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A young boy who looked to be about twelve years old, who wore only long pajama bottoms, carried a small bag as he walked out of an abandoned wooden house onto an empty road.  Every house on the street looked run down with boards falling of the walls, shattered windows, and mostly open doors.  The sky was dark and gray with many clouds. and there was a cold wind blowing hard, piercing the skin of the boy.  He felt the wind and dust find its way into every scrape on his body and he flinched in pain.  All the grass and every tree was dead with the leaves fallen off.  The road was cracked and nearly covered with dirt.  The only thing the boy could hear was the wind and the chatter of his own teeth. 

The boy held his bag closer to his body, trying to use it as a shield against the wind.  He made his way down the road trying to get as little dirt on his feet as possible, because he didn't know when the next time he would be able to find enough water to wash himself would be.  The boy walked for about eight blocks, to the newest house he could find.  He searched as many houses as he could, one by one filling his bag with anything he could find that could be deemed useful.  One of the houses still had happy pictures of the people who used to live there.  They had a dog, but it was left behind, the boy found the remains of it in the upstairs bedroom.  He put the skull in his bag to take with him.  There was  a swing set in the back yard.  The ropes were frayed and looked like they are about to break, but the boy sat on one of the seats anyway and swayed back and forth slightly with the help of the wind.

He was reminded of when his father used to push him on their swing, and how he would yell and giggle with joy, begging to push harder.  That seemed like a lifetime ago or a faded dream.  Either way, that time of his life was gone and it was time to move on.  Just as the boy was about to get up, the ropes gave out and he fell on his rump onto a pile of dirt.  "Why did it have to be dirt?" he thought.  He got up and brushed himself off, then returned to the house where he had left his sack.  In another yard he found a water hose and he managed to get out a few drops that had been sitting in the hose with which he did his best to wash the dirt out of the cuts on his hands.

The boy recounted the events of the previous night where he had fallen on the remains of a broken mirror.  He winced at the thought of that pain and vowed to be more careful in the future, if he didn't get infected and die before he got the chance.  Despite this he told himself, "Think positive, at least you didn't cut your feet."

By the time it was getting dark and he needed to go home, the boy only managed to find half a box of crackers that he had to flick the bugs off of and no water to his name.  He then did his best to get home quickly, because it would only get colder as the night trudged on.  Shivering on his way, the boy reached the house where he stayed before the cold could take his life.  Once inside he went straight to the family room where he started a fire in the chimney with some wood from a neighboring house and the stones his father gave him.  Then, he commenced to eat a couple of the crackers which did not help his lasting thirst.

Before bed he looked at the photo he had of his dad holding him as a baby and thought about they day everything went down.  He woke up in a bad mood because the night before his dad sent him to bed without dinner after back talking.  He secretly knew they probably wouldn't have enough to eat anyway and though it would be easier to just have the privilege taken away so his dad could eat more that night.  He had been working really hard lately trying to pay the bills.  The money he inherited from his family finally ran out despite how frugal they were, and his dad had to get a second job.  It probably would have made a difference if the boys mother hadn't left his father after he was born, but they tried to make the best of it.

Even though he knew all this and felt he understood it, he was still in a bad mood and he was hungry too.  Downstairs he found they had two eggs left, so he cooked one on the stove and left the other in the fridge for later.  His dad had already left for work and would be back till late.  There was no school for him today, so after he ate, he went out to the forest behind his house to explore.  The secret cave where he like to hang out on off days, was a little damp from the rain the previous day.  At that time he hated the rain but he would soon realize what a blessing it would become.  Later that day he heard and felt a loud boom which nearly knocked him over.  After some investigating, he learned there was an explosion at the power plant where his father worked and the city needed to be evacuated permanently.  Despite this, the boy held out hope that his father was still alive, and made the decision to stay at the house and wait for his father before leaving the city with a neighbor who offered.  So he stayed there and waited for his father for a long time but he never did.  In the middle of the night, looters wearing gas masks came in and ransacked his house and took everything they could find.  The only thing of any value was the old furniture and the clothes.  They didn't find the boy because he hid in a dark corner of the basement.  The boy realized the explosion might have left traces of chemical debris around the city and this could be harmful to people and that's why the looters were wearing gas masks.  Luckily though, it only killed the plants, and only made the boy weak.

He looked at the place he carved days into the wall and counted 40 days since it happened.  If he wasn't so dehydrated, the boy might have shed a tear but none came.  His tongue felt like a heavy brick in his mouth but he couldn't do anything by try to swallow.  "Another day down," the boy said to himself as he carved another mark on the wall.    Then, he went into a bad sleep filled with nightmares, and coughing to scratch his dry throat.  The boy woke up when it was still dark with thoughts of water and realized where he might find some.  He remembered how there sometimes was a puddles of water in the cave he used to hang out in, that might take days to fill but it was still something.  It occurred to him that the drip he always used to hear must be from a hidden pond.  Hope clawed its way into its heart and he decided to go find it in the morning.

Then, he went back to sleep as soon as he could and had a pleasant dream that he was swimming in a pool of clear water with his dad.  He was finally able to relax his worries and when he did, everything seemed to go away.  But alas, he was a bit too relaxed, and soon dehydration over took him and he never woke again.