Their school was overgrown.
Windows broken, massive plants bursting out the doorways. It wasn’t possible for anyone to go to the upper floors anymore-- the stairs were too broken, too unpredictable. The classrooms still had old maps on their walls, documentation of previous countries and borders.
The lockers had all rusted, weathered away. Some of the locker doors had fallen off, allowing glimpses of the kids who had once gone there. There were still binders, old coffee cups, pictures of friends.
A few lockers still had coats in them. Some people had left before they could grab them.
The cities were massive, gaping wounds. Buildings crumbled, highway overpasses collapsed. Cars stopped to sit in the middle of the road for all eternity. Banks cracked open, useless money left to flutter away.
The air felt worse in the cities, as if it remembered the poison that bled the people who lived there.
Empty houses lingered for miles and miles, nothing more than hollow shells waiting to be scavenged. The roads were green with age, attempting to fade back into the landscape.
Marcy flat out refused to drive by her old house. She said the memories were too strong, even years later.
One of them might pass by a few dogs on their way through the streets, pets that reverted back to their older roots. Feral cats that would stare at you in indignation if you stepped too far into their territory.
Of course, there were other things that started to stare back, as well. Much wilder, less natural things that grew into being after the skies opened up and brought on the apocalypse.
The silence was the most deafening, at first. The lack of electricity and hubbub of life was shocking when they got back home and everything was different. Those things had been there for as long as they were alive.
Of course, there had also been people.
Now everything had a different kind of noise. The wind blew through trees and echoed through buildings before it reached them. Birds sang all morning long, wild animals made their way through the ruins of a civilization. The rain thrummed on rooftops, dripping into puddles.
Without light pollution the stars shone at full force at night, the milky way bright enough to reassure anyone that they were not alone.
But when it got down to it, the Cattlayans were still endangered, and there was only a few of them left. And when they die or disappear to become bedtime stories halfway across the galaxy, life will still continue without them.
WHO LIVES, WHO DIES, WHO TELLS YOUR STORY
this kind of ended on a... weird note
also i may or may not post 3 parts tomorrow. i don't know.