APOCALYPTIC AND DYSTOPIAN TALES
Copyright 2013 Celesta Thiessen
Lilly shoved her green canoe into the underbrush on the riverbank. She patted her thigh, and her golden retriever, Charlie, bounded up beside her. For once in her life, she was glad that traditional agriculture had come to an end. North Dakota used to be almost all farmland. Now the land had gone wild. Very few people lived up here anymore, and those who did, dwelt in the cities and towns along the highway. Travelling by waterway, she had not seen anyone, and she was nearly to the Canadian border.
She heaved her heavy backpack from her shoulders and set it on the leaf-strewn turf. From it, she pulled a hobo stove and a metal cooking pot. She had made the stove herself - a metal pail with a hole on the side near the bottom for air to come through. There had been no rain today. Lilly needed water. She gathered dead sticks, snapped them, and piled them near the stove. As Lilly ripped the bark from some of the sticks and put them in her cooker, she thought back to her life before. It had been her dream to become an actress. She remembered, with great fondness, her high school drama club. Looking out into the darkened audience, without fear, – she knew the part she was to play. She had loved being on the stage. But that was all lost to her now. Using her lighter, she carefully set the bark on fire, adding twigs and then sticks to the flames.