The Prompt for this story is from storyaday.org, by Julie Duffy. Inspired by lyrics from the song Doolin-Dalton, by The Eagles, as quoted within the story. I wasn’t familiar with this song before I got the prompt, so the only influence I had for my story were the two lines. I almost didn’t make it with this story today; as it is it’s quite short, but I hope it still manages to elicit something from readers…
There’s something appallingly beautiful about the sight of the post-nuclear landscape. If it weren’t for the skeletons of squat buildings dotting the scene, one could imagine themself on Mars.
Ah, Mars… We were so close.
I adjust my mask, and Ruben steps up behind me, his boots crunching the gravel. “The towns lay out across the dusty plains, like graveyards filled with tombstones waiting for the names…”
“Poetry?” I raise my eyebrows, though I know he can’t see them clearly behind my sun visor.
“Song lyrics,” he replies. “What I wouldn’t give for a guitar right now.”
“Maybe we’ll find one in one of those houses. Come on,” I say, hoping my voice doesn’t sound as weary as my heart. I wonder what we’ll find; I dread encountering the bodies– scores of bodies, from those who never made it to the shelters.
Maybe they were the lucky ones after all. They have their rest. We have a bleak and torture-laden future. But Ruben has the right idea, and I cling to it as the one bright spot on this gray stage. A guitar, a guitar. My kingdom for a guitar.
I laugh, and dance the electric slide all the way down the hill.