Proof of life
It had been years since his eyes had seen sunlight. He squinted as his pupils adjusted to the bright light. Once able to focus, he realised the devastation. The world was a wasteland, dry and dusty. As far as he could see in any direction, it appeared that he was the most living thing, and he was barely living. He’d only ventured outside because there was nothing left. His shelter was empty, and he was fucked either way; stay inside and starve, or venture out into the unknown and see what still existed. He was now questioning if he should rather have stayed in bed.
There was no noise, no signs of life. the dusty street leading to his bunker had long been reclaimed by nature, or what little remained of it after the blast. In isolation, he’d forged a meagre existence, following a functional routine everyday with the sole intent of survival. Breaking that routine had taken courage. As he’d broken the seal on the hatch, he had breathed fresh air for the first time in years, which was a relief, as he had no way of telling if the air outside was breathable. Opening that hatch meant stepping out into the dangerous real world again, somewhere he hadn’t been in years. While scary, he was excited to get out there again.
This was it! The first step. His boot crunched in the gravel as he stepped off the concrete platform. It felt earthy and natural. He looked up at the pale blue sky. He looked at the horizon in every direction. Then he felt something welling up inside him. It started in his belly, and worked its way up his throat. It was a foreign feeling that he soon recognised, opening his mouth to let it escape. “HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” he shouted. Not at anyone in particular, but more as proof that he was still alive. It echoed all around him in the windy silence.
There Dave stood, in the barren wasteland that was once his home, proving to himself and anyone who may still be out there, that he was still alive. In the days and weeks to come, Dave would prove to himself that there was more to life than the little hidey-hole that he’d called home. He took another step, and with that, started the journey back to civilasation, he’d proved to anyone watching that he was still alive.