All That Remains

The struggle of a young couple in the wreckage of the Earth after the Apocalypse.

          Ariel slowly and carefully crouched behind me on the small hill overlooking the old world, on the near the edge of the Mojave. The Disaster has left behind a terrible mess. People are a rare occurrence now and dirt is covering the debris that has long replaced the once sprouting with life nature. Wreckages rust and corpses are all that remains. “Jack?” Ariel whispered. I turned around and saw her innocent eyes getting wet, her tears forming small rivers that separated the dust and dirt on her cheekbones. “What is it?” I answered. She sighed and curled up, embracing her legs. “Jack, I’m scared” she confessed, her whole body trembling like a tattered flag in the merciless wind. I let my head hang for a second and comforted myself down on the hot sand. “Why are you scared, sweetie?” I scooted toward her and caressed her hair off her face with a tender, comforting touch. “You have been brave throughout those years, what’s the matter?” I asked, trying to see through Ariel’s worries. “All this silence and all this isolation, Jack. It makes me nervous” she explained. The sight was heart wrenching. I wiped the tears and dirt off her face and tried to convince her to move on. “Worry less, sweetie. We have to go on. We are just a few days away from the Bunker” I whispered.

          Ariel buried her face in her forearm and began to cry. “All our friends are missing or dead. Why are we still here?” she wept. The sun slowly went down, forming a dangerous dusk over the soul piercing environment. I embraced Ariel and let her cry on my sweating shoulder. She took a deep breath and continued to pour her thoughts out. “I don’t want to die, Jack. But deep down I can’t help but ask myself ‘why do we get to live?’”

Devastated by survivor’s guilt, Ariel tightly grasped my shoulder and looked me straight in my eyes with a look full of eagerness, not wanting to wait any longer to get the answers she looked for. Her big, teary eyes were pleading me for an answer to calm her down. “Some of us made it, Ariel and some of us didn’t. We have to keep walking to make proud those who didn’t” I comforted her, slowly lifting her up with me. “Really?” Ariel asked. I looked down at her and sparked out a feint smile. “Yes, sweetie” I replied and playfully scratched her hair, now rigid from the dirt. She then wiped the tears off her face and raised her fist, with her pinky protruding. “Promise?” she asked, with a look full of worry and disbelief. “I promise” I said and then wrapped my pinky around hers and held it firmly. “Now let’s move, the night’s coming and it’s going to get cold” I suggested. Ariel nodded agreeably and stepped behind me, ready to follow. We marched on into the sunset, as the war sirens of the night were made audible from very far away echoing in the emptiness of the Mojave Desert, or as they call it now, the Mojave Wasteland.

The End

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