Jem, Miri and Kat

The boy was cold.

The cold was aching. The end of his nose was cold and it burned in his nostrils and his face. He tipped his head back, and the cloth covering fell away – partially away from his face. He saw the blackened wasteland of shattered concrete and twisted, rusted steel, lightly covered in snow, with the twisted wreckage of a civilization scattered among it.

"Jem?"

There was a small voice coming from beside him, alongside the wall, in a part of the pile of trash that seemed to be warmer.

"Jem?" said the voice again. "I got to go pee."

"OK." He said. His head was throbbing. Why was his head throbbing so badly? He gripped – what was he gripping so tightly as he sat with his back against this shattered wall? – he realized that he was holding a rifle – an "assault rifle" – and what was that? – But his head hurt too hard for him to figure out why he was sitting in this pile of trash, in this cold wasteland of a shattered city.

The little girl attached to the voice crawled out of the pile – and quite the grimy, ragged little girl she was, but with a cute smile, and she said, "I'll just go behind this wall, like last night." And she carefully went to the wall, peering around it, and up, apparently smart enough, and careful enough to watch for – something? – Something that Jem could not remember - something that he carried this rifle to protect them against.

Jem sat with his head against the wall, as waves of throbbing pain moved through his head, through his body. The only good thing was that the pain was hot, and his body was cold, and it felt good when the hot pain moved into his arms and legs, and the cold moved into his brain. He wished that the cold and the heat would even out, and maybe he could feel right. He felt a bit of heat that did not hurt, and he realized that there was someone else in the pile of trash with him.

And then it moved, and he felt the deep rumbling purr, and the furry body, as it crawled onto his chest. It was a large cat, 30 pounds or more, coal black with dark green eyes and a deep purr that sounded like distant thunder. As the cat crawled onto his body, Jem felt the headache pain recede. As it laid his head near his chin, Jem looked into his eyes and could hear his thoughts. "Good morning Jem. I caught some rats. Could you build a fire and cook them for us?"

Authors note; Some people write stories. Me – it's more like there's a crosstime scanner in my head, and these odd things cross time and space to talk to me – and I need to write them down, or they really mess with me.

But – this bit came to me, forcefully…and I have not heard anything more from them for awhile. I'm just posting it for your own thoughts and commentary.