This story is safe of all faeries and/or slavery.
This takes place during the apoc, ~2012-2013
They called it the Great Traffic Jam, although it was much more Jam than Traffic.
When the people had started fleeing the city en masse, inevitably, someone had realized that they could move faster walking than in their car. One person and another abandoned their cars, until those who had stuck it out driving had to walk, too, because they were, in effect, parked in.
This wasn’t the only city this had happened in. In some others, they had brought out the earth-movers and the bulldozers to clear the highways, turning their medians into junkyards. But this city had been one of the first and worst hit, and there was nobody left to clear the roads, and no reason to do so. So the cars remained.
Eventually, as it became clear that the gods and monsters were not coming this far out, people, some people, stopped walking and simply colonized the cars, those the furthest from the city, on a stretch of highway where there was, for several miles in every direction, very little except the cars and a couple farms.
Kota had been born in the back of an SUV, a giant gas-guzzler that had given up the ghost early on, run out of gas on the side of the road. A bank of four of them made up their colony’s hospital; her sisters Exie and Essie had been born there too.
She learned to read from a shipment of books overturned on the side of the road; she and her sisters grew up in the back of an RV. Their colony’s dearest possession was a grocery semi of canned goods.
And now that Kota and Exie were old enough, they were going exploring. They had heard, from travelers, that there was a tanker truck stuck in the Jam. If there was still gas, they thought, maybe they could move the Jam.
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