wormwood, pt. 37

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter while the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue sky?

Winston made a decision when he saw the smoking crater outside. He decided that there was nothing that would make him decide to sit on a boat in the middle of the ocean while the stars were falling from the sky--although, he corrected himself, they weren't actual stars, it was probably just a freak meteor storm. That kind of thing must happen sometimes.

He tried calling Rosalind, but her phone didn't even ring. He decided that she was probably dead, along with Nicole. He decided that he would stay here. When he announced this to his companions, they did not welcome the news.

"Are you crazy, kid? This city's falling to bits. We need to get out of here."

"And hope that was the only meteor falling tonight?"

The man hesitated. "I'd rather be outside than in when they fall. Buried alive is no way to go. And you can see 'em coming."

"Then go."

"Not without this." The man hefted the bag of things Winston had been carrying, along with that of himself and his wife. "As compensation for our wasted time."

"Fine! Take it!" He considered calling Rosalind and mentioning that his companions had robbed him--but the phone would still be dead, wouldn't it? She was probably dead still. That took some getting used to. How could that even happen? "If you're boat's even still there," he said quietly.

The man fled. His wife lingered to add, "I hope you make it. You seem like a nice boy." Then she, too, was gone, leaving Winston with his new companions, who were already moving to take shelter in the basement.

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