wormwood, pt. 36

Getting there.

Rosalind had made a few decisions before calling Winston. The first was that she would not wait here forever--the second was that she would get out of the city even after he showed up. Nicole had stopped playing and was simply sitting on the hood, watching the horizon, saying nothing. This was up to her, whatever else happened. The more she thought, the more she hated the idea of the boat--it was a trap. She'd have nowhere to explore, and when things went bad, nowhere to run. And she didn't trust Winston's assessment of the situation.

So she told him he had two hours. This was before a meteor fell from the sky and crashed just ahead. The impact toppled a building that had miraculously still been standing since the earthquake. "Gotta go," she told him, and hung up the phone.

Nicole was already on her feet by the time Rosalind ran up to her. "Fuck, what was that?"

Rosalind shrugged. "I think stars falling from the sky are traditional in the end times. So, new plan. Forget Winston. We find shelter--and I know just where. Take everything you can carry, and we run for it. The car's just asking for trouble."

They loaded up everything they could carry and ran through the streets. They found shelter in a transit tunnel, settled down in the dark down there, and listened to the silence. The trains had long stopped running, and these tunnels were just lying empty now.

"What are we going to do now, Rose? There's nothing down here."

"Maybe we can rebuild civilization together?"

Nicole snorted. "I'm not sure that's how it works."

"Well, this is as safe as we'll get in this city. And we can follow the tracks out of the city well enough. We're bound to find a better place out of this pit."

"Yes, but what are we doing right now? Telling knock-knock jokes?"

"Do you have any good ones?"

"No. But I have this bottle of absinthe. Clean, sober living hasn't been doing me any favors lately, so I think I'm going to stop that."

"I knew I kept you around for a reason. Ah, my kingdom for an absinthe spoon."

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