Sunday, 27 August 2017

The Epicormic Zone

The bombs were pregnant with flame-resistant seed, designed to bloom under conditions of intense heat. After the inferno came the season of regrowth. Roots bored through shattered concrete to find purchase in soil. Flowers strangled the ruined city. They do not bear fruit - the refugees go hungry.

Encounters
  1. Aristocrats of the old regime distracting themselves from hunger with an orgy.
  2. Bee witch. Stooped beneath the weight of the hives mounted on her back.
  3. Man dressed as superhero looking for pound of hidden hashish.
  4. Children riding a friendly elephant, looking for her husband.
  5. Policeman disguised as scarecrow. Follows you around, freezes if spotted.
  6. Pruners with secateurs and dried-ear necklaces trying to make everything less confusing.
  7. Swarm of startled bats with tiny bombs attached to their collars.
  8. Rubble-clearing slaves overseen by fat man with flammenwerfer.
  9. Wild police dogs. Feral and starving but will obey anyone in a helmet.
  10. Garlanded pagans seeking volunteers to be sacrificed. Men have hammers, women sickles.
Locations
  1. Crashed B-52 with skeleton in cockpit, unexploded bombs still in hold.
  2. Refugee camp in underground train station. Entrance marked by flowers.
  3. Observation balloon. Ivy climbs the ropes that tether it to the ground.
  4. Concert hall. Still set with stage decorations for patriotic opera.
  5. Old re-education school for children orphaned by the police.
  6. Rail-mounted supercannon. Bouquet sprouts from barrel.
  7. Penguin exhibit in empty zoo. White concrete and stagnant water.
  8. Police station. Prisoner in darkest cell unsure if war's over.
  9. High-domed cathedral, adopted as a sanctuary by small birds.
  10. War minister's private bunker. Maps glued to every surface.
Treasures
  1. Forty cans of beans. No can opener.
  2. Wheelbarrow full of pre-war cash.
  3. Automatic pistol. Jams one shot in three.
  4. Gimp suit made from mystery plastic.
  5. Damaged reels of short slapstick film.
  6. Kazoo that controls bees with coded buzzing.
  7. Subcritical lump of enriched uranium-235.
  8. Box of lead soldiers, tiny brushes, paints.
  9. 144 D-ration bars of bitter chocolate.
  10. Glass tube of methamphetamine pills.

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