[identity profile] lanfykins.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] zg_shadows
In what was left of the cities, the ragged remains of the population haunted the ruins like revenants, half-mad with hunger and fear of the beasts that hunted them. Black and twisted spires flared with green fire, and glowed with the ruddy light of smouldering corpses. These were no Londons. There was no hidden fastness, no beacon of hope. But even here, there was something.

Sometimes, the howling wind would drop. For a moment, the clouds might part enough for a few beams of sunlight that dazzled and bemused eyes that had forgotten they were once human.

Sometimes, the wounded quarry that cowered at bay would hear the hunters led away, and after the snarling and rending had finished they would lift their head cautiously from their arms to hear a cheerful voice shout "Hey, did you get a picture of that?". Sometimes a starving family, forced to creep out from safety to grub around in the stinking middens, would find one of the beasts that had terrorised them lying dead, its body bruised with odd markings that the eldest among them might tremblingly touch as they tried to remember that such markings had once had meaning.

Sometimes, the outcast who lay down under the open sky to die would dream of being tended by hands that were warm and gentle in a world that lacked both gentleness and warmth. And he would wake with the knowledge that things had been better, and could be better, and would be so again.

And sometimes, before they were obliterated in white sound and lightning, the children of hell would come across a tired, diminutive woman and a loud and boisterous thug arguing spiritedly about the practicalities of keeping a kitten.

But that's another story.
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