Occupation: Week Six

Rayne flung the front door open and dashed across the dead lawn, kicking up a mess of broken white spears that trailed to the ground behind her.

An anguished, “No!” followed her.

Rayne rolled her eyes. Her mom could yell whatever she wanted, she still wouldn’t do anything.

Above her, stretching grotesquely in every direction, The Cloud hung heavy across the sky. Thick tendrils fell in ocher columns, draping themselves across the city. Or they would have, except the places they touched simply ceased to exist. Concrete, steel, glass, bark, leaf, and flesh all vanished at its slightest touch.

There were no signs of the scientists that had come to study it. As far as she knew, it couldn’t be studied. Maybe they had given up. Everyone would eventually. One way or another.

Two houses down, Mr. Martin appeared at the window. Grimacing, he slid it open. “What’re you up to?” he called.

“I’m gonna join one of the caravans.”

“You’re going to become a Leaver? What about your mom?”

“I can’t stay here any more!”

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