A letter to myself.
Dear me of older years:
I am scared.
I know I'm just a child, but I see myself growing older and it terrifies me. Thoughts of what I could become are pushing me around; I can't make decisions because I don't want to make mistakes.
I have no special skills, no great talents or intelligence. In fact, I am so unremarkable that I fear I will disappear into oblivion before long, with no one to remember me once I leave their line of sight.
Quite frankly, I am useless. Replaceable, mediocre, and completely unimportant. All the friends I've made over the years, people I considered worth knowing, are drifting away and I cannot bring myself to call them back. Truly, I enjoyed our time together; we talked about our dreams and daily lives, hovering somewhere in the range of “average” as far as skills and goals while wishing with all our hearts to somehow break away from what we saw as “normal” lives. But now, I see them clumping together, little groups and sub-groups, sorte
It was years before our towns were properly rebuilt, but rebuilt they were, as more of us gathered in tighter circles; people with books, with skills they learned in the time before what we called the Age of Dissent. We worked our way out of that cluttered mess of rotted wood and crumbling brick and used old power lines and generators to power our homes, after some clever people figured out how to get the old stations back online. And with the power on, we could do more. We built our homes faster, and towns erupted all over, shivering clusters of people with no practical skills and people with the patience to teach.
But in this world of green and brown, some of us felt that we were missing something. Something important, though none could really say what that was. Then, someone found a book of paintings in a library they were trying to restore. And then they understood.
It was color that was missing from our lives. Oh, there was color all around; red in the sunsets, blue in
In the outskirts of a ruined city, a lone soldier marched on. Though her feet ached from blisters and the sharp stones that pierced the worn soles of her long-neglected shoes, she kept walking, slowing only when she checked the ragged bandages that covered her burned hands. What a battle, she thought, when the only enemy was nature.
She turned her head toward the night sky as a burst of wind threw dust into her eyes. Tears formed, but they couldn't cleanse her eyes, and they couldn't ease her pain, the useless things, so she wiped them away and returned her gaze to the sky. With the city lights long gone, the stars were so much brighter as the history of the universe swirled above her head, sharp points of light in so many colors, though the light was so many millenia old...
She used to be a star, or so she'd believed. A bold, blue star, burning with a fire hotter than anything else Nature could produce. But now, she likened herself to a white dwarf, still bright, still burn
We didn't really know what we were doing. Few of us knew how to live off the land, and those that did had scarcely a tool between them. What was salvaged from the ruined stores wouldn't last; that was clear. If we didn't grow something, we'd starve. We knew something had to be done, and soon, but nothing really seemed to be worth doing. Oh, we planted the seeds and watered them, weeded our gardens as best we could, but there was no real passion in it. And no one wanted to kill those chickens, or rig a line to catch fish. It was almost comical how little effort we were willing to put into surviving.
Eventually a few sprouts poked their heads through the soil. Eventually, some old man got an axe and hacked the heads off some chickens. Eventually, someone decided to catch some fish, but our little community was filled with people that weren't doing those jobs, or caring for the children, or rebuilding some shelters so we wouldn't get soaked by the rain that still dumped its tubs over our