Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The post-apocalyptic conscience

My mind is in a foggy haze; nothing is clear. The world is in ruins. The bleak grey sky is not contrasted by the dried-earth brown buildings with their hollow, empty openings. Debris is scattered across the landscape, but no living things are evident in this city. I have just come from my old high school, although much has changed there. I am driving a car that must be made completely out of rust. The car doors are long gone, and I am completely naked. It doesn't bother me though; there is a certain feeling of freedom in it, for nobody is here to see, and if they were, they would not care.

I drive the car into a wide alley, manoeuvering around a forgotten dumpster, and park at the end perpendicular to the rows of towering abandoned buildings. The full moon peeks out from behind some clouds, white with a hint of fluorescent blue. I remove myself from the vehicle, and an ominous breeze blows paper and leaves towards a tall chain link fence at the end of the alleyway. Looking through the fence, I realize I am on the edge of a cliff, and I can see most of the destituted city sprawled out below me. I walk into the building to my right.

Oddly enough, I am not particularly suprised to see a family as I enter the building. There is a middle aged, blue eyed man with short dark hair and a moustache here, with his wife and older teenage daughter. They do not seem to notice my nakedness, and I feel no shame. The dirty white walls of their house are lit by electric lights, and all kinds of useless junk (mainly plastic childrens toys) occupy most of the anavailable space. He greets me warmly, and beckons me deeper inside the house.

It seems that I have arrived just in time, as they are about to cook a hearty meal. Food must be hard to come by in this post-apocalyptic world. We are going to feast upon their baby. I am in the lead as we walk into the long and narrow kitchen. There are pots and pans, and more toys piled on the counter, with a lone window above the sink that shows only blackness from outside. I feel suddenly vulnerable, and turn around to see that the man is holding a large knife. I stay facing him, for fear that I have been lured to my own slaughter, but he assures me that no such thing shall occur. The child is laying naked in the sink, with soft white cloth resting between him and the cold metal.

I tell the man we should have some fun and poke holes in him with a scalpel before killing him, and the man seems eager and excited. He hands me the tiny blade, and I poke him once in the chest. It isn't as enjoyable at all, and I get that feeling that occurs after you've done something which you cannot undo. A voice beckons me from outside the room; there is a phone call, and it is for me. I thankfully take the excuse to escape, leaving the man in the kitchen to finish what I have started.

His wife leads me to the back room. It is cramped in here, and there is a brown couch along the wall, and a window divided into four panes of glass. A pay phone is nailed to the wall, right beside the doorway. I pick the phone up off of the cluttered desk. The voice on the other end sounds familiar, yet odd, and I am not totally certain who it belongs to. He explains how the government had infected him with vampirism, and now he is hiding out so they can't find him again. His two little sisters ran away from him, but he knows they are still hiding outside in the woods around the house he is in. As we talk more, I become more and more certain that it is Aaron on the other end of the phone (although he does sound different).

I ask how I can get a hold of him again. He tells me that his number is 1111-THROAT. I know that this isn't the actual phone number though, since there are too many numbers; he does not want to say the number outright because the government is listening in on our conversation. So he starts giving me hints to help decode the real phone number. First he says something about a submarine, but I miss the message because at that moment the mans daughter comes in the room and starts talking to me. Trying my hardest to listen to the distant voice on the telephone, I ask him to repeat himself; this time he mentions something about U, but once again I fail to hear everything he is saying because the girl is talking to me, and now the woman is shouting from another room that dinner is ready to eat. I give up; I'm sure I know where he is staying anyways (the house we went to buy drugs at years before, located in the middle of nowhere). The phone call is ended.

I leave the back room, and tell the mans wife that I just need to go to the bathroom first. I find the toilet in the kitchen; the man is slouched beside it, looking dazed and distant. I lift the toilet seat, and see a big metal ladel resting inside. There is diluted blood all over the sides of the toilet bowl, and I can smell blood and guts. The man looks very disappointed and I ask him if it was what he expected it to be. He shakes his head, downtrodden.