Thursday, 26 February 2009 - 4:49 pm


The burned area seemed to stretch on so far that we were wondering if we would ever reach the end of it. Yesterday, I walked with Dillon and had to stop myself from asking how close we were to his house. He was afraid of what he might find in it, but I was starting to be afraid that we wouldn’t find it at all. It must have been one hell of a fire, burning for days to get through all of this.

It was late yesterday afternoon when we finally stepped out of it. I felt like Dorothy stumbling out of her broken monochrome house into a strange, technicolour land. Except that there were no happy little people hiding in the flowers, and no shiny witch to tell us to be glad we just killed someone. There was no bright cheeriness and golden paving to welcome us. There was brown dirt, scoured wires, grey concrete, and houses with walls faded and stained by the rain.

I miss blue. Real, deep, easy-breathing blue. The orange in the sky taints the sunlight so that everything has that streetlamp feel to it. That slightly unwell feeling, that feeling that someone would turn on a proper white light so that we could see properly. Sometimes I want to rub my eyes and clear the film from them, but there’s no film there. This is the sun we have now.

I miss green, too. The real green of leaves and living things, not the sickly greens that the rain leaves behind sometimes. I found a vest that colour and I’ve been wearing it since. It doesn’t fill in the pots that used to be a home to growing plants, or the garden beds, or the bare lawns, or the fields. But it helps me to remember what’s missing from the world around us.

That’s all we really have left of it now. Ben’s red shirt, Matt’s blue jeans. Dillon’s yellow cap, Nugget’s purple cardigan. Thorpe’s orange vest. The bits of brightness that we find in the wreckage and bring with us.


We found a stretch of road and a shiny red 4×4 this morning. We got it going, and that felt good. Our dusty, ashy boots can have a rest. We made good time, and we’re very close to Dillon’s place now. We would have pushed on, but the rain came earlier than expected, so we took refuge in a garage. We’ll get there tomorrow.