Out of the Wind

I huddled in the sheltered basement corner, away from the worst of the wind and snow. Low grey clouds showed through the gaping opening in the floor above: I would have preferred stars.

I hadn’t eaten all day. Food was getting increasingly difficult to find and those who had it guarded it jealously.

I laid out my meagre possessions; a chunk of flint, taken from the bed of a muddy rill that provided my only drinking water for the day and carefully knapped into a razor sharp edge; scraps of paper, scrounged from the remains of a book shop long since collapsed; and steel, half of a pair of scissors found after cautious search in the ruins of houses in a subdivision similarly abandoned.

The rubble beneath the opening provided a few short pieces of dry wood, probably from the floor joists. I arranged them on the concrete floor of my shelter, tucking crumpled paper beneath them. With flint and steel, I set the paper and wood to burn.

I would be warm and dry tonight. Tomorrow would have to take care of itself.

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