Night Sky

Greetings all,

I would seem that I have made it through the crush of life and found some time back here at the Campfire. Sorry to be so long, and thanks to those that tended the fire while I was dealing with things elsewhere.

Feeling a bit rusty, but here is my offering for Sonia’s July Writing challenge which was to create a story of no more than 500 words of any genre that features the moon. I not sure if I quite got what she was looking for, but after not writing for over a month I’m sure she’ll grant me a bit of latitude.

Night Sky

As always night finds me looking up. No matter where I end up in this desolate place I repeat the hopeless ritual, straining as always for a fleeting glimpse. I’m not even sure when I started to do it. I think maybe it has something to do with hope, though there is precious little of that left in the world.

But then who can blame those of us that survive for feeling that way? Surely not the dead. They had it far easier than those that survived. Living one minute, then erased from being the next. While their loss was tragic, they never suffered like the survivors have. Fighting to make it through another day, and for what? The chance to do it all over again tomorrow? Yes hope is hard to find.

God knows what the date is. Nobody in my group can remember time, and the days have blended together into a never-ending routine. Up in the morning and moving soon as possible looking for food and necessities. Hoping that there is enough to go round to keep the group alive another day. No laughter, no warmth, just trying to make it till the next morning when it starts all over.

No one understands why I volunteer to take night watch, but it is the one time of my day when I can stop and remember. I look out over the dark landscape and recall it wasn’t always that way. There was a time when our electricity lit the night, so much in fact that we had trouble seeing the stars. I guess that proved to be our biggest failure. Not that knowing what was heading our way would have helped much.

Years of worry about nuclear war and in the end most of the human race gets wiped out by a rock the size of New York city. I’m sure there is some kind of irony there though I can’t think of it. When the sky darkened mankind knew it was in trouble. When the animals and crops started to die many gave up.  But nature will always go on, and those of us that could adapt learnt to survive. Those who couldn’t, well I don’t like to think about that.

Still, something keeps me out here each night looking up. Perhaps its the warmth that I feel in the wind these days or that we now see more animals. This global winter can’t last forever can it? The clouds will have to start to break up someday and that is what I keep watch for. A reason to hope again, a reason to do more than just survive, a reason to laugh.

Sighing I close my eyes and feel the wind play across my face. I silently will the clouds to part and give me my proof.  Opening my eyes again I look skyward once more, and there in a small break in the clouds I see the moon.


23 thoughts on “Night Sky

    • Thanks Billie,

      Tried to do something different than my normal quirkiness. Thanks also for the welcome back, I missed all of you guys too!

    • Blush!!!

      Thank you, I was worried that the moon wasn’t prominent enough. Thank you for using the word apocalyptic in the challenge, I latched on to it and the story just wrote itself! great challenge as always!

  1. Hello Ken!
    Sorry that it took me a while to read your entry and need I say more, when everybody else have said it! Great piece of work. The break was not bad after all :-). Good to see you back.

    • Hey K2S,

      Thanks for the nice words, and glad to hear from you. Saw your blog and it seems you were quite busy lately.

  2. Welcome back Ken.
    A great story. I loved the thread of hope that you weaved through the whole piece while still managing to get across the horrors and struggles of life for those who have survived. A brief glimpse of the moon at the end was a great sign of proof of better things for the future.

    • Thanks Mike,

      Nice to be back, even though I’m not writing as much as I would like yet. It was an interesting piece to do, I’m glad that you liked it.

  3. I enjoyed your story. I think it captured the post-apocalyptic genre well, and yet wasn’t as dismal as much PA fiction. You paint a picture in broad strokes (“Those who couldn’t, well I don’t like to think about that”), but by the end, the picture is very clear. The last line was great.

    • Tim,

      First off welcome to the campfire! Also thank you kindly for the remarks. This was the first piece that I wrote in over a month and I had been worried that it was a bit over descriptive.

      Again, glad that you stopped by!


  4. Pingback: August Writing Challenge – Doorways | Sonia G Medeiros

  5. Ken, I thought the descriptions were just right, definitely not ‘too much’. You didn’t make it gruesome and/or gory by showing too many details, but the overall feeling of despair, desolation and suffering diffused with that sliver of hope just like that sliver of moon throughout the narrative… very moving!

    • Pia,

      Thanks for dropping by.and for the kind words. To many “end of the world” stories are like you describe, gruesome, gory, and violent. I guess I’m more an optimist and find however hard life would carry on and we would survive.

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