It's raining. It's never a good day when it starts with rain.

I crawl out of the hole I'm not so very pleased to call my home, and I start perambulating. And like I mentioned earlier, it doesn't turn out to be a good day. My long, tattered coat drags through puddles of God knows what and the same substance leaks in through the holes in my shoes, but I can't get new ones. These days, no one can. The usually stentorian boys that live close to me are silent. Eerily silent. I never liked them, but I can feel the void in my stomach start to grow. Suddenly I have to get out of here. I look around for other familiar faces that would usually be around, scavenging for food, or what passes for food these days. I don't think I've seen a chicken in years.

The pitter-patter gets to my head, and I can't shake the feeling I'm being followed. I walk quicker, even though I'm telling myself that letting myself believe something's wrong will make things even worse; I should just stroll down the street like I do every day. When I reach the tunnel that's usually bubbling with social activity for those of us who actually have friends, I realize, there's no one here. I nervously call out. Nothing but an echo responds. I feel like I'm about to fall down as I walk farther down through the tunnel, and if it wasn't for the brown, viscus liquid muddying the ground, I probably would. Squelching. I can only hear the squelching of my saturated boots. I can remember when we talked about saturation and solutions in chemistry. It feels like a lifetime ago. It was, I guess

I haven't been on the other side of this tunnel since the invasion, no one has been allowed, but today, the gate is wide open.

Damn the rain.

For some mindless reason, I feel that some deep breaths will prepare me for what I hoped I wasn't about to see when I stepped beyond the gate. They won't, and the more I tell myself that, the more I breathe. I breathe til I'm dizzy, but I don't fall down. Squelch, again, as I take some more steps. Squelch. It won't stop. With each step I grow more frightened. Over the years, I had forgotten what fear felt like.

That when I smell it.

That's when I smell the unmistakeable scent of burning bodies. The odor that plagued my nightmares of this ravaged world after the first few weeks of the invasion. It took me months to get over that. I breathe in all the courage I can, almost chocking on the smoke, now so visible I can't believe I didn't see it rising above the once beautiful buildings earlier.

That's when I see it.

And I can't stop seeing it. I don't recognize any of the faces because most of them are burned beyond recognition. It's only when I trip on a bony, charred limb I realize I'm not alone. I turn around, cautiously at first, wondering if pretending nothing's wrong will solve my problems. Then, just as I'm about to release a piercing scream. I see it.

That's when it all goes dark.