My Short Stories

8.

South Africa in Winter.                                Charlie Dimech.

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On going up to my treehouse which I still maintained as a lookout, to think things over on my own I noticed through the upper opening in the east wall, to my surprise, another ship on the horizon. It was still a long way out and as I watched it pass by I reflected that this would perhaps be our last chance to return to civilization., albeit one that hadn't yet been proven or even founded.
 
South Africa, the country that used to exist before the nuclear winter which resulted from the bombing of the previously inhabited places, on whose shore we had eked out our survival; just as remote, just as desolate and just as inhospitable as any uninhabited island could have been, seemed depressing and I for one longed to leave, longed to escape and longed to breathe the free atmosphere of another shore., but one of my choosing or at least chosen for me by friends.
Human voices would replace the bird sounds which delight my soul, or at least soothe it., placate it and comfort it. Human interaction would replace to an extent our interaction with the forces of nature and its laws, harsh and uncompromizing, and they would influence the direction which our actions and thoughts and problem - solving would proceed. It seemed like an ideal and timely change.
 
Cherrinne and I had deepened our relationship after almost seven years of near  total isolation with one another. We placed no impediment in the path of this unity and hence it knew no bounds.  We lived for each other and we  were both afraid of the separation which could occur at any time in such a wild inhospitable place and with so many dangers all about us. Unforseen situations had a habit of always cropping up.
The life here was excessively harsh and although it was alleviated now and then by passing visitors and the provisions they would provide us the future was uncertain.
 
Over the next two days I knew what Cherrinne was thinking as much as what she was saying. ie  her  exuberance of spirit  somehow allowed me to "read" her mind. She was quite shocked at first that I could do this.
Without insisting on her way, she was prepared to go with me with these strangers whom we inexplicably regarded as friends "for..." she said "better or for worse." and we decided to go.
 
The expedition we were to find out later had massive stores. For each family unit  this was the eqivalent of around ten tonnes and for individuals five tonnes.
they valued our experience and our success, regarding it as their "most valued asset" on this journey, that this was our contribution, one of inspiration, to their voyage.
And this they said more than made for our lack of provisions which we left behind what little we had to those heros, those real survivors, who decided to remain with what they knew rather than risk another "experiment", another society, where none, they said, had succeeded beforehand, or at least that was how history looked  through the looking glass of the current times.

9.


"On we sailed.. on into the unknown... on into  mystery...   further into history."