It was hard to tell if it was night-time or just dark outside. Either way the light seemed blinding on our weakened eyes. It was cold up here... yet not as cold as below in our shelter. I suddenly became aware of the starkness. There was nothing. I could see remnants of objects, bent street lights, fallen buildings to rubble. I could even see the dust in the wind. The dust stung our new eyes.
Faye shivered. She was colder than I. I stood there. Rooted to the spot as Faye slipped through my arms to the floor. The world was different. It cried. Time passed like nothing and still I stayed there, just looking at our 'utopia'. I wanted to scream yet my mouth was firm and I wanted to cry yet I'd no tears left. The horror of it kept me still. I didn't notice that Faye had gone for a while. She had come back now and was trying to say someting but her words were half lost in the wind. I crouched lower so she could place her mouth to my ear.
Her cracked voice told me how she'd found water. Told me that she'd found our old blankets in our rubble of a house. Found a jar of something that looked edible. I nodded and hoped. She led me along; like I was a ragdoll or one of those toys with wheels on a string.
Indeed, she had found our blankets. They felt even softer now, the fabric of the duvets were unused in a long time and the down inside hadn't bunched up into awkward clumps. We grabbed them, it was like we'd flipped a switch and turned to survival mode. I started to scrabble in the rubble, looking for something to carry our little belongings in. I found a schoolbag and emptied it's contents onto the floor.
She led me furthur into the ruin, under a beam that hadn't fallen and past walls that weren't walls but piles of plaster and broken timber. It was just about the kitchen when she stopped. The cupboards! How could I not have thought of them! They were filled when we had hidden inside the shelter... they must have something left in there. Inside it was like christmas. We saw a pure heaven in food. Tinned raviolis, peaches in syrup, cans of vegetables in brine or oil, tinned fish like mackrel and salmon, even homemade jams and pickles. Our mouths watered simply looking at them. I put the bag on the floor and crammed as much of the food I could in. Soon realising I'd need a few more bags. I sent Faye to look for more bags in the rubble as I carried through the cupboards and drawers looking for thinsg we'd need. I opened the side pocket to the bag and started placing in my finds. Lighters, matches, can opener, pen knife, cutlery, cups, a saftey pin that might be needed, a small bottle of iodine and at the back of the medcines cupboard I saw what I knew I'd need, The bottle of Rat Pellets, lethal to more than just rats. Faye came back with a suitcase and two more school bags. We filled them all with food and supplies.
"Can we eat something now Rachael?" Her bony hand pointed to a jar on the top, a plastic jar of pineapple chunks in juice. It was resealable so I twisted the lid and pulled a few chunks out for Faye. They looked so big in her little fingers and it was most probably more than we'd eaten in a long time. But who knew if we were going to survive? We might as well eat and live now. I picked an equal amount of chunks for myself and closed the lid.
The sweetness of that stringy fruit was the most amazing thing, like a firework of flavour in my mouth, I chewed it until it was mere mush and no flavour and swallowed hard, putting another glorious chunk into my waiting mouth. Faye seemed overjoyed at the food aswell and had perked up slightly.
"So you said you found water?"
"Yeah, you know we used to have a pond in the back garden... "
"Well that's it."
We wandered to that place.
That wasn't a pond... It was a lake of giant proportions that gave birth to life and the cool liquid miracle of water.