You tear yourself away from the window finally, sick of staring at the powdered streets and bloodied sidewalks. You decide its time to explore the apartment you're in.
These high class apartments can sometimes hold extremely valuable treasures that can be used later as trade with other travelers. And you don't give up a chance to find some new trade items.
You open the bedroom door and walk out into the gloom of the main room. The blinds have been forever shut, and yellowed. But all you can see is a dark gray colour coming from them, as years of neglect have caked on a very thick layer of dust.
You check the light switches hoping maybe the back up generators might still have some power left.
They click click, but no lights come on. The room remains gloomy. You'll have to use the light you can. You would open the blinds but you're wary of how much of a dust cloud that will cause. As well you don't want to draw any unnecessary attention to the buildings.
Most of the gangs have moved off towards the battle, but still there could be a few stragglers.
You look away from that possibility and get on with searching the apartment. Even without the addition of the blinds dust the apartment air is plenty dusty already, and all your walking around is stirring up more.
You just can't get over the amount of dust, you've been in dusty apartments before but never to this extent. But your short lived journey through the apartment soon digs up an answer to the extensive dust.
Two skeletons lie side by side on the couch staring up at you with hilarity in their glinting smiles. A madness is attached to that glaring smile as well. The decomposing process must have caused this dust.
You look away, not because it disgusts you though. You've seen enough horror to make you puke your guts out, and you've breathed in more than enough of ashes and dust of dead people to care. This is the most peaceful deathbed you've seen in a while. These people died happy.
Its just the smiles. You can't stand to see anyone smile, even if it is a skull, in the midst of all this catastrophe. In the midst of all the madness. Smiling is madness. No one smiles.
You find a blanket and cover them up, two peaceful souls forever at rest beside each other.
You quickly wipe the image from your mind and continue your search for hidden treasures. You come across many interesting artifacts, an old box proclaiming a favoured children's cereal (you remember your kids used to love it), an old cell phone which was useless now, and finally a very special find indeed. An old laptop. It's at least 20 years old, made by a company that had died out before the wars.
You cross your fingers and push the power button. The screen suddenly comes to life, you praise the man who invented lithium batteries.
As the computer boots up it throws a brighter light over a small patch of apartment, and your eyes fall on an object that you had missed before in the gloom.
Its an old transistor radio. They must have been using it back when the wars started to keep in contact with others.
You put the computer down for a moment, leaving the spray of light on the radio, and walk over to investigate it. You flick it on.
It springs to life with a back light on the channels to choose from and you hear a loud crackling noise.
Panicking you turn it down quickly until the noise resembles that of someone crumpling paper. You turn the dial slowly checking every channel, in a hopeful delight that you haven't felt in months.
But every channel provides the same crackling noise as all the others and you almost all but lose hope when suddenly you hear voices.
You turn the dial back just a tad and the voices come into clear representation.
"...looking for volunteers to frontier a discovery and rescue mission over to the South African borders. All of our contacts in the south are cut off and we are not able to venture past the Florida borders due to gang soldiers. I repeat, this is Lisa Houston of the Florida coast guard. We are searching for volunteers to frontier a discovery and..."
You look around in excitement for the mic attachment for the radio. Though quickly your excitement falls to despair as you realize that the mic is nowhere to be found.
You nearly tear the apartment apart looking for the mic, but it has disappeared. You are not able to reply to this Lisa.
You plop down on the floor once again feeling that overwhelming disappointment wash over you again.You almost give up and get up to turn off the radio when suddenly the broadcast changes slightly.
"If you are not able to reach us by conventional means we are located on the southern most part of Miami shoreline. The large building labeled 'Al's Marina'. We will be outside waiting until 5pm everyday. We can provide shelter and food to anyone interested."
The broadcast ends and the familiar crackling sound replaces the sweet feminine voice.
You ponder this, you're not very familiar with Miami but you know you're not far from the shore. You wonder how far down the shoreline this Al's Marina is.
The city should be safe enough to venture through in a few hours. By then it will be midday. You could always find shelter along the way if it does take you longer than five hours to get there, you reason in your head.
You just worry that if you don't you'll be caught by some gang members, or worse, the undergrounds. But its reasonable to think that the Marina shouldn't be that far from where you are now.
You look at the laptop again. Its fully on and the background picture shows a very handsome man and a beautiful woman holding a baby in a pink sundress.
Your mind begins to wonder, where is the baby.
You decide you're better off not knowing things like that and you need to plan out what exactly you want to do.
After drinking the rest of your bottle of water and scrounging whatever non perishables you can find you decide its worth the trip down shore to find this Lisa Houston, and see what this trip involves. Anything is better than sitting and waiting for death.
You throw one last look over the apartment with your new laptop under arm and bag full of food, and close the door behind you venturing slowly downstairs to make it out into the street.