All Of That Is Over

(Cheri Lucas Rowlands/The Daily Post)

(Cheri Lucas Rowlands/The Daily Post)
(Cheri Lucas Rowlands/The Daily Post)
It’s a big world out there, but you forget just how big until it stops working. When it was still functional, the other side of it was just a plane ride away. Most of us didn’t travel very far. We might take a vacation or a business trip now and then, but we spent most of our lives in our own neighborhoods. We never felt cut off, since the whole world was at our fingertips through television and the internet. We could zoom in on a map to practically any location in the world. News was instantaneous. We knew what was happening thousands of miles away.

All of that is over. Those of us who survived the drought and subsequent famine have become migratory in search of food and water. There is no contact with the other side of the world. There might be others out there or there might not. We just don’t know and we probably never will unless the land masses decide to converge or some brave soul sails across the oceans like Leif Ericsson.

We travel in herds, searching cities and towns for anything to survive on. Traveling in groups is the safest way. You can’t be on your own out here; it’s a death sentence.

Weary packs move south or north, rarely east and west, in search of some ethereal Shangri-La. They collect more itinerants along the way like a snowball. When they pass each other, they share news and debate which direction is best. Some are convinced south is the way to go, through the Panama Canal to South America. Others are convinced that north to Canada is better.

I’m not at the head of the pack; I follow along with the rest. I don’t really care which way we go, because I’m convinced that every direction holds the same bleak future, though I never say that out loud, not even to myself. We’re moving north and I’m along for the ride, as long as it lasts.

333 words written for the Weekly Writing Challenge: Build Your Own.