I've been away from this place for a long time. Missed it. A lot. I took my inspiration from the picture, and of course, I twisted it to my personal bent for the bizarre.
Image courtesy of Unsplash
The swing creaked in mock protest as she eased her slight frame into the cushions. The soft breeze of a late summer's afternoon tickled the collection of wind chimes hung around the edges of the porch roof.
Contentment painted her face as she listened to the gentle wind-song. Another day's chores completed. Her garden weeded, and watered from rain barrels. The first of the season's berries picked, cleaned, canned. Herbs, both domesticated and wild, carefully picked and hung to dry.
Her man had found a few stray chickens and goats on his last outing. Their farmsteads deserted, just like her neighbors' homes. Nature was quickly reclaiming the abandoned backyards, tough grasses were already breaking up asphalt streets.
The community park down the road now hosted a bee tree, a thing that would have been discouraged if children still played there. She'd already begun to plan a raid for the honey.
They'd been lucky, the plague had missed them... The small town that used to exist around them hadn't been of interest to the inevitable looters and gangs of displaced teens with no idea how to fend for themselves. Those not killed by sickness moved on to easier pickings.
It was hard at first, no electric, no running water. No Internet search to answer the many questions. But, they'd stuck it out, relying on the few books they could find. Learning by doing, trial and error, and half forgotten stories of grandparents.
The swing moved lazily, her eyes drooped with the early evening heat. The gentle music of the chimes lulling her to sleep.
A raucous whoop and the unmistakable sound of a gas engine jolted her out of her comfort. A smooth, easy reach brought the shotgun to her lap.
"Woman! Looky what I found! An' guess what? It ain't that far to a real town, we can move to a place where they got water an' at least part time 'lectricity! We ain't gotta live like this no more." He turned to reach into the pack of the two-wheeler.
While his back was turned, she aimed for the body. She fired without hesitation.
"Damn," she muttered, "gotta find another'n."