Benjamin hadn’t seen a human being in weeks.
That was how he liked it, he hated people!
It was strange. The city was relatively safe, but Benji could never settle. He always had this impending sense of dread, ever since he was little, he was physically unable to settle down.
But in the forest, Benji had to scavenge every day, he slept in a damp cave, and drank from a nearby stream!
It might sound awful to some, but Benji loved every second of it.
Compared to the city, it was a paradise.
But Benji wasn’t very smart… He wasn’t a complete idiot, but he wouldn’t exactly be passing any exams anytime soon. He had no plan for winter. In all the fun and play, he hadn’t even considered the fact that it might get colder.
One could argue that he survived on pure luck.
It was a particularly hot day, so Benji decided to spend most of it in the cave, where it was cooler.
This alone ‘rescued’ him.
The cave had started to heat up.
The rock he lay on went from cool to hot, burning Benji’s stomach.
Outside he could hear crashing, as if planes were falling from the sky one-by-one. A loose rock fell from the ceiling and cracked against Benji’s skull.
By the time he woke up, the temperature had dropped again.
The opening of the cave had collapsed, but after some effort, Benji managed to scramble through a small gap to freedom.
Something bad happened.
Trees had fallen all over the place, snapped at the stump with tremendous force – the tips all pointed in the same direction, as if they were bowing at the mountains.
There was something new – a kind of snow-fall.
But it wasn’t like any snow Benji had ever experienced.
It’s colour was off, and Benji gave it a lick to find it was more like that stuff he’d found in the vacuum cleaner after he killed it.
The stuff was thick in the air – Every breath Benji took sent more of it into his lungs and stomach, but he could smell something he hadn’t smelt in a long time, and decided to follow.
He could smell barbeque.
The thought of hot dogs sent him bounding towards the source.
After a minute or so of following the smell, he found the deer.
The herd had taken the brunt of the heat. they were crumpled on the floor, their black, smoking shapes dusted in that stuff falling from the sky.
Benji pulled a lump of flesh from one of the carcasses, and feasted until his stomach couldn’t take any more.
For a moment, and for the last time – Benji was full, and happy.
Then his stomach spasmed, and he threw up all he’d eaten.
Benji went back into the cave, squeezing himself back through the opening.
He would never leave, but one day the cave would collapse.
One day it will all decay.