Grey Clouds

Post Apocalyptic City – Peter Siegl

Giant nautilus shells, trailing grey clouds and death in their wake. First contact.

These tentacled hunters, a flotilla adrift on some unfelt current, feeding.

We hid, like rats in the walls, like the terrified mammals we were, engaged in silent, gestured conversations.

Are they still there? He glanced up, nodded.

We’re running out of food. We’re running out of water. She mimed understanding, shrugged, as if to ask what he had expected. They drifted nearer.

I can’t make the baby stop crying.

I can. He smashed its head against the rubble.

She screamed, her voice echoing through the ruins.

He ran.

Written for this week’s SciFriday (a little too late), and for one of this week’s BeKindRewrite prompts: Silent Conversation. Don’t you be silent, though! Let me know what you think…

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14 thoughts on “Grey Clouds

  1. Criminy Chris! Couldn’t suffocation have been the preferred method?!

  2. E.W. Storch says:

    Yikes! Shades of Carol and the Walking Dead, right there.
    Well done.

    • Thanks, glad you liked it!

      Not a fan of The Walking Dead, although my wife loves it – I watched the first season and didn’t like it. I hate the “Exceptional Man” concept that seems to underline almost every zombie movie – I feel like we’ve all seen a guy wake up in a hospital and find out everyone’s a zombie, I want to see the build-up to the outbreak. Le Horde is a good example of not doing the exceptional man in a zombie film.

      I thought the scene with Rick on the freeway with the little girl would have been awesome if she wasn’t a zombie, and her family were using her as bait for non-walkers. They then shoot him, and they’re the actual protags. I think that’d be a good way to invert the trope…

      • E.W. Storch says:

        I’m not a fan of zombie stuff (well, horror in general), but my wife is. She also controls the TV remote each night. End result, I watch TWD whether I want to or not. After four seasons, I’m still trying to figure out if the writers are playing a long game, or if there really is no plot, just a series of unrelated events that compromise the characters ability to survive.

    • OMG WAS THAT A SPOILER?!?!? I’m going to be so upset if that was a spoiler!

  3. We’ve reached a new level of darkness. Reminds me of the scene with the parson in War of the Worlds (was it a parson in the book? I don’t remember), only much, much worse.

    Beautifully worded, though. : )

  4. stankmeaner says:

    Harsh and realistic, this is a great piece

  5. Kate Loveton says:

    Talk about a stark ending. Excellent. I have a feeling I’m going to be checking your blog out on a regular basis – a lot of good stuff here. Are you on twitter?

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