GOODNIGHT SKY

A dystopian novel-list inspired by @ErinFlaherty in which she and @sky press on.
  1. The sun set cold in the north, a distant blue pebble in the otherwise featureless gray sky.
  2. She blew into her hands and rubbed them together. Her skin was chapped and cracking.
  3. - It won't be much longer.
  4. - I don't suppose so.
  5. - Not sure what time will mean anymore when we're down there.
  6. They unloaded their makeshift pack. Really just a blanket gathered at the corners. They had made another twenty miles today, maybe more, and they were exhausted. The cold was omnipresent now. The only change was the sky: pale gray in the day, moonless and black at night.
  7. There were fewer people now. They could walk miles and only occasionally catch up to someone. The cold was a discriminate killer taking the very small and the very old, the infirm.
  8. - I suppose it's for the best you know.
  9. - I guess.
  10. - There won't be room for everyone. If we're lucky we won't have to decide who stays.
  11. She didn't say it but what she meant was that the cold would decide for them. That in a world as upside down as this had become there really was no fair anymore, and who better to decide who lives and who dies than entropy? Or evolution or whatever.
  12. She didn't say it but they both knew they weren't off its list. They'd seen many frozen bodies along the road, countless encampments of the apparently young and apparently healthy. A new Pompeii of archaeological wonder perfectly preserving their fitful sleep, their worry, their hopelessness. Did they give up? Did it show on their frosted faces?
  13. She hadn't seen her own face in weeks. Maybe she had lost hope too. Maybe it showed on her face too.
  14. She wondered how long it would be before man crawled back out of the caves. It was an act of pure optimism to pose the question in the first place. Surely the most likely outcome was extinction.
  15. But it was their last best hope and so they walked on toward the lava caves of eastern Wyoming. Enormous spacious interconnected caverns heated not by the great betrayer, the ever-receding sun, but by the primordial heat of earth herself. A billion years of life giving heat they said.
  16. It was almost poetic she thought. Returning to the warmth of the mother after a fitful few million years trying to make a go of it on our own. We tried. We were good to each other now and again. But it wasn't meant to be.
  17. According to the mile markers and a little optimism they'd be there in just over a week. Their food would hold out well enough. It was too cold to eat much anyway.
  18. The light would hold out too. They say noon sun will be as bright as good indoor lighting even a year from now. Maybe two years. But eventually it would be done. Eventually the sun would be just another star. A bright one for centuries. Millennia even. But not a sun. Not a giver of warmth and life.
  19. Just a cold unconcerned pinprick in the unchanging sky looking down upon a frozen lifeless landscape.
  20. They would be deep in the earth then. Would anybody venture to the surface? Would there be any reason to?
  21. It was a question for another day. Another unit of time in a world without days. Whatever. It didn't matter yet. All that mattered now was sleep and another day pushing on. Maybe she would dream about warmth again. She'd trade away the sky for a little warmth. No problem.
  22. - Goodnight
  23. They held each other wrapped tightly in the blanket as they always did. She looked up one more time.
  24. - Goodnight, @sky