Monday, May 11, 2015

#172 Journey to the Future 2

read the first part

It got too hot for my radiation suit as I pushed my way through the tall stalks of corn. I hadn’t really lived in the country, ever, and I’d only seen corn fields from a car window on road trips as a boy, but I was thinking this corn was bigger than I remembered it. The leaves were wider than my outspread fingers, and if the city ahead weren’t so tall it would have disappeared behind the golden pollen heads.

I shed the suit and bundled it into my pack, then pressed on. Soon my arms were itching from brushing against the dry, hairy green corn leaves.

When I got closer I noticed something that made me stop and study the gleaming glass and metal structures in the distance. Along the base, standing twice as high as the corn, was a wall. I’d never seen a walled city in my entire life. As far as I could tell, the corn went right up to it. A single city like an island in a sea of corn.

I came to a road running crosswise to my direction of travel. Relieved to be able to walk a clear path for a while, I followed it until I reached a larger road that led straight to the city. A truck came rumbling up behind me. I looked behind, hoping to hail the driver, then saw there was no cab. It was just a huge bin of corn on wheels. When it got closer to me it slowed down, then stopped entirely and began to beep gently. I stepped off the road and into the corn, and it picked up speed again, heading toward the city in a cloud of dust.

Look me up when you get there, my sister had said. Maybe by then people will be living over a hundred years. At the time the joke had been a bitter one, recalling the years before the apocalypse began. But maybe it had come true. Maybe she’d be waiting for me.

read the next part

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