Copyright 2011 Paul Hawkins
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Note from the author: This story came into my head almost completely whole upon waking. The only thing I can remember of the day before was that I had been trying to reread Piers Plowman.
The country had long since been ravaged by depression and by the asymmetrical attacks, we were told, of an unseen enemy. I had not worked for some time; no one I knew had.
I was riding my bicycle along the shoulder of a rural road not much used by anyone. It was high arid country, almost desert, but the temperature was pleasant. To survive, I scavenged. Sometimes, that is. If I saw something along the road that looked resellable, and it was already discarded, I took it.