Bird's Eye

First place in the Blood in the Snow contest in the ApocaLego group.


People mostly avoid cities now. The buildings just weren't designed to support the crushing weight of all that snow and ice, especially once snow starts blowing in through broken windows and building up in the rooms and hallways. Sooner or later roofs cave in, skyscrapers topple, and an avalanche of ice and concrete buries anyone unfortunate enough to be there when it happens. Nobody with any sense lives in the old-world cities anymore--except bandits and raiders.


But the cities are where the supplies are. The collected disposable treasures of a society that never knew how good they had it. Most of the one- and two-story buildings in the suburbs are buried, but the taller ones are still above the snow pack. Ammo, food, clothing… it's all there if you can find it. If you live long enough.


I made it to the top of an office building today. I can see why nobody's picked it clean yet--a lot of broken windows means a lot of floors and stairwells filled with snow, and the ceilings are caved in at more than one spot. It took the better part of a day to work my way to the roof, but it was worth it--not just for what I scavenged, but for the view when I got there.


Look, I've seen enough snow in the last ten years to last me a lifetime. Any beauty in it is long since lost on me. But as I knelt there on the edge of that roof looking out across the harbor, the sun slowly sinking behind the city and a fierce wind clawing at my cloak, the mask of the apocalypse slipped away for just a moment. You could almost forget that this is a ghost town--if you closed one eye and squinted hard enough.


I noticed something else, too--there's a ship in the harbor. From the street it looks like just another hill of snow, but from up here you can tell what it really is. It's half-sunk and it's stuck in the ice, but it's a cargo vessel--and that could be a gold mine.


Assuming it hasn't been picked over already.


Assuming the ice holds my weight.


Assuming I make it back to the ground floor alive.


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Part of The Great Chill series. [Next]

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Taken on February 6, 2010