“Joker and the Thief”

[Estimated reading time: 2 minutes]

[This is a work in progress.]

The world smoulders and burns.
The cracked pavement belches gases from deep below.
The abandoned cars have already burned, but even their old carcases still smoke under the blazing heat.

I spend half an hour in the hills that overlook LA, watching the former metropolis as it crumbles to dust.
Prince looks up at me and meows, for the hundredth time, and I finally give in.
I dribble a few ounces from my canteen and take a swig as well, both of us happy to be hydrating.
Then we set off through the mostly-expressways route that I scoped out.

I put away Prince's bowl, then stoop down and let the little guy jump up onto my shoulder, and we set out.
We stay away from downtown and make our way through Burbank and onward, northwest, to the promise land.

It's quiet, the rumors were true, LA is a dead zone.
The cement jungle offers no reprieve from the end of the world, so no one spends much time here.
My own path leads north, out of the city and into the San Joaquin Valley.

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