I’ve been all over the place. From up north, where they used to make cars, down south where they used to make oil for those cars. West, where they used to grow oranges and olives; east, where they used to grow towers. Not once have I found a living, breathing person. I’ve seen lots of places where people used to be. Most of those are also where people died by the hundreds. I suppose there could be other wanderers, a mere handful so spread out we don’t ever run across each other. But it seems, more and more, that I’m the only one left alive in the whole country. Maybe the whole world.
Plants and critters didn’t seem to get hit as hard as people did. Whatever bio-engineered weapon we got hit with killed humans so fast, the Feds couldn’t contain it. Or explain it. The disease must’ve started in a bunch of cities, all at the same time. That’s the only way it could’ve spread so fast. D.C. was one of the first, of course. Only natural to want to eliminate the government pretty quick. I’ve been to a few cities that I suspect were “first-strike” places. Places with big populations, packed in pretty tight. Nearly all of them have been overgrown with vegetation and animals. Especially the ones that started out with a lot of parks and natural-growth areas. Places like Nashville. Lots of heat and rain and no winter to speak of really took a toll on the southern cities.
Trekking my way back out west. Figure with all the plant life growing overtime, I might find a good place to hole up and stay for a while. Maybe some other wanderer will find me and I won’t be alone anymore. It gets to be a little weird after a while, not having someone to talk to. The critters don’t talk back. Of course, it’d probably be weirder still if they did. I’m thinking around Bakersfield. Last pass through there, the orchards were overgrown, but the food was still growing strong. If anyone has managed to survive this long, they’ll be smart enough to figure on getting somewhere with food.
Somewhere in southern Cali, now. I think. Seen oranges already, still growing in their groves like they’re just waiting for a nation’s call for citrus. Don’t want to stop in the middle of a big town, too much possibility for something sneaking up on me from cover. Maybe an old farmhouse in the middle of an orchard or something. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find something close to food, even closer to water, and on a hill. Or maybe I’m just dreaming.
No hills. I forgot SoCal is flat. At least around where the food is. Did find an old silo sort of thing that looked like it had been in the middle of a remodel when the end hit. Stairs up to the top, a couple of windows put in and a sturdy floor. Makes for a decent hideout. At least I can see anything coming for miles. So far, nothing’s come along but some deer, a few smaller animals, and a pack of coyotes. I found some fun electronics in a nearby farmhouse. A couple of radios, old types, no mp3 players, including what I think is a ham radio. Figured I’d play around some, see if I can’t stop being bored and lonely for a day or three.
I’ve been alone too long. Started hearing voices. First, it was on the ham radio. Figured I’d just messed it up and was getting some stray interference from an old satellite or something. Then I started hearing it on the regular radio, on the antenna airwaves. Scratchy and intermittent, so it was just a little weird. At first. Then I started hearing voices at night, floating in through the windows. All speaking English. All saying my name. Still haven’t seen anyone, though. Guess I’ll go looking tomorrow.
Didn’t find anyone on my walk-about. Still hearing the voices, though. They’re coming through all the radios and in the night air. Sun’s going down now, but I think I’ll be heading back east when th… I hear footsteps. Coming up the stairs. The voices have all stopped. All but the one at the door…