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The following is short fiction that I originally posted to Vocal for a 250 word (exact) story challenge. Outside of Bug & Claw, I have been working up several fictional worlds for years. One of them that you've started to see emerge is the world of The Wilds, which this story also takes place in. I've toyed with the idea that the worlds of the Wilds and Bug & Claw could in fact be the same Earth at different points in history, post-apocalypse. As development continues on both of them I'll have to toy with that more. I both like and dislike the world-building opportunities and restrictions that could come with that. Anywho, enjoy!

Desolate - A short story

White and grey everywhere and eerily quiet. The fresh fluff is imperceptible against my boots. Sometimes I feel guilty getting lost in how peaceful it can be out here. I glide through the snow toward the village.

The snow here crunches beneath my feet– a gritty bassline reverberating off the landscape is so loud it jolts me aware.

Few buildings still stand. Faces flap in the wind, so faded I can’t make out their features. Doors hang open, candles lay in scattered formations.

I find the crater and reach down to caress its hard edge, remembering how my family was vaporized as I watched. Anger and sadness begin to bubble back to the surface when I notice him standing there and they melt into relief. He made it.

We were the only ones who got out. Assimilation wasn’t an option; they wanted us gone.

We both walk toward each other, barely making a sound.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” he says with a tremble in his voice.

“I assume your path was the same?”

“They took everyone from us.”

“At least their hate destroyed them, too.” He nods solemnly and then asks “Are we really all that’s left?”

“Yours are the first footprints I’ve seen.”

“I’m sorry,” he says, pausing. “About before.”

“We’re standing in our hometown in a mix of snow and ash. Neither of those is supposed to be here. I’m just glad you are.”

“I’ll never leave you again,” he replies. I smile at him warmly.