|The Memory of Light
Ash, like snowflakes, always drifted from the dim, gray sky, unceasing in its attempt to bury all beneath it. The world had become gray, colourless and dull, dead. There was no movement to be seen, not a breath of wind, no hint of any living things. The land was dim and cold, the sun obscured by those clouds of ash high in the sky. But no rain came from these clouds, only flakes of ash, so the air was dry. Time seemed to stand still in this desolate land, a land of gray.
The man with a knife watched his surroundings intently, looking for any movement when he knew there would be none. But still, in this land you needed to be careful. Careless people died, although there weren’t many of those left in this world. Their bodies lay under a cover of ever growing ash, untouched by even scavengers, for everything was dead. Nothing was left, except for the man with a knife. Eyes never blinking, knife always in hand, he moved through the trees, always watching.
He didn’t consider himself a survivor, survivors were actually alive. No, he considered himself a man long dead, but just one who hadn’t realised it yet. He knew not why he continued on, nor where he was going. He no longer pondered these questions, why he was alive, or when he would die. He only watched with unblinking eyes, watching for a hint of movement, for colour.
Suddenly he noticed something. A change. But he couldn’t decide what it was. Everything seemed, different. Easier to see. Brighter. Slowly, carefully, he looked up to the sky, and blinked. He saw the ash cloud clear, and what was behind it. How long had it been since he last gazed upon that brilliant ball of light? A year? Ten? It was a magnificent sight, and the he drank in the sunlight like a man dying of thirst.
He felt, alive. More alive than ever. Maybe this is what he lived for, those glimpses at the sun, at a past long gone and forgotten. Then just as suddenly it was gone, behind the clouds of ash once more. The man saw movement, and as quick as a viper threw his knife at it. A hare, dinner for tonight. The memory of light already fading from his mind, he carefully walked to collect the hare, always watching, never blinking.