Fallout Dreams: 5) Entering the Wasteland.

I did it, I really did it.

It took all my strength to build up to just look at the control panel. The moment I made the decision to go and look, to actually make an effort to go outside, I began to panic. Wondering just what might be out there, but how could I know, I don’t even know who I am, what my name is, anything about why I am here, and given that, of course I would have no idea what to expect.

The panel was yellow, some faded lights on it, in a semi circle, and a lever to push across, one said locked, next unlock, then open and then the rest was worn away. It’s like a lot of what I have seen here, not much dust, but everything seems dulled by time, worn away.

How long have I been in here?

I overcame my sickly feeling, I had to, because deep down I know this place is a dead end, that if I don’t get out, I’ll either starve to death or from thirst, or complete madness.

The lever was stiff, but I got it to work, and then this incredible racket, a maddening noise, screeching metal against metal, so loud my ears felt like they would bleed. This large wheel of a door, began to turn, bits of dirt and debris built up clearly over a very long time, years, could it be decades? I was so eager to see, so curious, waiting like the cat to be killed, but by what?

It did stop eventually, thankfully. And again silence descended upon me, like a blanket dropping across my face, reminding me how alone I am. I can feel the loneliness, almost taste it, like sour cream and bitter honey.

Down beyond this great rusting door is a cave like tunnel, leading to a simple wooden door. I have stood here, marveling at how brave I am, at opening a door, and yet I haven’t taken a step since.

As I walk, I can see odd things growing in the cave walls; water runs down, like a vertical stream, and out of this water grows strange green things, like tendrils of moss, given strength to move away from itself, reaching out as if it might grab its prey at any moment. It doesn’t of course, it just sits there, but how unusual it is to see.

This wooden door, this final place of safety. Will I open it and be engulfed in some kind of storm, or will a bizarre looking creature be sitting on the other side, waiting for me?

As I open the door, it creaks, not like the screeching metal of before, but quietly, like an old tree warning of a coming storm. Again dust drops to the ground, a reminder of its age; my age.

I push the door out and step through, and I am blinded by the bright sunshine, its warmth papering my skin, and I can breath in truly rich air again, enjoy its splendor, literally wash away my dread and foreboding.

As my eyes adjust, I look out onto what I imagine to be a new heaven, a place where I may one day find a home. It is a desert, rocks, sand, miles of it.

I drop to my knees, wondering what I will find in the time to come. I am haunted by the fear of it.

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