[Was written for a prompt stating “Write a story that starts with It was three days before they found the body…“]
by Laila Blake
It was three days before the bodies were found. Found, like so many empty cereal boxes or milk cartons, strewn in a corner of the abandoned gas station. Like the empty soda cans, they were covered in a thin layer of hoarfrost, silently glittering in the eerie morning light. Like the candy wrappers, the soiled and rusted refrigerator, like the shards of broken glass splattered around most of the floor, they didn’t much interest the travellers. They had seen dead bodies before, too many to care.
“Not a bloody thing in here,” a voice said with a sigh, eyes averted from the silent tragedy told in the corner, ice-cristals on the woman’s eye-lashes, staring out into the distance blindly. Nobody had been there to close them for her.
“Wanna go through that?” A second voice, gruffer, and both travellers looked at the abandoned backpack: tatty and threadbare in places, it looked mostly empty. It was obvious why. Clothes and blankets had all been wrapped around the frozen bodies to try and ward off the cold.
“Wouldn’t touch it,” the first voice replied with a shrug, “Might still be contageous.” The disgust was obvious and both travellers took a few steps back from the scene, glass crunching under their heavy boots.
“There’s nothing here.”
Shrugs were exchanged and a careless glance thrown at the pair. Their eyes didn’t see a dead mother and her child, they saw two corpses who had likely squandered the last supplies found in the damn place only to die after all.
A waste, nothing more.