Steve’s Savage Safari
Copyright 2013 Ross Norris
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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The acrid scent of tannin was fogging the air. Its seething odor dulled the senses on contact. It was a foreign, wild, and savage odor, so indicative of what this part of the world had become. As James Wyler stepped further into the room his feet scraped across the grit on the floor which had probably once been smooth and glossy. The walls were mold-stained and even bloated in a few places, looking overindulged. The bare bones of a drop-tile ceiling hung above him like a giant vulture-stripped rib cage. A few tables and mismatched chairs were set up around the room. An old glass display case showed off the stuffed heads of several animals. Some were common enough, some were the remnants of animals that could no longer be found on earth, and a few were of such odd variety that Wyler doubted that any naturalist had yet classified them.
Wyler had known, at least academically, what he was entering into when he ventured into the savage lands. It became all the more real when his helicopter had flown over the wall, across the safe zone, and then glided over the cities that were now dilapidated and disrespected tombs; testaments to both an age that had passed and to the power of man and his rage. The sky had grown grayer as they flew deeper in; bludgeoned by the ever present clouds and ash. Long expanses, barren of trees, grass, or water, were drawn out below. Burnt stumps and buildings grated the ground like late day stubble. Long gone were the checkered grids of green and tan of the farmlands. It was one thing to know a fact; it was another to see it with one’s own eyes.