There's a small stream that runs quietly near my living space. The stream was never there before. It runs thick and lazily, languidly marching to wherever it may end. Ankle deep in most spots it's near impossible to see the bottom. The water can grow hair and it's corrosive contents eat into the earth with wild abandon. Gnawing like some monster, teeth gnashing, drooling poison. The earth seems to cry out in despair. Flailing its arms to the sky, pulling its hair out, tearing at its eyes. This, of course, is a distortion for the earth gave up the fight many years ago.

Along the embankment of this terrible beast, scattered about like bones on some ancient battleground, are the lost. The broken. The remnants of man. Great barrels oozing from cracks the mire and muck of this era. The surrounding mural of land is barren and jagged. Rocks jut from rocky soil like fingers of some escaping titan. Tufts of long grass grow sporadically here and there. It's nature's abortive attempt to reclaim her former glory.

We are the forgotten. The resistance.

The stream bends a little and at this bend a woman is kneeling at the edge. She's crying uncontrollably and staring dolefully into the water. She's searching for something. Her own reflection? A memory? She is dressed in stained rags and her feet are bare. The tears cut the grime on her face as she continues to stare into the black. There is no one around. There is no one close enough to hear her stifled screams as she struggles to hang on after taking a drink from the stream. Her eyes fill with what at first appears to be absolute terror. Had there been anyone around they would of recognized their folly for the appearance of sheer terror was actually one of contentment. All had gone black. She had found her escape. She had found her way out. Kicking like a struggling gazelle in the maw of a lion she grabs her throat as if trying to tear it out. Had there been anyone around they would of seen her eyes bleed. They would of seen her mouth moving in dread but completely unable to utter a word.

The kicking would cease. The birds would stop singing. The stream would go motionless. The woman in rags will lay there and rot in the sun. Nature will claim her and for that I hate nature. Had there been anyone around they would of seen a grown man kneel beside her form and weep. And they would of seen me as I slowly rose and looked east to a heartsick hill which upon the other side lay my shack.

There's a small stream that runs quietly.

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