Race the Date – week 5

Prompt: http://www.caramichaels.com/defiantlyliterate/2013/12/02/race-the-date-5/

I pried open the blankets covering the windows and shivered at the sight of the frost on the glass. It hadn’t gotten above freezing out there in more years than I could remember, and houses in New Orleans weren’t built for eternal winter. I’d done the best I could, but it was a losing battle. The only thing that had kept me alive was that the war had killed so many people that those of us were still left had access to a seemingly endless supply of frozen goods. But it was colder this year than last, and the cloud of fallout wasn’t getting any thinner.

Scraping off the frost, I caught sight of what had been making the noise that drew me to the window. Wading through the waist-deep snow was a young woman, not nearly dressed warmly enough for the weather, carrying a screaming child in her arms. They weren’t going to get much further if they didn’t get inside, and there weren’t any houses with anything resembling heat other than mine in the neighborhood. I stood as still as I could, afraid that any movement might draw her attention.

The light was fading, but it was still bright enough to see her drop to her knees, and then fall over. The child she had been carrying feel into a drift, and it was too small to get up. I could still hear its cries, although they were thin and reedy in the wind. There was no movement from the snow, and by the time it was fully dark, the street was silent again. I’d go outside tomorrow and retrieve their bodies. It was getting so hard to find food.

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