.: TRAVELS OF THE POST APOCALYPSE :.
Hello, welcome to TotPA! Recently, I've been itching to do some writing but haven't had the time or inclination to work on any of my major ideas. I also need to focus on some practice so that I can improve the quality of my creative writing. What came to fruition is this topic. Set in a bleak post-apocalyptic England, Winston clings to survival as best he can, beset with danger and turmoil, he must learn to live out the remainder of his days fleeing from the clutches of death. This is not a journey easily taken alone and so he has planned to return to his home in the hope of finding his wife who he has been split up from weeks ago whilst on a business trip further north. Follow Winston on his travels as he encounters the terrible peril of the post-apocalypse. I aim to update this story once a week, time permitting, for as long as the story has vigour in it. When that conclusion manifests has yet to be seen. Let's hope not for quite some time. Comments are greatly appreciated and would be more than enough proof of interest - for the purpose of me gauging whether or not continuing the story is worth my time and effort. =)
Without further ado, here goes, enter the Wasteland of England.
Winston pulled his hood up and immediately thrust his hands back into his pockets. The morning was bitter and made him shiver to his very core. It seemed as if the cold was animate, searching with wretched clawing hands down every crevice, every nook, to press itself up against Winston’s body. This display of morbid affection was not requited in the slightest for Winston was only now recovering from a severe flu virus that had seen him bedridden for three days prior. Under the circumstances and with no one to help him, the threat of death was all together real and now when he was most susceptible to the vice of pneumonia the autumnal temperatures plummeted as October drew to a close. The trees flayed their blood red leaves which scudded along the roadside in drifts giving the zephyrs that carried them a corporeal quality. Every now and then a sudden northerly gust would batter Winston’s face from under his hood and he would shy away and watch as the leaves ceased their orderly slog down the fringes of the motorway, instead they exploded into violent blasts of orange and brown and were sent in all directions before coming to rest once again, trapped against an overturned truck or debris which had collected on the road.
Junction eighteen became visible as Winston followed the gentle wind of the motorway, this turn off would take him back into the town he was raised in. This road had been the cause of many a late day into work and he clearly remembered pummelling the steering wheel of his Vauxhall Astra and yelling at other motorists as they cut him up or took too long to accelerate from the lights. Now the junction was dead, cars left from weeks and months ago, the whole section of motorway was unnavigable to all but bikes and feet now. Since Winston had never learnt to ride a motorbike, walking was the only option. He had left his car in Leicester right back at the outset of all the turmoil, the walk had been long and tiresome and what with the onset of a sickness he had been forced to seek respite for quite some time before he could continue. The days spent fading away in that barricaded hotel room had been some of the worst of his life, no company but the ethereal shadows that fluttered before his tired eyes, those illusionist spectres that appear when one is in the throes of terrible illness and dehydration. Those and the groans that never left, outside his window, outside his door, always in his mind –
A particularly strong gust lifted a can of cola and brought it down onto the road with a noisy clink bringing Winston back to reality. He climbed the hilly road that turned off left towards his hometown with some hardship, he had not eaten properly for days and packets of crisps only provide so much sustenance before the body goes into hibernation. The allure of a possibility that some food remained in the town was painful, when compounded by the chance to find his wife it became almost unbearable. A few silhouettes stalked the distance a few hundred yards away. Winston stepped up his pace as he pulled into an even steeper incline that took him into a back road sheltered from the road by great arcing trees and houses on both sides. The borders of suburban sprawl were breached. These first houses had been the pick of the litter for raiders, just off the motorway, large and ill-defended; their supplies were ample as the middle class occupants had seen it fit to clear the supermarkets of supplies in the first hours that the disaster had become too real to dismiss. They had been easy to overwhelm, the houses had been stripped barren. Winston wondered what state the houses on his own road might be in, in truth he was no more than twenty minutes away and he still lived close to the motorway, access was direct, all one had to do was follow the hill he was climbing now and then take a short walk down a hollow way before they would arrive on his street. A shiver was sent down his spine that had nothing to do with the cold. He hoped that there would be no credence to his theory.
Beyond the hill was an expanse of old woodland that had been around before human settlement, a narrow lane cut a jagged grey wound into the landscape, if the motorway was an artery of transport then this was an insignificant capillary. Unlike the motorways however, this road was not clogged with cars, one or two remained parked on the side of the lane but for the most part it was devoid of vehicles. Winston cut across the forest and wandered into a dell he had traversed through as a teenager on the way home from school years ago. Back then it had been a nightmare to negotiate as his brogues would become caked in mud, now his trainers seemed to remain free of grime for the most part. This was in part to do with the solidity of the earth which was still thawing from the clutch of frost but whereas in the past this trail had been trodden by just enough people to stop plants from sprouting in its wake, now it was disused and already weeds were sprouting through the dirt, binding it together. The path was flanked on either side by ancient pines straddled with ivy but eventually these gave way as yet another incline brought Winston to a sudden concrete path. He was walking under a motorway bridge, the same one he would inevitable have crossed had he continued along the M25 instead of turning off at the junction. It was dark under here; the pillars holding the monstrous overpass up were brimming with graffiti. Winston gazed upon expletives and toilet humour as he walked, admiring the slapdash urban art, his eyes then fell to the train line that ran parallel to this pavement; he was separated from it by a low chain link fence. Below that was the road he had departed from just a few minutes ago, there was a thirty foot gorge carved under the bridge, the road wound like a concrete river at the bottom, one tier above that was the railway and just above that was this route. Winston took a moment to ponder over this feat of architecture, it was one of the biggest constructions in his hometown and he wondered, if society was to collapse and never recover, if man was to die out forever, what would remain as a legacy? What would give away that the great human race had existed? The houses would crumble eventually, after a few hundred years; eventually these train lines would warp. The bridge however, that would be here for at least ten centuries, probably longer. This simple and monolithic effigy of human creation would provide a stoic testament to our existence whilst all else is recovered and converted by nature.
Something shuffled out from behind a pillar, Winston once again snapped to attention. He turned to his left and leapt back in shock, something was upon him.