The Unilever Series: Dominique Gonzales Foerster - TH.2058


The survivors

By Claire Godden Rowland


The world can be such a cruel place these days, and who can blame it after how we have treated it, throwing its hospitality in its face like the ungrateful lodgers we are. Every thing has its place, everything its time and I think perhaps the world is done with us and our conceit.

There we all sit, the rain has stopped so the drips so no longer infiltrate this shell of a building, broken and decaying; like civilization. A fire burns at its centre, the smell of cooking meat and herbs drift up in its ghostly fumes, escaping through the cracks above our heads into the blackness beyond. 

I pull my rags about me and I should shiver but I don’t. There is so little warmth, so little comfort in these barren times, living in the husk of an earth we have shaped. I’m not cold tonight, not on this bitter night with its crystal full moon and its star speckled sky. I can hear the sounds of the people talking, some even laughing around this fire but they do not penetrate my conscience, they are far away to me. This night there is warmth in my belly as I crouch in the ruins of humanity because tonight he is here; the man with the presence, the man who brings light to my never ending darkness. I watch him through the dancing orange flames and I wonder if he sees me, if he awakens at the sight of me the way I do him. 

Cats wail and call to each other from other ruins of what was once London and now, once more, belongs to nature: The cats, the survivors, the prosperous, they are unaffected by the wars, by the global decay. They take our remains, they become our food and they keep the rats at bay. We could not survive without the cats but they would barely notice our absence, as they stalk the crumbling remains we had once thought so impervious. 

I feel the heat in side myself, the yearning in my loins as I watch him, his face illuminated in the dancing orange flames. In my mind I run my fingers over the lines that creep from his eyes when he smiles, the movement of his lips and I imagine the smell of him.

I know he is promised to another tribe as an act of peace. For that is what we are now, we are tribal survivors of the global holocaust, and we cling to those closest to us like addicts. We fight each other, we squabble over broken buildings and ruins and then we make peace treaties. The man was to marry a girl from an east end tribe, cementing peace between the east and the western tribes. 

From beneath my ragged hood I watched his lips as he spoke, the words lost in the distance between us and I wondered if, when he was with his bride, he would think of me. Would he think of the warmth, the salvation I could offer? When she scratched his back and arched toward him as he entered her, would he, for just the briefest moment allow me into the darker, undeclared parts of his brain? Would he push inside her with a fierceness drawn from her inability to ever be me, a fervour clashing with violent hunger?

I drank deeply, and briefly wondered at this life we all clung to. Our homes were destroyed, our families gone and yet still we drank. Perhaps that is why, what else is there to do in these cold times we brought upon ourselves except drink and devour each other? What other salvation can this broken place offer us, how else could we satisfy the ever starving ID during this fast?

I watched him then and he caught my eye and I felt an awakening between my legs as his eyes bore into me. I wanted him to bend me forward and hurt me as he entered, I wanted to hear his feral grunting in my ear and I wanted to be lost in that moment forever. But he never could, and I never would and because of that humanity would continue to perish and wither. Because no one reached to each other, no one shared that moment of blissful oblivion. Humanity, mankind, the wars and the violence has brought us here, to 2058, and now we cannot be saved, we are lost.

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4 Responses to “The survivors”
  1. Ani Says:

    A splendid bit of banter, thoroughly enjoyed your writing!

  2. salena godden Says:

    awesome! you rock! sxxx

  3. Nick Graves Says:

    very impressive! x

  4. steve rowland Says:

    Fantastic, I think so !!!