Lauren cautiously wandered through the town, gun drawn and eyes scanning the area. The town appeared to be empty, but one could never be too sure, especially in such trying times. But looking around the town, with its broken buildings and melted roads, she highly doubted that anyone would be around. The townspeople had probably been one of the first to flee when the heatwave had come… at least that was the rumours she’d heard about the town. And those rumours were precisely why she’d come to such a terrible place. The towns that had been abandoned earliest were often the best chance of finding food as the residents hadn’t thought to take most of their belongings with them. Lauren always felt guilty going into people’s homes and scavenging through them. They weren’t hers to rummage through, and it was always on her mind about what would happen if the country ever recovered. Would the former residents return to their homes? Or would they just rebuild wherever they had ended up? But those were the questions Lauren had to push from her mind. Right now, she had her own mission to follow.
The quick search of the town revealed it to be empty, so Lauren turned to the nearest house and pushed the door open. Stepping inside the house, Lauren was greeted with a mess. Furniture was upturned, cutlery smashed on the ground, and various other objects thrown around. It looked like someone else had beaten her to the house already. With a sigh, Lauren turned to leave, but stopped as something caught her attention. She stepped through the mess, being careful to not stand on anything that would make a noise. In the corner of the room was an upturned toy box, the toys within scattered about. Like a child had tried to take all of their toys with them but couldn’t. Lauren fought back tears. The house wasn’t a mess because someone had already been by, it was a mess because the family living here had been one of the late leavers. One of the ones that hadn’t believed the heatwave was a threat until it was too late.
Lauren stood up, holding a partially melted plastic toy in her hands. It wouldn’t do her any good to stay and grieve for a family she never knew. Grief wouldn’t help her survive. Children’s toys wouldn’t help her survive. Only food and water would help her survive. And she desperately hoped that the house still had some hidden somewhere. Because she would survive.
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