I sincerely hope there’s not an afterlife, I don’t want to have to remember the shit I’ve seen. I’m not deluded. I know that most people in this world have it an entire spectrum worse off than me, but those people usually don’t travel as much as I do, they don’t have to see that spectrum, they don’t have to see every stage of a decaying corpse once a week. That must be ninety percent of my life these days. I’m a corpse tourist, corpses and ruins.
The other ten percent is why I haven’t given up yet. It’s mostly kids, hidden away in bunkers or basements, their parents’ last hope to send their genes into the future. I wonder if they still would have done it if they saw the state I find them in. Most could be easily labelled as being the first stage of a corpse already, and I always have to play the bad guy, knowing that if I give them too much food or water that they would fall into those latter stages all thanks to me being a big softy.
I caught one running today. The runners always freak me out. Who knows what or who they were eating to get enough energy to move like that, and they always come out of nowhere. Especially with this little shit. God knows how he survived out here, there wasn’t a warm body or source of foot for miles. When I finally caught up with him on Thud, the expression he showed me wasn’t starving or scared. His old-man frown made him look like the battle he was waging inside his head was more intense than anything that was going on in this endless bloody war.
What’s happening to me? I was being stared down by a fucking five-year-old. I was the Kiddy Catcher, I catch kiddies and after years of practice, and giving Thud more trust than he deserved, I managed swoop down and bag the little shit. Of course I made a loop of the field before I rode off. Ask anyone with dysentery and they’ll tell you that little shits come in groups. But if the kid had been in a group, he had been overreaching from their hideout. Either that or he was running from something.