I skulked towards the cinder block wall. There was a rustle inside, and then maybe a whisper. Even with all the noise here I was too loud.
I stood next to the wall. It had been so long since I had seen them. They wouldn’t recognize me. The younger, I couldn’t even recall their names now, would be scared. He would see me the same as a bear or a wolf, or something more frightening.
I had come all this way. I needed to see them. I needed to know their faces. As they got older their faces faded from my wounded brain.
“Hey.” Tompa whispered “there’s something outside.”
The continuous growls of the New Gods echoed across the dark mountains, but I could heat the low rumbles of something through the thin wall. It made heavy foot prints. It sounded big, easily large enough to break the wall.
“Hush,” I said “it will pass.”
We pressed our ears to the wall, and tried to hear through the existential growls and chirps. The thing outside seemed to do the same. There was faint sniffing.
“Onkai? I’m scared”
“It’ll be okay. It doesn’t know where here.”
“ugh” I turned in my bed, tangled in the mess of blankets. “noon already.” I swung my head up, blacking out for a moment, returning to the yellow lit room when I laid my head back down. I cracked my neck, sighed, and picked up my phone. Indeed it was noon, 12:32 on a Tuesday.
I could smell them. Water shot over the cliffs above, crashed in this place, and scattered into the shadows below. Perhaps during the day you could see the bottom. They had been at these falls.
They still smelled like the day I left them, rosy young, dandelion dirty, but brave as hell. Their paths lead through thickets to narrow to me. Towards the noisy peaks.
At the top a concrete building stood. It stood not defiantly or strongly, but like a fallen tree. Something returning. There were filter stations set next to vines on the balconies. Trenches for rain water, and rows for plants. A fence to try and keep mutants like me out.
The boys sent was all over the place.
“What if it does?”
“It’s probably not looking for us. It just going to look around, dig up our trash heap, and leave.” I said “Remember what dad used to say about the mutants: that they weren’t evil, just dangerous”
“Where is dad?”
“He had to leave”
Slow day today. No one came. I had the whole place to myself. I read a lot, I wasted a lot of time. I did clean the some but really didn’t do a whole lot.
Slow day today. A few people came today. Not a whole lot. I had time to clean but I didn’t. I feel so tired, sluggish. Like I’m between to glassy hills.
Slow day today. My shift is only a couple hours but it took up so much of my day. I’m stressed about what I haven’t done yet. Dead lines are coming.
I should have had a plan for when I got here. What am I going to tell the boys. Can I even talk with them? I’m not what they know anymore.
I should have built a stronger perimeter. Something big got in and its scaring Tompa now.
I should have dug the trash heap deeper. Onkai said the smells would get out.
I wish I started earlier. I should have known I wouldn’t be productive. I should keep pressing.