futuristic world where it is every man for himself
As he moved from one ravished building to the next he probed for signs of life or things to improve his own meagre existence. This is the way it had been since the War.
To his right he noticed an opening that led downward. He stepped over the rubble and down the steps to where they ended in a long corridor. The water dripped form the ceiling of the corridor to the puddles on the tile floor making sounds like rain which were intensified by the hollowness. The lone beam of light illuminated the dark, damp passage showing a vermin crouching in the corner of the wetness. It scurried away into the darkness. The air was dank and thick with the humidity caused by the water everywhere. The smell was that of decaying and decomposing vegetable matter.
The crouching man moved slowly, stepping cautiously over the debris and puddles. He moved his rifle along with the light in a slow deliberate manner. It was best to be cautious. No telling what or who could be lurking in here now.
He remembered when these corridors were very different. When they were clean and polished. Then they teemed with life, with busy commuters, rushing to catch their train, their passage to home or work. But that was before. Now it was just another ruin. A ruin to be searched for anything of value, anything that would help sustain his life.
He vaguely remembered that there were some vending machines in the main concourse. He hoped that they were still there and untouched. Gum, candy bars, chips and hope to God even cigarettes. How long it had been since he had a cigarette with real tobacco.
He crouched lower as he came to a corner. Better to be safe. To make himself as small as possible a target. As he crept around the corner gingerly he sighed in relief. It was safe for there was no apparent threat in sight. The temperature here was much lower here than above in the oppressive heat caused by the glaring sun. Somebody had told me that the ozone layer had been destroyed by the war that was why the sun even hotter than before.
Whatever, it was cool enough here. Compared to outside it was almost cold.
Wait. What was that. He heard a noise over there just beyond the light. He inched closer. A little closer. There it was. He was relieved that it was only a door swinging back and forth. He felt relieved and stood up from his crouch. It was in that moment that he asked himself: Why didn't he hear the door swinging before? Why was it swinging now? Those were his very last thoughts. Suddenly there was bright light and intense pain in the back of his head. He reeled falling to the wet floor where he died.
Word count 480