Jan. 5th, 2017

aldersprig: (Stormclouds)
January by the numbers continues~
From [personal profile] anke's prompt "sunrise;" an apocalypse story.
.

Katarina woke at sunrise, the heat of the May sun warming her skin.

She didn’t open her eyes right away. She lay there, splaying her hands on the ground, letting the warmth soak into every bit of her.

She’d never expected to see the sun rise again.

She wasn’t sure she had another sunset coming, but if the sun was up and her skin was warm, she was going to delay the moment as long as possible. She was going to soak up every bit of sun before she let herself see how bad her situation was — and how bad the world’s situation was.

The explosion last night had — no, not an explosion, that was far too small a word. The cataclysm last night — had shaken everything. It had knocked out power across, as far as they could tell, the whole continent. There was no telling about the rest of the world. It had shattered buildings, buckled roads, and left fields and rivers both burning.

Katarina had been pierced with a flying shard of stone, right between the ribs. Rough triage said it was non-fatal and quick self-inflicted surgery confirmed it. She’d survived the explosion.

She was not nearly as sanguine that she’d survive the men that had come for her. It hadn’t been her hand in the spellwork, but she had survived, when the ones who had done the deed had not, and someone needed to pay.

She opened her eyes. The world had survived, in a matter of speaking. For three, four hours there, she hadn’t been sure it would. But the sun was lifting over a burning horizon, and, for the moment, at least, Katarina was still alive to see it. She smiled.

Every sunrise was a blessing. And the men standing, armed, just behind her, they narrowed the focus of the day. All she had to do now was make it to sunset.
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
January by the numbers continues~
From [personal profile] anke's prompt "glitter;" another apocalypse story.
.

There were big things and small things that Gemma missed.

She tried to focus on the big things most of the time: reliable food, heat, running water, electricity. Medical care, drugs. Those were the things that were going to keep her alive, keep them alive. Those were the things that required all of her energy, that first six months.

Shelter, even. Shelter wasn't as hard as the other ones, because there were still intact buildings, but then you had to protect your mostly-intact building from everything, and everything was a much longer list of threats now than it had been six months ago, a year ago.

Food, same thing - you could find canned goods, preserved goods, but eventually, all of that was gone or gone bad. Same thing for drugs, and when they found a doctor they guarded her with their lives. Running water, electricity, those were the hardest, and those were the least important, at least in the short run.

But when she went to sleep at night, Gemma missed clean, bright colors, frivolous painting, swishy skirts. She missed glitter, and giving someone a card just because you could. She missed decorative clothing — light sundresses and bright-colored t-shirts and mismatched socks on purpose, not because your feet were freezing.

She had not been one of the magi before the world cracked. She had heard of them, the way you hear about CEO’s, Fortune-500 sorts of people, but magic was for the 1 percent, the super-important. She’d been a barista.

Now, though. 90 percent of the surviving population had something — a piece of a broken city they carried, a cracked charm, a wound that held some small fragment of magic. And in her own fragment, Gemma held light and heat, sunshine in a hand that no longer worked well otherwise, pierced by a piece of rebar.

Late at night, when she had done all she could towards their survival for the day, Gemma would sit up in her bed and aim her magic hand at the wall. She’d focus, thinking about candy hearts and ribbons, Hallmark cards and picnics, and she would project the tiniest little lights onto the wall: Glitter. It sparkled and shone and danced on the walls, and, for a few minutes, Gemma barely even missed running water and espresso machines.

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