It had been three days since the bomb hit.
The rubble was clearing but the world had moved on, the Geiger counters clicked away but her head was still spinning. Could it be true? Could she have survived?
she wouldn’t have believed it, no, she couldn’t, but she had been waiting there for three days in the ruins of her old neighborhood, waiting there to die, coughing up blood and phlegm, breathing heavily in while she slipped in and out of consciousness.
She was hungry, she knew that much, but was she in a state of shock or fever?
She could no longer tell the difference.
With a jerk of her wrist she grabbed a stable rock beside her, and with great effort, used it to hoist herself to the feet she had been neglecting.
She was wobbling, but she was upright, and though her mind was still refusing to sharpen up she found that she could see her old town when she squinted her eyes.
The place was a mess; she would have called it a war zone if the circumstances had been different. This had not been a war, this had been a massacre, a quick blow to the population so fast that no-one outside of the perimeter would notice.
But then again, she wasn’t outside the perimeter.
Somebody had made a bad calculation, because she had survived, and with that simple fact there was a glimmer of hope, the thought that she might not be alone.
She tried to step forward but her dizziness barely allowed it, she moved slowly and with caution, her house was but rubble, and so was everything else around her, an endless sea of brick dust and memories that haunted her enough to bring her senses back some.
The sky was blotted by the haze of sand that the rubble had left behind. No landmarks remained, but she would be a fool to stay in one place. She was supposed to be dead after all, and she needed water… thirst had never felt so much like suffocation.
One step at a time, in a direction she could not ascertain from the directly vertical sun baking her slowly where she had been flung, she walked, parched, for water… for water and for survivors.
She had not deserved this.
No-one in that town had deserved such a thing.
But if rubble could not give her sustenance it certainly wasn’t about to give her answers.