Story-Didn’t-Work Bit

This was supposed to be to [personal profile] ellenmillion‘s Prompt, but it didn’t want to work. So here it is anywhere, while I think of what I actually want to write.

“…and that’s how you start a fire with a steel. Honestly, what do children learn these days?”

“These days? I don’t know.” Armona looked around their campsite. They had situated themselves in the back of a half-collapsed building, one with a corner of roof and two strong walls, two stories up from ground level. It was about as safe a vantage point as they could come up with, and a little bit of jury-rigging had gotten them shelter. “I think mostly they learn how to not die.”

Most of the work had been Thomas’ doing. Armona had grown up in the middle of the city. Living in the wilderness didn’t come naturally to her, and her skills at fire-making were about as good as her skills at hunting – that was to say, abysmal. She still wasn’t sure why Thomas was bothering with her.

“But before the Crisis, before the collapse. What did you learn about in school?”

“I dunno.” She’d been an indifferent student in most of her classes. “History. English. Math.”


“And trig, and calculus. Science stuff, home ec, tech.”

“Home ec? Tech?”

“Home economics. You know, cooking, that sort of thing.” She squatted by the fire and began rigging up a handle for the cans of Cambell’s she’d liberated. “Here, do you have a church key?”

“I have a knife.” He pried a hole in the can for her. “And heating cans over a fire? You learned that in ‘home ec?'”

“Where you from, anyway?”

“Long ago and far away. That doesn’t smell very good.”

“Neither did the deer thing you took down. This’s human food.” She twisted a coat hanger and used it to hold the can over the fire. “I always said school was useless.”

“And yet, here, you find yourself a student again.”

“Yeah, but this stuff is going to do me some good. Staying alive skills. Things I need.”


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