A beam of pinkish-blue white light seemed to sear through a hole in the aging, crinkly newspaper covering the windows. A bright, razor-straight beam of off-color dawn light sliced across the cigarette smogged room.
Dexi lay on a half deflated blue air mattress in the corner of the room, resting her head on top of a crusty pillow. The still of the early morning silence was broken by the repetitive, violent wail of a child somewhere on their level. The wailing was accompanied by the loud mumbling of an adult, possibly in a foreign language, but too distant and drowned-out to tell for sure.
She tried forcing her eyes to stay closed, tried forcing sleep, but there was far too much noise both inside her mind and out. She had tried everything, even counting backwards from a hundred.
In frustration she sat up, accepting finally the fact that she had gone another virtually sleepless night. Brushing her mid-length blonde and black-streaked hair out from in front of her foggy blue eyes, Dexi crawled across the floor to peer out the window at the dawning of a new wretched day.
Fifteen stories up, she had a decent view of the turmoil around them. Clouds of thick black smoke rose in poisoned wool spirals to the off-color, phosphorescent sky. Fires seemed to burn all hours of the day and night, most likely set by looters or squat fires left unattended. Or perhaps some were the remnants of another head-in-the-oven suicide. Or another family blown to bits.
She looked through the haze to the ground below. Lots of bodies, probably victims of the N.E.C.R.O. and each other. She wondered what it would be like out there. Not safe, not with all the rotting bodies. The stench could be noticed seeping in through the drafty window, the air outside a veritable poison of post-death stinkflesh.
The smell will bring more rats. More worms will slither up from the sewers. The perfect death fertilizer of the two- and three-body-deep corpses will grow new vines from the seeds shat out by the rats.
The Vines. Supposedly they were some sort of nightshade-ivy, crossbred by the government to grow more tomatoes. Truth was, no one really knew where they came from. Strange, emerald green vegetation that one day innocuously began to sprout up from beneath the streets and sidewalks, exploding unexpectedly into basements and buildings, houses and businesses. Thick, sturdy stalks covered with straight, sharp, pin-fine hairs.
When fully blossomed they became large, beautifully vulvic and colorful flowers. An alluring, synthetic vaginal musk pheromone in the nectar drew the curiously horny and unsuspecting (usually men) to their own demise. The powerful scent of the pussy plant inadvertently causing a horny death of carnally carnivorous proportions.
Every time Dexi had thought about the vag-vines she smiled to herself. It was just about all that made her smile. There wasn’t really much to smile about anymore.
She looked over at her exhausted roommates. They were off in the blank, euphoric slumber of narco-land. She wished she could attain the same level of sleep and comfort with her own drug abuse, but there was too much else on her mind. It kept the horny of her usually over-amped sex drive away, but that was about it. There was no more comfort in anything.
Right now she was worried about supplies, knowing they were beyond limited: food, drugs, and patience all on empty.