Prospero's Half-Life

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Authors: Trevor Zaple
Tags: adventure, apocalypse, Plague, cults, postapocalypse, ebola, fever
looted (and Richard knew that some of them had to
have been, by this point) not all of them could possibly have been
looted, especially if the population was as reduced as it seemed.
He let his shoulders drop a little more. There would be time enough
to go searching through darkened kitchens and pantries later. Right
before St. Paul Street curved around to the left, there was a
franchised pita restaurant. The sullen, rancid smell of gone-over
meat and vegetables wafting out of the crashed-in front door made
his decision final. The stomach turning-smell made him want to stay
in the street as much as possible.
    After the
curve the character of the street changed. The buildings on either
side of the street were by and large bars, with the odd coffee shop
or bank thrown into the mix. The reek of alcohol was heavy in the
air; the hunks of former cars thinned out but the corpses remained,
littered with slivers and chunks of glittering, jagged glass. Logos
remained on some of the larger glass pieces, symbols of vodka, gin,
vermouth, rye. The aroma was sharp and it assaulted Richard’s nose;
from the expression on her face he saw that it was doing the same
to Samantha. There would be no stopping along this stretch.
    “ God, why would they have smashed all of this?” Samantha asked
aloud, looking around at the sheer amount of liquor bottles lying
busted in the fading sunlight. She sounded disgusted. Richard
    “ It’s the end of the world,” he said heavily, suddenly aware of
how ridiculous the phrase sounded. “People are very different when
faced with a crisis situation”. He thought back to the confused,
deranged phone call he’d had with the store up on Hamilton
Mountain. The orgiastic violence that had been alluded to through
the crackling connection had shocked him at the time, but now, in
the sober light of day, he started to find a sort of rudimentary
understanding. When the whole thing was spiralling down the drain,
why not go out with a smashing whirlwind of destruction? Looking
around at the stretch of bars on this part of the street, he
realized that this was exactly what had happened. The sick and the
scared, in need of distraction and dissolution, had been drawn to
these places. They’d gotten drunk, and then they’d gotten
    He shook his head. The state of
nature he thought grimly, nasty, brutish, and short . Where was that from? He reached back to his university days,
thinking it was probably from some philosophy course or another. He
puzzled over this for a while as they walked solemnly passed the
still remnants of what had, by all observations, been the mother of
all chaotic riots a few nights before. They stepped lightly,
watching for dangerously angled shards of glass, and stepped
gingerly over the sprawl of bodies here. Richard was convinced that
one of them would twitch and get up, like a surreal image out of a
horror film, but the corpses lying in the street were as still as a
rural midnight.
    The street
widened into a large four-way intersection; kitty corner to their
standing position, the land dropped away off of the road into a
deep, forested ravine. The Niagara escarpment rose in the distance,
on the other side of the ravine, and out of the escarpment a
single, blocky tower rose into the sky. Samantha halted in the
street and pointed out to the tower.
    “ Schmon Tower,” she noted, “Brock. I wonder if we might find
people there”.
stopped beside her and looked out into the distance. The street led
away to the left, crossing the ravine by bridge. He tried to judge
the distance to the tower rising up on the horizon; it seemed like
an awfully far way to travel. He judged that she was probably
right, though; if there was going to be anywhere where survivors in
the area might gather, it would be the university. For large scale
shelter, food, and booze, if nothing else. It would take them at
least a day to make it there, though. Probably a little more than
that. He looked

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