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A short story
To your back are the day-old remains of a mushroom cloud, now replaced with distant inferno that will again light the night like a city used to. You’ve come to realize fiction had little interest in the intermediate. The between-times, after a maw of doom and the scavenging to rebuild again. The walk of a refugee, whose only immediate affliction other than the presumed death of their children, was caustic ash coating their throat.
You swallow the bodies of those caught in the fires with any remaining saliva you can muster. The process feels as if lubricated by fiberglass. It is.
The things you should have said – to the people who can never hear them – scroll like a newsticker of the unconscious as your mind tries to blank for the miles you've yet to go. The lake will be full of radioactive fallout by the time you reach it. Floating effuse of annihilation. You're too thirsty and dirty to care.
Eventually, this maligned sky will be clear and joyous. But today, it is a grave.
The wind is the only one left to dig.