Heaven Below a Scorched Plane

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Chapter 7

At this point I've started considering the bunker as its own universe. Not literally, of course, but it is basically a closed system. The world outside of it might as well not exist. We won't see it either way.

Well, so I say. There's a decent contingent of the community that believes we'll be rescued, that the door will eventually be opened and we'll be welcomed into a sustainable environment. I mean, that's all fine and good, I'm just not sure about it.

I mean, initially we all believed it. When we first entered the bunker and curled up in fear as the rumbles started, we thought our stay here but a transient thing. As the days went on and the rumbles continued, we grew accustomed to it, the constant motion and sound. It was almost reassuring, to know that we were in here for a reason, that our lives were safe. We'd know when the danger was past us, and it'd be safe to return.

No such luck. After what seemed like forever, the rumbles stopped. Some people say it took a whole month, some say two or three, but when the bombardment we'd grown accustomed to ceased, a silence fell over us. Initially, we reacted as we normally did, assuming just a lull in the attack. When the bombs didn't return, a sense of elation spread across the community, such an infectious feeling as to burrow deep inside of you and warm your whole body. We were assured in our return to the surface, it would only be a matter of time.

As time passed, so did that feeling. Common sense found its way into us, nested in our souls. We knew, god we knew. We knew but nobody said anything. Some people kept up the charade, saying it wouldn't be long until the doors opened and society formed again. We just had to be patient. Someday the radiation would subside and we could live as we had before.

I don't want to say it's a pipe dream. Half the time I want to believe it's true, that someday someone from the rescue bunkers will override the lock and open the doors, that it'll open to a world rich with foliage and life. That my house will still be there, and everything can just go back to the way it was before.

But how long will that be? How long until that day, until we can see the sky again?

I think the better question is: How long until the rescue bunkers are opened prematurely, by those impatient to see the world, on the verge of death. How long until they realize the futility of it all and abandon us?

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