking the dogs, running, bathing and going to college, returning home for thesis work, checking Facebook, returning to campus to defend my thesis, and so on. I felt a bit of nostalgia and sadness for the world that was, the world that shall never be again.
But, as some people have pointed out, we needed a clean slate. Our society was too centered on having more, no matter the cost. We killed, we did things, horrible things, for the desire of instant gratification. What happened now, with the looting, the slaving raiders, all this is just all these past sins revealed, the veneer of civility removed. Our own demons had surfaced.
One day, these demons will be conquered, I thought.
I woke up in my shelter, with one of my dogs sleeping right alongside me, the other was looking at me, his little tail waggling with joy, the other dog looked at me and waggled her own, patting my rib with it. Karen was helping the little girl (her name was Elizabeth, but we called her Lisa) sleep in the sleeping bag. She looked at me and smiled. I smiled back and called her name.
She took a cup with water and gave it to me. I tried to get up, but she put her hand on my chest and told me not to. I was too weak, she argued.
I listened and stood there. And we past that day talking, pretty much about the days before the Fires. About our dreams, jokes, friends we had, and also about the future. She suggested we should travel north, to the border, she said that maybe the Americans had figured out how to outlive the Fires. I wasn't so sure. I told her we needed to relocate since the shelter outlived its purpose, and subsist in whatever way we could. But, she insisted on moving. I told her I would think about it.
Still, if we were gonna go with this, we would need supplies and transport. So the next few days would be interesting.
(Author's note: Sorry for the delay, but recently I had too much thesis work that pretty much didn't let me continue. I shall try to make up for the lost time)