Peach Tree

Post collapse Folktale.

 

He awoke in the dessert, the sun burning blistering hot above and the sands like coals below. He couldn’t remember how he had gotten here, but here he was, none of which mattered what really mattered was water. looking around he found a canteen half buried in the sand almost full he took a small mouth full swigged it around his mouth then swallowed it down, knowing as he did, he had to ration it for as long as he could, for when the water goes so did you, as any child could tell you.

Now not knowing where to go; he looked around him until he spotted a bird circling in the distance, so far as to be just a spec in the sky. Birds use thermal updrafts from roads and rock outcroppings to gain height and search for pray as any child will tell you, so he started walking in its direction. After many long hours of marching he crested a dune beside a bare sunburnt tree, and their below him a road sliced its way through the dessert, straight and black it was, and stretched as far as he could see in either direction, now though he knew not which way to go, he looked skyward for the bird again but saw not a sign of it, so he sat there at the top of the dune, underneath that bare tree looking down on the road and waited, he took another mouth full of water.

Not long after he had sat down a sound came drifting down the road, the sound soon turned into a man walking alone. He stopped when he saw the kid on the hill, and then continued on seemingly unconcerned. The kid waited till the man had passed then made his way down the dune and started along the road in the direction of the man, he wasn’t far behind and quickly caught up. The man stopped and turned when he heard the kid coming, he was weary of stranger coming up on him, as you should be and as any child will tell you.

                “Where are you going” the kid asked, the man looked at him then pointed up the road in the direction he had been walking. “Can I come” the kid asked he needed to go some way, the man looked at him ‘grunted’ then continued on his way signalling the kid to follow. The kid hurried to the Old man’s side and they walked together down the black road stretching on forever in front of them. Occasionally they would come across the rusted skeleton of a “car”, and every time they did the old man would rush forward and crawl over the rusted steel searching for something. After the third car they came across the kid asked him what he was doing. “Looking for something” the man said distracted as he looked through the car “what” the kid persisted “Oil” the old man moved on not having found what he wanted, For many days they continued this way and by know the kids canteen had been getting low, he had been sharing with the old man who had run out of water even before he had meet the kid, and the man seemed to drank with little thought as to the one sharing the water.

“We should be looking for water not oil, why do you need Oil.” The kid said after they had searched a dozen vehicles the old man couldn’t seem to see the problems they were facing “Oils more important than water kid, without it my car won’t live, without my car I can’t live”

“Without water your dead too, as any child could tell you”

“My car will find water, without my car I’m dead” this didn’t make sense to the kid how could a car find water, he seemed not to know the things that any child could tell you.

                Then one day the old man found what he was looking for and it was thick and black, the kid was beginning to hope that after so long without finding oil that he would Start to see the err of his ways, but the old man had no sooner collected his treasure before he turned and started walking back the direction they had just come, with no thought to the kid that had been sharing his water, the only reason the old man was alive “wait” the kid called out angry “were are you going” “back for my car” called the old man as he walked away “it's my life my survival” “but you have no water, and were almost out of the dessert a few more days and well have some water, you don’t need your car, together we could find life and survival” but the old man was headless and continued on “in a few more days I'll be safe in my car and you’ll be dead in the sun” and with that he continued on and the kid watched as he disappeared over the horizon, later the kid spotted a bird circling in the sky again and made towards it , as he neared the land began to change, that same day the kid found water and drank deep sitting under the shade of a peach tree, he never saw the old man again.

The End

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