I’ll be moving on, letting Samat and Tatyana take back the land. Unfamiliar as it might be to them, I envision them stalking through the unharvested fields of corn, catching gophers and stray cats once the meat is gone. Survival of the fittest and the immune. Like the storytellers of old, I’ll be a nomad. Transient. A traveler offering tales in exchange for his supper. Words to stoke the fires of hope. I’ve used this cold machine too much. There is no more life in it. Or the zoo’s generator.
I will find the remnants of humanity, and we will feed one another. We will survive this trial as a grateful people. We will survive to tell our stories to future generations. And so will Samat and Tatyana tell their children. We will come back from extinction in tandem.
I saw Samat today, his dark, intelligent eyes holding mine. A beautiful animal. He has as many plans as I do.
Written by Jeffrey Holmes, MFA – December 3, 2024