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  • Charlie Ledbetter

Retirement After An Apocalypse

Updated: May 25, 2021


From Feb. 12, 2014

I woke recalling that I was stranded in an abandoned retirement community whose inhabitants were long gone, lost to some unnamed plague. From the living room of an old apartment I watched outside as tempests swept across a long, lush valley. Tornadoes of differing intensities picked up the green grasses and spun them together in long braids.


Yet there was a certain calm to it.


I noticed that the bathroom door in the apartment was slightly ajar, and I could see the withered mummy hand belonging to the home's previous inhabitant looking as if it had been paused mid-movement and left that way for decades. The wrist held costume jewelry, barely supporting it, as it protruded from the sleeve of a once vibrant floral shirt. Something told me it was alright to go inside, and as I did I watched as the long dead body became animate once more.


She, like a dried and dusty moth, began to move about, and I noticed her features were of a creature part human and part canine, graceful as a toy puppet. Her voice was like wind blowing over dried leaves, and she told me things I don't remember. The overall impression was that it would all be okay in this tempest-fueled world.


She, some strange oracle from another life, said it would all be just fine.

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