A dark shaped began to rear up on the horizon, breaking its long standing defiance of emptiness. It was still a way off, impossible to tell through the heat haze and the swirling dust just how far though; maybe five to six kilometres or so. In any event I was directly ahead of him and likely upon or beside the parallel concrete river he had been walking down for the last two or three weeks. He’d seen little in that time, to trees, no grass, only the odd person or molerat (the latter he’d eaten for food.) This place was not like his homeland where forests or trees existed, full in bloom in the spring months. All there was down here was sand and the skin drying heat.
The wind suddenly picked up hurling a torrent of sand towards Jason’s eyes. Quickly he knelt down covering his eyes as best he could from the devilish touch of the grains. It whirled around him lining his bone dry throat and the inside of his nose; saliva mixed with the sand making his mouth muddy to the taste. Quickly he sat out the cocktail of mud and body fluids to clear his now parched throat. The sand’s ferocity was building and the howling wind grew in strength like a tsunami entering a bay. A sandstorm was forming with him stuck right inside; he had to find cover.
Slowly Jason rose to his feet, the sand trying in earnest to keep him pinned to the ground. He needed to get under cover, fast. Then he remembered the object on the horizon. It could possibly be the shelter his battered body was crying out for. Still keeping his fingers wrapped tight around his steaming eyes Jason began to slowly nudge his way towards the object he’d seen on the horizon, every now and then taking a slight peek to check that his feet where firmly on the concrete highway.
It had been half an hour and still the sand storm whirling like a hurricane, throwing torrents of sand a Jason as he struggled to claw his way through to shelter. The object was much closer now and he could just see it through the veil of grains before him. It did seem like a building of some kind. He was still about half an hour from the building and the storm showed little in the way of subsiding its relentless assault.
Poseidon Energy, the sign towered over Jason, just readable through the swirling sand. It was very faded with its black letters over viewable due to the yellow back colour. A large concrete slab was above him supported by four sandblasted columns slightly reducing the volume of sand in his vicinity. In the middle of the small fuel station a rusted out automobile lay there, rotting in the memories of the old world; most of the metal had been scavenged or just weathered away. To the side stood a small building, a sparking neon sign reading ‘store’ suggesting to him that it had been a convenience store of some kind. In fact it was the sign which had guided him the last kilometre as the storm increased in ferocity. Moving in closer Jason further suvayed the building. The door was metal; a pale rusted brown and locked. The windows long since missing their glass were now covered with stained, rotten wooden boards. Jason tried to open the door however it would not budge; a rattle suggested to him that it was locked, tightly as well. He still had to get inside. Then a though came into his mind.
The boards. They looked to have rotted through and seemed easy to dislodge. Carefully he tested the nearest board on the right-hand side, taking care not to expose his skin or risk getting a splinter or five. With a firm grip Jason gave a slight tug. The board fell free instantly; the steel nails unable to keep it in place. Good a way in. Carefully Jason began to pull away more boards till eventually he’d made a gap big enough for him to squeeze through.
The foul stench struck him like a fastball to the head, overloading his senses; his eyes steaming fit to burst. He could taste it upon the edge of his bone dry tongue; it lined the back of his throat making him choke. He must blank it out, like he’d done back in Montana. Blanking it out from his mind would keep it from snagging in his mind and hindering his body. There...it was now nowhere near as bad as before. His eyes where now free to adjust to the dynamic change in light levels as it was pitch black save for the diluted, sandy light that drifted like a fair breeze through the hole in the rotting wooden boards.
Shit! Jason recoiled at the sight, backing away slightly is sudden surprise. The gentle tap tap echoed through the room and stained crimson the worn leather of Jason’s boots, running from what was just a lump of flesh, bone and guts. Jason realised where he was, this was a fucking raider hideout. He looked away from the corpse and sure enough the rest of the small store echoed his theory. The walls were covered with cruel, basic graffiti sprawled in dark crimson blood. Meat hooks dangled from the pealing ceiling, limbs and heads spearing like helpless fish upon their cruel hooks. Bones lay all around, some blackened from burning, some still with flesh hanging from them. Several beds lay between the chipped once pearl white wooden isles which were covered with ammo, deadly drugs and yet more limbs and rotting innards.
(Yet to finish this post)