She hated sleeping outside. She always woke up with her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth, and her face and clothes covered in ash. She knew what the ash consisted of but anytime she had to brush it off of her clothes she pretended it was from trees. Sometimes her mind drifted to what the ash really consisted of, but the only word she would let in her thought process was that it was organic material. She would leave it at that.
The world was no more. It was a gray place. Cold and devoid of any color and Brant saw her journey ending soon. So, when she saw the light in the early morning dusk, she didn’t believe what she was seeing. It had been almost a year since she’d seen an actual bulb lit up by electricity. It had been almost as long as she’d seen any untouched structure. There was a barn a while ago, she thought, but that was a long time ago. Somehow a small cottage had survived nuclear destruction as did the pine trees around the small structure. And it looked like it still had some juice. Probably got a generator, Brant thought.
She didn’t rush to the house even though the lights looked so warm and inviting. You didn’t do that with people anymore. You especially didn’t do that with cottages that were still standing after everything around it was obliterated. The thought of a witch and a brother and sister came to mind. This was a full-on Grimm’s fairytale. At this point I’d let the old hag cook me in an oven. At least it would be warm for a second, Brant thought.