Paige drew the copper cable along behind her as she stepped off the banks of the Yakima River. The earth beneath her feet was pale brown and dry. She stopped short to untangle the cable from the leafless shrubs that filled the landscape. As she struggled with the branches of the shrubs, her messy brown hair slipped into her eyes. She stood a moment, pulled her hair back, wrapped it into a bun and secured it with a screwdriver from the front pocket of her faded blue-grey boilersuit. In the distance she could see the hills and mountains that once were covered with lush forests, now only forests of rot. The sky was drab, dirty clouds hanging low and spanning from one horizon to another. The comet had changed everything.
It wasn’t one of those events commonly seen in movies where a giant ball of rock strikes the Earth and causes massive ocean waves to crash over cities. This comet had a more subtle method of destruction. Paige had seen it wreak all the havoc one might imagine, without ever touching the planet. As it passed by with a calm disinterest, its wake left humanity in ruin.
Paige looked up toward the foot of the hill a few meters ahead. Her green eyes scanned the base of it for her indolent partner. The hill was covered in brush, much of it brown and lifeless, but some of it showed a hint of green. The hill inclined at a sharp angle and peaked two hundred feet above the river level. From a distance, it looked like any other dry, empty husk of the once green landscape of the valley. However, upon closer inspection, one might notice a pile of litter – empty boxes, broken appliances and other useless junk – about fifty feet from a small entrance to an abandoned mine in the hillside.
“Liam!” Paige called and waited a moment. Nothing stirred. “Hey Liam! Are you gonna sit on your ass all day or what?” Continue reading The Hand of God