Visual Dare – Steps

It’s Visual Dare time again!

Hope you enjoy the story I’ve written for this week. 🙂

The ground shook one last time. Everyone panicked. Debris fell down from the cave ceiling. Bodies embraced each other. Some knelt down in prayer. When all was said and done, the long silence followed.

The silence was punctuated by the little sounds—the droplets of water from the stalactites, the whimpering and the sobs, the hushed prayers from fast moving lips, the final declaration of love and the saying of goodbyes. There were fifteen of us in that cave and I stood in the midst of everyone. I knew no one. I was alone. I stood in silence, as I’ve done all my life, and I basked in the sounds people make during the end of the world.

Eventually the sun appeared on top of the stairs, by the cave entrance. The seconds trickled and the sun lengthened. It slithered down the stone steps until it touched the shoes of the few.

“The sun…”

“It’s day again.”

“Are we dead? Is heaven waiting outside?”

“Mom? What’s going on?”

“Should we go out?”

The questions came out one after the other and sometimes in pairs. They asked the ones standing beside them and they asked themselves. I watched and I listened.

The bodies started to move. They started making their way up the steps and out of the cave. We squinted our eyes from the glare of the sun.

“What happened?”

“We’re still alive.”

“Where’s everyone?”

“Are we the only ones left?”

“My god…”

Trees were uprooted. The ground was cracked. From afar, we could see the city and the smoke rising from the broken buildings.

“What should we do now?”

Shoulders shrugged.

“I say we find food. We’ve been down in that cave for god knows how long. The children are hungry. We all are hungry.”

Heads nodded.

“I say we stick together. We don’t know the extent of the damage. It’ll be good to be in a group, helping each other out.”

Feet moved.

“Where should we start looking? I suggest a couple of kilometers west. There’s a small camp there where I used to be a cook.”

Agreements were thrown and we all followed the cook.

The guy walking beside me looked at me and asked: “Crazy shit huh?”

He looked to be about my age. He had three earrings pierced to his lower lip. I gave a smile and a nod as a reply.

“Not much of a talker huh?” He said.

I pointed to my mouth and I shook my head.

“What you trying to say?” He asked. “You mute?”

I gave a nod.

“Oh,” was all he said.

We walked in silence.