thefistoffury1

Packrat - a short TLD story

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She was amazed at the beautiful color palette of the morning sky. Yellows, whites and  reds against the ever lighter blue sky. Beautiful, she felt, even though most of the red was blood in her eyes.

 

Sally always knew it's best to be prepared for every occation. She took the time to research and buy a high quality satchel and to keep herself well fed to be at top shape.One last check before entering Bleak inlet. Weighing just under 40 kgs (88 pounds) and with the warmest clothing on Great Bear, she checked her kinetic energy powered watch. Two hours before sunrise, time to go.

The weather was cold but clear, a pack of 5 timberwolves visibly roaming on the opposite side of the long bridge. Sally had enough tools to fight off ten times that, she thought smugly. A revolver, rifle and distress pistol, over 150 rounds total. Around the midpoint of the bridge, she stopped to look over the left side and to admire how her high-end backpack sealed all scent that might attract wolves to her meat supply. It was an expensive item to buy, make no mistake. For what felt like a few minutes (but actually few seconds) her mind wandered on what the cute salesman sold her on. Combination locked, shock and fire proof, with all sorts of pockets and pouches. A premium compass, LifeStraw, a satellite phone and a multitool pocket knife. The shoulder straps were a bit too thin for the weight, but what the hell. The sun was starting to shine on the floor of the bridge now, all that snow melting -and freezing again- into frictionless patches of ice. It was time to stop admiring her expensive investment, and proceed to tackle the timberwolves.  Sally prepared the rifle and revolver, attaching them to the hooks outside the pack, on her left. Half a dozen marine flares, too. She was the alpha, she said to herself. Even in this quiet apocalypse, the wolves weren't going to defeat her ingenuity. She proved herself right as she slipped and fell over the ledge.

All the weight, and the uneven placement of the weapons on her left shoulder made it too quick to comprehend. Suspended above a seriously high drop by her backpack, Sally panicked as she looked up. The separation between the first and second half of the railing held her backpack in place. Her own life depending on the shoulder straps, she knew what would happen next, as she weighed more than it did. As the straps snapped from the weight, she wondered what could have happened if she had a lighter load. Did she really need to go full packrat and carry 20 purification tablets or 3 bottles of antiseptic? Nothing can change now. The end of the fall made her eyes go black.

They opened up again, all numb and bloody. It was odd, she felt. There was no pain, or at least that was because she couldn't feel her body anymore. Her head was suddenly looking up now. She was amazed at the beautiful color palette of the morning sky. Yellows, whites and  reds against the ever lighter blue sky. Beautiful, she felt, even though most of the red was blood in her eyes. The abundant number of water bottles started to shift position in her pack, changing its shape and shifting its center of mass down.

Sally chose to close her eyes in that moment. She wasn't dead yet or even feeling sleepy, but she couldn't bear the shame of how she would die. She heard the backpack dislodge from the railing. She worried about the feared timberwolves so much, and they seemed to be ignoring her, almost making fun of her for doing their job for them so clumsily. And the crushing weight? Would she even feel it? What if she did? Would the pain wake her up again, make her open her eyes again?

 

Sally was not a hoarder, but she was always carrying too much. And that sealed her fate.

She, like others, faded into the Long Dark.

 

 

 

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On 1/2/2020 at 6:32 AM, ThePancakeLady said:

I enjoyed reading this. Thank you. :) 

You're welcome! I am in no way a great or even good writer but it makes me feel great to see anyone enjoy this little story! The execution was not as great as the concept, but the essential feeling is still displayed. That feeling of being prepared that has made every TLD player cocky at some point, and we have all paid the price :D

Thanks again for your comment!

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